Taking away the "fear"

By Doodles Baughman

I just stopped by your blog and saw the post about "Puppet Fear". As apuppeteer of over 30 years I know kid's tend to love soft characters. But big furry soft puppets slightly less so. And I certainly know how little they go for hard figures.

I'm also a member of Clowns Of America. Many of the "rules" of clowning can cross-over for vents.

1. Give the kid plenty of space, and start backing up if the parent starts pushing them towards you. Parents know we vents/clowns aren't scary, kid's need time to adjust.

2. In keeping this distance you encourage them, rightly so, to come to you on THEIR terms. If at all.

3. Never, ever, simply walk right up on a kid and shove your puppet in their face, or have them slip over one of their shoulders. Some vents/clowns have the same misconception as the parents. Always put yourself in the child's place.

I've found that by following these rules, kid's will eventually come around. Sometimes it involves a lengthy game of Peek-A-Boo from around their parent's legs, but it's worth it.

Just thought I'd share.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6/16/2009

    Hi, I have a large soft Orang-u-tan named George. I have never had kids fearful of him.
    My shows are to full school assemblies involving 4 to 12 year olds. Should I have any concerns that the younger children might get frightened I do a number of things. 1/ I tell the kids that George is shy before I bring him out. 2/ I ask the children to call out "as one" to encourage George to come out (ie, after 1,2,3 yell "Come on George!") He "likes" them calling out but he's still a bit afraid of meeting them 3/ Get George to act shy (and shaky) when he first comes out (hiding under my arm etc). I believe this causes the kids to feel concern for George and they want to "help him". In turn I believe this elevates any fears that they may have. Hope this helps, kind regards, Geoffrey, Australia.