File puptcrit/puptcrit.0810, message 296

Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2008 08:55:37 -0400
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Animalia at Middletown Library in NJ on Oct 25th 2:30

 When I began doing adapted bunraku, I wore a ridiculous hooded robe and
gloves.  I found out over about ten years that it was all very unneccessary
and in fact attracted attention.  What a relief when I got rid of it.  I saw
Waylan Flowers perform "Madame" and was amazed that he spoke for her in view
and you just didn't notice him speaking after a few seconds, because Madame
was so charismatic. It was like a ventriloquist act without ventriloquism.
Bruce Swartz talked about how he disliked Illusory tricks like ventriloquism
or even "marionettes".  He preferred to cut away the trick of hiding the
performer because the audience knows they are there anyway.  The "tricks" of
putting a distance between performer and the puppet also limit the
possibility of moving the puppet.  He felt that if you got your hands as
close to the puppet as possible you could better animate the puppet.  He
spoke of the honesty of performing that way.   Focus is used by magicians in
a similar way.  The focus of the performer directs the audience's focus.
Then there is the dynamic of going between being a human character on stage
and then going into invisible mode and everywhere in between.  There are no
rules about it, just sort of laws of nature relating to how it all works.
You break the "rules" if it works, but the rules guide those who are still
learning what they are about.  If Waylan had approached Madame as a
ventriloquist, with all that art form's norms,  it just wouldn't have been
the same.
> On 10/18/08 9:53 PM, "Hobey Ford" <> wrote:
> > It is amazing how invisible you can become if you simply focus on the
> > puppet.
> > ...and don't make weird faces as you do so.
> >
> > 8 at 9:18 PM, The Independent Eye <> wrote:
> >
> >> This is very beautiful.  Thank you.  Your very poker-faced yet
> >> intense presence is the essence of focus: it blanks you out more
> >> effectively than a hood; yet "blank" isn't really the word, because
> >> you make us watch the puppet even more strongly because of your
> >> watching.
> >>
> >> Peace & joy-
> >> Conrad B.
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