Friday, November 8, 2013

You gotta hand it to me

"But I'm auditioning to play Senor Wences' wife tomorrow!"

-- Jenna Maroney, 30 Rock, "The Shower Principle"
(after catching her hand in a mousetrap hidden in a refrigerator)

My hand as Medusa, with rubber snakes, jiggle eyes and lipstick 11-8-13

"There's only one genius in the business: Senor Wences! 
Lipstick, hair and his hand! He had an 85-year career!"

-- America's Sweetheart: The Mary Pickford Story

If you're old, like me, then you probably remember Senor Wences (Wenceslao Moreno), the Spanish ventriloquist famous for his character "Johnny," which consisted of a face drawn on his hand, his index finger and thumb creating Johnny's mouth.

I always loved it when Senor Wences showed up on The Tonight Show, or The Muppet Show. My Dad liked to use one of Wences' catchphrases -- from his "Pedro" character, which was a disembodied head in a box -- "S'awright." 

Senor Wences and "Johnny"
I'd always try to copy Wences' schtick and curl my little hand into a fist -- try and make it move like a mouth. But I didn't have the dexterity Wences had. Plus, he could make his fist's lips talk without moving his own lips. Me? Not so much.

Anyhoo ... 

I am trying to decide whether to do a 365 days project next year, and was considering 365 days of Medusa. But I don't think I could realistically come up with enough Medusa images to fill a whole year. And I have a sort of unwritten rule about these kind of projects: if I come up with an idea, I have to use it now, when it comes to me. No stockpiling. No saving for later.

So ... this is my Senor Wences/Medusa tribute.

Some people save lives. 

Some people move mountains. 

Some people change the world.

Some people can talk without moving their lips.

I don't do any of those things. As Johnny often said, in his high falsetto: "Easy for you, for me ees very deefeecult!"

But I did glue snakes to my hand, and then drew a funny face on it. 

That has to count for something. Right?