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Puppet progress: mouth mechanics

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

Working on the interior mechanics for the star of THE PEOPLE VS NATURE.

This is Jerom (Jer-um). He ages in the play, so there's two versions of him. This is something I've done in most of my shows--- track the passing of story-time through multiple puppets. Thankfully, I only have to build two chimps for this one! There's also a cat and a pig. Small cast but they do have a few technical intricacies that keep me at the design table sometimes longer than I would like. This mechanism (mech) I'm building is to lift his top lip-- in two different places with the ability to curl from right to left or left to right. I also want to include a thumb control that will pull the bottom lip down. Meanwhile the middle finger needs to engage the 'blink' mech. For me, this aspect of my puppet-building takes the most time--- there's a lot of trial & error. Keep in mind-- an audience will be more impressed by something like this if it suits the story and is not just a showcase of craftsmanship. I have met many puppeteers (more skilled than me) who forget to give the proper attention to the narrative mechanics needed to build a well crafted story as they do their mechanical wizardry.

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