"Small Time Performers" 
 
Takes you back to the days when the circus was performed in tents on vacant lots or roadways.  Performers and vendors set up their stands along the Midway to attract crowds to the circus and earn whatever extra money they could.

This animated miniature was created for the Tucson Miniature Society show "Under the Mini Top" and earned the "People's Choice" award at the show (the only award given at this year's show).

The theater is housed in a carved gold "curiosity box".  When the button is pushed, spotlights come on, the curtain opens and the puppet performance begins.  The clown puppets begin their routine with one of the clowns claiming to have written a song, which all three clowns then sing and dance along with.  It turns out, however, that one of the clowns does not believe the first wrote the song - not only that, he has serious doubts about the clown being from France as the sign claims.  After a brief (and very silly) argument, the clowns decide it is time to go and the curtain closes.

The theater was designed to look as if it is a portable theater hauled around by the performers.  They have spent a good deal of time decorating the front, but don't have time to make the necessary repairs to the sides of the theater, so it has begun to get a little run-down.  Tickets are sold on one side of the theater, and the performers enter from the opposite side.  Along the roadway, popcorn, cotton candy, and tickets are strewn about from previous visitors to the show.

Click on the images below for larger photos and descriptions.
(several photos do not have links, as they are grouped together on a common link page)

Details & Technical stuff:
 
 
Overall dimensions of the project are approximately 12" deep X 14" wide X 18" tall.

The animatronics are controlled by one BASIC Stamp II computer, 3 BASIC Stamp I's, 3 servo motors per puppet, which control mouth movement, head turning, and dancing motion.  A modified servo is used for the curtains.  Sound is produced by a digital micro recorder controlled by microprocessor. Also contains white LED lights, motor driver control chip, a speaker, 4 power supplies and a partridge in a pear tree. 

Sound was created, recorded, and edited by Tim Garcia using Voyetra Digital Orchestrator.

Puppet voices thanks to Catherine West, Tim Garcia, and Patti Garcia.


 

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