Even though you want to keep your puppet constantly in motion to keep it looking alive, you also want to go one step further in order to help capture his/her personality and give him/her some unique traits that will endear the puppet with the audience.
Back in the old days, movie actors would have habits that they would use on a regular basis. John Wayne had a particular walk that he used on a regular basis. It became known as “his” walk.
Some movie stars would also use cigarettes/cigars as their trademark habit. Telly Sevalas had his round sucker that he was always sucking on. Today if you see an actor with a lollipop type sucker, you almost automatically think of “Kojak”. (If you are old enough to be of that generation).
There are a number of things that you can pick from for your puppet to have a “habit”. He/she can pull on an ear. They can rub their tummy. They can scratch their head. They can sniff their nose.
The only thing that puts a limit on what the puppet can do is your imagination. A habit, unlike something you do just to keep the puppet looking alive, is something that the puppet becomes known for doing.
The puppet does a “habit” on such a regular basis that the audience almost gets so used to it that they will perform the habit along with the puppet.
Pick a couple of things that you want your puppet to do as habits, and practice them on a regular basis so that the puppet can do the “habit” without you even thinking about it.
Thats all for this week. See you next week.
Steve and JET