Saturday, August 8, 2009

Meet Steven Overton

Upholsterer and puppeteer Daniel DeMoy named another puppet maker as the most fascinating person he knows:

Steven Overton created the Olde World Puppet Theatre and continues to create amazing puppets. He fostered my creative side teaching me many things that help to pay my bills today.

Welcome Steven.

1. What motivates you to get up in the morning?

For the past three years, my partner & I have been working to create a 1/2 hour DVD film producton to seed the way for an international DVD production studio utilizing the medum of puppetry. This project has been extremely daring and exciting, and each day brings new challenges as we bring to DVD a medieval adventure series for elementary school age children using elaborate giant hand crafted marionettes. The studio will be Portland-based, utilizing local talent and will be dedicated to the art of puppetry on film, eventually utilizing other puppeteer's work as well.

2. What keeps you awake at night? What obsesses you?

I'm a night owl. It's generally not keeping me up, it's trying to unwind so I CAN go to bed. Trying to get the American public to realize that the art of Puppetry is not just for children, but is rather an art form, thousands of years old that reaches out to people of all ages.

3. What do you struggle with most?

The lack of a real, full-size studio, with technicians to handle the parts I hate (like lighting), limited space, crouching on the ladders over the set and not being able to stand upright to perform, and the knowledge that whatever we do on this pilot will have to be reshot for eventual DVD release.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you've learned?

Believe in yourself, have the courage to stick by your convictions, and not let people dissuade you from what you feel are your true goals.

5. What is your personal philosophy or motto?

If its a dream worth dreaming, then its a dream worth persuing. It starts with yourself, and flows down the river picking up momentum. Yes, you might hit a couple of rocks along the way, but keep heading for that goal.

Steven Overton and Marty Richmond, partners for over 30 years, have owned and operated the Olde World Puppet Theatre and Renaissance Creations in the Portland area since 1992. During that time, they created the "Wonderful World of Puppets" for OMSI's reopening after the flood, several award-winning Starlight Parade floats, and a Broadway-quality giant puppet production of "The Wizard of Oz" for Portland's Gay Pride Festival. They also operated St Wolfgang's Bavarian Guild, performing at Renaissance faires throughout the Western US. Part of their new DVD pilot film, "Witch Key," can be viewed at their website. A historical perspective of the Renaissance Guild can be seen here.

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