File puptcrit/puptcrit.0803, message 105

Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 10:30:09 -0500
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Principles of Puppetry

I agree with those who shudder at grand announcements of principles-- 
never-the-less, that's never stopped me before, why should it now?

At it's most basic, the core organizing principle behind the art of  
puppetry appears to me to be how to most elegantly, informatively and  
amusingly (some would add "and cheaply') bridge the gaps between 
audience, performer and performing object.
"The rest," as one old sage once put it, "is just commentary."

Shudder, shudder.


On Mar 5, 2008, at 4:19 AM, Katy Lloyd wrote:

> I'm afraid I have to agree with Jim here. There are many students on my
> modelmaking course who are very knowledgable about SFX, but it doesn't 
> make
> them any better at what they do. The more talented ones just tend to 
> get on
> with it, being inspired not by study, but by simply whatever captures 
> their
> imagination, and having the common sense to to be able to honestly 
> judge
> their own work. I get annoyed at those who obsess with their research -
> their work always looks like a rip-off of someone else's work (Jim 
> Henson,
> Tim Burton, etc). It's good to be inspired by others, but I believe 
> good,
> exciting work comes mostly from within.
> Anyway, puppetry, like any art, is completely subjective. You can't 
> write a
> list of rules for something which is different for everyone - if I had 
> a
> personal list, number 1 would be "Be Original", yet it wouldn't make 
> sense
> to tell this to someone who wishes to make traditional marionettes, 
> because
> they would have their own set rules to follow to recreate the 
> authenticity.
> Puppetry is all about visual communication, something which should come
> naturally to us, it is intuitive. At university, we had to take some 
> lessons
> explaining the theories of communication. Perhaps I am stubborn, but I 
> found
> these lectures tiresome and pointless - surely if you are in the 
> business of
> making models and puppets, one should already know how to bloody
> communicate! Else no amount of study will help you.
> Hope I didn't offend anyone.
> Katy
> -- 
>> Jim Menke wrote:
>>> Thinking of principals as we work and perform can take all the joy 
>>> out of
>> our profession. Sure we have to do good work but to obsessed by it can
>> ruin
>> it.  ----------
>> Jim, I agree that obsesssing over and anylising everything can ruin 
>> things
>> (been guilty of that), but as in most things, moderation is a must.
>> Without
>> studies, how can we rethink what we do, and make it better?
>> Some of us go at it very mentally, some do it physically, learning by
>> process.
>> I seek balance, and for me, it comes only with a bit of both: study 
>> and
>> doing.
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