Tuesday, 25 December 2012

The owl and the pussycat went to sea...

I have had a lot of jobs in my time.  None of them proper.

In the early '90s I was cast as Yogo the gorilla in Monica Trapaga's kids show.  When I say, 'cast,' what I mean is: her manager was my manager, I was in between gigs and they needed someone to put on a gorilla suit and dance the "Yogo au gogo" with Monica.  We also did some sort of hula number, but my memory is vague on that.

What is clearer in my memory is that it was hard to see where I was going in that suit.   I definitely recall knocking over a plywood palm tree or two en route to centre stage.

To say it was the best job ever, is an understatement. It was a bit like joining the circus.  Monica was a flexible employer and the requirements of the job were "fluid" and ever-changing.  Sometimes I was required to work the bird puppet, "Macaw" (which I did very badly) and other times I was required to be "Mrs George Devino the corner shop owner."

Mrs George Devino was a construct entirely of Monica's imagination.  And despite Monica explaning her to me at great length and giving me two pages of meticulously typed character description, I still don't really understand who or what she was and why her name was "George."  Luckily I was given a lot of license to make the character my own.

So after being given the "you're on with Mrs G de V" signal by Monica (about half an hour before a show one day)  I awaited my cue and proceeded to stride on stage executing a very poor Dame Edna impression.  It just happened.  It was all very random, which was just the way Monica liked it. 

Now I have found another favourite job that perfectly suits my temperament.  I am officially called the 'Freelance Activities Editor' at Kidspot.  Wow, sounds fancy! But what does it mean?

It means I create content. I fill the site with stuff.  I make videos and write things and just recently the executive editor, Alex Brooks (who is on par with Monica in terms of her 'anything goes' approach to creatives) asked if I would do some nursery rhymes.

I'm not fond of nursery rhymes, nor am I fond of mawkish to-camera video work especially featuring my own rough old head. But I do like the Edward Lear poem,  The Owl and the Pussycat. So I pushed the envelope a bit: I recorded my own version and then asked one of my nine year old twins to do a drawing of the poem.  And while I don't want to toot my own trumpet too loudly, it's a pretty awesome drawing.

You can see Henry's drawing and hear my version of The owl and the pussycat, below.

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