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Lecture Notes

Here's the place to find replacement lecture notes from some of Amy's recent workshops. Classes featured at the International Festival of Christian Puppetry and Ventriloquism (I-Fest) 2006 are marked "IF06".

  • Advanced Manipulation & Choreography - This is a combination class developed for the Portland Festival. Grab a puppet and get ready to experience a real "nuts and bolts" class where we'll break down puppet movements and dance steps that are beyond the basics!
  • IF06 Games List - Here's a list of drama improv games that I have used in various classes and with my own puppet teams.
  • Helping Your Puppeteers Master Movement - We all know the basics of puppetry. But how can we help our puppeteers move beyond the basics? This class—for puppet team directors—will identify three important aspects of developing good movement skills.
  • Is There A Message to Your Madness? - What is your purpose in ministry? Do you exist to entertain or to teach? Too many puppet teams get so caught up in the methods, the neat puppets and cool special effects, that they neglect the most important part of any presentation, the message. In this class, we will discuss ways to evaluate message clarity, techniques for refocusing attention & effective methods for implementing special effects to underscore your message.
  • It's All in the Wrist: Nuances of Puppet Head Movement - Get ready to go way beyond lip synch and eye contact. Your puppet’s head movement—from positioning to forming words—can make your character lifelike or kill the puppet’s believability. Play along to learn performance secrets that the professionals use and practice tools to develop these new skills.
  • Let There Be (Black) Light - Black light puppetry is becoming more and more popular. Learn what it takes to have a successful black light performance and how to avoid common pitfalls.
  • IF06 Let's Play: Learning Puppetry Improv - Loosening up and playing is such an important part of getting to know your puppet and being free to flow. This class is for advanced puppeteers with a good handle on the basics. We'll explore exercises and games to work on character development, drama basics, and live performance skills. Puppeteers should bring their favorite rod-arm or human-arm puppet and a sense of humor as we'll all be learning to open up and play our way to better improv skills.
  • Mastering Puppet Movement - Good puppet movement includes so much more than just choreography and proper ups and downs. Puppeteers, come learn how to make your puppet really seem alive! We'll discover techniques of mastering movement through observation and imitation.
  • IF06 Mastering Puppet Movement Part 1: It's All In Your Head -
    Mastering Puppet Movement Part 2: Making It Happen - Good puppet movement includes so much more than just choreography and proper ups and downs. Puppeteers, come learn how to make your puppet really seem alive! In this two-part class, we'll discover techniques of mastering movement through observation and imitation. Bring a puppet and be ready to play along as we explore practical helps and creative ideas to help you develop your skills through class time instruction and play time fun.
  • IF06 No Puppet Is An Island: The Art of Interaction - Appropriate puppet actions and reactions are extremely important to the believability of your puppet character and overall performance. Play along as we explore ways to interact with (and react to) what is happening around us in the stage.
  • IF06 Stretch-A-Belly Choreography - It's a unique puppet with a performance style all its own. Learn the basics of handling and manipulation, get performance tips, and explore simple and complex moves from the designer of this wacky little guy.
  • IF06 Web Essentials for Creative Ministry - So, you think your puppet team should have a web site but you don’t know where to start. Or maybe you have a site already but you’d like to liven it up a bit. This class will provide some basic information about how to plan and build a ministry site, and suggest tools to better manage, expand, and promote it.
  • IF06 Working With Video Monitors - Unlike traditional stage performance, video puppetry provides the performer with immediate knowledge of exactly what the audience will see. But working with monitors is a skill that takes time to acquire. Whether you’re looking at television puppetry, webcast performance, or simply recording clips to use in children’s church, you’re going to need to know how to use monitors. We’ll try new things, unleash possibilities, explore limitations, and discover the benefits of developing new skills.
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