Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Future of Puppet Slams

Leading Puppet Slam Artists reflect on where they see the Puppet Slam movement in the future. Where do you see the Puppet Slam movement in the future? Join the conversation on our Facebook Page.

Dolly Wiggler Cabaret #Calgary, The Wind Up Arsenal, 2011, Photo: Sean Dennie

Roxie Myhrum, curator of Puppet Showplace Slam #Brookline
I see more collaboration between puppeteers and musicians. Puppet Playlist did this successfully, and many of our regular performers are musicians themselves or are tapped into the musician community. And puppet shows are infinitely better with live music.

Honey Goodenough, curator of PuppetPandemic
 I’m constantly surprised by the support this movement has inspired. With the help of many friends from the PSN, I have partnered with other Slams to tour Puppet Pandemic:

I would really love to see some of our young puppeteers get to work the circuit nationally and bring back here what they learn.  And now that I’ve produced a slam I’d love to return to Atlanta where I was at best a fringe meteor to the puppet scene and watch the slams there with a whole new perspective.  As for the future of the Puppet Slam Network, I’ll probably look like an idiot if I make any predictions.

Beau Brow, curator of the  Puckin’ Fuppet Show
The Puppet Slam at DragonCon and the National Puppet Slam  #Atlanta 
I would love to see a puppet slam tour, it would be a feat to find time when enough people were available to do it, but a week or so touring up a coast or the Midwest, or somewhere, putting on puppet shows and maybe workshopping in cities to help them start puppet slams would be a really lovely endeavor.

I also like the idea of encouraging slams to get video projectors and screens and have a system where slams can show other slam's work, either as filler, if it's needed, or to show some brilliant show that just happened in Seattle to the fine folks of Asheville, because how else will they get to see it?

Alissa Hunnicut, guest curator of New Brew #Brooklyn
 I really appreciate what the Puppet Slam Network does with financial granting for the people who produce slams on a regular basis.  I found out the hard way with my first producing experience how much money it costs to do a full slam in a theater space out of pocket when you pay your puppeteers, lighting designer, sound designer, publicity, programs, host, etc.  If we want people to produce evenings of high quality theater, the financial help that the network is doing is so important.

I love the communication that has opened up between slams cultivated by the Slam Network. It's a great resource for a new performer to find performance opportunities if they aren't tapped into those in their area.  I hope the network continues to grow its support of the individual performer along with the producers.  Offering ways to showcase their work (maybe individual pages with a simple CMS performers can use to generate a profile), and perhaps offering financial support for developing new short form puppetry is an area that could be considered.

Valeska Populoh, curator of Puppet Slamwich! #Baltimore:
More slams in more cities so that it is easier for people to tour from one site to another. We still need to get better at coordinating our dates with other slam sites, though! This can be tough, since many slams are organized by a volunteer crew of folks with other jobs.  The Puppet Slam Network really helps us get a bigger picture of what is happening along the East Coast in the coming few months!

Evan O'Television, host of Blood from a Turnip #Providence
I would like to see the Puppet Slam Network continuing it's current trajectory.  It's pretty inspiring to see it grow.  And I would like to see more and more of the Puppet Slam Network in person.  Namely, I would absolutely love to have a majority of the shows I do in 2013 to be at Slams around the country.  Puppet shows and puppet audiences have always been my favorite crowds.

Special thanks to Paul Eide from Puppetry Journal for helping to edit this entry.


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  3. Sorry about the deletes but I had to check the spelling of this post.
    We have a Puppet Jam in Stockholm, Sweden organized by Swedish Unima that it is becoming very popular. We do it in an ideal base so nobody gets paid and the money we get by selling tickets goes to a Unima fond for financing groups without means to participate in international Unima festivals and congress. We are planning now our 4th Jam. We are also planning to expand Puppet Jam to other cities in Sweden. Our Puppet Jam works as a forum for professional and amateur puppeteers where they can show their work, get some feedback and be inspired by each other. They can show not only finished pieces but also just present an idea for a performance. It works great and we get many people in the audience who maybe don't work with puppetry but might get inspired to do it.