File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 422

Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 16:26:06 -0500
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Ergonomics

I agree totally!  I went and saw Dwiggins' Marionettes at the Boston
Public Library and the thing I came away with was how beautiful and
ergonomic his controls were.  I have made a point of doing that for
myself.  When I grab a puppet, the control feels good and is a plesure
to use.  It is like costumers who make the costumes nice on the inside
even where they are not seen.  These puppets are our instruments.

On Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 5:59 PM, Mathieu René <> wrote:
> 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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