File puptcrit/puptcrit.0612, message 173


To: puptcrit-AT-lists.driftline.org
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 00:40:29 +0000
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Masterful Puppeteers



Dearest PuppetFolks,

Many thanks to those of you who responded to my question. Especially you who 
responded in sympathy.

I must say, I was amazed by people thinking the quality question shouldn't 
be asked. I could understand people being upset if I had asked, 'hey guys 
who are the worst puppeteers?' That would have been just stupid and hurtful- 
but who are the very best in the world? Honestly I expected excited and 
inspired responses -I didn't think anyone, especially a master, to be upset 
if they weren't on somebodies list because- and I don't think this is a 
coincidence- in my experience the best puppeteers I have met have been quite 
modest. I think that part of their modesty comes from being individuals who 
really have a talent for listening to the world.

I also did not expect people claiming to be artists to have such fear and 
antipathy towards the subjective. That was curious.

Let me share a little about myself. My father is a sculptor 
(www.ganthonisen.com). My perception of what it means to be an artist has 
been heavily influenced by him. One of the things I have always admired 
about him is all the reading he has done on other artists. He has told me 
many a time- how do you know where you are going if you don't know where you 
came from?

I not only enjoy knowing about other puppeteers, their shows & experiences, 
but I think every puppeteer who takes themselves seriously really *must* be 
curious about these things. I believe I can learn from absolutely any show I 
see- what not to do perhaps- and I know the energy required of anyone that 
gets a show off the ground and I respect it.

I know that I do not like Picasso. I'm not particularly fond of Freud. This 
does not mean they were not great; whether I like them or not, I should be 
able to learn something by observing all the many people who respond to 
their work & benifit from thinking about how/why they respond in that way.

About submitting an opinion if you have not seen all there is to see- is 
that possible? Fred, you said, ”How many puppeteers have seen most, if not 
all other
puppeteers work?” In my opinion it is precisely because of that- because we 
are even  hidden from ourselves- that we should get busy finding some great 
talents out there. There probably are great puppeteers who will never be 
never found, does that mean that we shouldn't search for or be curious about 
seeking them?

Terri Klingelhoefer, I agree that Steve Abram's was a better, more sensitive 
question. I was SO thankful to you Steve for listening for the spirit of my 
question and translating for me.

Thank you also Steve Kaplan & Nancy Staub for answering. I did not know of a 
few of those people & now I shall be aware of them & want to see their work 
more- so mission accomplished :).
Steve- You said, “Perhaps what we should be discussing how we go about 
recognizing genius and mastery within our artform.” I should very much like 
to see that thread picked up by someone. You perhaps?

Thank you very much Mathieu Ren & Michael Dixon & Christopher- for your 
notes and support,
It is certainly funny to have a discussion group which responds by saying 
people shouldn't say things- It's like my high school Chinese Language 
teacher who used to tell us “Bu-Bee-Shwo-Hua!”(spelling all wrong, but it 
means, “shut up!”) ;D

Hey Liz Evans,
So who would you consider a puppet master? Any opinion?
I'll answer you about my list which, be-for-warned, is not going to include 
the super famous.
I like Steve's idea of catagories, if forced into just 4 names who are alive 
and whom I've seen live I'd say:
Phillipe Genty
Bob Hartman
Mummenshantz
Hugo and Ines
(I wish I could say Yang Feng,The Little Players)

I also saw live
Eric Bass's “An Invitation to Heaven”
Taymor's “Juan Darian”  which I would consider absolutely 'not to be missed' 
shows.

Gosh, what does that say about me?heeheehee

-Rachel

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