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UNIMA 2012 China...Anyone going?  (Read 4538 times)
Nikole H.
« on: March 28, 2012, 05:25:51 am »

Hey everyone.  I know...I know...it's been FOREVER that I have been on here.  I'm not regular...I'm sorry.  But that just means that the puppet biz is doing well for me, right? RIGHT!  I'm having a blast here in Singapore and I thought I would take advantage of my location and go to the UNIMA 2012 in China this June.  Is anyone going?  I know Na went to the previous one...JEALOUS!  I was supposed to go to that but was in the middle of moving from Hawaii to Singapore...bad timing.

I'm planning on bringing my son and husband along with me.  I've never been to one of these before so I don't know what to expect.  Not sure how family friendly these things can be.  I know my family can find other things to do while I am attending a workshop.  We need a vacation anyways so this will be a good excuse to get away.  I took my son to China a couple of years ago and he did really well.  Now he is turning 7.  I KNOW!!!  I think the first time I signed up onto this site, Harrison was just a baby. Sad  I was a baby, too, in this industry...still am.  But I am doing very well here in Singapore and enjoying performing on a regular basis.  It's hard starting out all over again because you have to build up so many shows so quickly.  I'm awfully tired which is funny that I will be taking a "vacation" to go build more puppets. lol  I'm hoping to get more knowledge and bring it back with me.

Well just checking in and seeing if anyone else was venturing out this side of the world.

xoxo,
N
Na
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 05:55:15 am »

I had hoped I could go but there's no funds for a big trip like that this year. I am attending a summit held in my own town though.

I really wish I could go to the China event, I've never been to the country and Chengdu would be a great place for sightseeing, as well as the puppetry stuff.

As for family friendly, I'd expect it to be very much ok for families. Even though it's in a different country and by a different group of people, I highly suspect that the local traditions of puppetry would be presented as a showcase: and be great for kids.

Also, if you hunt around on the School of Puppetry site I recently posted a .pdf that was sent out via my local UNIMA chapter which included info about the Congress. My very brief look at it included a lot of UNIMA business (it's a chance for the heads of each country's chapter to get together and discuss AGM-type stuff) but also some info about the program. Even if the program isn't to their taste, or there's less stuff available to the general public, the area is full of fun stuff to see and do. I grabbed myself a copy of the UNIMA Chengdu booklet in Perth and posted the pages here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66356835@N00/sets/72157605086556320/
And you can see a few maps of the area with sightseeing places marked off.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66356835@N00/2497236448/in/set-72157605086556320
If your son is into dinosaurs, it looks like there's a place to see some fossils.

... On a more personal note, it's nice to see you check in and I'm happy that your move to Singapore has been successful careerwise!
Rikka
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 06:02:03 am »

Nikole, now you have me envious! Have fun and if you have a chance, post a few pics, so I would have a chance to see that action!
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 08:08:25 am »

How exciting for you and your family! I think Na is right that the stuff open to the public will be fine for your husband and son. I don't know about UNIMA but with PofA conventions they never used to allow children in the workshops and stuff. In fact it used to be a big deal with some puppeteers who had children and wanted them to attend. I bet there will be more then enough for your son and husband to do though during the day while you take workshops. Think of how much male bonding they will be doing.  Smiley
Nikole H.
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 08:19:40 am »

Thanks, Na, for the great tips and links.  And yes, my son LOVES Dinosaurs and anything related to fossils.  He'll be thrilled...thanks for thinking of that!

Don't worry everyone, I will post a TON of pictures and do a good report for all who cannot attend.  Great to know that there will be a lot of "heads" of the different countries being represented.  I know that Singapore doesn't have a group and I would really like to talk to someone about joining either Indonesia or Malaysia since we are so close.  I'd love to be able to help organize a regional festival here in Singapore.  That would be a huge undertaking but so fulfilling to see.

I'm really excited about the trip.  Now I have to go get my booster shots...YIKES! lol

N
Puppetainer
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012, 12:00:56 pm »

While I can't manage the trip I look forward very much to living vicariously through your photos and reporting! Hope you have a wonderful time!
Na
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 10:10:39 pm »

Thanks, Na, for the great tips and links.  And yes, my son LOVES Dinosaurs and anything related to fossils.  He'll be thrilled...thanks for thinking of that!

