Sunday, February 16, 2014

Muppet-ty Emotions

Well, I just finished re-watching The Muppet Movie.  (It turned out that my roommate had never seen it before, which shocked me.)  The moment the movie opened and Jim Henson started to sing "Rainbow Connection," I completely lost it and just started crying from joy.  The Muppets are amazing and I love them so much.

I am currently reading "Jim Henson: The Biography" by Brian Jay Jones (which can be bought here) and it is amazing.

I have always loved the Muppets but reading this book has reminded my how much I love them.  And watching the first movie tonight confirmed that even more.

A couple of summers ago, I got to have some time to experience the joy of dealing with a puppet for myself.  As part of a guerilla marketing campaign for a production of Avenue Q that the Skylight Music Theatre was producing, my mother and I drove around town with James Pimpton, a puppet designed to look like James Lipton from Inside the Actors Studio.  It was an absolute dream come true.  The second I put him on, I felt him come to life.  I loved every minute I spent with that puppet.

Pimpton and I having a grand ole time.
The more time I spent with him, the more I felt like he came to life.  I got to experiment to find the ways to make him seem most alive.  I spent so much time just studying how he moved and what I could do with him.

The hardest thing was making him seem alive in pictures.  In a picture, the viewer cannot see the movement of the puppet.  So what may look real and alive in person suddenly looks dead on film.  This was also quite a learning experience and we quickly learned that we had to keep him talking and moving while the pictures were taken.

Pimpton and I became buds.  Even though I knew that he was only a puppet I was controlling with my arm, he became more than that.  He was quite real.  And the day I had to give him back broke my heart.

But tonight I am reminded of my love for puppets like this.  And I have made it my goal to find a way to get ahold of another puppet to play with and make my own.  Someone that I can really create and turn into something amazing.  Watch out world.  I have a new goal.

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