File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 413


To: <puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 17:59:42 -0500
Subject: [Puptcrit] Ergonomics


Warning, here's a moderate rant hidden in a topic:

Charles mentionned the scale of puppets in relation to the physical 
capabicites of the performer.

I really disagree with the old saying:
"if you're comfortable while puppeteering, you're doing something wrong".

My belief (and short experience) is that when a puppeteer performs with a 
well-designed puppet, in a well designed setting, therefore comfortably, 
he/she has more freedom to concentrate on the performance.
I'm not saying every single move will be easy, or that one shouldn't give of 
himself for the performance.

I just mean that the weird twisted masochistic old belief that sacrifice of 
self (even to the point of physical injury) is noble in and of itself, even 
when not justified for the show, is pure bull-sh**!
This attitude I've seen and heard first hand. I've met two puppeteers, 
alumni from the same company, who had injured themsvels for life, no longer 
able to perform large puppets. I hold the puppet company responsible for 
that, considering how they consistently refuse to change their building 
methods and materials, with the only argument that they've been doing it for 
over 25 years.  Oh, and the performers have their own part of responsibility 
in it, since they decided to keep performing.
There is love of the work, but then again, there should be self-respect.

This doesn't mean that I won't, for a work experience and the love of 
Puppetry, be caught in the occasional crazy physical contortions. I have, 
and I will!   I'll just choose my tortures, and refuse those that can't be 
deemed reasonnable.

What do y'all think?

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