Sunday, January 31, 2010

Puppets I've made

Often I'm asked if I make my own puppets. For the most part, no. I buy them and sometimes perform minor puppet surgery. However, there are a few I've made. Here are some of them:
Now for an awkward question: do I have a pattern? No. I've never been very good at following directions. I looked at some store-bought puppets and reverse engineered them. Many I made in the early 90s, back when women all over the country still had a bottom drawer full of shoulder pads (you know who you are). Shoulder pads make lovely puppet mouths. This is the extent of my sewing expertise.

These puppets are hideous, in a strangely endearing way. I use them in the few stage shows I perform. Usually my puppets come out in between stories, with no stage, and without their own story to perform, though one or two may play a part in a story. Every now and again, I perform Rumpelstiltskin, Jack and the Bookstalk, Bettina and the Beast, The Prince and the Pea and a few other slightly twisted versions of folktales with a stage. The stage is short, only about a foot tall, and it sits on a table. I'm completely visible and play the part of the narrator. My friend Judy Nichols was my inspiration for doing puppet shows this way.

Truth to tell, though I enjoy the stage shows, I find them a lot of work to prepare and set up. My usual storytelling with puppets requires one trip from the car, with a bag of puppets and the sound system. Stage shows require two or three trips and anxiety that I've left something crucial at home. A few years ago, for example, I left the stage itself at home! Fortunately, the library where I was performing had a stage I could use.


Sue said...

Like! Thumbs up!

ssstoryteller said...

you are awesome
love the way yu tell(i mean the blog!!) and yr passion!

Deb said...

Cool post. I like how you give behind-the-scenes info about what you do; it somehow gives your characters (puppets and non-puppets) even more personality.

Anonymous said...

The stage shows release what Time-Warner calls "The Power of YOU". And you are the pow'ful one here. You're in charge and can cause outrageous situations. Hah!

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