Tuesday, November 12, 2013

PUPPET-SLAM artist interview: Ed Valentine

La MaMa Puppet Slam 2013

November 15, 2013 @ 7pm
First Floor Theatre
Curator: Jane Catherine Shaw

A one-night only puppetry-slam, featuring contemporary short-form puppet and object theatre. These super short works make their point fast and furious, and bring artists and audiences together for an evening of puppetry mash up fun.

_____________________________________________________________________



We asked La MaMa Puppet Slam participant Ed Valentine to take on The Proust Questionnaire, the basis for Inside the Actors Studio's '10 questions.' 

Call this Inside the Puppet Studio -or- The Puppet Questionnaire.


What is your favorite virtue?
The need to be loved; more precisely, the need to be caressed and spoiled much more than the need to be admired.
            - Proust

Industry: Lose no Time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary Actions.”  
            - Ben Franklin

Hello, internet!  I’m talking to you about “Unnecessary Actions. Here is a great link to what the great man thought were the most important things in life.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Not to be able to create new work any more.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
To be creative, and to be able to share one’s work with the people I love.

Where would you like to live?
A country where certain things that I should like would come true as though by magic, and where tenderness would always be reciprocated.”
            - Proust

Ooh, I like Proust’s answer.  Really, am I supposed to compare my answers to Proust?  I think I’m hungry for a Madeline.  Ok, anyway – I love living where I’m living already: overlooking a cathedral and a garden, able to see three boroughs (and New Jersey) and the sky, and some occasional hawks. 

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
To a life deprived of the works of genius.”
            - Proust

sure what Proust is saying there. But I feel the occasional pang of despair, and the pull to waste time. 

Who are your favorite composers?
Bach, Copland, Irving Berlin (whose catalog I’ve incorporated into a new stop-motion Christmas special), Gershwin.

Who are your favorite painters?
Seurat.  Da Vinci was pretty great.  I’m more of a sculpture guy…

What are you favorite names?
Hawaiian royalty King Kamehameha and Queen Lilioukalani.  Super fun to say.

What is the natural talent you’d most like to be gifted with?
Does flight count as a natural talent?  No, I guess, unless you’re a bird.  OK: I’d love to be gifted with the ability to relax more easily. To turn off my brain for a bit.

What is the quality you most admire in a man?
Politeness, interest in others.

What is the quality you most admire in a woman?
Same, I would say.

What is your favorite occupation?
Making puppets and sculptures, reading. Singing, too, when the opportunity arises.

Who would you have liked to be?
Cliché, I suppose, but I would have loved to be an astronaut.  (After seeing Gravity I don’t think I ever want to be, but it would’ve been nice to see space from space, you know?)

Your most marked characteristic?
“A craving to be loved, or, to be more precise, to be caressed and spoiled rather than to be admired.”
- Proust

Whoa! That’s personal.  Wow, Proust.  Man.  Pass.

What do you most value in your friends?
Kindness.

What is your principle defect?
“Lack of understanding; weakness of will.”
            - Proust

Jeez! Was Proust counting on the internet and having everything out there?  I think not. Pass again.

What would you like to be?
Someone with something to say, something to offer – a person to whom others come for advice and support.

Who are your favorite prose writers?
Right now, Alice Walker, Lewis Carroll, Homer (not Simpson – reading The Iliad in its entirety.) Oh, and Ray Bradbury.  How did I make it so far in life without ever reading Bradbury?  The Martian Chronicles is gorgeous.

Who are your favorite poets?
Shakespeare, E.E. Cummings, Gwendolyn Brooks.

Who are your favorite heroes in fiction?
Tyler Durden, Fight Club. (And the first rule of Fight Club is… well, you know.)

Who are your heroes in real life?
Henson, Wayne White (“Beauty is Embarrassing”).

Who are your favorite heroines in fiction?
Alice of Alice in Wonderland fame.  Oh, and Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in Alien & Aliens, which I just watched last night. Interstellar badass.

Who are your favorite heroines of history?
Queen Elizabeth I. Elizabethan Badass.

Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
“A woman of genius leading an ordinary life.”
            - Proust

Proust copped out on that answer. Oh, Proust!  Writer mentor and friend, Tina Howe.  Suzen-Lori Parks. Gertrude Stein.

What is it you most dislike?
“My own worst qualities.”
            - Proust

My own inaction, and wasting time.

What historical figures do you most despise?
Vlad the Impaler! Yikes. What a baddie.  

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
“Will power and irresistible charm.”
            - Proust

I’ll go with Proust’s answer here – willpower and irresistible charm.

How would you like to die?
Peacefully, at a time when I’m ready to go, surrounded by loved ones.

What is your present state of mind?
Happiness at feeling creativity surging back, ready to take on the future!

What is your motto?
 “No fear in action” is my motto for 2013.  Thanks for reading my answers.  And thank you, Proust.