The Top 10 Things to Work On When Developing Puppet Skills – Part 5

The last 2 posts have been about my Top Ten List of things to work on to develop your puppet skills. Today we look at numbers 9 and 10.

Number 9: Moving Around the Stage
Most plays don’t require a lot of movement once the puppets are up; they can just stand in one place. But there are times when a puppet needs to walk across the stage or move forward or backward. The normal tendency when walking a puppet is to bob it up and down while moving it forward. The problem with that is people don’t bob up and down when they walk. What they do is swing their arms and that motion causes their shoulders to move back and forth.

To make a puppet look lifelike when walking is easy to do and adds quality of your presentation.
1. For the first step, move your puppet forward and twist your hand and arm about 10 degrees (a small amount) to the right.
2. For the second step, move forward again, but this time twist your hand and arm slightly to the left.
3. Continue the process for any additional steps. You can give a very slight bob up and down while doing the steps but don’t overdo it. It’s helpful to watch people walk and study their movements and transfer that to your puppet.
4. Make sure that you keep your puppet upright and don’t lean it forward while you walk.
5. To make a puppet run, do the same process, but speed it up and give a little bigger bob up and down. 

Number 10: Proper Exits
Since the exit is the last thing the audience sees, it should be done properly to leave a good impression. As in the entrances, think of a set of three stairs and walk the puppet down them.
1. Turn the puppet toward you. If you turn it away and try to exit, it forces you to lean your arm to the side and gives an unnatural appearance.
2. Raise it slightly, bring it forward and down.
3. Raise it slightly, bring it forward and down.
4. Raise it slightly one more time, bring it forward and down and you’ve finished.

(Click here for an article with all 10 items together.)

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