By day, Will Schutze is an aspiring actor. As such, these days, the East Dallas native calls Los Angeles home -- because, hey, that's where the work is. But, when work is slow, what then for the would-be leading men of that city? Besides barista and table-waiting work, of course.
That's where this gets interesting: Schutze (who, in case you haven't yet guessed it, happens to be the son of our own Jim Schutze -- although, swear, that wasn't how we stumbled across his work, believe it or not) has found quite the entertaining way to bide his time spent not in front of the camera. He's become a puppeteer -- and a pretty great one, at that. With his quite literally bare bones character Mr. Bonetangles at his feet, Schutze sets up shop along the more touristy parts of Los Angeles, opens up his carrying case, turns on his iPod and lets his puppet lip-sync away in an effort to bring in some cash -- surprisingly, his proud father says, enough to make a little bit of a living even.
Which is all fine and dandy, and good for young Schutze, certainly. But why care? Well, because during a recent return visit to Dallas, Schutze and a camera-toting, aspiring film-making friend, Alex Wagner, took Mr. Bonetangles and his lip-syncing ways to downtown Dallas to see what kind of reaction the act might elicit here. What they got might not have been the biggest of crowds -- just a handful of passersby, a few panhandlers and a Dallas police officer -- but it was still a receptive one nonetheless. It's fairly easy to see why: Mr. Bonetangles' performances of some of Lieber & Stoller, Bob Dylan and Al Green's biggest hits are about as endearing as endearing gets -- and decidedly more family-friendly than his Lil Wayne routine.
On that note, give the clip a gander after the jump -- you might notice the elder Schutze pop up in a cameo early on, as, in his words, "Homeless Man with Canoe." You'll love it, promise. And, after you watch it, let's then start brainstorming some ways in which we can get Mr. Bonetangles, our new favorite lip-sync act in town, a starring role in a local music video, yeah?
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.