DECEMBER PUPPET TIP...
'Stay focussed: the smallest movements really count.'
MD adds: It's always tempting, especially when you're doing comedy, to make your performance big, to reach out to the audience, and when the audience laughs it's even more tempting. But small movements are the real wonder of puppets. In order to make small movements you need to be really focussed - on the puppet, on the performance, and on the audience. Your focus will translate into the audience's focus, and then all of you will see a small moment and understand it.
Small movements that get forgotten:
The in-breath before the puppet speaks. A tiny pull back of the head before the first word.
The feet standing still. Feet keep moving, even when standing still, because they are thinking and because they feel pressure, pain, and because of thought. They are only still when they are suspended, held, because character is concentrating on a particular thing.
Small movements not to do:
Talking with the hands