One thing that we are constantly getting overloaded with all the invitations to all the different social media sites. While we love communicating with each of you, at last check we still only have 24 hours in a day and we usually use all 28 of them!
While we have nothing against FaceBook, Twitter and all the other possible sites, we have had to make some hard and fast decisions that we will not be participating in any of these at this time due to time constraints.
The process of creating new and different puppet designs is more than a full time job, and when you add to that the number of hours spent on answering Email from around the world, (many of which take time to run language interpreters) we have a full plate.
We have gotten an idea from one of our readers that we found to be somewhat unique. We have that persons permission to share the idea, but they would rather stay anonymous for purposes of this article. (Somewhat unusual since the purpose of the idea was getting “attention”, but we will honor the request.)
Our reader was in his early 40′s when he started out to be a Vent. He loved little kids and wanted to do a lot of birthday parties, but was not sure that he was good enough to get bookings and did not want to disappoint folks by not giving a good enough show. He also realized that in order to get better, he needed exposure time with his target audience. So after much thought he decided to go with this novel new idea.
In his town there was a restaurant that he described as being like a “Chuck E. Cheese” type place. On a Friday night, he took just his wife and a small puppet that would fit in a small bag and went to the restaurant. Once there he and his wife got their food and sat down. As luck (or good planning) would have it, there were several groups of kids who showed up that night for birthday parties.
Many times we get emails from friends who want us to create a special puppet for them. One was for a recently written book, many are for Holiday characters etc.
The problem is that there is always a time delay between when something is ordered and when we can have it done and ready to ship. In the case of the book, the release date of the book was just days away and the puppet was needed for some upcoming publicity opportunities and for several book signings. Many times we will get a request around Thanksgiving for a Christmas type of puppet.
As much as we wish we were good (and fast) enough to just hiccup and have the puppet done, life just does not work that way. One reason is that when we do commit to a puppet, we give you a hard date to expect your puppet by. At that point, we have sold a piece of our time, and as much as we would like to accommodate your instant needs, we don’t “own” the time it would take to do the task. It belongs to whoever we have committed to for that time slot.
We have discussed in the past the importance of keeping your character animated to make it seem to be alive. This is an important feature in holding your audiences attention and keeping the audience focused on you the performer.
Here is a suggestion that won’t cost more than about 5 cents. Watch this short video of one of our characters. Pay attention to the head movement and the corresponding movement of the characters hands.
One of the things that we notice from time to time even among great performers is that the puppets feet seem to turn backwards and wander all over the place. In some cases, this can be part of the act. With Jeff’s Achmed, it is something that comes across as planned. Jeff uses this to his advantage. However to most of us, it is an irritation that makes us look like we are not in control of our puppets.
What you don’t want is something happening while you perform that takes the audiences attention away from the very things that you have practiced so hard to perfect and makes the audience concentrate on something that just looks goofy instead of being entertained by your act.