Wow. Have we had an amazing couple of weeks. I’ll share as much of the magnificence as I can with you over the next few posts. Highlights from our trip to NYC, including our performance on SiriusXM with Chris Ballew/Caspar Babypants, hanging with amazing artists, musicians, and so many people with a passion for family entertainment, Kindiefest!, meeting Steve Burns from Blues Clues, seeing How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (which, by the way is amazing but still not as good as this), spending time with my new BFF/Bandmate and making the early pre-announcement (I’ll have it here soon.. I promise) for our new album, and so much more! I can’t wait to share it all.
Let’s talk about Marvy.
When I was about 6 years old I discovered my love for puppets. Then came magic, then music, then comics. I’ve always said that puppets are one of the highest art forms. You create this character from nothing and then bring it to life and, when you really get a good one, it lives on. Both of my kids have told my hands things that they’ve never told me. It’s a strange, beautiful mystery.
I made Marvy, the furry purple monster/bunny about 7 years ago. I make a lot of puppets but this one was unique. First of all, he was huge compared to the any other puppet I’d made up to that point. Second, his voice and his personality came out instantly, as soon as I put him on. My little (at the time) boy and I made a silly music video with him called Super Friend Vacation almost immediately. My son was definitely the star but he and Marvy played off each other beautifully.
We made other puppets together and played with Marvy sometimes but we didn’t “make” anything with him until around this time last year. It was just before Easter and I wanted to make a fun little tune with my daughter. I set up the mic for both of us and we just started talking and singing along to the little groove I had just recorded. It happened instantly. Just a little bit of magic with my amazing little girl. I posted it right away as I do with a lot of my tunes and I didn’t give it much thought again until we were wrapping up the Galactic Champions of Joy album. It was just about done and my wife suggested that we add it as the last track. It was really different from the rest of the album but that’s what was kind of great about it. Jeff Bogle from OWTK gave it to Mindy at SiriusXM (thank you Jeff and Mindy! We are endlessly grateful!) and within a month of its release it was on its way to becoming the number one song on SiriusXM Kids Place Live. It spent 5 weeks at #1 and has stayed on their “Top 13 Under 13” for 30 consecutive weeks now.
More amazing things have since come from sharing that little bit of joy than could possibly list here. Marvy now has a career of his own, he’s taken the band with him, and has begun work on an album of his own. It’s all quite amazing and endlessly inspiring. The thing with puppets though is that their bodies wear out fast. It becomes more difficult with time to even operate their mouths. Marvy is special though and I am only a very amateur puppet maker. I want Marvy to live on in a big way. So, knowing that we’d be making a very special trip to New York to, in a sense, celebrate the magic that has come from our experiences with him so far, I reached out to find someone who could help. The artist I discovered exceeded my expectations. His apuppetaday tumblr has kept me entertained daily for months now. His name is James Wojtal and he worked for the Henson company for many years. He worked on “Bear” on “The Bear In The Big Blue House“, one of my kids favorite shows of all times, as well as Blotch on “Kermits Swamp Years“, another family favorite. Some of the construction of the new and improved Marvy has been documented online for the world to see. It was a weird feeling to put this magical monster/bunny into someone else’s hands but it also had that grand feeling of letting go. Marvy just got some super powers and I really couldn’t be happier for him. Wait till you see what he’s got in store. You know what…? Marvy is just getting started.