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|Hi! Here are some details about myself:
|My name is:
|I have a home page at:
| Is this Link Broken?
|My occupation (when I'm not doing puppets!) is:
|Business owner: financial modeling, management reporting, & training
|My approximate age is:
|I live in the state of:
|... in the country of:
|Here's some information about my church or puppetry organisation:
|My organisation's name is:
|My organisation's website is at:
| Is this Link Broken?
|Some of My Puppetry Background
|Q: Why do you write puppet scripts? What motivates you?
|Puppets are my favourite because they are: great fun, a great place to start, engaging, liberating, creative, extreme, and above all, they're an excellent way to teach very important principles.
|Q: Tell us about your church or puppet organisation.
|I previously worked in Children's Ministry for 23 years but left the church in 2000 & am now an atheist.
There was no specific event that caused me to leave. Following a lot of research, I decided that Christianity and religion in general can't possibly be true. It's just too ridiculous!
If you want more information about the reasons behind this view, please visit https://www.dropbox.com/s/8w7j16wrrgmyot6/why_there_is_no_god__simple_responses_to_20_common_arguments_for_the_existence_of_god%20%281%29.pdf?dl=0
|Q: How did you get started in puppets and what attracted you to this area?
|I've always been attracted to puppets and used to play around with my hand in a sock (or not) long before I even touched a real puppet.
I love the idea of being able to bring a toy to life! Doesn't everyone have toys that speak to them? :-)
I started by mucking around with socks etc then one day, I tried it with a real puppet ... and here we are today, many years later with Puppet Resources!
|Q: Where does your inspiration come from to write puppet scripts?
|I get inspiration from a lot of different areas: from the kids themselves, from TV and movie characters, and sometimes from real life experiences.
I guess the characters in my scripts are often a lot like characters who are my favourites outside the puppet stage. As such, anyone reading my scripts will probably see quite a few similarities to Monty Python skits and John Cleese, Basil Fawlty types of characters.
Is that a good thing? I don't know! :-) I'm not a puppet author ... I'm just a very naughty boy! :-)
|Q: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in puppetry?
|I really encourage people who are thinking about having a go with puppets to do just that ... have a go!
Puppets are one of those things that kids love even before you say anything - so you're already halfway there!
While the expensive Muppet-style puppets are great, you don't necessarily need to use these as kids can imagine anything with just a sock or a glove over your hand with a couple of eyes drawn/stuck on.
The main thing is practice, practice, practice - especially mouth movements as this is an area people often seem to find difficult.
New puppeteers often have a tendency to forget to move the puppet's mouth, or to close the mouth on each syllable (rather than open it).
You could even start off with a puppet that doesn't talk (eg a baby, or an animal). This allows you to concentrate on getting the movements and gestures right and then you can move on to words later.
We have a little baby puppet ("Dill" from the Rug Rats) who comes in on a regular basis and never says a word (except in the ear of the teacher) ... yet he is incredibly popular with the kids for his hugs, sucking his thumb, throwing things out of his baby basket, waving etc.
So bottom line ... have a go and practice!
|Q: Who are your favourite puppet characters and what do you like about them?
|Well, of the puppets I use, my favourite puppet character would have to be Dill (refer previous question). He's such a loving, yet cheeky little puppet that gets up to so much mischief ... I certainly can't control him any more! :-)
Of other puppets I've seen, it's hard to go past the Muppets and Sesame St for their professionalism, character development, puppet skills and storyline.
On those shows, my favourite characters were Gonzo (because he was the little crazy guy), Dr Bob (because I love his sense of humour - or lack thereof), and the Swedish Chef (an absolutely unforgettable character).
|Q: What are the most important qualities in great puppet scripts?
|For me, I like a puppet script that has:
1. Humour for the whole audience (that includes both adults and kids). That's what people like Disney, Pixar, and the Muppets do. Although they produce stuff for kids, there is plenty in their productions that is for adults too. I like trying to surprise the adults as well as the kids.
2. An interesting story. I think sometimes, we get too caught up in what we're trying to teach that we forget to tell a good story that relates to the kids. I often wonder how kids would rate the scripts on this site? I'm guessing they probably wouldn't rate them the same way the adults would!
3. We need to make a connection with our audience and if we don't do that, the whole thing is a waste of time. In one sense, we're competing against all the other exciting things kids see on TV and computer games. The people who produce those do extensive research on how to connect with kids and if we're not connecting in a relevant way when we're talking to them about important things, they might miss the point!
I'm not saying all my scripts achieve all these - but that's what I'm aiming for.
|Q: What would you do if you were a puppet?
|I'd travel the world, making kids and adults laugh everywhere.