With age spots, swollen joints and a french manicure, the hands are custom sculpted from scratch. Every detail was created to reflect the age and elegance of the character.
Commissioned and owned by John Castaldo
The hearing aid is intentionally crude and was inspired by an old Victrola, with a humorous selection dial. This hearing aid also provides the basis for a very special magic trick depicted below.
Client quote: "He is beyond my wildest expectations I love him already so does my wife. What an incredible work of art thank you for everything I will cherish him forever." -John-
Everything about this concept felt good.
No pre-conceived visuals, no added description,
which often hinders the creative process.
Since this was to be a "Freestyle" BIGHEAD, it immediately began providing clues, as to how it wanted to be created.
1) In order for him to have performed before so many notables, he must be elegant, yet retain a certain "endearing" quality.
2) While wrinkles can indicate age, my previous experience with "Custer" demonstrated that too many can actually be distracting... So, "Thurston would center less on wrinkles, and more on the effects of gravity.
3) There was something about this character that felt enchanting and familiar, and that's when it became more of a personal adventure. Closer examination from certain angles will reveal some faint, yet recognizable features from the golden age of ventriloquism.
A storyteller for the ages... A magician through time itself... Now, if he can only remember any of it.
The body has been sculpted to have an arched hump in the shoulders. allows the head to appear slightly slumped, adding to the illusion of his age.
Every Magician has their own special tricks, but when in the company of "Thurston", it is easy to forget.
So, when an audience member picks a certain number or card, the performer gets nervous and guesses incorrectly. "Thurston" can't hear a thing when his hearing aid is turned off, but when the performer turns it on, he finds it is attached to something and begins to pull, revealing the correct number or card on a silk.
A "Freestyle" BIGHEAD, using the two-stage process.
* Animations include:
* Moving mouth
* Side to side/self centering eyes
* Raising eyebrows
* Special sculpted hands, feet and body
* Monocal and custom attire
* Ability to do a magic trick
Creating the custom tuxedo was no easy task, considering the odd proportions of a BIGHEAD style body. The fact that it had to resemble one worn by another famous figure added to the complexity. Other areas needed to be completely sculpted, such as the shoes and spats.
When a client submitted a character concept about the worlds oldest "Magician", who has performed for Moses, Napoleon, George Washington and other historical figures throughout time, the inspiration was immediate.
I knew a very special BIGHEAD was about to be born.