Working 2 Arm Rods at a Time?

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned the importance of developing the skill of using 2 rods at a time. With this post, I’ll cover how to do it.

Using two rods at once is not a difficult skill to learn, but does take time and practice to accomplish properly. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps of two arm movements while you’re using the puppet on your right arm.

Step 1: Hold the puppet in front of you below stage level and tipped slightly forward so the rods hang freely.
Step 2: Cross the rods so they form an X near the bottom of the rods and slide the pinky finger of your left hand into the bottom of the X.
Step 3: Wrap your pinky and ring finger around the rods and press them toward the palm of your hand. This gives stability and helps hold the rods in place. 
Step 4: Use the thumb of your left hand to work the left rod and your index finger to work the right rod. By squeezing your thumb and index finger together, you make the puppet clap its hands. When you release the thumb and finger and push up a bit with your pinky finger, the arms will spread apart. With practice you can have a puppet clap along during a song or help give a rousing round of applause for someone. 

Along with clapping its hands, you can lift both hands to the puppet’s mouth to have the puppet yell out. Raise the hands to the puppets mouth and move them forward and back, forward and back, and you can have the puppet blow kisses.

If you have a small, lightweight box sitting on the corner of the theater, with practice you can have the puppet pick it up and move it. When you practice it enough, it’s fun to have that puppet hand it to another and have them carry it off. It takes a lot of practice but gives a bit of a “wow” factor to your presentation.

Using two rods at once is another effective tool that adds quality and variety to your programs; just make sure you don’t overdo it. Too many two-arm motions can detract from the performance instead of enhancing it. Moderation is the key.

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