Sunday, April 17, 2011

Puppet-A-Day

My friend Heidi Rugg here in Richmond, Virginia is creating a Puppet-A-Day...



Why did you decide to do this project? As a creative type looking to always improve my sense of discipline to my, well, discipline, the idea of doing a "365 project" was very attractive. As a full-time puppeteer, puppet-builder, wife, mom, homeschooling parent, family chef, and so many other things, it seemed crazy. But I couldn't get the thought out of my head.

The idea was like a splinter I couldn't get to – I just kept thinking about it, picking at it, trying to find a way to extract it. I thought about all the possible things I could do for a year...I had so many ideas! But the one I kept coming back to was to make a puppet every day, because that's my medium. That's what I do. But every day?

There's no way I could make one of my puppets every day! They took too long to make. They were too complex, too...

Too many excuses.

Ultimately, I realized that being committed to my art form, puppetry, requires (you guessed it!) commitment. So, I am making something every day. They aren't puppets that I use in my shows (for the most part), but they are puppets.




How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I have strong perfectionist tendencies. To be committed to this project required that I give up a bit of that – it also made me re-think my definition of "puppet." Well, not that I've changed my mind, but I've really had to more fully explore those ideas. I have discovered that I really know a lot about my medium. Some of my posts that have received the highest number of responses have been the ones that are the simplest or have an educational bent (like showing all the ways a puppeteer holds a hand puppet).

It's been fun to do samples of things I can do in workshops -- or illustrate the "innards" of puppets. I love that I've inspired others to goof off with puppet stuff just for fun. I've even been inspired to make some changes in a new show I am developing. While on a trip, I was making some baby robin puppets and a worm in the car with my children. I started thinking about the new show a bit and rewrote one of the springtime scenes to include a robin and a worm -- a really great visual scene that I know will go over well with my audiences and perfectly segues into another scene.



See all of Heidi's puppets HERE.

1 comment:

Lisa Marie Wood said...

How how funny. What a delightful blog. I look forward to seeing more.