This year Pawpet-Show preparations contained some experiences I do not want to repeat. I was very close to quitting the team.
Last year I've said that after buying my house spare-time (and money) is very limited. This show asked for the most complicated/expensive puppet ever. It took all my free weekends from January to July (and I had to cancel some things on my schedule).
That also means I did not have time (and money) for the house renovations I had planned. Sanding and painting the wood outside my winter garden, hedge clipping, replacing the tiles on the veranda, painting the bathroom tiles ... a lot of things I see every day. I'm still working on cleaning my house - building Ortha made a huge mess.
The things I found most frustrating were
- trying to calculate what I spent on Ortha (it may sound silly, but when I started to sort all the bills I got really frustrated - that's also why I did not ask for money - if I had finished this task I would have quit)
- the time it took to build Ortha (next time tell me changes before I glue something, please)
- keeping Ortha secret (making stuff and showing it is my greatest joy - keeping a puppet secret robs me of most my social interactions with others - I will not build another puppet that I have to hide)
Eurofurence started awesome with the fursuit walk at Filmpark Babelsberg on Tuesday, the Pawpet-Show on Saturday was great and had the best feedback ever.
Unfortunately, the time between those highlights was not that great. I had hoped to see more events at Eurofurence - most happened without me. Preparations for the Pawpet-Show took a lot longer when anticipated.
I made a short list what ate up most of my time at EF
- The puppet Eva was not finished
- We had to move puppets, props, backdrops, and tools several times between stage and workshop-area ("Where is ... now?", "Is ... still at the workshop?", "Where are my tools?"...)
- Working around the DJ-booth did lengthen the rehearsals a lot (I counted the instances when it took more than 10 minutes to work around this construct - I got to eight times - and I was not the whole time at the tech rehearsal)
- Ortha (we did what we could before EF - but there were still so many things to do)
- Trying to find materials ("Do we have some ... screws?", "What else can we use to make...?", "Where is the second rod for this puppet?")
Ideas for next year:
- Make it easier for everybody to see what is a prop for the current show (maybe with a thin colored tape at the rod, bring a label printer)
- Get a detailed status for every new puppet at least 3 weeks before the EF and organize more help if a puppet cannot be finished before EF
- Find a better way to keep track of tasks at EF (Dinoex wrote a telegram bot that could work)
- Mark the storage areas (everybody that helps to transport stuff between workshop and stage should see what to put where - make simple signs "Props", "Tools", ..., bring stands for the signs,...)
- Sort the screws, etc. before EF - buy what's missing
- Build something to protect the eyes of a puppet (Aurelias left eye got damaged - luckily we did not need her for this year's show)