Cave-In 9/27

Is it redundant of me to keep posting whenever there’s going to be a new Cave-In? I feel like maybe all of you can just follow Steve on Instagram yourselves, and then you will find out at the same time I do. 

On the other hand, I feel obliged to do my part to get the word out, since the mainstream fan sites have not taken an interest. 

Anyway, I figure if I’m going to post about it, I’d better hurry up and do it. Sorry for the delay; I’ve been preoccupied with other things. Maybe you’ll get to hear about them if you tune in tomorrow. 

Sixty for 60: Culmination

60 for 60 collage

(Please enjoy this photo collage. I worked on it for the better part of an hour before trying to upload it, but my initial attempt was unsuccessful because the file size was too big. Apologies to those whose photos I’ve co-opted.)

Happy 60th birthday, Steve Whitmire! And welcome, everyone, to the final installment of 60 for 60. Every month for a year I’ve been celebrating Steve and this milestone by posting five examples of his work per month (mostly in the form of videos, but not exclusively) and making commentary about it. At this point, I’d like to take a look back of the year and choose the best from each month for a “Best of the Best” feature.

(As always, “best” in this case is subjective.)

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Semi-miked StocktonCon Q&A Panel

The interesting thing about searching for comic con panel discussions is that you don’t always find exactly what you asked for, but sometimes you find things that you would never have thought to look for specifically. 

I checked YouTube today to see if there were any panels from DragonCon available yet. It may be too early for that since it was just this weekend. I didn’t find any new DragonCon content, but I did find a panel from StocktonCon Steve did…*checks*…a month ago already! Wow…

Word of warning before I post it: Like at OCon, Steve and the moderator were miked, but the audience questions weren’t. Why? I have no idea. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but what do I know?

One thing I want to specifically point out about this panel is that Steve talks in glowing terms about Kermit’s interview with Ellen Degeneres. That is also a favorite appearance of mine, and it was surprising to me at the time that Ellen and Kermit had never met before. That, too, seemed like a no-brainer. I really wanted to work that interview into 60 for 60, but the only place I could have worked it in was during the Kermit month, and I opted for the backstage interview instead. If I have a regret about how it turned out, that may be it. 

In the meantime, I’m waiting quite impatiently to see if OCon is going to post video of Steve’s Q&A panel. I asked them via Twitter if we could expect it, but I haven’t received a response. Neither my notes nor my memory are really adequate to talk about it, but if I had the video with the notes to supplement it, I think I could recreate it for you with a reasonable degree of accuracy. 

Soooooooo…What did everybody think of the shoooooooow?

Oh my gosh, you guys, that was so great! I laughed SO HARD the whole time!

I have to get a microphone, though, because I’ve got lots of miserable stuff I can talk about. And I have a background in theatre and improv, so I could kind of play along. It was so frustrating watching Weldon begging for callers with problems and not being able to participate. 

So, what about you guys? Did you watch? Did you laugh? Did you have sound problems? (I had to break out the headphones during the Dark Crystal parody as it suddenly went quiet. Was it just me?)

I’m all wound up now. Let’s keep it going! 

Steve’s Website Goes Live and Weldon’s Show Has a Title

At long last, here is Weldon in all his repulsive glory: 

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Download the DISCORD app now to call in tomorrow night!

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It’s nice to finally see Weldon, and I like his looks a lot, especially his hands and his weird little pointy teeth. 

I know that “doesn’t give a rat’s ass” is a common expression, but it also made me think of Rizzo. Poor, voiceless Rizzo.

I plan to watch the show, but I don’t anticipate that I’m going to be able to participate, at least not yet. Need to track down a microphone first. 

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Something Seems To Be Happening on Saturday

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HU ‘boy…he’s back…

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And thank goodness, because all the people taking Weldon’s posts too seriously was getting reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally uncomfortable. 

But we can tell that Weldon is meant to be a not-nice character because he doesn’t tell us whether this is happening at 8:31 AM or PM! That nonspecific fiend!

(My guess would be PM.)

I assume that it’s happening on Steve’s new website, which kind of doesn’t exist yet, but here it is anyway: stevewhitmire.website

If/when I find out more, you’ll find out more!

Sixty for 60: Live Appearances by Muppets

Welcome to the final regular installment of 60 for 60, a year-long celebration of the work of Steve Whitmire in anticipation of his 60th birthday next month. This month’s theme is live appearances by Muppet characters.

Kermit TED talk

“The trick to the show [Muppets 2015], if it works, is to make it feel for the first time that you’re seeing the Muppets in our world.” –Bill Prady, SDCC Panel 2015

Of the many strange and perplexing things that happened in conjunction with the Muppets’ 2015 series, one that I found to be among the strangest and most perplexing was this bizarre statement by Bill Prady, that it would be the first time that the Muppets were in our world. How are they not in our world? Not only have six of their eight movies been set in our world, but the Muppets make live appearances in our world all the time. And when they do, it results in some of the best and most entertaining material because they’re usually a little freer to do some ad libbing and to be themselves, insofar as the Muppets have selves, which is a deep philosophical dive that I don’t think I’m ready to take at the moment and would probably require a whole other entry even if I were.

