Melissa Sweet’s picture book, Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade, tells us of Tony Sarg’s passion in puppetry through delightful illustrations and collage.
All great productions start out with an idea.
There was a boy who loved to make things move. With a child-and-adult-hood filled with such crazy ideas, he grew up to become a world-famous puppeteer and designed Macy’s Thanksgiving parade for many years.
An idea. A balloon.
More thinking and experimenting. Not giving up.
A window display.
A theatrical visual production of awe and stolen breaths, charming children and adults for endless moments.
All great productions start out with an idea, one that requires zest to continue.
Tony’s adventure started out with the idea of feeding chickens without him getting out of bed. (He was six.) It grew into making animals and things move in a window display, then in the grand sky of New York City. His zest was so great he never felt work was anything but play.
The biographer of Tony's story, Melissa, has grand Art and Crafts adventures. With this book, it started out with the idea of ‘The Marionette Man.’ Check out her works at http://melissasweet.net/. (There's so much fun over there. I haven't quite finished exploring yet.) Her zest in tinkering with stuff and adding details to her artwork is admirable.
My adventure with Melissa and Tony’s adventures started out with reading this heart-trip of a book. Their zest prompted me to write this post.
All great productions start out with an idea, one that requires zest. Give it undying dedication … and just keep playing on.
Balloons Over Broadway really did take my heart out on a trip. I love the story; the way it was told; the details in Melissa’s brilliant artwork; and the unspoken message of pursuing your dreams even if the world has mostly moved on to other things.
Keep working at it. Keep playing. Keep playing on. When you have something grand to show, people will turn up to watch it. This is the message every artist needs.
The stream trickles on.
Have you read Balloons Over Broadway? Or picture books that feature such inspiring figures?