Tuesday, April 6, 2010

All Points Bulletin: I need a monkey, STAT.


It’s true. There’s a monkey in my book. Not only is this capuchin cute, he’s also clever: he communicates through origami. My publisher didn’t even want to mention the monkey on the jacket copy because apparently it skews the book younger. To me this is a head scratcher. I mean, I’m 43 and I can’t read enough about monkeys, especially when they’re doing interesting things like the ancient art of paper folding! But I digress. This post is about finding a monkey.

My friend Tonya thinks that all I need to do to get my book to sell when it releases in May is get a little video footage of a monkey doing origami. She swears she can get the thing to go viral, but we’re missing the key component: the monkey.

I put some feelers out on Facebook and got a lead on a marmoset named Maxwell, but marmosets look more like Gremlins than monkeys. Plus Maxwell’s owner told me he was in a “time out” and the photo he sent showed the little guy in a tiny Superman sweater, so all signs point to him being difficult to work with.

Then I found a guy in LA who rents out a capuchin that looks remarkably like my character. There’s even a photo of him at the wheel of a tiny pirate ship looking quite competent at the helm of a schooner.  I called his agent and asked about taking about five minutes of video of said monkey opening up a piece of origami. I just need the footage, I told him, and then I’d edit it and play the video backwards, making it look like the monkey was folding instead of unfolding the paper. (Genius, no?) He said he’d need $800 just for the shoot and maybe as much to “train” the monkey.  When I remarked that I thought a monkey might just be naturally curious and open up the folded paper on his own, the agent scoffed and said that kind of thing would take a lot of training. Right.

Now I’m at a dead end. I implore you for leads. Someone out there must know someone who knows someone who has a capuchin monkey! Six degrees of separation anyone? The future of my book depends on it!

16 comments:

Precious said...

Oh man. That was a lot. 800 dollars for unfolding a paper? I don't think it needs any training at all because animals, especially monkeys are naturally curious. Really! Don't worry Christy. You'll find your capuchin soon.

storyqueen said...

I don't know anyone with a monkey, but I have to tell you this is the coolest idea EVER!!

Good luck!

Shelley

Jennie Englund said...

$800 to teach a monkey to UNFOLD a piece of papaer? Craz-ay!

But the idea? BRILLIANT!

You have to do it!

More monkey, more monkey!

Jonathon Arntson said...

This MAY not be the place to tell you, but I am horrifically terrified of monkeys. If you get a monkey to do origami, I promise I'll watch and you'll have the opportunity to convert me into another monkey lover.

Also, rest assured, the success of your book does not depend on a video of a monkey, it relies on the world really ending in 2012. Right? Or does it depend on the world not ending? Let's go with the latter.

Christy Raedeke said...

Jonathon, I will convert you to a lover of monkeys! And yes, we'll go with the latter; the world will not end in 2012... :)

Dena Daw said...

Alas, I don't know any capuchin monkeys. Maybe you can find a fat squirrel and hire a make up artist?
That is totally ridiculous about "training" a monkey to open up a piece of paper. Ugh.
I'm sure you'll figure it out!

Jeff said...

I will read your book solely based on monkeys... I mean we share a common ancestor and all.

If it helps, I know a guy with a gorilla suit and I bet he would do origami in it for less than 800 dollars. Just sayin...

Kimberly Derting said...

OMG, Christy, the title alone had me laughing out loud as I was reading it! You are hilarious. And $800 to make a monkey unfold a piece of paper? Please! Why not charge for flinging poo while they're at it???

Kelly said...

You could have someone make a cartoon of a monkey doing the origami?
Give a monkey a piece of paper and film it. then put a folded origami piece next to the monkey in the next clip. If you can get a monkey that is....Or email a monkey owner and have them film it.
The gorilla suit that Jeff suggested would be funny! Or you dress up in a gorilla suit and do it. That would be funny!

Tina Laurel Lee said...

I have your book on pre-order officially and I'm very excited to read about the original origami folding monkey! This was a fabulous post Christy. Your blog is always so much fun!

Beverley BevenFlorez said...

Ha ha ha, this is so funny. I'll help spread the word by mentioning your post on my Writers' Well tomorrow. [Still chuckling]

Kierah Jane Reilly said...

Try Wildlife Safari in Winston. They had the cutest monkeys there the last time we went. Not sure any of them are Capuchins though. Good luck!

nanmarino said...

I have no ideas for monkeys. But I do think your idea is brilliant.Good luck and keep us posted.

Wyman Stewart said...

Suggestions:

1. Google the words "Primate Center" to see if there are any leading primate centers in America. They might be able to help you or advise you.

2. With modern computers, if peoples faces can be morphed and animals be made to look like they talk, then some hotshot computer simulation or whatever you call it people, can make a capuchin monkey look like he is doing origami. (Not that I know the price for that, but maybe a nearby college could do it for you on the cheap. Then you might not even need to find a monkey; except in a database somewhere.)

Good luck with your monkeying around. Surely this is a Japanese capuchin monkey, if he/she is doing origami.

Teri Hall said...

I will totally dress up in a monkey suit and you can videotape me. It will go viral immediately.

Rita said...

I am all sympathy for your plight, and so entertained. Especially by these commenters offering to dress up for you. Hahahaha!!