I performed my first non-shadow puppetry piece at Nasty, Brutish & Short! This was a solo show called TOLERANCE 101, featuring Sir Arthur Harringford, a rat that I taxidermied into a puppet with movable limbs and jaw. Prof. Harringford gives a seminar on tolerance at a cardboard lectern, that is projected onto a large screen via live camera feed.
For more information on the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1092624864093008
This piece was extremely nerve-wracking, being my first piece that so heavily relies on speech. Not to mention, literally using a dead animal as a puppet can easily dip into bad taste. With my shadow puppet pieces, I’m so used to having my back towards the audience, so this kind of performance forced me to exercise a very different set of puppeteering skills. I’m so grateful for the audience’s positive response and I took away a lot from the experience. Even though the speech was entirely scripted and rehearsed, performing in front of a live audience made me realize just how difficult it is to negotiate between being a “performer” and a “tool” for the puppet. It was like rubbing my stomach and patting my head at the same time.
Major kudos to puppeteers out there who can do stuff like this!