My Favorite Freak of the Week

My Favorite Freak of the Week

 
Three of my favorite freaks ever--Lawrence Howard, Penny, and Lynne Duddy!

Three of my favorite freaks ever--Lawrence Howard, Penny, and Lynne Duddy!

I met Penny Walter in 2013 when I was the artist-in-residence for Portland Story Theater's solo performance festival, Singlehandedly. She was on the board of PST and was also doing a show for Singlehandedly. I think it took about five minutes for me to fall in love with Penny. She's a lot of things--brilliant, beautiful, talented, hardworking, generous--but most of all, PENNY IS FUCKING FUN! She has this big crazy laugh and a sharp irreverent sense of humor. She sees the humor is EVERYTHING. And she tells great stories.

Penny is not an introvert.

Penny is not an introvert.

Penny is not just a storyteller, though. She is a puppeteer. A very successful puppeteer, to be clear. She's loved puppets forever. Her ringtone is Rainbow Connection. She is a FREAK for puppets!  She's made a great career out of her loony fucking obsession with shoving her hand up the ass of strange little felt beings with googly eyes and making them talk, I mean, her passion for the art of puppetry. I would say she's lucky to do what she loves for a living, but I think hardworking, dedicated, talented, creative, and totally nuts, are better descriptors.

Yes. This is her primary transportation.  www.pennypuppets.com

Yes. This is her primary transportation.  www.pennypuppets.com

Penny did a bunch of puppet shows in Bogota, Colombia in 2012. She also saw Gogol Bordello there.

Penny did a bunch of puppet shows in Bogota, Colombia in 2012. She also saw Gogol Bordello there.

Since that first trip to Portland in 2013, I've been back twice to do shows with PST. I usually stay for a month. I stay at Lynne and Lawrence's house and make Penny hang out with me as much as she can. I adore her. During my stay last year, I was basically her stalker/captor.

Me and my hostage.

Me and my hostage.

If you know me, you know that I went through a really bad depressive episode earlier this year. I don't know why she started doing it, but during that time I kept getting little postcards, silly gifts, and cat cards from Penny for no good reason. I don't think she knew what was happening with me, not consciously, but some part of her seemed to know exactly when I needed a little treat in the mail. I think Penny is MAGIC.

storyteller penny.jpeg
 
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