An Exclusive Interview: Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar!
GASPAR: Felicidades, Master Blackwolf, and thank you for having us here at your Diary of Magecraft!
BLACKWOLF: The pleasure's mine, gentlemen! For those not familiar with your legend, let me begin by asking you to introduce yourselves to our viewers.
GASPAR: Certainly! I am Gaspar, King of Arabia. As you know, my colleagues and I sought out the Christ Child all those years ago; we were the ones who brought Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold, of course, was my gift; but, as you can imagine, it wasn't as easy to carry around as it is these days! (Heh-heh!)
MELCHIOR: I'm Melchior, King of Mesopotamia --- and if you think frankincense is easy to acquire in this day and age, be warned that you might have to look high and low and everywhere else in between!
BALTHASAR: And I am Balthasar, King of Tarsus. And myrrh isn't a popular item to get one's hands on, as one might expect. But, it's all been worth it over the years as We Three Kings have disocvered how popular we still are in modern culture.
BLACKWOLF: Yes, I do get that a lot. Why, you three have had yourselves formed into a singing group, compliments of the folks at Will Vinton Studios; there've been several animated cartoons made about you --- and, for our immediate purposes, you spend a lot of your time here in New York each January 6th.
BALTHASAR: That's right! The good folks at El Museo del Barrio help us greet the children of El Barrio with music, dance, live camels, and presents for everyone. We always have fun when the children of the area follow the parade route with us.
MELCHIOR: We sure do --- even if the camels do tend to misbehave a little. But our beasties are wise and strong, just like us, and they do their best to help us look good! And for this year's Parade, we're going to have some very special friends joining us: famous novelist Oscar Hijuelos; Tony Award-winning actor-singer-composer Lin-Manuel Miranda; and Raphael Montanez Ortiz, El Museo's Founder. We'll also be joined by our old friend, Jesus (Papoleto) Melendez, who has spent the past decade giving his all for El Museo and the Parade.
BLACKWOLF: Hmmmm, very interesting.
GASPAR: Ad that's just the beginning. El Museo is 40 years old this year, and the original puppets which the Parade had used since 1978 are to be retired at the end of the festivities. Three new puppets will be taking their places. They were created by local artist and designer Polina Porras, who is also one of El Museo's artist-educators. Polina wanted her visions of the three of us to reflect the cosmological traditions of the Taino, which is Puerto Rico's predominant pre-Colombian civilization. I will be representing Earth per se; Melchior will represent the night sky; and Balthasar, the underworld. Cool, huh?
BLACKWOLF: Indeed! Tell me, what's it like bringing New York's Mayor into your presence for the traditional photo op?
MELCHIOR: We hear that he's one tough, proud hombre, that's for certain. But we have a fondness for him.
BLACKWOLF: I don't doubt that at all.
BALTHASAR: After we wrap up our El Museo adventure, we proceed toward Lower Manhattan, where we have one last piece of business to handle, this one being with our amigos at Teatro SEA/Los Kabayitos Puppet & Children's Theatre. We hang out on Suffolk Street for two hours, chat with the fans, and the first 1000 kids who show up are rewarded with tons of free stuff!
BLACKWOLF: Excellent! Well, it certainly must be a rewarding experience spending this very special day with New York City's children.
GASPAR: Perhaps, Master Blackwolf, but not as rewarding for us as it was when we made our first ever animated movie!
BLACKWOLF: Indeed? Well, do tell us about that film, and how you made it!
MELCHIOR: It wasn't easy, because there we were, watching our director, Tony Navarro, bringing all those animators, artists and actors together to transform the saga of our adventures into an action-packed adventure movie. And telling our story in the form of an animated movie obviously took a lot of great effort and hard work!
BALTHASAR: Well, I'd say that it was worth all that effort --- and only as long as we all learned something from it.
BLACKWOLF: Very good thoughts, gentlemen. Speaking of those --- any words of wisdom you'd like to share with your fans?
GASPAR: Oh, we certainly can handle that, Master Blackwolf. Well, young ones, I hope you all had your fondest wishes fulfilled --- and even if we did disappoint some of you, certainly we'll do our best to try harder again next January. Never forget, though, that the magic of the season always dwells within the hearts of all good dreamers ... and the hearts, too, of all good Kings. Like us!
MELCHIOR: I should like to remind our young friends that hope is everywhere you find it, as long as you're able to seek it out, and do so in all the right places. You never know, after all, just where a good dream may lurk --- or where it might find you!
BALTHASAR: And don't be afraid to be creative, if you must! Creativity certainly means everything. I should know. I loved watching Finlay Currie portraying me in 1959's Ben-Hur; Finlay really made me look delightfully good! He reminded me that as long as there's someone to imagine, We Three Kings will be around .... making fun, magic and silly things happen!
BLACKWOLF: Well, gentlemen, I think this has been a rather pleasing interview. I know you're all going to have lots of fun for the rest of this day.
GASPAR: Oh, you needn't worry, Master Blackwolf. We'll be here all afternoon long. And if you youngsters want to discover more of our adventures, you can hang out with us at 3ReyesMagos.com.mx! (to his colleagues:) Shall we, lads?
GASPAR, MELCHIOR, BALTHASAR: Felicidades a todos del mundo!