Nick Knave creates outré puppetry for families, teens and adults. Saccharine and clown free, ranging in style from hand and rod to immersive black light, Nick's work combines elements of classic guignol, B-movie schlock, rock and roll, burlesque, and vaudeville.
With ready made programming that is adaptable to many venues and presentation styles (from static stage to walk around entertainer); as well as being able and eager to create a unique and customized show for events, Nick Knave Puppetry provides odd entertainment for strange tastes.
Long distance engagements are always considered, but client must provide transportation and lodging fare as needed. Thanks!
Price Range: $300 and up.
Gig Length: 90 - 360 minutes
What to Expect
When you hire Nick Knave Puppetry for your event you can expect clear communication and follow through, as well as adaptability and eagerness to work with you create the perfect show for your audience.
Once it's decided that Nick's shows and your event are a good match, he'll be in touch to get all the specifics of the event: themes, other performances, space, venue, available sound and light setups and, most importantly, your personal expectations in regard to making the most memorable and enjoyable experience for your guests or clients.
If you're interested in creating a custom piece or puppet in the Bay Area (as defined by the BART Line and Ferry Service), Nick will come to you for an in person consultation; if you live beyond that area Skype/Facetime meetings are no problem. Nick Knave can create as small or as large a show as you wish. Keep it as simple as just him and puppets for an hour, or let Nick and his creatures emcee a full stage show. Plus, with Nick Knave's long history of working with various other artists and mediums, helping you build a larger evening's entertainment is no problem, add a band, a burlesque dancer, a drag queen, a juggler, a magician.
Nick Knave can come fully powered, independently lit and amped, work into a preset stage system, or work fully unplugged (in the case of walk around puppetry or story telling) .
When you're in the AUDIENCE of a Nick Knave puppet show you can expect the art of puppetry being presented by the most untraditional tradition bearer around - but that's about where the expectations should end. From 1700s style toy theatre disco shows, to rock and roll retellings of classic fairytales with traditional hand puppets, to giant shadow screen plays, to blacklight zombies, to Victorian morality tales, to sad and beautifully simple interpretations of the murder ballads of New England. Also, with Nick's great community of performers, you might bear witness to a puppet and a burlesque dancer doing a duet, a drag queen voicing Snow White or get roped into being a puppet yourself!
Born in the fishing village of Quonochontaug, RI; Nick Knave grew up playing in the marshlands and colonial graveyards of New England. Equal parts local folklore, late night horror shows, and syndicated 70s television heavily shaped his naturally theatrical nature. Nick traveled as a teen cross country and came to live in San Francisco.
After a very successful career as a juvenile delinquent, Nick made the acquaintance of Master Puppeteer Basil Twist, who would remain a mentor, collaborator and close friend of Nick's to this day. Under Mr. Twist's tutelage Nick discovered and honed his skills in practical stage and light design, performance technique, and character development.
Nick became a local favorite both for his all ages, guerrilla, street and subway performances, "Wolfie's Puppet Party" and "The Flat Broke Fairy Tales"; as well as his adult specific puppet events -such as the "Puppetsploitation" series; and frequently providing host puppetry at Burlesque, Drag and Cabaret events around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Nick also curated "PuppetLand: Confidential"; a monthly, short form, late night, puppetry salon in SF; which brought together the best object artists in the city and beyond and provided a supportive space to experiment.
His credits include performances at The Exploratorium Gala, The 2015 National Conference of Mayors, The Hypnodrome Season Premiere, ScareGrove, Creepshow Camp, Mystic Midway, Trickster SF, Goldrush Christmas, and countless street fairs and block parties. He was most recently seen at Hallowballoo in Honolulu and was pleased to have a hand in the creation of the critically acclaimed "Cinderella" at The San Francisco Ballet.
In addition to performance Nick has been a guest lecturer at Stanford and teaches a "History of Horror" class for children ages 10 - 14 and a "Horror and America" class for ages 15 - 18.
Additional Booking Notes
You must know the limitations and design of your venue. I'm happy to work with anyone in any space, but please don't book fifteen, 12 foot, back pack puppets to work in a 12x12 room with 10 foot ceilings. For a static stage show (box), if the performance area is not elevated there needs to be a 4 - 5 foot space between the audience and the puppet show for sight lines.
I can provide full power (battery and inverter) and full lights at an additional fee. Shows that involve small independent spots, flashlights, other small lighting effects do not count toward additional fees. I can provide full amplification and microphoning for the show at an additional fee, likewise to the light, small speaker sound effects that are built as part of "the show" will not count toward that fee.
Influences & Inspiration
Ed Wood, Jim Henson, Whoever invented the Mai-Tai, Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Firesign Theatre, all the Beatniks and Jazz vamps, Rocky and Bullwinkle, The Munsters.
Variable depending on show.
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