As mentioned earlier, news of Crown Prince Naif's death on the morning of the day the festival was supposed to start catapulted the nation into a mourning state, and the decision was made to cancel the opening and postpone it until Wednesday. So, all of a sudden, we found ourselves with some extra time on our hands.
For a while, we weren't even sure if the site of the festival would be open at all, but when we learned that it would be, we decided to head over anyway to take care of some last minute details in preparing the space for opening day, like securing power cords, switching the position of the two signs that hang on the walls, building some alligator clip leads holders, and making basic motion examples for Cardboard Automata.
At the last minute, we thought we could send an email to the local facilitators and invite to come over and work with us on some automata of their own. This is not an activity that we will be doing right away, but they all read our blog and website, and know about the other activities that we do, and are very eager to try them.
Rory surprised us by bringing along her mother and her sister Maysoon. After a bit of hesitation, Maysoon started working on her own cardboard automata, and became greatly enamored with it! At the end of the day she asked to borrow Cabaret Mechanical Automata's book on movements from the Cabinet of Curiosities so that she could study it at home. She walked away convinced that we can make most of the examples in the book with cardboard and foamies.
I think perhaps the final quote belongs to Rory. She wanted to make a bear, and she also told me she is not very good at drawing; but half an hour later she had made a great three dimensional representation of a bear with multiple foamie pieces. Sadly I did not get a photo. But when I complimented her on it, she told me:
I have never done anything like this before. I have been discovering places in my mind that I never knew existed.
Once again, the insightfulness, patience, and thoughtfulness of everyone we've been working with here makes me convinced that we will become lifelong collaborators and friends.