Sunday, April 03, 2005

Spadasheo Flashback...Where are they now?

From the front left clockwise: Jay Williams (with the turtle), Andrew Young, Neena Bickram, Mike Artelle, Joey Rodriguez, Marty Stelnick, Samara Nicholds, Megan Spencer, Kanja Chen and Anastasia Danyliw

Wow! I was going through the files on my computer (because I am getting ready to reformat the whole thing) when I came across a whole bunch of pictures I haven't looked at in years. To be honest I forgot I even had this picture. I am not sure how I got it but...ta-da!

This is a picture of the first puppet production I ever worked on. It was a pilot for children's television show. I don't know what happened to it, but I assume that it was never picked up.

Look at all of these puppeteers. I started to wonder what happened to all of them and I decided to post what I know.

Jay Williams: Jay has had a lot of success since Spadasheo. He was a part of a great online video site called the Ruty Tooty Show (which is no longer online). The show was picked up by the Comedy Network and they produced a few episodes for them. He has done several puppeteering jobs since appearing often on television. Currently Jay has just finished being a principle puppeteer for a new 5 disk DVD series from Snap Media (more info on this later).

Andrew Young: Andrew has become a large contributor to the Muppet Central puppetry community. He is currently working on personal puppetry projects including a Star Wars fan film. He has his own blog called the Puppet Vision Blog.

Neena Bickram: Neena has been quiet with her puppetry work. The last information I have is from her website that is dated 2002. I had a chance to see some of her puppets and they were quite good. After the Spadasheo shoot I believe that she work for a short time with Andrew building for different projects.

Mike Artelle: Mike has continued to pursue his love of puppetry as well. Mike is still an active member of the Ottawa Puppetry Club and has his own puppet company called Artellephant Productions. Recently Mike has been screening his documentary about John Conway and his puppet Uncle Chichimus. Mike has also been keeping busy with the Ontario Puppetry Association as the OPAL (newsletter) Editor. You can read more about the OPC here.

Joey Rodriguez: Joey had big dreams of working with the Jim Henson Company and becoming a muppeteer. Well wouldn't you know it. Joey auditioned for Bear in the Big Blue House Live and he was cast as a puppeteer for the character of Tutter the mouse. I am not sure what he has been up to in the last year or so, but here is an article talking about his experiences puppeteering for the touring show.

Marty Stelnick: Of the entire cast Marty was one of the most experienced. He had long been doing puppetry for television including giving life to Lickety Split for YTV Treehouse's Ants In your Pants. Marty was an amazing talent and continued to work on a variety of television programs including Backyard Bug Adventures and Nanalan on CBC.

Samara Nicholds: Sam has continued to be involved in performance. She has done a variety of jobs including working for her own theatre company called Eldritch Theatre that presents "original Canadian plays with strong narratives, involving elements of the uncanny or supernatural." Sam has also worked at Studio 180 and most recently at The Heart House Theatre on the musical Godspell. Sam is currently studying to be a teacher at OISE and hopes to be teaching next year. Hey, maybe we'll run in to each other!

Megan Spencer: It was bound to happen. There had to be at least one person who I was not able to find out about. Megan is that one. What can I say? Megan was a real trooper. She never complained once in those cramped spaces (she was puppeteering in a little nook right behind me). I hope she is doing well with what ever life has offered her.

Kanja Chen: Well that's just silly! I already know where I am and what I am doing. Hopefully this blog with keep others up to date as well.

Anastasia Danyliw: Anastasia continued to work on building a variety of puppets. How do I know? Well at the time she was married to Andrew and together they put their creative energies in to all of their projects. Anastasia is an excelent builder. I have a lot of respect for her when it comes to the puppets she makes. I am not sure if she is still building with Andrew, but I am sure that her talents are being put to good use somewhere.