See? Told you there would still be blogs.
There’s been a fair amount of discussion lately on the Operation: Puppet Discord server (join the Discord) about puppet performance tips and techniques. I have a very old couple of videos about it that were intended to develop into a longer series, but then of course things got real busy with the shop. I do hope to make more of them, which will look a bit odd with a 2 year and 60 pound difference between them.
I first got into the puppet space as an adult intending to be an amateur performer. Even when I started building, my original intention was to build characters for my show(s) and hadn’t even considered I’d ever be good enough at it to open my own shop.
I still love performing, but I don’t get a chance to do it as often as I’d like these days. Puppet performing is like riding half a bike. You do develop some instincts that never leave you, but you also need to practice regularly, or you get rusty. That’s where I am at the moment.
All this was inspired by the recent tested.com video featuring the wonderful Donna Kimball and John Tartaglia of Fraggle Rock. If you’re at all interested in puppet performance, please do watch this video, it’s a masterclass. Plus I highly advise following my pal Sarah Berman’s Instagram account for amazing and inspiring behind-the-scenes pics from her various puppety adventures. Sarah is a real inspiration and the logo for today’s post.
It’s all a bit late for me to ever consider even attempting to do it professionally. I suffer from a degenerative condition called Being Old, and have a touch of arthritis or tendinitis or some-kinda-itis in my joints that means I can’t perform for more than about 10 minutes at a time before it becomes just too painful. This is why I love having The Oracle to act as my performance outlet. I can shoot it when I have the time and perform it at a pace that suits me. I love my characters and feel incredibly close to them, which I hope comes across in the series. I’ll never be good enough or fit enough to do it professionally, but the pure love of the art form keeps me in the game.
In that spirit today I am prepping to shoot another episode of The Oracle. It’s always like coming home and visiting old friends, and I hope the audience feels the same.
Puppets later. Coffee first.