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Could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as a puppeteers?  (Read 15656 times)
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2013, 08:36:23 am »

I wouldn't be surprised if they stopped doing letters anymore because they spend too much time wading through the roughs to find the diamonds. A bit like acting agents being inundated with submissions.

However there has been news that they're offering some sort of workshop at the moment, part audition part educational I think. Andrew's posted about it on PuppetVision.
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2013, 12:48:18 pm »

Well for me I started as a builder i wanted to build for Henson. I had all these puppets i made but no way to show how they worked. So I got on camera showing how they moved and performed and sent lots of photos. Henson would then send a letter back giving me advice on my performance but nothing on my builds of the puppets....

...They don't do this anymore I'm not sure why but I heard it was because people took the letters not as constructive criticism but insulting. Its just what i heard not sure if that's the real reason. Pity they really helped me.

Wow! I would love for someone from Henson to critique my stuff. Sometimes I feel like the people that are offering critiques are going easy in order to be nice.
Chris Arveson
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2013, 04:08:14 pm »

Henson would then send a letter back giving me advice on my performance but nothing on my builds of the puppets.

Wow, personal feedback from Jim Henson. How very cool. He may or may not have been the be-all and end-all of hand-puppetry, but wow. The same would go if it were Bill Baird, Sergey Obraztsov, Shari Lewis or Burr Tilstrom. Anytime you can learn from one of the greats, you are privileged indeed.
Chris Arveson
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2013, 04:21:20 pm »

For Christmas in third grade, I got a "push button string puppet" The first puppet I ever owned, made by Knickerbocker, it was a marionette. The controller was a plastic paddle with four little levers. Push the short end of the lever, the other end rose and pulled the string controlling the arm or leg. I suspect that my parents noticed that I really liked the kids' shows that included puppets. Much, much later, I built my first puppet, and then put him in a box for about a decade. I started using him in church for my time with the children during worship. I discovered how much I enjoyed this, and went from there.
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2014, 03:47:53 pm »

My parents and I attended a church convention when I was a child. They saw puppets and were hooked. Mom came home and she and my grandmother made some puppets (which I still have), researched all the training available (not much), and they began doing puppets in our local church. Years later my husband and I planted a church and I decided we needed puppets.  Started with the ones my parents had, and added a few. I was the sole puppeteer.
Almost 20 years ago we moved to the area where we now pastor, and decided we needed a puppet team. Started researching puppet making. Took the team to a One Way Street Workshop (Creative Ministry Solutions) and a Puppet Production Workshop. Used their techniques and suggestions to train the team (and many teams across the US since). Made some puppets for the team. Then was asked to design puppets for a curriculum company.  Started selling puppets and never stopped.  I teach a few classes per year as well.  I've been asked to visit several countries and teach puppet making. Hoping that will happen in the next 1-2 years.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 03:50:51 pm by MsPuppet »
Allan McConnell
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2014, 10:07:33 pm »

Thank you for sharing your stories about how you "started as a puppeteer" it is very fascinating and kinda sounds like Pinocchio in reverse...I am a real puppeteer now! Thank you all for taking that journey as no doubt you have brought many happiness to many people over the time.

For me I am at the very first stepping stone and am very inspired to become active and bring this to Norfolk Island.
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2014, 12:52:09 am »

Wow! I would love for someone from Henson to critique my stuff. Sometimes I feel like the people that are offering critiques are going easy in order to be nice.

Same here. It's a gift when people can offer critique - because there's nothing better than struggling without knowing what I'm doing, and then having someone come by magically with the answer I've been lacking.

I've been making puppets with my husband for a bit, but I didn't really take up doing puppetry until we made a mistake with one of our puppets and turned it creepy. We talked about throwing it out, but I felt compelled to keep it. So I gave it big ears and named it Cadaver Dave. While working on his character, I found that I could use him to talk about being nice and peaceful, while also throwing in a little weirdness (like how his friends are inanimate objects and dead things, and how Halloween is the most important thing ever.).

I do other artistic stuff, but I'm finding puppetry is really the first art I've picked up where it helps me express things I otherwise can't.
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