I guess you can say I owe my career to this puppet.
It was 1973, and right in the middle of producing his all-new version of Pinocchio for
his theatre on Barrow Street, when Bil decided he did not like the original design of the
puppet's head. It was now weeks before opening night and there were 7 different versions
of the puppet that needed to be remade.
I received a call from Frank Sullivan, Sully as everybody called him, asking if I could
come down to the theatre to help with the Celastic* production work on the new heads.
I first met Sully and his wife Fania, earlier that year after I was invited to join
Bil's summer course on puppet-making. Sully was Bil's artistic director for the theatre and
he and his wife were responsible for mentoring me. I will be forever grateful to them.
Well, as the story goes, all the new heads were completed on time. A few literally
going on wet before curtain time and the rest is history.
Oh, and one little aside here, only 6 out of the 7 new Pinocchio's were rebuilt.
Because of time, Bil left one of the old designs in the show. It was the half-carved
Pinocchio, seen in the first act, and no one was the wiser.J
Here are a few characters from the show: