At MND this afternoon, we finally got to play with our puppets. Let me explain. The show features four fairy characters - Moth, Cobweb, Peaseblosson, and Mustardseed - who are usually played by other actors in the show in some sort of costume. For this production in the park, the designers have created four puppets to play these characters, and I am one of the puppeteers responsible for bringing them to life. We met them for the first time today, so we had to figure out the best way to work with them.
The puppets require two hands to operate - one hand works its mouth just like a sock puppet and two rods control the hands of the puppet. The first challenge was to decide which of my hands would operate which part of the puppet. Once that was figured out, I had to figure out how long I wanted his puppet rods to be. We trimmed one of them down, then installed the handles on the end of the wire rods, and Mustardseed was good to go. I'll try to get one of the pictures we took so I can post it on the blog.
After we figured out how the puppets worked, then we had to figure out the best way to make them act. I had a leg-up based on my previous work with Enchantment, and I could figure out how to make him run and act. We took some photos outside for publicity, and all the puppets posed with their designer as well. I'm really excited working with this puppet in the show; it's almost as if any other work I do onstage will be outdone by a three and a half foot, floppy-haired puppet.
I love my job.