For a bit of a change of pace and a great giggle I was fortunate enough to think of all the things you always wanted to ask a penis puppeteer but never got the opportunity, and then think about it some more and cross out the ones that you really shouldn’t talk about in public. In the end this is the list of questions I had for Sam Longfellow of Puppetry of the Penis. I hope his answers amuse you as much as they did me.
I also have to mention before we get started that Puppetry of the Penis 3D will be touring Australia from February to May, 2012. For more information visit www.puppetryofthepenis.com
The first questions I feel I have to ask is what started your experimentation, how did you learn to do these tricks… and WHY?
Well, I’ve been doing it as long as I can remember. As a young man I was always fascinated at what I could make it do, and nothing changed as I grew up let me tell you, just the size and scale of the things I try to turn it into! At the end of the day, I guess its a bit of a cautionary tale for all the mums out there not to leave their sons in the bathtub too long!
What is your signature trick and how did you come up with it?
To be honest, my signature trick isn’t one of my own, but one I have taken and I believe perfected called “The Loch Ness Monster”. It is generally people’s favourite trick and whenever I meet people and they ask to see one, you can bet your left nut that will be what it is. It combines all three major components in a beautiful symphony of trouser utensils and is worth the entry fee just on its own!
So, how do you become a member of Puppetry of the Penis?
Well my lovely girlfriend at the time took me to see the show in Brisbane, and let me tell you, it was the funniest thing I had seen in my life! The guys obviously had so much fun up there, and knowing I was a nudist myself, my hugely supportive girlfriend told me to audition as they were looking for guys to do the private party business and take over the stage show. Well it didn’t take much persuasion, and before I knew it I was visiting the guys at their hotel with my pants around my ankles, shuffling a few tricks and being handed my cape! The rest as they say is history. So a big shout out to Lisa, for pushing my penis to the world!
What has been the most unusual situation you found yourself performing tricks in, because I’m guessing you did this a lot for an audience before joining Puppetry of the Penis?
Well, once as a young man in Bendigo on a late night (or early morning) bus service home after a rather large night out, a good friend and I entertained the weary travelers with a small show on their journey home. This worked quite well as the crowd loved it, cheering us on for more, but the middle aged bus driver obviously didn’t appreciate our skills and pulled over at the next stop to the waiting constabulary, which led to a high speed nude foot chase through the streets of Bendigo and us carrying our clothes all the way home. Either we were quite nimble or the boys in blue decided that they weren’t interested in processing two nude larrikins at that time of the morning as we made it home safely, minus a couple of dropped items of clothing! That said, I haven’t taken my pants off on a bus since!
Do you take requests and what has been the most unusual request you have heard?
People always have different requests. Normally they are a variation of a trick we do in the show, or just the bizarre that would be best left not written about here, but I’m always happy to give someone their favourite trick (in the right setting of course). Though it’s not just tricks, we do get requests for signatures in some interesting places, and lets just say that I’ve had to knock back a couple of penis signings in my time too!
What can you tell us about the transition from Private Parties to the Big Stage?
They are two very different beasts. The private shows are more intimate – you interact with the crowd more and can get right amongst it as well as it tending to be a lot looser. But this also means you have to work harder to keep them entertained, and they can be a few more drinks into their evening which can be interesting at times! With the stage show though there is a bigger buzz from the crowd, and nothing beats the roar of a full house when you really make them laugh. Its amazing and the energy is just electric!
The new tour is going to be 3D. Can you tell us a bit about how you can get more 3D than standing on stage performing origami? What can we expect from this tour?
Well if you thought you had seen it before, wearing the glasses with the new 3d technology makes everyone feel like they are in the front row – like you can reach out and touch it! Like you can pat the Loch Ness Monster, throw the Boomerang, or even yank the Bulldog’s tail! It really is a sight to see. The effects are brilliant and its amazing just how much it jumps right of the big screen at you.
I live the dream – I get paid to play with myself! Who wouldn’t want to do that?! Though my taxman believes I am an “artist” which is quite true I guess. With other people I just tell them I’m a master at genital origami – all of those things are pretty spot on in one way or another.
What do your family think of your career?
They love it and are very supportive. My whole family have seen the show. Mum has brought all her work friends to see it and my dad has seen it twice! If you knew just how much I was allergic to clothing as a kid, you would understand how common it is for them to have seen me naked anyway. Plus the show is very non-sexual in nature. We don’t make dirty jokes or even swear. Its just a couple of Aussie lads up there being ourselves and having a laugh – we just happen to be nude!
How long is the career expectancy for a puppeteer?
Well I guess until I have to iron out the wrinkles to go on! Seriously though, I do love my job, and until it falls off I’m happy to keep plying my trade up there… and let me just say, if it hasn’t fallen off yet…it isn’t going to!
Thanks so much for talking to us Sam, it’s been interesting!
My pleasure, I look forward to seeing you all with your 3D glasses on in a theatre very soon!
I devour books, vampires and supernatural creatures are my genre of choice but over the past couple of years, I have broadened my horizons considerably. In a nutshell – I love to write! I love interacting with a diverse range of artists to bring you interviews. Perhaps we were perfect before – I LOVE WORDS!