Monday, March 2, 2009

The Illusion of Life

The PIP had a good puppet tech rehearsal on Sunday. We met with Connor Hopkins at the Trouble Puppet Theater space at SVT and talked about how to bring life to our puppet object. Highlights include:

A) Be conscious of puppets movement
- Be efficient with the puppet's movement... Talking is mostly small movement(thumb); use big moves (wrist-elbow-shoulder) for emphasis
- Let puppet look around and "see" environment
- Stand/hold puppet where you get the biggest range of motion
- Start movement with a "breath" (anticipation); accelerate into movement; stop with a POP
- Show, don’t tell -- nod for "yes", shake head for "no", head tilt for "whatever"
- Have the puppet look out at the audience often

- A to B: "Hey Doofus, I wanna to ask you a question"
- A to audience: "Can you tell me where the herd is?"
- A to B: "Hm?"
- B to A: "Oh, well."
- B to audience: "That's a good question, Sheriff. Now let me see. 'Do I know where the herd is?'
- A nods
- B to audience: Uh... (looks around)... hm... (shakes head)...Nope."
- B to A: "I give up. Where is it?" (looks around)
- A slow look to audience

B) Keep eyes & eye-line still... drop jaw with thumb

D) Everything you do, do it through the puppet

C) PUPPETRY is a physical art form and you will get tired!
- FIGHT the tendency to let the puppet go flat/dead
- Look at your puppet; helps keep the energy in your puppet; helps pull audience focus to puppet
- Strengthen your thumb muscles: When someone's talking to you, rest your hand on your hip, thumb out, then "puppet" your thumb to whatever that person is saying

E) Practice in a mirror
- You can use a video camera, but mirror is faster
- Have your puppet lip-sync to a song you know

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