Episode 9 / Talking about friends and God

The Second Stringers had some jelly fish time in the past few weeks, danced on their own roses, read some shitty news, skipped a war or two, but they sound like being back in business for a while. How long? No one knows. Not even their mothers and sisters. Not even Tulip’s Grandma!!

Melly: I have this friend who likes to write and read about stuff. Mostly art…So he sends me an article about God…

Gron: Oh, my God!

Bipolic: I’m sure it was not about yours.

Tulip: I don’t want to hear this conversation, you bloody monsters! You know that my Grandma prays for each of us. She would go mad if she knew I was listening to a conversation about mocking God.

Melly: Who’s mocking? I just wanted to tell you about that article, but one can’t open a serious conversation around these two.

Bipolic: Gron, I think he’s talking about us.

Gron: I knew that from his first sentence!
Tulip: I’m throwing my glove!

Bipolic: Hot stuff! Naked puppet on the stage!!

Gron: Should I order chinese? Oh, sorry, you were about to tell us about an article…

Bipolic: Are you going to tell us the story about a friend who sends a letter containing an article of another person about someone else’s God? How lovely!

Melly: You know what? You are right! This is a habit I inherited from The Land of Marionettes: Never talk about yourself! When you meet someone, just tell him or her about the longest stupidest shittiest movie you ever saw. Tell every detail: cuts and characters profiles. Even draw the storyboard on a napkin. And at the end of your conversation tell this person you would be more than happy to see her or him again. And if this person is an artist, you must surely tell her or him you used to draw stuff when you were little. You even made a short last week.

Bipolic: Oh, mate, I am so sorry. I didn’t know this article about God made you so upset.

Melly: What article?

Bipolic: You were telling us about a friend who sent an article about God.

Melly: Really? Was this today?

Bipolic: Mate…

Melly: Have you checked my e-mail?

Bipolic: Are you crazy? I wouldn’t do something like that.

Melly: How could you know, then? Was the article good? I have to read it…Was it about God, you said?

Gron: Well…What just happened around here?

Episode 10 / Meeting a lonely Shepherd’s Pie or the Party pastry crisis

This is a little story about a pie. Any reference to real people or, let say facts from real political life, are hardly accidental.
Easter is coming soon and Tulip decided to go shopping for his entire fingerhood. You must remember from the other episodes that The Second Stringers are finger characters; they live now in the Land of Marionettes, they wear gloves and generally travel by a right hand. For details please check the About page.

I don’t know how Tulip did it, but he left the others locked in the house for two or three days.  When he came home…

Gron: Alkie arse! What’s cooking?

Tulip: Oh, no, he is just a guy I met…

Bipolic: Where have you been?

Mely: We wanted to call the police!! Hello, police, how are you?

Tulip: I am so sorry guys. You shouldn’t have had to worry.

Bipolic: We were not worried. We were absolutely hysterical…for being looked in for three long days!!!

Gron: Who are you to deny our freedom?!! To starve us???

Tulip: Please, I have an explanation. But later! Let me introduce my new friend.

Gron:  Our dinner is your friend??? Is it alive? Let me look at this junky food…You smell good! What’s your name?

Pie: Keep your dirty…fingers…from me!!!  You are going to contaminate me.

Bipolic: A naughty talking pie! Do you know what happens to little naughty pies?

Gron: Are being eaten!!!

Bipolic: Correct answer, Gron. Bring me a serviette.

Tulip: Oh my God, guys! I can’t believe!! How can you even think about eating my friend???  He is the only reason I am here today, back to open your door. He saved my life, you dumbasses!

Mely: I never heard you talking like this.

Tulip: I never saw you acting so stupid.

Gron: We are hungry. You brought a pie. We eat the pie. What is stupid about this?

Tulip: What gives you the right to gormandise a person? Is it shorter? Is it poorest? Is it…

Gron: The pie surely smells better than all of us!!

Mely: Tulip, darling, you know I love you. But you are not well today. Pies are for being eaten as common people are for being absorbed by work. No society functions unless fingers move and pies are being eaten. It is just natural.

Pie: Why didn’t you say your friends were politicians? Eat me up, guys! I am starting to get alleged.

Important message

Dear All,

This is an important message from The Second Stringer’s chief puppeteer, Ankado. Season 1/ ‘The Land of Marionettes’ ended with episode 10. You may regard episode 11 – The United Studios of Puppet Theatre or redefining the world stage – as a sort of ‘the beginnings’. At any rate it explains some of the features contained in the previous episodes. My work with The Second Stringers is a work in progress narrative. Oddly enough, each of the episodes is developed under the influence of the ‘present time’. However blurred the meanings may seem, I am not stressing upon certain facts; I am aiming for the emotional animated experience drawn from those events. This is why I am not counting on the fact that you might or not read the same newspapers, watch the same TV programs or live in the same house as I do. I am counting on a sensorial response from my audience.

But this was just a “reminder”. My real message comes now!  I am sending The Second Stringers back to the workshop for a little ‘facial’ improvement. They requested aesthetic surgery, so I need to make them happy. But they will come back groomed and ready for Season 2 – Urbanscapes. Stay tuned!


Episode 11/ The United Studios of Puppet Theatre or redefining the world stage

Ankado has four voices because she got to the conclusion that one is not enough. Her voices speak a euphemistic language because many of us are sick of canting activism hidden in the waves of the highbrow gobbledygook language, nonsenses, fake intellectualism and marketed charity.  You probably know by now Bipolic, Gron, Mely and Tulip. They are THE SECOND STRINGERS, a finger character puppet group from FINGERLAND.

