3 Things To Avoid In Your Puppet Presentations – Part 1

To have a quality puppet presentation, there are many things you should do; proper entrances and exits, good lip synchronization, maintain good eye contact, and others. There are also some things you should try to avoid. This post presents the first of three of them.

The Dreaded Quicksand Patches
We recently began training some new puppeteers and one of the first things they realized was that it takes work to keep a puppet up in the air for 3 or 4 minutes. Their arms were sore after their first 3 minute routine and even more so after the second and third. One of the keys during your practice time is to work on conditioning the puppeteer’s arms so they can hold them at a consistent height for several minutes at a time. The second key is to make sure they concentrate on their puppet as much as possible. If these two keys are missing, you’ll run into quicksand patches in your theater where the puppet slowly sinks until just the top of the head is showing.

If the puppeteer’s arm tires quickly they’ll begin to lose focus on the puppet and just try to make it through the presentation. Without the right concentration, they begin to relax their arm which causes the puppet to sink. When that happens, the audience begins to wonder how far down it’ll go or they’ll silently urge it to come back up. Either way, they’re focused on a puppet and not the message.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t just pop the puppet up because that’ll draw attention to it. Slowly raise it up to the proper height and continue the play.

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