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Steve Whitmire Lecture/Workshop at the Center for Puppetry Arts

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by MelissaY1, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Well where the puppets like Whatnots or what? Just to get the chance to puppeter along side Steve would be a dream come true
    He may have helped build the puppets if they where Whatnots he may have put the eyes, noes, and so forth on them.
  2. shtick

    shtick New Member

    If anyone whose going to this happened to have also gone to the Michael Earl Workshop, I'd be interested to know how the two compare as far as bang for yer buck. Especially since The Earl Workshop is more than $200 while the Whitmire Lecture/Class is only $30.
  3. loosetoon

    loosetoon New Member

    The puppets were built by Steve. At least they were signed by him on the inside. They were much better made than the FAO Whatnots. They were made of flesh color (pinkish) antron fleece, the eyes were flat plastic discs with a felt pad for pupils. In the head there was a 1/2 inch foam rubber "skull" and the inside of the mouth was sturdy rubber with a thin wood dowl on the top and bottom for grips. Very professional feeling inside. The puppet itself was just a roundish head with eyes. No nose or hair, or anything else. Just a fleece body and no arms or clothes. My wife said they kinda looked like little worms.

    The 12 folks in our class ran the gamut from professional puppeteers to some who never had a puppet on their hand in their life. I, myself am no puppeteer, but I do play with puppets. And everyone had a great time! Even the pros have never necessarily worked the "Muppet" way in front of a TV monitor. Everyone was fumbling around, turning the wrong way, looking to the ceiling, and laughing like crazy. No one should have any fears about being a newbie here.
  4. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    It sounds like it was an amazing experience and thanks to everyone who attended for giving away as much as they could without spoiling it for others who may take future lectures. Having met Steve and being friendly with him over the years I can just imagine how amazing it was to actually have him teach his techniques to others and learning so much from him. He's a very generous guy and genuinely seems to enjoy people in general, not just those who work in puppetry or are in the entertainment business.

    I look forward to hearing Barry's full report when he gets a chance, and any pics that the Center may post on their site.
  5. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    I hope Barry doesn't mind me revealing this, but his full report will be posted on The Muppet Mindset as soon as he's finished with it. We're extremely excited to host Barry and hear all about the experience! :D
  6. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Well that is going to be great I ca't wait to read that!
  7. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    That's quite exciting!
  8. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    That sounds awesome! I look forward to it, and I should give your page a daily visit and add it to my Favorites. It's a great site I just haven't gotten fully immersed in it yet.
  9. wes

    wes Active Member

    Good Job Ryan, ya got an Exclusive! can't wait to read it!
  10. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Reading this has got me SO totally stoked.

    I'll be in the last workshop on the last day... but I'm happy to be in it.

    -G
  11. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I think being on the last workshop on the very last day would be the best. That might give you the chance to talk with Steve afterwards.
  12. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Really? Hmmm... I never considered that! ;)

    But seriously, the opportunity to carry the useful instruction (and instruction style) back to my merry band of fleece animators is beyond value.

    The fact that it was only $40 total on the seminar was unbelievable.

    So do we know if this is just a fundraiser for the center? Or is it part of a larger promotional pattern for the Jim Henson Company/Henson Legacy/Disney Muppets/Etc.?
  13. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    wait you also have a puppet group? wow I'm really out in left feild somewhere. I have been really iching to get my hands on (or should I say in) some puppets.
    I would love some more lessions on my puppetering because i know I'm a little rusty. I do know however that the last puppet show I did i was credited on being the best puppeter out of the group. I have always wanted to try the moneter and watching your own work I think the idea it's self is genus and would love to try it, even though everyone says it's really hard.
  14. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Yes. I do a thing called "Transylvania Television" on the web. That's my group. obviously I haven't been doing my job if you haven't been exposed to us! LOL!

    Its all puppets for grown-ups. NOT for kids.

    www.transylvania-tv.com

    or we can be downloaded for free on iTunes under "podcasts"

    -Gordon
  15. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Well goodness I will most defently check that out!
  16. bryrob

    bryrob New Member

    This is my first post and I was prompted to write because I went to the Steve Whitmire Workshop last weekend and had to join in on the discussion.