Let The Second Stringers tell you the story of Fingerland. Once upon a time it was a big theatre shared by many different species of puppets. Each species had its own studio and played for their audience. But waters were never still in this big shared theatre. Some of the studios where big, other very small; some were rich, other almost empty and unproductive. But all of them played their repertory. Oh, we almost forgot! There was another studio, apart from the theatre but acting as being part of it, where The Marionettes developed their repertory.  Some of the managers of these studios decided once they deserve to lead several other studios, never minding the different techniques involved in operating another breed of puppets. Not to mention a crazy manager who thought that other species were impure.  But this is another story.
After many scandals and disputes, a brave manager decided to unite all the studios and to share the audience. Thereby he explained how shared public will increase income for each studio. This is how The United Studios of Puppet Theatre was formed.
Analysing the quality of language and productions, the rulers of the TUSOPT decided that Fingerland should not be a part of the united audience mechanism. The characters of the Fingerland productions were operated by fingers, which – in their opinion – was something dirty and devoid of substance. People from Fingerland were so sad. They wanted to be part of the shared audience mechanism, they wanted more income, they wanted a better life…but their operators were not tall enough to see where the real fights were taken to.
After many years, the Fingerland studio was approved to join TUSOPT. Now the Fingerlanders were happy and optimistic and they ran to make a career in different studios around the Theatre.  Yet, in a very short time they realised that not only they had less authority in their own studio, but they were not allowed to play anymore in foreign studios. The laws of TUSOPT were applied to all studios, except Fingerland. Therefore another species of puppets was born: the Second Stringers.

Definition of a Second Stringer: a kind of puppet once part of a specific studio, who left its own place in order to build for itself a stronger theatrical career and realised on the way that the rules of other TUSOPT studios do not allow this kind of puppets to play. Jobs allowed to Second Stringers, regardless of education or training: cleaning, feeding the other breeds or building new stages for the expending studios.
The Second Stringers are not allowed to play in a different studio then Fingerland for the following reasons:

  1. They come from Fingerland.
  2. The Second Stringers, which are genuine finger characters, are operated by fingers. Fingers are considered by TUSOPT to be dirty, elusive and able to prig from every pocket they find.
  3. Because of their origin, The Second Stringers are considered raw material, agrestic stuff, uncivilised and chronic thieves.
  4. Fingerland is positioned in the East area of Theatre, where criminality and failure of education are considered to be at “high standards”.
  5. The management of Fingerland has a very low profile ( which seems to be a true fact, acknowledged by the Fingerlanders)
  6. The Second Stringers have a funny accent.

Season 2 / Episode 1: Box Getaway

After several months of silence and absence, Ankado decided to meet her Second Stringers again. Their approved box ‘getaway’ might have been a moment of revelation for the poor Second Stringers.

Bipolic: So… you finally thought about drawing us out of the box. So kind of you! But, you know, we are not bears or other hibernating animals.

Tulip: Who are you talking to?

Bipolic: Ankado.

Mely, Gron:  Yaaakkk!! Don’t talk to her!

Gron: I suggest we vote for changing the hand. She humiliated us, she kept as in darkness, refused our freedom of expression, she promised she will improve our appearance …and what did she do?

Tulip: She kept us in a box!!!!

Ankado: You all should be aware of what you really want. I’m just having one more hand … and it is the left one! Are you sure you want this one?

Bipolic: We are changing you! Not only your hands!

Ankado: It is in your nature to function carried by one hand or another. You are finger characters.
If you change me, you will be starting to speak a different language and you will be subjected to different laws and rules.

Gron: We don’t care!

Ankado: What about if changing language means changing functions?

Bipolic: Changing functions means, in this days – if you are aware– updating functions.

Ankado: So, you are in my hands by the nature of your existence. We can’t change this, isn’t it?

Mely:  Annihilation is an option.

Tulip: Still, we need her to annihilate us…Or just to pray for an accident.

Ankado: Let’s say, you convince me to give you away; to send you to a better world.  You will also convince the new ‘’carrier’’ to update your functions. You will obtain a wiser right or left hand, or maybe, someone will give you a new body. You will have your own hands, your own legs…Will you cope with this?

Gron:  So when are you giving us away?

Ankado: If you are an apple, why would you be an apple tasting like a melon and looking like a cactus?  How will you describe yourself in the future?

Mely: I see, she tries to impress us with the ‘identity discourse’.

Ankodo: In the end, I just want to point out the fact that you never asked me why I have kept you in the box and that you never came with an idea to improve our communication and our work together.  But still, you judge me. You question your own freedom and take your rights for granted. But have you ever come up with an improvement plan that would make you happy?

Gron: You’re absence make us happy.

Ankado: I was not present while you were in the box. Were you happy?

Bipoic: I got your point. And you are right. We will plan some resolutions. But, if you are not able to take care of us…give us away! Let someone else to make us marionettes or wayangs. Our features will be the same and this is the way we will describe ourselves.

Mely: It could be an improvement to be an apple tasting like a melon. In the end you can’t deny the fact that we are apples. We will just taste better for melon lovers, even if we disappoint some apple lovers.  It is a circle of convenience.

Ankado: I will think about it.