When you watch a puppet show, the magic is intriguing and captivating. The puppets themselves appear to think and feel as if they were real. Watching their story unfold, audiences become acquaintances and friends by the time the curtains close. Each puppet has their own set of characteristics, personality and dialogue that help us to get to know them as if we lived next door. A large part of a puppet’s life-like familiarity and friendliness is attributed to the dynamic skills of a puppeteer. Oftentimes, the creator will be in control of their puppets. In other instances, there is a team of puppeteers who are pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Puppeteering has gained a reputation for its unique creativity and artistic contributions to the set or stage. Once considered a simplistic task, puppeteering has gained momentum displaying the keen talent required to excel in the field. Mastering the puppet takes lots of time, practice and patience. An actor must command their own features and gestures to match their roles whereas a puppeteer has to refine the acting skills of their puppets. In effort to keep the illusion alive, they must slip in and out of character during the show while walking in the shadows undetected.
Puppeteers in Training
Aspiring puppeteers may wonder how to break into the business. All puppets have climbed the ladder of success, the field has a competitive edge. There are two standard ways to train as a puppeteer. Several universities and colleges have courses, classes and certification processes in puppetry arts. This will give you a head start in your new career as connections are made and recommendations can go a long way.
Another method of learning the trade is by finding a professional mentor. Current or past puppeteers may take apprentices or be willing to show you the ropes over a course of time. Learning from an individual in a private setting will offer you the ins and outs of puppeteering with a few lessons of tried and true tradition.
Learning the Puppet Art
In your training, you will learn the importance of every detail. Aligning the puppet with their actions is fine tuned through a lot of practice. The puppets mouth, eyes and movements must coincide in real time. Understanding the keys of puppeteering includes aspects you do not think about in the audience. When a puppet has a personality, they adapt to posturing and walking in a style that separates them from the rest. As they develop, so does their sense of humor, manner of speaking and the way they carry themselves. This is complimented with the physical appearance of the puppet. Clothes, hair and makeup touches will give them a sense of being. Becoming a puppeteer takes time, effort and dedication. Cultivating yourself and your character presentations will lead to an inspiring future of puppetry arts.