Mr. Bonetangles might challenge you to a dance-off, but watch out--he always wins. The jaunty skeleton with an eye patch is getting ready for his big movie debut so he's pretty slick.
You may have spotted Will Schutze and his troupe of marionettes on the streets of Charleston, or maybe at an Elliotborough Mini Bar pop-up dinner this year, and been dazzled by the performance. Jon Favreau sure was.
A couple years ago Will was living in L.A., going after his dream of acting in film and television, when Favreau stopped to check out a street performance. Mr. Bonetangles was dancing to Al Green's "Tired of Being Alone."
He loved it and told Will they would work together one day.
Two years later, just after Will had moved to Charleston, he got the call and was soon flying back to L.A. to recreate the street scene in Favreau’s new film, Chef. Even more surreal was when Will drove to the Chef premiere in Austin without a ticket, not knowing if his big scene had made it in the film at all. It did, and his dream of being in a movie came true.
As the credits rolled, it said Mr. Bonetangles--Will Schutze, and begged the question: who played who? This struck the heart of the puppeteer--playing himself had been what finally got him into a movie, but what was at stake is the difference between an actor and a street performer, the latter being more integral to what he finds truly important: free speech and engaging people on a daily basis using art.
When asked about marionettes and scruffy stuffed animals he confides: "Do they have a soul of their own? I see magic in them."
Words by: Dee Dee Arthur
Photography by: Karson Photography