Long story, but…for about a decade, I was making dozens of strange puppet movies, some of them feature-length…surreal and full of anti-humor…and when you try telling people you make puppet movies – even that you make existential ones – their reaction is usually tinged with something like sympathy. But no complaints, sometimes you just have to make the peculiar movies in your head, whatever they are…so I kept going from one peculiar puppet project to the next, year after year…
Then I had an urge to create a character who, like the actual me, was in the middle of a somewhat doomed entertainment career. He would have a different name, a different ambition, different voice and mannerisms, but he would be perpetually tortured by the one confusion that all never-made-its must feel on occasion – what do you do when you’re forever failing at your big dream in life? Do you take the hint and give up, or keep trying harder and harder, possibly with more delusions and desperate optimism?
The voice of Albert Snodoloberm was actually evolved from one of those early puppet characters. The puppet was a happier, more confident version of Albert. He simply lied about his Hollywood status. But he seemed like a good choice for going down a rabbit hole of envy and bitterness and casual paranoia. But since he was also a walleyed banana slug, it was time to become a human puppet of sorts. I took a deep breath and put him on the stage as my puppetless human self…
Once this bitter, disappointed Albert was born, the floodgates opened, and he began saying and doing things with far more flavor and persuasive conviction than I could ever manage. Even his audiobooks – where he steals some Muppets from Henson Studios, or has an existential daydrinking adventure in the Harry Potter area of Universal Studios – they are autobiographical in a way I can never really explain (or confess). Honestly, compared with Albert, I feel a bit like a like plain tortilla chip – whereas Albert has all the tangy nacho powder. I think I’m starting to admire him, as he tries and tries more schemes and adventures and I just kind of fade into the background. I wonder if there’s a word in psychology for it; playing a fictional character that develops a reality quotient greater than your own…..hmmm…..oh well. So please don’t get the impression that he’s only a made up character…everything he’s doing has reality behind it…I can feel it, even if I can’t explain it.
To support the continuing misadventures of Albert, you can pick up one of those inexpensive Albert audiobooks over at Bandcamp. (they also make great/strange/vexing gifts) Or get all the audiobooks and video projects and podcasts and everything by becoming a Patreon pal for very little $.