Made of Mission

Posted by Steve on Jun 9, 2010 in Production | Subscribe

Times is tough all over.  It’s not like the old days when any schlub in a smock could pick up a foam injection mold making rig for a sawbuck.  High-voltage electric flocking fields don’t grow on trees, and an animatronics workshop can’t be scrounged off Craigslist for a fiver.  That’s why our puppets are made of Mission.

Behold, the Mission, rife with raw materials.  And also crime.  And scabies.  Gotsta watch out for those scabies.

As we’ve mentioned, it all starts with street couches.  Can’t you see the child inside that foam begging to be let out.  “Father…  hear me…  make me live…”  Does anyone else get that?

When it came to cladding the puppet lads (and lady) we went straight to Thrift Town on the corner of 17th and Mission.  This place is the Valhalla of 2nd hand goods.  Not only were the puppets almost entirely clothed off their racks, but I’ve also bought any number of desks, chairs, lamps and other studio essentials from their hallowed halls.

When Thrift Town just didn’t have that special something to make the Internet’s head turn, we headed one door down to Fabric Outlet.  Everything in this store is pretty much always half off, and they’ve got more — and more varied — fake fur than a Furry convention.  Almost makes me wish I was into yiffing.  Almost.

Right across the street is my favorite Dollar Store.  None of that “dollar and up” hucksterism that’s dragged the noble name of the dollar store through the muck lately.  We got all sorts of odds and ends here, from Orly’s magnifying glasses to Judy’s scrunchies.  They also have a wide array of mummified off-brand food products.

Salvation Army on the corner of 26th and Valencia also came through with some children’s clothes.  While worlds better than any of the Good Wills I’ve been to in town, it lacks the general air of radness that emanates from Thrift Town and it’s a bit pricier.

Valencia Cyclery, between 22nd and Hill Street, was goodly enough to give us all the bicycle boxes we could use for set building.

Puppets are not made from foam alone.  I can’t begin to calculate the amount of cult television we’ve consumed while building the various pieces of Frown Town.  We’ve watched the entirety of Twin Peaks, Carnivàle, Peep Show, Wonder Showzen, The Wire, The Venture Bros, The Mighty Boosh, Arrested Development and countless others, all rented from Lost Weekend Video, between 21st and Hill on Valencia.  Dig those half-priced Wednesdays.

This well-muraled Arts and Crafts Liquidator lives under the freeway, at about 1603 13th Street.  It’s open on some Saturdays and doesn’t seem to have a name, or a Yelp listing.  The stock is a retro mishmash of all sorts of arty odds and ends, beads, feathers, 70’s faux-wood graining kits, etc.  If you’re ever hanging round under the overpass, be sure to check it out.  They need your money more than you do.

Dolores Park hasn’t provided any physical material for the show, but without its rolling hills, ever abloom with the brightly-colored, multifarious blossoms of hipsterdom, we never would have come up with Trey Awesome. photo by Andrew Elkin, Flickr

Trey Awesome, whose name I am very seriously considering changing to Pabst Tecate.  That’s right, Pabst Tecate, but his friends call him “Fixie.”