Socks on Hands: Living the Puppet Dream
Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Maybe a celebrity or action hero? Oprah? Johnny Depp? Felix the Cat? I can’t be the only one that wants to get outside my little routine, my little box, and my little life and see what else is out there. Why else would people watch Pretty Little Liars? They want some drama in their life, but they don’t have to go to teenage soaps to get it.
You see, you don’t have to just hear a story or watch a story. There’s a third option here: You can create a story. And when you do so, you can tailor it to fit your fancy. Have a taste for drama? Suspense? Action? Romance? Maybe you just want to report the news. When you make the story, you call the shots.
Puppets: They’re the new you
Forget what you thought you knew about puppets. They’re not all on strings or Sesame Street; all you need is a sock. However, sock as it may be, it will become your vessel if you let it. Your imagination can turn those foot sweaters into puppets telling a tale. Think of it as a physical manifestation of your thoughts - or don’t if that scares you. Your hand via puppet can now live and breathe any story you ever dreamed of and any person you’ve ever heard of. It’s about to get real.
Even if you’re content just being yourself, think about the scenarios you could create. You could imagine what it would be like for you to be a prince or princess, on a safari, or just at the bank. It can be as close or far from your own life as you choose, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s hard to get tired of a story you make up, and chances are, it might peak your interests. If that doesn't sell it, at least you won’t have to wait for next week’s episode to see what happens next.
Picking your puppet
Like I said before, a sock will do the trick, but it’s the key is crafting the moment and getting into building the characters. A sock provides somewhat of a blank canvas, but you can add to it depending on the situation. What gets you thinking like a Donald Trump? Maybe it’s a tiny suit and a puff of fur for hair. What gets you in the mind of a Merry Poppins? Maybe it’s a tiny paper umbrella. Whatever triggers your mind is a worthwhile addition to your puppet.
It can always help to have a few props to get things going. Any little object can serve a purpose. A bathtub can become a swimming pool and a dresser can be immediately transformed into a skyscraper.
Do you want to put on a performance? Set the stage. We’ve all seen the classic box with a hole meant for a puppet show. But so what? Make your own “stage.” You can hang fabric for curtains or create a scenic backdrop of the Himalayas. Where do you want to explore but never been? See the world I of which I speak, but with moving lips and talking hands.
Becoming a puppeteer
Let your extremities live the life you could only dream of. But if you’re struggling to make your puppet come alive, be patient. Emotion is a large part of being alive, so show it. Make the puppet shake when it’s angry, drop his head when it’s sad, or sway back and forth when it’s having a good day. Practicing different accents can be fun too. Somehow mine always turn French.
Even if you can’t make the big time as a puppeteer, you could have some great performances for family and friends. And consistent practice with puppets should give you great dexterity in your hands, along with an eye for detail: Puppeteers make excellent filers. So have fun and be safe.