Stagecraft

stagecraft

Occasionally, stagecraft is appropriate to set the mood and add warmth to our holiday memories. Professionally lit stage flats, sound, props and crowd management are effective ways for building an environment in which its easy to “Believe”.  The stage area can be as small as Santa’s chair to a 15′ x 15′ mall quality Santa’s grotto.   The lighting and sound system require up to 400 watts but most of the props are battery powered.

The lights and sound are all controlled from a single laptop so there’s no need for “elves” to mark cues or time sequences.

You can download a list of my full stock of stage equipment and props here.

Magic

IMG_20180918_065316546The candles, Christmas tree lights and lit garland are all turned on with a remote control key fob that I put between my palm and glove. When I squeeze the bowl of my long-stemmed pipe against the button, it appears that I’m using the stem as a magic wand. 

An Arduino based “Tomte” that carries the candy canes and performs pre-scripted moves for Santa’s entry.  Tomte is activated and can be toggled between a pre-scripted set of moves and remote control modes from my cell phone.  His head looks up and down and tilts from sided to side to indicate what he’s looking at or an attitude.

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Santa can make things disappear from his hands and when he rubs his fingers together over the bowl of his pipe, smoke seems to rise up.

Clear glitter, stained with invisible UV ink:  When it falls through a UV laser light, shaped into a line, it looks like fairy lights above Santa when he does something magical.

Details

bootsNgloveOne of the things that makes a visit from Santa memorable are all the details that legitimize his back story.  These include things like Sami “Skaller” boots from the reindeer herders of Lapland and heavy mittens to keep him warm on his midnight flight.

(“He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot…”)

The magic watch with which he slows down time and his magic key to create “doors” into any home with a Christmas wish in it.

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And then there are the more traditional answers to questions that arise:

  • Who is your favorite reindeer? (I don’t have a favorite, who’s yours?)
  • Can I see your Sled? (You must give an Angel a butterfly kiss. When she giggles, you will see it)
  • Where did you get your magic.  (Santa is the oldest and wisest of all magical elves. But there are other answers for the more religiously inclined.)
  • How did you know what I got for Christmas last year? (I talk to parents before seeing their child to know background and family preferences).