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Everyone Loves Puppets!


   Okay the title of this blog post isn't completely true. Some people don’t like puppets and others are terrified of them. If you or someone that you know falls into one of these categories; let me to extend my deepest sympathies. By the way, please follow my social media if you don’t like puppets and I’ll do my best to convince you otherwise. If you are suffering from pupaphobia I hope that this post will be encouraging to you. If you already love puppets please keep on reading as well. 

    It’s okay to be afraid of things. For instance if I ever meet a bear in the woods I’d freak out. The thought of driving in snowy conditions also frightens me. I’m also afraid of going bald one day - it runs in my family. My grandpa grew so fast that he grew right through his hair and that’s a true story. If you ever see my hair misbehaving that’s because I’ve made a deal with it. It continues to live on my head and I let it do what it whatever it wants. All right, the last one probably isn’t a legitimate fear, (I do try my best to keep my hair in check in case you were wondering).

    Puppets give me a sense of security. Kind of like Linus’ blanket from the Peanuts. I know that I can do things with Fredric or Humphrey that would come across as absolutely ridiculous or fall flat if I tried to perform them by myself. My puppet pals give me the freedom to try crazy things and step out of my comfort zone.

    In fact, Fredric gave me a reason to overcome a fear that I had for several years. It all started back when I was in grade 10. I had a small part in my high school’s play and the entire cast was scheduled to meet at lunch to practice a song. Then earlier that day the arts teacher told me that I didn’t need to attend this rehearsal.

    I took the news worse than I should have at the time and thoughts flooded my head. Do I sound like a dying cat? Why am I being excluded?  In hindsight, I’m sure that I misinterpreted the entire scenario and it certainly wasn’t an attack on my talents or capabilities. I was fifteen and things are hard to process at that age. Also, I probably over estimated my vocal abilities during that time of my life.

    I didn’t sing in front of anyone until four years later when Fredric Hoppertoad and I entered a talent show. Let me mention that it happened to be a singing competition. Yikes! Fortunately, everything worked out and I now incorporate songs into my shows. Have you heard Humphrey’s song about being a rooster? It’s pretty hilarious.  

    Let’s set the fear talk aside for now. One of the reasons I chose to work with puppets, is that they can tell different stories. Puppets can freely express emotions in ways that we as people cannot. They can transcend barriers that we are trapped behind. They can say things that wouldn’t have the same effect if I said them.

    For instance, Fredric Hoppertoad often struggles with his identity. He sees the negative things about himself instead of noticing the good. Everyone has struggles like this even if they don’t admit it. I have things I don‘t like about myself, but I can‘t get up on stage and shout them to the world. That would be a terrible idea. Everyone would leave disappointed, So Fredric does it for me instead. 

    An incredibly heart warming thing happened at one of the shows from a few months ago. Fredric had mixed up one of his impressions and he felt terrible. Then out of the blue and before I could say anything one of the kids spoke up. This little boy said, “That’s okay. You can always try again if you don’t get it right the first time.” It was so cute. Isn't amazing how puppets can help people to feel empathy?

    There you have it. Whether you love them or hate them, puppets are powerful communication tools and help us learn things about ourselves. That’s why I put up living with a three foot tall frog and an outspoken rooster. 

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