File puptcrit/puptcrit.0509, message 396

Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 17:30:55 -0400
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] QUITTING PUPPETRY!

On Wed, Sep 28, 2005 at 08:40:11AM -0700, Steve Axtell wrote:
> Have you ever been close to quitting puppetry?

Not yet, and I can't imagine I ever would.  I'm gonna be a
puppeteer until the day I die!

> What keeps you going?

My dream of having my own full-time puppetry business and thus
being my own boss, traveling around the south-east (maybe even
farther) and sharing my craft wherever I go while being paid to 
something that I love and find to be more play than work.

> Why did you start in the first place?

Plain and simple - I bought a dragon hand puppet and felt the 
spark of magic when I first put my hand inside it.  It was 
amazing to see how I could make this creature of fabric and
stuffing come alive and do whatever I wanted it to do.  Ever 
since, that magical feeling has just continued to grow within 

> What are your biggest challenges?

Trying to be a professional puppeteer when I discovered puppetry
only three years ago and had no real artistic experience or theatrical
background before then.  Trying to grow my puppetry business in a large 
city (Atlanta, GA) that has so much competition, not just from other 
professional puppeteers (all of whom have many, many more years of 
experience than I do), but also from a wide variety of other 
entertainers who work in the same family entertainment market.

> What are your biggest motivators?

Seeing and hearing the reaction from an audience when I perform.
It's that wonderful immediate sense of appreciation that you can 
only get from live theater that lured me into the world of puppetry 
and will never let me leave.  Most of all, it's simply knowing that 
in some small way my shows and my characters are having a positive
impact on the people that I entertain.  Getting someone to laugh
and smile always makes up for the hard work that goes into preparing
any performance.  


Kevin Pittman                              
Pawpeteer - n. A person who creates and/or performs with animal
            character puppets, esp. anthropomorphic characters.
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