Whenever we do a song in our program of Jr . Church, I want to produce a greater effect by having as many dolls on stage as is possible. However, as we don’t usually have more than 4 or 5 puppeteers to perform some members have to work with two puppets at once.
Who said that one person cannot perform more than one puppet?
Everyone is amazed when we can put 10 puppets on stage at the same time. It’s not easy, but with the right frame of mind and work, it can be achieved very quickly by 5 trained individuals. By trained I do not mean “professionals” but actually amateurs willing to invest some time into improving their performing skills. Of course, there are some things to consider very seriously if you really want to do a good job, even at an amateur level.
In order to handle 2 puppets effectively, it’s very important to follow these guidelines:
– Make a plan with clear objectives and a specific deadline. We all want to do things, but a dream without an action plan is just that, a dream that will go on forever until we decide to materialize it. If we want to create an amazing puppet video or an amazing puppet play, we need to determine what we want to achieve and the time frame to achieve that.
Upper body Workout Routine for Optimal Puppet Performances
– Do regular exercise to strengthen your arms. It’s not uncommon to find amateur puppeteers almost crying because of the pain of having to keep their arms up for an extended period of time. A few push-ups three times a week and biceps curls as well as triceps extensions can go a long way if you are planning to perform with two puppets for more than 10 minutes.
– The use of two dolls requires more concentration. Not only do you have to focus on the one actively performing, but the puppet not talking still needs to look real and engaged in the action that’ s going on in the play. It’s pathetic to see someone using one hand perfectly while the other hand holding the second puppet is barely hanging from the stage. That’s not acceptable, both need to look as if they were in a real conversation.
– Related to the previous point. also remember that both puppets are not clones. Don’t do exactly the same with both hands. Change the movements even a little so that each puppet has their own style. The key is to practice, practice, practice until you can convince your audience that it’s not puppet show but a display of little living creatures.
– Be your worst critic. Record yourself while practicing and watch your video. Do you sound convincing? Are both puppets “alive” and “believable” as if they were being performed by two different individuals? Are their voices clearly distinguishable?
Anything less than perfect is not acceptable. Practice as much as possible to get there. It may not be an easy task, but if you put your heart into it you can record your performance and share it with people you care about for years to come. That’s an amazing return on your time investment in the project.
Follow these few tips and in no time you will have full blown puppet productions at church that will dazzle adults and children alike make you proud for years to come,