Could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as a puppeteers? Posted by squirrely on Apr 05, 2012
I am a puppet-maker wanted to be a puppeteer.  No puppet talent at all, meaning not going to any Puppetry school.  :'(  Just reading and watching Puppetry.  That's good enough so far.     I am making my puppets and being a puppeteer.  Soon searching for a place to do a puppet show for kids.

So could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as one?  Thank you.       
Re: Could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as a puppeteers? Posted by Na on Apr 06, 2012
I studied theatre at university, which had combined acting/tech classes. You learned a bit of everything. For one semester in particular you get to do a bit of circus or a bit of puppetry; I chose the latter. I also met someone who was an actual puppeteer via the course, and that's how I got started.

I'll add though the majority of what I've learned over the years is self-taught, minus a few festival/workshops here and there.

You don't have to attend formal classes to learn it or to be good at it. Just lots of practice.

... I will admit there's one difference. I hate performing, and so I don't as much as possible.
Re: Could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as a puppeteers? Posted by Clewer Puppets on Apr 06, 2012
Hi squirrely. I had my first puppet at age 5. (I am now 53). When I  was 10, I would stage Punch & Judy shows in the street for the kids. As an adult, I had a lecturer in Theological college who greatly encouraged me (including a cash donation to start my puppet work). One thing that my husband and I do is to teach puppetry. If you go to our website-clewer puppets-you will find some free puppet tips under the "more" page. You can find our link on the Puppets & Stuff homepage under Puppets in Melbourne. Debra Clewer.
Re: Could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as a puppeteers? Posted by Shawn on Apr 06, 2012
My story it a bit like both the above. I got my first set of puppets around the age of 5 and was always puppet on shows for the other kids in the neighborhood. While I didn't go to college I did take a lot of acting and theater classes in High school. Once I got out of High school I had the chance to go to work for a local puppet company and learned quite a bit there. The rest is just self taught.
Re: Could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as a puppeteers? Posted by squirrely on Apr 06, 2012
Thanks everyone for How you started as puppeteers.   
Re: Could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as a puppeteers? Posted by Snail on Apr 06, 2012
I started in Belize the summer after I graduated high school working at children's camp, one of my team was a puppeteer, he could take a plain sock with marker dot eyes and make it come alive with voices and outstanding technique.  We found some fabric scraps, sewed some puppets and did shows for the kids. We did not know what we were doing but the kids came in droves and loved it. First stage was a blanket over a broom stick on top of the back of two chairs. Since then I have been on quest to find a better stage, better puppets, better scripts, better technique, and better sound. Wish this site had been around 40 years ago, it is awesome to see the different ideas.

Now I am thinking of how to continue puppets with old arthritic body, those walkers could make a nice  portable stage.
Re: Could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as a puppeteers? Posted by squirrely on Apr 06, 2012
Good started as a puppeteer, Snail.  Learning from one puppeteer and making puppets your own.    Like yourself, I amking my scripts, skits, and sounds so I can make kids laugh for my puppet shows.  Thanks.
Re: Could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as a puppeteers? Posted by LJ on Apr 07, 2012
It is all my children's fault! Even though as a teacher I had puppets in my classrooms they were for the kids to use and I never used them UNTIL my two sons joined a puppet team when they were in middle school. Then a couple years later the director quit so my husband and I were asked to take over. We decided it would be good to do something as a family so we said yes. I was amazed at what puppets could do!! When I went back to teaching a couple years after that I wanted to be able to use puppets in my classroom but could not take the whole team with me so I decided to start learning ventriloquism so I could have my puppets help me teach!! Then a couple years after that I started getting asked to do programs. Eventually my husband told me I needed ONE job and that he felt there was someone else who could teach my class and that I should start traveling as a children's ventriloquist. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Re: Could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as a puppeteers? Posted by LJ on Apr 07, 2012
Oh - BTW - my one son now works for Animax design in Nashville, the other is in Minneapolis still looking for full time work but doing a variety of part tiem theatre adn occasionally some puppet work. And my husband and I still direct a team and are in charge of the Dutch version of the Punch and Judy type puppets for our community.
Re: Could some of you puppeteers tell me how you started as a puppeteers? Posted by Shawn on Apr 07, 2012
Just wanted to share the link to Animax Designs where LJ's son works. http://www.animaxdesigns.com/  I really love their building! It shows up on the home page at the end of the main animation.
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