Is anyone paying the bills using their puppets/puppetry?

Puppetainer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
Okay, I've discovered what many of you do with your puppets, which has raised another question in my always inquisitive mind. Who among you is actually earning some or all of their living through their work in puppetry?

I ask with a greater than average curiosity because, as mentioned in another thread, my wife and I hope to open a puppet theater here in Wisconsin. And as we have become accustomed to food and shelter it would be a good thing if we could earn a modest income while living this dream. I don't think it would change our minds about chasing our dream if we were to discover that virtually no one at the forum is earning their living through puppetry, but it would certainly encourage us to learn of other's successes.

I'm sure there are quite a few other aspiring puppeteers out their that share my interest in this question, so we all await your various responses with baited breath!
 

puppetsmith

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Messages
449
Reaction score
2
Me too. And it must be said that those who get into puppetry as a "living", definitely aren't in it for the money.
 

ravagefrackle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
1,099
Reaction score
6
yeah , very few Puppetbuilders, and puppeteers are making enough to live like kings, Squeaking by is more like it
 

Buck-Beaver

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
4,174
Reaction score
162
Something someone once told me about puppetry is that "there's more money is using puppets then there is in making them." There are people who make a good, if not great living at it, usually through touring live shows. I did four years of touring and dinner theatre shows with a company and made good, if not great money, but it's hard work.

I think it's also important to have a number of different revenue streams; if you look at a company like Swazzle they are touring, doing shows on the web, they have an online store and they freelance for other companies too.
 

Puppetainer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
230
Reaction score
6
Thanks gang! Yeah, I can't say that I expected this road to be an easy one, but in my past I've owned and operated several small businesses and I must say that despite the impression to the contrary your average small business owner is "just squeaking by." For most people wealth is not one of the advantages of self-employment. Independence, yes. Wealth, no.

As to Buck-Beaver's notion of having several revenue streams, I think that's an excellent idea. My plan is to start a theater not unlike Pinocchio's Marionette Theater in Florida. Anyone familiar with that one? You can check it out here: http://www.pinocchios.net/
One of the things I liked about this business model is that the performers are based in one location rather than travelling. I also happen to think the world could use an alternative to Chucky Cheese's for birthday parties. My wife is a former teacher and we fully intend to include some workshops and classes for kids. I must say that looking around this forum has shown me MANY other ways to seek some revenue through puppetry.

As I said in the beginning, hearing that the road ahead is not an easy one will not deter me, but hearing each tale of someone even squeaking by with their puppetry skills adds some fuel to the fire of my enthusiasm. So keep'em coming! :crazy:
 

D'Snowth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
40,651
Reaction score
12,807
I was told that it is definitely possible to make a *decent* living on puppetry alone, so long as you have study material to work with, and that's material as in material for you to perform your puppet with.

That makes me happy, as my mom was always concerned that it was impossible to make a living solely on puppetry, but it IS possible, but like everyone else said, it is hard. If you ask me, you'd think the art form of puppetry would be a better paying art form; especially when you think how much it's come along in the last half a century or so.
 

CensoredAlso

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2002
Messages
14,028
Reaction score
2,292
There are very few art forms that are well paying I imagine, heh. As someone said, you don't go in it for the money. :smile:
 

DannyRWW

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
1,040
Reaction score
400
I do puppetry as part of my job (I am also a teacher at a Christian school). I don't make puppets but I direct/write/ and perform. That being said I don't think they'd keep me around if I didn't teach as well. Good luck with your idea Puppetainer. Where abouts in Wisconsin are you (I always thought we could use more puppety goodness out by Milwaukee)?
 

Punch'n'Judy

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Messages
408
Reaction score
1
Yes, I'm making a living, but it isn't always easy (touring with my own shows, touring with an other company and making). As with so many jobs in the performing arts...if there's anything else you would rather do, do it.
 
Top