This week again has been full of puppetry:
Today I have started to review the mental health piece that I did at the Black Dog Night at the Vibe Gallery. I’m going to submit the piece for the Anxiety Arts Festival in London this year. I’m hoping it will make just as much of an impact as it did last year and it’ll show the link between mental health and the arts and how they both help and blossom within each other.
But it’s needed a bit of tweaking. Not too much, the core of the show is still there, but I want to improve it slightly, make it slicker, add a few bit. My own skills as a puppeteer have improved and my own situation with my mental health has changed so there is scope for the piece to be developed.
So today I’ve gone back to the script and started to rewrite bits and add sections.
This is usually how I approach a piece, usually when I am working by myself.
Either I have a visual image in my head, usually a metaphor I want to develop, and I write around that. Or sometimes writing a script will spring new ideas and visuals.
I usually start with a loose script – I don’t often stick with lines when I perform new work, allowing for improvisation and a conversational tone which has worked really well for me in the past. But writing down lines can help me to remember the flow and gist for a script. Sometimes I won’t even use all of the lines but it helps to get the ideas down on page.
Half way through rewriting, a new puppet idea popped into my head and, riding on this momentum, I took a break from the script and started what I call a doodle puppet. It’s a puppet, usually made in miniature (unless made with an object) done in a few minutes and with a lot of tape and cardboard, so that I can explore an idea quickly before spending more time and effort on the finished puppet.
There is nothing worse then spending a week or so on one puppet, only for it not to be used further on into the devising process or the final product.
So I’ve redone the script and have a few new puppets to make.
Sounds like a good start to me.