Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Don’t put yourself at the top of the Christmas tree!

Both as an individual and as a puppet builder (or puppeteer) you should never put yourself at the top of your Christmas tree!

What do I mean by that? Simply this: you need heroes, role models… or at the least people you respect and look up to. If you live your life thinking that you are the “bee’s knees” and that you are untouchable you quickly develop a truly abhorrent arrogant streak in your personality. If you want to move forward as an individual or in your art you can never allow yourself to rest on your laurels safe in the knowledge “I am it”. The old phrase says “It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive” – you need to keep a goal ahead of you in order to move forward.

At Christmas time many people start to think about the holidays and some people even discuss what the reason for the season really is. I believe Christmas is a chance to take a look around and see what other people have done and allow ourselves to be inspired into action. Jesus was born in a stable, not a Hilton. He came to give his life for people who often despised and rejected him. He did not come for the rich and the wealthy – but rather associated with the broken and needy people. It’s inspirational stuff. It’s completely the opposite of what we would do if we were to plan how to “save the world”. I would remind you - don’t put yourself at the top of your Christmas tree. Always have someone to look up to!

Even if you’re not celebrating Christmas this year, the motto still rings true for you too! Look at the work of others that you admire… don’t allow yourself to become over-proud of your own achievements but instead prefer others. Look up to other people who inspire you and let them spur you on to greater things.

Do I have any puppetry heroes or people that inspire me to build better puppets? Of course! I know my limits and I am constantly seeing other people’s work and being amazed by it. Here are some neat links which will help blow the lid off your comfortable world of shop bought puppets!

Dave Privett – Fantastic puppet builder… first inspired me to build puppets over 10 years ago.
Phil Fletcher – Great puppet builder and performer! Helped me take some massive steps to improve my puppet building.
Philip Hatter – Another great puppet builder who keeps turning out puppets that make me say wow!

Lastly, I saw this video online last week from Furry Puppet Studio – it was a bit of an inspirational moment for me… so here it is (enjoy):

Take care – Dave
Happy Christmas!

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