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Puppeteer Stamina

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Fozzie Bear, Sep 17, 2002.

  1. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I thought this might be fun for us puppeteers!

    What's the longest you've kept your arm up at one time, NO REST?!

    This Year:
    Ronald McDonald House Radiothon was from 5:00pm-12midnight (7 hours)
    Bosco's Celebrity Waiter Night (Muley was Maitre D) 6:30pm-12Midnite (5.5hours)
    Cooper-Young Festival from 11:45 am - 3:30 pm (you do the math)

    Muley usually does a personal appearance kind of thing and talks to people, and at the CYFest he was on TV news that night, discussing his fun day at the CYF.

    That's it for me, how about you?

  2. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

    The longest I've went was 21/2 hours at a party. I was performing Candy and usually I'll switch hands (I'm Puppet ambidextrous), but I kept going on my right hand. Let me tell you, that was difficult! Usually I'll just do small skits, but this was the longest I've ever done. BTW, Has anybody out there realized that when you're performing for a long time, you tend (or I tend) to move only the upper lip stiffly, so the puppet tends to look up in the air. I hate when I do this, and I don't even realize it. The hardest thing (or one of them) for me to do is to perform live hand puppets for a long time, unless they are REALLY well made.

    Let me go get my ice pack......
  3. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    My longest time was probably 3 or 4 hours in a large, 8'0 built-up Frankenstein suit. It wasn't so much the weight, but the heat inside. We were doing a publicity shoot with the wives/gfs of the Toronto Blue Jays (baseball players seem to primarily date models FYI) and it took so long and I hated getting in and out of the suit so I just stayed in it, but I had all these models posing in my lap every 1/2 hr so it was all good... ;)

    (ah to be young and single again...)

    The HARDEST puppet thing I ever did was in a commercial for a black light show, we did these waving ribbons non-stop for about fifteen minutes while the director was yelling "more waving, more waving!" and we thought we were going to die (think it's easy - try it sometime!).

    Fozzie, somehow I"m slightly doubting the seven hours of completely non-stop performance, but even so man - that is not a good thing physically either way!

    I read about Steve Whitmire doing Kermit the Rosebowl Parade in an interview and apparently that was a hard gig - something like 2 1/2 hrs in the back of the car.
  4. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Hey Scooter, I just saw Candy on your website - I never knew Terry built her! That's :cool:
  5. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    No joke, I promise. Photos are at www.midsouthcartoonists.com in the photo gallery. Look under something about Ronald McDonald House or Radiothon.

    I won't try to take Steve's credit away, tho, for long time performance, cause while I could rest my elbow against my side during that night, HE was crouched in a car, had to wee-wee like a race horse, AND keep Kermit up. I could let Muley sit down on the back of chairs for a few seconds, or against my side or my knee.

    Also, that's to long of a time to be inside Frankenstein. I haven't been there, but I hear re-vamped dead folks smell kinda funnee.

  6. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Well-Known Member

    Buck, you lucky little son of a .... :)

    See, puppetry does pay off! :p

    The longest I've ever gone was about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, of doing nothing but lip-synching to songs. That was tough, because you're not just moving the mouth, but you're arm's dancing too. :D Not easy...

    - Billy :cool:
  7. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Come to think of it, I did a complete two hour show on stage in Taiwan once - the show was in two acts but we were performing a free show on an outdoor stage and the promoter was afraid the audience would leave at intermission so we did it straight through.

    This isn't hand/rod puppetry mind you, but full body bunraku-style puppets all set to music - nothing but running, jumping, dancing and lip-syncing for two hours. Now that calls for an ice pack! :D
  8. paulpuppet

    paulpuppet New Member

    puppeteering pains

    hey guys, i was wondering if you guys had and tips on preventing injury.after puppetering for hours at a time(muppet style puppet ,lip synching and dancing) i sometimes get badly swollen tendons.it's ok when working for t.v because you generally get to put the puppet down between takes.recently though i've been doing street theatre and just as you are about to take a rest a new group of kids arrive- any hints?
  9. scarylarrywolf

    scarylarrywolf Well-Known Member

    And you guys were thinking SEVEN hours was long! I think you mean MINUTES, Ryan! :)

    --"Scary" Larry Wolf
  10. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Re: puppeteering pains

    A diet pill and 3 Extra Strength Tylenol BEFORE, and 4 tylenol AFTER.

    Exercising your arms and stretching them works well, too.

  11. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Re: puppeteering pains

    You should always make sure when you are engaged as a puppeteer you get mandatory rest periods - at least 5 or 10 minutes for each hour of performance is usually standard. This is especially cruitial if you are doing mascot-style costumes/puppets in warm or humid conditions.

    You should always make sure you have lots of water to prevent dehyradation and always, always stretch and warm-up properly before you perform.

    Generally speaking, you shouldn't perform or puppeteer non-stop for hours on end without some kind of rest break - it's really not healthy and anyone who engages a puppeteer expecting a "non-stop" performance for hours on end is taking advantage of you. Much like dancers, professional puppeteers who are members of performer's guilds or unions have mandatory rest periods written in to their contracts.

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