Today I was pulled in to do assist Sarah on the rods of Trixie. In the first shot, my only job was to put Trixie’s right hand on her hip. No problem, except for one tiny thing. We’re on these flat rolling carts, kinda like mechanics use under cars, so that we can stay below the camera sightlines. Anyway, mine tips over during the shot, leaving me on the floor with three puppeteers about to roll over me.
The puppet wrangler, Adam, holds out his hand to me and drags me across the floor so I can get out of their way. It was very funny. But we saved the shot, so that’s okay.
I also worked a pair of legs during a football tackle and did some more rod work. There was this one crazy shot where I was doing rods on two different puppets at once. Don’t ask, it’s almost impossible to explain why it made sense to do it that way.
For those of you who aren’t in the puppet business, here’s an analogy. Remember the hardest game of Twister you’ve ever played. Now, to puppeteer in television you have to hold that position, stick one hand up in the air and put a five pound weight in it. BUT, and here’s the hard part, you have to stay below knee level on an average person, because if someone can see that you have to start over. While doing that, you need to sing and dance and act, all at the same time.
Hmm. Now, why do I think this is fun?
I got my pass today, so I can move around the building without needing to borrow someone elses. It was a remarkably freeing sensation.