Puppeteering/difficulty

MelissaY1

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I just took an introductory puppeteering class through Muppeteer Michael Earl's Puppet School this past weekend in NYC. I had an absolute blast, and never realized how difficult puppetry actually is, particularly the working with the reverse image on a T.V. monitor. Very confusing for someone who has difficulty with coordination when it comes to other activities.

But I had an absolute blast and look forward to the next class...
 

D'Snowth

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Yeah, of course, they've said it for years, and they'll keep saying it for years, puppetry is NOT as easy as it looks, and a lot of people don't realize it requires some serious multitasking.

But for people who can get the hang of it, I can tell you that that monitor really does separate you from the rest of the world, like they say; you have so much focus on it, that it's as if everything else around you just isn't there, it's just a void. My first time puppeteering was on LIVE TV, and it was all unscripted, and completely improvised, with no chance to fix mistakes or anything, it seemed hair-raising at first, but again, that monitor takes up so much of your focus, you don't even think about how many people are watching and whatnot.
 

MelissaY1

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Yeah, of course, they've said it for years, and they'll keep saying it for years, puppetry is NOT as easy as it looks, and a lot of people don't realize it requires some serious multitasking.

But for people who can get the hang of it, I can tell you that that monitor really does separate you from the rest of the world, like they say; you have so much focus on it, that it's as if everything else around you just isn't there, it's just a void. My first time puppeteering was on LIVE TV, and it was all unscripted, and completely improvised, with no chance to fix mistakes or anything, it seemed hair-raising at first, but again, that monitor takes up so much of your focus, you don't even think about how many people are watching and whatnot.
Yes, I think that was part of my problem with it. I was concentrating so much on the monitor and not so much as to what I should be doing to display the proper movement on it.
 

D'Snowth

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:laugh: That's where you have to allow room for the multitasking baby, :laugh:

I will admit, even to this day, sometimes the monitor still throws me off, because again, the picture IS the opposite of your positions, and every once in a while, I notice a puppet of mine will start to look in the wrong direction, before I quickly fix it... I've often wondered how it would be working with a monitor where the image is reversed, but I have a feeling that would actually be more confusing than it would be helpful... and I know I've read that a technician at CTW tried it for the Muppeteers on SST, but by then, they had become so accustomed to working "backwards", that it was of no help to them.

It can take time to get the hang of it... I remember Frank Oz even saying that it actually took him 10-15 years to become an expert at it.
 
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