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Today was day 1 of 2 seven hour days to be spent learning about puppetry from John Tartaglia. For a little on my background in puppetry - during my Disney College Program, I snuck into multiple puppetry workshops and the instructors (Thank you, Rob Lott, Scott Silson, Billy Horne, Chris Iannuzzi, & Scott Pilarski!) were kind enough to let me stay even though I wasn't in Entertainment. I discovered that I love puppetry and it's something I'd love to learn more about and excel in.
When I found out about John Tartaglia's master class, I submitted but really didn't think I'd get in. I didn't think I had enough experience. Then I got an e-mail back saying they'd love to have me. I was shocked, excited, nervous... Ready to be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as I could.
I learned about focus, lip synch, and other basics from my Disney workshops. Well, put me in front of a camera and show me a monitor with a reversed (unreversed?) picture. Then watch me turn into Bambi learning how to walk! It was super jarring, but I know I'll get the hang of it with practice. I feel like I want to go buy a camera and monitor to practice on. First, I need my own puppet. Next week, we're going to talk about making puppets with Bonnie Erickson. I've never really made anything substantial before, but I'm really dancing around the idea of building my own puppet. We'll see!
Anyway, in the workshop, we did a lot of improv. I've only ever puppeteered to recorded tracks, so that was also challenging. I wasn't sure what was going to come out of my own mouth half the time, which made lip-sync difficult. We worked solo, in small groups, and in large groups. It's all a learning experience that requires time and practice. For one of the activities, I right-handed and we ended up doing the Macarena, which was super fun and ridiculous. I got to use all kinds of puppets, some easier to handle than others. I also got to meet a bunch of fun, passionate people.
John told me I have good instincts as an actor and that I need to have the confidence to trust in them. He also told me that he sees a great deal of potential in me as a puppeteer and that he thinks I'll be able to do a lot of fun voices in time. Everything in time. Lucky for me, I'm one of the most impatient people I know :P
I can't wait to go back next Saturday and work more!