Friday afternoon, a fun panel in A707 (M) consisting of professionals Joshua Holden and Brodrick Jones showed tips on how to manipulate and develop your puppet’s character. Participants were highly encouraged to bring in a puppet, but it was not required.
One of the more enjoyable exercises was making the puppet “breathe.” This reporter brought her partner, “Fergus.” A new addition to the house, Fergus is going to be “teaching” in a high school classroom. This reporter, although a newbie to puppetry, felt welcomed to the group.
Puppeteers want their characters to move naturally. If the character is jerky, not resting properly, or out of sync with the owner, the sense of realism rapidly deteriorates. Having the puppet looking around the room, watching people, reacting to situations, and resting neutrally are all part of the process of making the puppet come to life.
Everyone left the session with a few practice techniques to use at home. If you missed the workshop, you can usually find a helpful staff member or guest hanging around in the Puppetry area behind the Blood Drive in the Marriot.