This week saw the first in what will hopefully be a regular happening in Pittsburgh - a Hat Band performance! Three weeks ago, interested participants emailed their names to the Hat Band Organizer - this person put all the names into a Hat, and drew names in random groups of four. Each foursome became a Band as soon as they were notified, and then had three weeks to meet up, learn new instruments (regulations required that those who exhibit proficiency with one instrument must chose another instrument with which they have no experience), and be ready to perform two or three (hopefully original) songs by April 24.
I was thrust into a Hat Band with Lisa Landslide, Christopher St. Pierre, and trusted collaborator Robin Hewlett. Somehow or another we made a performance happen in front of maybe thirty-five people, despite our incredible inability to be, all four of us, in the same place at the same time to practice together. Being adverse to the idea of learning new instruments due to time constraints with other projects (and crippling stage fright in more than half of our ranks), we succeeded in constructing a galleon-on-the-ocean puppet stage for our four sock-puppet stage persona. If we couldn't raise the roof, we were at least going to make a bit of a mess...Beginning tamely enough with an the old hymnal "All For Me Grog", our innocent voyage was suddenly parlayed by a giant Rum Arm, which, after having dumped most of the contents of a bottle of Black Seal down our eager puppet throats, set our sails upon a course of ruin. I was thankfully able to make my puppet vomit veggie medley (canned peas, carrots, and corn) only slightly off cue during the second tune, through a secret tube that I had not had time to practice with. Apparently it turned the stomachs of more than a few land-lubbers, and was a hit with the kids - although we wouldn't have known, being hidden behind our plywood stage. (Note: from all I can remember, this may be the first puppet show I've ever done!)