Friday, August 12, 2011

How Not to Run a Puppet Show

I put on fifteen puppet shows this week.  That's right.  Fifteen.  I reenacted Bible stories for kids everywhere from preschool to fifth grade. 

Luckily they were a somewhat captive audience. 

So, in all this, I have learned many things.  I've learned how NOT to run a puppet show.
  • Do not have a puppet that looks like Harry Potter.  Especially not if your audience is at all familiar with the Mysterious Ticking Noise.  Not having a puppet that looks like Harry Potter, do not have a puppet that could be Dumbledore pop up in the middle of the performance.
  • Do not use a puppet that vaguely resembles Micheal Jackson as Jesus.  This is not a good idea, especially if you're performing for older kids.
  • Do not drop a microphone backstage.  Especially if it's at full volume.
  • Do not conduct an experiment to see if puppets can breakdance.  They cannot.
  • Do not make your puppets wear turbans.  They fall off onstage.  The kids will laugh, which is disconcerting because you're behind the curtain and have no idea why they're laughing.
  • Do not kneel on short carpet for three hours straight.  This is painful.  You should bring a pillow.
  • Do not use the wrong voice for your puppets.  It makes no sense for James the Apostle to have a sudden voice change, as he has already gone through puberty.
  • Do not use your cell phone ringtone as a sound effect.  Do not answer text messages backstage.  
  • Do not encourage the children to touch the puppets.  As a great movie character said, "This can only end in tears."
  • Do not retell the story of the ten healed lepers and forget to have one come back to thank Jesus.  That being said, do not forget any crucial plot elements at all. 
  • Do not conduct an unrelated conversation backstage as you are running a show.  It will not work. 
  • Do not have your lepers change races as they are healed.  This does not make sense.  If you have five leper puppets and five representing healed lepers, make sure the leper and healed are both the same race.  They are not Michael Jackson.    
  • Do not try to impersonate Neil Cicierega.  You aren't him, and his puppets are cooler than yours anyway.

    And finally, the number one rule of puppet shows: Do not, for any reason, show your face.  You must maintain your secrecy at all times. 

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    1 comment:

    1. Omg I love the mysterious ticking noise! One of the girls in my Lit. class last year had never seen it so my Lit. teacher played it during class. It was epic. :)

      Oh gosh, I've never done a puppet play but we've done a bunch of bible skits for chapel.

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