    I initially had a ticket ONLY for the Lecture because I'm a Muppet fan and wanted to hear what Steve had to say about Muppets. I did NOT sign up for the Workshop. I thought that I would be the only one with no real puppetry experience and I had no idea what the class would be like. I guess I was chicken (bock bock). So, as I was sitting in the auditorium listening to Steve's wonderful insights into puppetry and his funny Muppet stories, It suddenly hit me...WHAT WAS I THINKING NOT SIGNING UP FOR THE WORKSHOP! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be taught by "the guy who puppeteers the most recognizable puppet in the universe." How could I let this pass me by because I was afraid to be the only person in the class with no experience! Needless to say, I purchased my Workshop ticket for the following day. Man, I'm so glad that I did.

    To answer the DrmaticEmphasis question: I am a newbie and there was one other person in my class that also had no experience. It didn't matter. He teaches the very basics. However, that doesn't mean it was easy. It was so much fun and I was laughing a lot of the time. And boy, does that 90 minutes fly by. My advice is to enjoy every second because it is over in a flash. There were many moments during the class that I thought to myself, "I'm actually puppeteering WITH Steve Whitmire!" It was surreal, but I didn't let it overwhelm me. Instead I just savored every moment.

    I hope Steve will come back next year and teach another workshop. He was so gracious and I told him that I was very thankful for the opportunity to learn from him.

    If the Center for Puppetry Arts gets enough funding for the Jim Henson wing of the museum they are planning to build, then I'm sure many other events and workshops from Muppet performers will be available in the near future. I just wish I was a millionaire and I'd give them all the money they needed.

    Sorry for the long post. It's my first. I got it out of my system now and I won't ramble as much next time. :o
  17. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Hey, you had very good insights! keep posting!

    -G
  18. Waldo C Graphic

    Waldo C Graphic New Member

    Oh wow, I love your stuff. Keep up the good work. You're gonna have a great time at the lecture/workshop. :)
  19. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Thanks Waldo!

    This entire trip is an "investment". I have been struggling trying to teach my puppeteers what I've learned just through experimentation and practice over the years. Not that I'm a pro by any means! But I find I have a hard time teaching what has been mostly intuitive for me. So I'm hoping that I not only learn some new stuff myself, but can come away with some techniques for teaching my crew as well!

    My wife and I aren't, by any stretch of the imagination, living luxuriously these days. So I have to say that I am the luckiest man alive to have married the perfect woman. I was ready to write off the idea of going, because we have enough on our "financial plate" as it stands. But she realizes what this means to me and what it can mean to TVTV in the long run. So she booked me in.

    Did I mention she's perfect? Yes? Oh.

    'Cuz she is.

    -G
  20. pandabae

    pandabae New Member

    Like bryrob, this is my first post and it's been prompted by the Steve Whitmire lecture and workshop this past weekend.

    I'm in Tennessee and went to the Center for Puppetry Arts for the first time almost exactly a year ago for my birthday. I wanted to see their Jim Henson exhibits and the Skeksis in the their permanent exhibit. It was also one of the last weekends that the Smithsonian exhibit was at the History Center so it was a full Henson weekend for my husband and me. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present but the lecture/workshop this year with THE Steve Whitmire has topped it.

    I attended the lecture on Saturday, Jan 9th with the 1pm class on the same day. There were fewer people at the lecture than I expected (about 30) and Steve off handedly mentioned that half the audience was staff from the Center which is when I started to get nervous about the workshop. I do not have any puppet experience--but I do have camera experience (support your local public television station! :wisdom:). I started practicing voices and hand motions with my husband during our break--which I learned later was not necessary.

    Since there's another weekend of workshops ahead I won't go into detail but in regards to the lecture, Steve kept saying muppet fans (non puppet artists) would be bored but I didn't find it boring at all. It was fascinating and made me look at the muppets in a different way. In regards to the workshop--I cannot say enough good things about it. Fun. Exciting. Educational. Amazing. I could go on and on. You do NOT have to have any puppet experience--just an open mind and get ready to have fun! You may want to do some arm stretches beforehand though...

    Fortunately I attended a workshop with a professional photographer (like it was posted earlier, any kind of recording or photography was strictly forbidden) and have been told that pictures should be ready after this weekend. I am so eager to see them!

    I had very high expectations from my day at the Center and I was not disappointed. I only wish we had more time with him. He was on a very tight schedule but he was as generous with his time as he could be, going over on both the lecture and workshop. I just did not want the day to end. I was tempted to take the workshop all over again---and again this coming weekend. If you have questions for him, I highly suggest asking them during the lecture. There is no time after the lecture, during the workshop or after the workshop.

    I can't wait to hear everyone's reactions to next week's classes. Please be sure to post! Have fun!


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