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Brief Footage of Steve Whitmire’s OCon Q&A

If the pattern holds true, it looks like the full video of Steve’s OCon Q&A may be going up within a few weeks. I don’t know for sure that that is the case, but they have full panels from last year that went up in early September, so that’s reason to hope. 

Because my memories of the Q&A are so sketchy, even with my notes, I’m going to hold off publishing my impressions of it for now. 

To tide us all over in the meantime, I found this highlight reel of the days’ events. A few moments of Steve’s Q&A, sans audio, are shown at about 43 seconds in: 

I looked to see if I could see myself in the background of any of these clips, but I didn’t, not at the Q&A or in any of the other footage.

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Sixty for 60: Interviews

Welcome back to 60 for 60, a year-long celebration of the work of Steve Whitmire in anticipation of his 60th birthday in a couple months. The theme for this month is interviews of Steve (not his characters), and it is unique in that not all five examples are available in video form. As a matter of fact, most of them are not.

Steve_Dave_stage

(Technically not a picture of an interview, but one I happen to like.)

I planned out the themes for each installment of 60 for 60 ten months ago. At that time, of course, I had no idea that I would actually have met Steve by this time. A lot has changed since I planned out this project, and the plan for this month has changed more than any other in the interim as I re-evaluate interviews that I was going to use and new interviews emerge. But what hasn’t changed is my wish to celebrate Steve himself rather than just his characters, although they’re important too.

I’m not a Muppet performer, and I’m not really a puppeteer despite a brief amateur stint. So I can’t say that I really know what it’s like, but I imagine that it must be an interesting dichotomy. On the one hand, the anonymity that it affords you could be very valuable, but on the other hand, I can imagine that it would sometimes get frustrating to be part of something that is so popular and well known but only rarely get credit or recognition for it.

This month is all about that recognition.

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Emphasis

Today I received a comment on my previous entry from Dane Mychal, one of the hosts of the CF3 podcast. I want to pull out a quote from that comment for emphasis:

“Steve, as you know much more than I, is an incredible talent and wonderful human being, but I wanted to give this specific anecdote for perspective: This was early Sunday morning on the last day of a 3-day convention. Media guests tend to get burned out by Day 3 and 4 of these things and start to just mail it in. The MAC had been open for an hour that day by the time we came up to see Steve. Out of the 10 or so celebrities in Media Guest Row, he was the ONLY one there promptly at the prescribed time and remained the only one there for quite a long time. It was just about the first thing we discussed with him before we had even turned the recorders on. This man is a professional and puts his best effort into everything he does. We also requested to pay him for his time because we believe in compensating talent for such things. He was floored and insisted that we take autographed photos with us, which I am happy to have!”

This was the first convention of this kind that I’ve ever attended, so I don’t know what the norms are, but I can confirm that Steve was the first media guest on the floor that morning, the only one on the floor for some time thereafter, and although I wasn’t paying a lot of attention at the end of the day, I know that there were several who left before he did. 

Thank you, Dane, for the benefit of your perspective!

Mark Hamill Reveals Skeksis Scientist Voice

Well, I decided to follow Mark Hamill on Twitter just in time to hear his version of the Skeksis Scientist’s voice as he plugs the Dark Crystal panel at San Diego Comic Con.

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Meeting Steve Whitmire, Part 3: Basking in Reflected Glory

Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

I took notes at the Q&A so I could talk about it in detail regardless of whether or not any video of it shows up online. I intend to do that in a separate post, but here I’d like to give just a brief overview and mention the parts that are relevant to the rest of my story.

Before I talk about Steve’s Q&A, I need to back up a bit to talk about one of his visitors from the morning. I mentioned her briefly in one of my other posts. She was the lady who was part of her church’s puppet troupe, and she brought along a Whatnot for him to sign (one of those ones that Disney marketed and sold for a while). She was accompanied by two teenage kids, but of the three of them it was pretty clear that she was the one most excited to meet Steve (not that the teenagers were entirely disinterested). Her Whatnot was one that they allowed new puppeteers in their group to practice on and learn with, so Steve not only signed it across the back of its head, he also wrote a short message of encouragement.

The autographed Whatnot was one of several puppets present at the Q&A. Scrubby was there with Ethan, and the lady and the baby were there with their Wembley, and there was also a guy there with a Kermit. I’m not sure if it was a fan-made Kermit or a toy that he’d bought, but they appear briefly in the following video alongside Steve (and Mitzi):

Also, it wasn’t a puppet per se, but there was someone there with a very detailed plush toy of Rizzo. I meant to ask the guy where he acquired such a thing, but then I didn’t get around to it.

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