Don't worry everyone, I will post a TON of pictures and do a good report for all who cannot attend.  Great to know that there will be a lot of "heads" of the different countries being represented.  I know that Singapore doesn't have a group and I would really like to talk to someone about joining either Indonesia or Malaysia since we are so close.  I'd love to be able to help organize a regional festival here in Singapore.  That would be a huge undertaking but so fulfilling to see.

I'm really excited about the trip.  Now I have to go get my booster shots...YIKES! lol

N

No problems - I'd hoped that posting that info ages ago would be useful to someone. I'd really love to join you, but alas, will have to forego it. I am really looking forward to hearing about it and seeing how well/different it fares compared to the Perth experience.

Yes, the whole event I think is an AGM-like situation, with their more 'normal' puppetry events tacked on. I didn't attend any of the more serious UNIMA events last time, but I do know they occured. Frankly, unless you're heavily involved with UNIMA as a committee member or interested party, it's probably a waste of time to attend - useful for some I'm sure, but when you have a chance to see international shows and do workshops you'd never get to do normally... well, I know which I'd chose to attend.

Oddly enough, the UNIMA China website has disappeared forever (seriously the domain name is no longer owned by anyone) and the 2008 UNIMA Congress website is also dead... so any info coming out about puppetry activities in China are likely going to be to do with the Congress.

It's interesting that Singapore doesn't have a branch - I thought they had. You should get some materials with your registration that includes a booklet with contact info. Hopefully a list of UNIMA heads would be included there. A festival would be great to see, as well as inclusion with other UNIMA centres.

Can't wait to hear more about your adventures!
Nikole H.
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 10:08:25 pm »

So, Na, you were right.  The event is not well organized by the usual group.  Our registrations did not go through and they are not accepting anymore entries.  I was shocked at how poorly it was handled.  I was also shocked by the deadline being so far from the actual event.  You would think that they would still take registrations up until the first day of the event.  Wouldn't you want to have as many people as possible to attend?  Well for every sad story, there is a silver lining.  The same exact week as the UNIMA event is a Children's book writing gathering here in Singapore.  So, I will be attending that instead in hopes that I may get to speak with a publishing company and get some feedback on my book submission based on my original puppet play.

Sorry I won't be attending to report back to everyone.  It was very sad getting the bad news. Sad 

xoxo,
N
Na
No Avatar
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 11:47:53 pm »

Are you talking about registrations to present, or registrations to attend? Because I was recently sent an email from my UNIMA branch that was an 'invite'. There's a difference between the two registrations, and the former (presenting) would obviously close sooner than the latter.

On the website the first registration form looks like it's for attending the event. The second one looks like it's for presenters. (Their 'participant guide' page is completely empty..) Their news updates say you can pay registration after 31st March or in Chengdu.

I would double check your info because the site suggests you can still register. I know for Perth you could register when you arrived and obtain one-day passes as well; and it wouldn't make any sense for them not to have registrations available for longer. It could have been more like the presenter's deadline passed, or an early-bird price passed.
Nikole H.
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 01:06:10 am »

I definitely thought the same thing.  I wrote to the organization for clarification saying that I only wanted to attend and not perform but again was told that all registration has been closed.  The communication has been so frustrating that it has deterred me from wanting to attend any events.  I wash my hands from UNIMA.  They don't have their act together this time around.  I thought that all the emails that we, my husband and I, were clear but still we get conflicting information back.  I just assume not attend because if the communication at the beginning is unclear, then I don't want to show up and be really disappointed with the physical organization.

Thanks for replying!
xoxo,
N
Na
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 01:12:59 am »

Wow, that sucks. I knew things were a bit chaotic this time around, but didn't think it would be that bad. I'm going to email my local chapter and see if they have more info.

UNIMA's reliability is totally dependent on what branch you're dealing with. My local one has been disorganised, but with new committees every year it's dependent on the local personalities and how the committee functions from year to year. Whispers about the China branch and HQ have been that they've been a bit crazy too. But I'd take a guess that the American branch is pretty stable. I would only write off certain sections of UNIMA. The South African branch seems to do well; they manage to present a big festival every year.
Na
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2012, 05:08:03 am »

I just got the following from the President of UNIMA Australia:

Well mainly it's because the deadline they set - and I think it was clearly stated on the website - was March 31.  But that was for people wanting to go the Congress.... As a general person from the public wanting to see shows  you might be able to just rock up...I'm not 100% sure about that.  I would send queries to Unima SG <sgi@unima.org>.  Fabrice will/should answer any questions.
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