Master of puppets

FACE OFF: The two faces of David Strassman.

VENTRILOQIST David Strassman introduced technology into his comedy routine with infamous puppets Chuck Wood and Ted E Bear in the 1980s but he’s still looking to kick it up a notch.
Strassman said iPads, 180 pieces of lighting equipment, master projection screens and “puppetronics” all featured in his latest show, Be Careful What You Wish For.
Lead characters Chuck and Ted even had their own social media accounts, he said.
“Oh yeah, they’re fully entrenched [in social media],” Strassman contended.
“They tweet, they’ve got apps – they’re part of the new social media world – and why not, if Kermit the Frog can have one?”
Strassman believed that his characters’ social media accounts only served to make them “more real”.
“They’ve each got a back story, neuroses, conflicts that they have to deal with and all of those things add up of their character.”
Strassman said the characters’ back stories made his job easier.
“You can delineate between what they would and wouldn’t say.”
But he confessed to many occasions when the characters said the wrong things.
“If I stuff up it becomes quite hilarious because the characters always call me out on it.”
Calling him out on his alleged retirement was how Chuck Wood led the show before the characters were thrown into “alternate realities”, Strassman revealed of the storyline.
“Chuck thinks I’m going to retire, so he starts a mutiny with the other puppets.
“I get angry at their treachery and wish they never existed, which my robot character, Angel, through the magic of theatre grants it and we get thrown into weird alternate realities.”
Strassman said the show used a “high-production concept” to depict the realities and create his pinnacle illusion – making the audience forget he was the man pulling the strings on stage.
“People are laughing so much by the end they forget it’s all really just me.”
Strassman has been a regular visitor to Geelong in recent years after chalking up international success in the 1990s. He has also appeared on numerous Australian television programs, earning an almost semi-regular spot on Hey Hey It’s Saturday during national tours.
Strassman plays Geelong Performing Arts Centre on 19 May.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.