Developing Your Live Puppetry Skills: Equipment

Get to Know your Equipment

One of the biggest challenges in live performing is the technical aspect. If you’re performing live puppet voices, you will need to use a microphone, there’s just no way around it. No matter how well you can project your voice, the puppet stage curtain acts like a sponge. It just sucks up that sound. Plus, the sound that the audience does manage to hear seems to be coming from beneath the puppet…because it is. Live one-on-one performing should be practiced with microphones so that the conditions are as close to the actual performance as possible.

The ideal microphone for puppet performances is a headset microphone. A headset allows the microphone to move with the puppeteers head. No matter which direction they turn their neck, the mic will always be positioned in front of their mouth. On the other hand, a puppeteer’s mouth would be pointed away from a clip-on lapel mic if they are looking up at their puppet. Practicing with the microphone allows the performer to get used to what the proper positioning is for the mic. If the mic is positioned too close to the performer’s mouth, you may pick up strange breathing noises or distortion. It would be good to eliminate these audience distractions before the performance, and that comes from practicing with the equipment.

We’ve talked about a lot of different areas to work on if you’re going to tackle one-on-one live performing. It might sound like a lot, but we hope you won’t be discouraged from trying this type of performance. It can open up all sorts of new possibilities for using puppets to presents stories, object lessons and memory verses. Don’t be afraid to give it a try!

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