I’ve been picking up supplies to build the strong man puppet featured in Puppet Planet by John Kennedy. I was hoping to have a friend build this puppet, as I have never built one of the puppets for my shows, but he is too busy working on his own shows right now, so it’s up to me.
Most amusing was walking into CVS to purchase three pair of panty hose. Not knowing where such items would be found, I was kind of wandering around aimlessly when a woman at the register asked if she could help.
“Um… panty hose? Do you sell panty hose?”
She directed me to the right aisle, where the panty hose were on special – buy two packs, get one free. Which was great. But, there were only two boxes of the size/color I needed.
Technically, I only needed two packs, but this is the first time I’m making this puppet, I might mess things up and need extras. So why not take the free panty hose?
But that meant I had to go ask if they had any in storage. The woman at the register called across the store to another worker. “Can you check something in the back, Sherry? This guy needs another pair of size Q suntan panty hose!”
Which was a little embarrassing, but whatever – free panty hose, right?
So… I have about half the supplies I need. Normally I would have just ordered everything on Amazon, but the panty hose were not in stock and could take 5 weeks to arrive. I don’t have that much time – the show I’m using this for premieres March 10th.
I ordered what I could online, some items arrived same-day shipping, some are coming in the next couple days. The stuff I need for the final details, stuff like felt for eyelids and fake fur for hair, I’ll get that at an art supply store. If I order them online, I have to buy a lot, but I only need very little for this particular puppet.
The author and puppet designer, John Kennedy, recommends using doll clothes for the final puppet.
Because this is a strong man for my circus, I wanted to find an outfit with some pizzaz to it. I ordered this super hero costume, which is designed to fit Build a Bear dolls. I figure I’ll probably remove the cape, but I like the bright colors and the gold accents. It’ll “pop” onstage.
So, that’s the plan. I need to get this built, and then figure out a way to rig and operate it by myself. In the book, this puppet is designed to be operated by three puppeteers – one moves the head, two move the arms/legs. As I perform by myself, that’s obviously not going to work for me.
So – lots of work ahead, I’m anxious to try it out and see if I can successfully build this. Like I mentioned, I haven’t built puppets for my own shows before, I always buy them. So we’ll see how it goes. Fingers crossed!