Little Dot invites you to the “All-Puppet Zoom!”
In this experiment, only puppets will fill the zoom squares – human operators will be off stage and invisible.
Here are some ideas and tips from the
Mama of Little Dot, Karen Hoyer aka Dot.
Choose a puppet that has mouth movement – what most people call a
“muppet-style puppet” will be the best puppet for this experiment.
Take some time to experiment with a voice different from your own that fits your puppet’s character. This takes a while to discover but play around with:
pitch (a high light voice or deep throaty voice maybe?) pace (fast talker or slow drawl?)
power (loud and strong or tiny and breathy?)
You can use a mirror in your practice sessions or (even better) find a friend willing to have a conversation with your puppet (and maybe share their opinion on which voice seems to fit your puppet’s character).
Log on to zoom in your spare time – open the app and click “new meeting” and you’ll be on camera. You can experiment with how to position yourself so that your puppet has center stage on the zoom screen and you are invisible. Turn the webcam (or on a laptop, turn the entire screen) so that it is on a slight angle away from you, so that you can sit side by side with your puppet and yet you are not on camera. Figure out a way to support the elbow of the arm you are using to hold your puppet. For instance if you are sitting in a chair, place a tall stool with maybe the addition of a stack of books next to you – this will be the base on which your elbow can rest.
We’ll have a chance to have a puppet free for all, a kind of All-Puppet Zoom Party, but part of the experiment will be allowing each puppet to think and answer questions as they are interviewed. We might also have time to give each puppet a chance to be in the spotlight (if they so desire...) So see if your puppet would like to prepare a little joke or dance or song.
We’ve discovered from experience that this can be quite TIRING for the mama’s and the daddy’s of these energetic puppets. Also the zoom screen can get crowded when all the participants are visible. We’ll be able to split the group – to make sure there is time for everyone to relax and just watch. Remember, as you watch your peers and their puppets perform, you will also be learning a lot!
We’ll be sure to save time for the human beings to appear in the zoom squares too - to make those all important Mooseburger eAlley connections!