I'm in Windsor Nova Scotia for Animotion Intensive Training at Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. I was fortunate enough to win the scholarship from UNIMA Canada to pay the course fees. Today is day 10.
So, we did the same warm up as usual. That meant bean bags and bean bags and even larger beanbags. Getting our brains to recognize beats, and stretching out the muscles in our fingers and forearms. We sat down for a few minutes and did some card shuffling and dedicated an hour to our own puppets. My goal was to calm down and to take time with my transitions. The performance went better than expected. Now, I have to take time and find little moments and breaths throughout.
We spent the afternoon with big doughboys. Big doughboys take 5 people to operate. One person operates the head and body, one person on each arm and one person on each leg. Doughboys are as large as me (5’6”) and are made from stretch cloth and stuffing with a handle in the head. They are literally a scaled version of the little doughboys we operated yesterday. Here’s a photo for reference.
So doughboys can do everything humans can do. We chose the simple task of sweeping the floor. We had to break it down into the movements in each section of the body, and then move it at the correct time. This isn't easy. The puppet is so large that the physical demands of the puppeteer are huge. The reward of the finished piece is worth the work though.