Puppetry is awesome. Wanna make some puffy yellow chick balls with huge confused eyes and put them through an acrobatic series of somersaults and flips for no good reason other than that it would look cool? Puppetry lets you do that.
This past weekend was my first ever Puppet Slam. Also my first ever live performance despite having been a puppeteer for a year and a half. That's me on the left, trying to make Tiffany (our fat chick) fly. A Puppet Slam is basically an arena where a bunch of puppeteers can get together and show off their recent works to each other and to an audience.
Normally I am more comfortable in the world of "Building Things". It's hard to step outside of your boundaries sometimes. Especially when you, who read this blog, know how most ventures in my life end in disaster, calamity, or a spectacular faceplant. I fully expected the sound to cut out, my hair to get caught under the table (preventing me from stepping up when my cue hit), missing the remainder of my cues, tripping a fellow puppeteer, accidentally throwing Tiffany into the audience and somehow managing to flash everyone. None of that happened! Hooray!
I also managed to avoid making faces that emote what I think my puppet is feeling. For instance, instinct tells me that when Tiffany flies in slow-mo across the table, she's grinning like a maniac. So that's what I do. It took me about 3+ rehearsals to control it.
The next Puppet Slam is in March. I'm going to start prepping myself now for future embarrassments. If I can stay calm long enough, I may actually be brave enough to invite people the next time.
Ha. I lie. There is no way any of you are witnessing that.
(If you are Toronto-bound & interested in learning more about Puppetry, Unraku Inc. is having an Intro to Film and Televison Puppetry Workshop in a week or so - check the website for details! It teaches basic stance, puppet operation, ways to move naturally and find your mark on cue in a monitor. It's also pretty fun and relaxed and pressure-free!)