I have been a puppeteer for 25 years. I make them for myself, as well as to order.
Using puppets for story-telling is very effective, particularly in the classroom. I'm sharing a series of tips for puppetry use - today is part one.Listed below are some
things to avoid and other things to work at during your story telling. Some of these
are best practiced beforehand – if you want to avoid embarrassment that is!
An error which is common to many beginners in puppetry is letting the puppet sink down during your story. This is common when using large sized puppets. You need to
be aware of the height of your puppet at all times. It is not easy holding your arm up for a length of time: however it will get easier as you progress. Your arm will tire quickly at first – but it is worth persevering. If possible, rest the puppet or your arm on something. Your hearers will quickly lose attention if the puppet is at an incorrect height or starts to disappear. Change of position can help, as long as the puppet is still clearly visible. Be animated, and move around if possible. This also helps to keep the interest of those watching. Sometimes, a piece of tape on the puppet’s sleeve can help, as you immediately know if the puppet is at the correct height. If you are talking with your puppet, ensure that the puppet’s head is level with yours, and that you maintain eye contact. This is essential if the puppet is to be a believable character.