Last weekend I made a guest appearance as a "ROBOPRIEST" in Selene Luna's one-woman show, "Sweating the Small Stuff" at The Dark Room theatre in San Francisco. The whole concept came from a discussion on Twitter in which @seleneluna and I were trying to figure out how to tag-team wedding gigs. Selene is a brilliant actress/comedienne in Los Angeles but it's a little known fact that she's also an ordained minister. Here's the original brainstorming tweet that started it all:
Selene seemed to like the robot idea, and I really only needed an excuse to make a two-person robot costume, so I got to work sketching out ideas. I had a lot of help from my pal Adam Davis, who sported an inspiring robot costume at the Automatic Art Show last year. Adam and I worked through some sketches and I came up with these loose ideas:
Once I had a solid idea for the costume, I started buying supplies and bugging all my friends for help. Jim Coursey from "Ants Climb Tree" made great robotic audio for ROBOPRIEST's speaker-eyes. Here's an initial test of that:
The skeleton of ROBOPRIEST was made out of hula-hoops and chipboard. I then covered the whole thing in 1" low-density foam and fabric. A few weeks and a dozen hot-glue sticks later I had a workable costume. The robot is designed so that Selene can "pilot" it from atop when the hatch is open. We used a Piggyback Rider harness to attain the proper combination of height and destructive authority.
ROBOPRIEST's appearance at the show was a great success. I had a lot of fun building this thing and being half of ROBOPRIEST. There are lots more photos of ROBO's construction in my Flickr set.
Huge thanks to Selene Luna, Jim Coursey, Adam Davis, Merin McDonell, Rusty Hodge, Simone Davalos, David Calkins, The Dark Room, Gary and Susan at Cushion Works, Eidelyn Gonzales, and all my friends for putting up with me while I obsessed over this.