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LAist Interview: Paul Zaloom

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Most people are familiar with the work of LA performance artist Paul Zaloom through his role as the host of the popular children’s science show “Beakman’s World” in the '90s, but he’s also a widely admired puppeteer/artist and imaginative satirist. His work incorporates techniques such as overhead projection, government document exposé, “picture performance”, and hand, rod, shadow, found object, and dummy puppets. On Wednesday, January 18, 2005, Paul’s latest project, “The Mother of All Enemies,” opens at the REDCAT. The show runs until January 22nd. “The Mother of All Enemies” uses traditional Middle Eastern “Karagoz” shadow play to mock current events involving US military initiatives in the Middle East.

LAist was eager to discuss Los Angeles with Paul since he once co created “In Smog and Thunder; the Great War of the Californias,” a comic mockumentary about a fictional war between Los Angeles and San Francisco, based on paintings and drawings by L.A. artist Sandow Birk.

Age and Occupation:
54 puppeteer, filmmaker, troublemaker, homemaker, homomaker

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How long have you lived in Los Angeles, and which neighborhood do you live in?:

13 years; West Hollywood. Whee!

Why do you live in Los Angeles?
The ants. The fact that I can swim outside year round. The beauty of the city, the hummingbirds, the mix of ethnicities: the dream of LA, unfullfilled but worth dreaming about and fighting for.

What surprised you about doing Beakman's World?

How much fun it was.

What's the craziest question you've been asked on Beakman's World?
What are farts? We answered this one, after much haggling with the network.