Friday, 3 March 2017
The monsters are particularly fluffy right now and I think it's because February has been cold and we are ready for spring. The need to snuggle has been great and I find that when the faux fur is this soft and thick, working the puppet can bring some new emotions with it.
I've noticed that both adults and children use softer voices and kinder words with these beasties. It reminds me of seeing small children using their special soft toy to comfort them when they need reassurance. Have you heard a small child make their teddy bear say something kind and sweet in a singsong voice? I think about myself now I am an adult and how I sometimes call myself Jojo with my inner voice when I'm about to do something scary; - "Come on Jojo, you can do it!" I've even said daft things to myself like: "Its okay, we're in it together!" As if I have a friend with me somewhere inside. I wonder if we internalise the support we feel from soft toys as youngsters with a gentle, kind voice that comes from within? I guess it is the opposite to the harsher, parental voice that sometimes tells us we are rubbish, or stupid, or other unkind words that we may have heard from others when we were children (I see this played out with puppets too). I wonder if everyone has the kind and unkind voices in their head and their dominance is due to the type of upbringing they had? I think I need to look into this in more depth.
One way I feel very lucky, is if I have to give a talk to a large audience, or I'm feeling nervous about a workshop for some reason, I'm in the privileged position to use a fluffy dog (usually my beloved Meatballs puppet) or a super soft monster in my introduction. I'll tell you its because I can show the magic of these creations better than just talking about it, but the truth is that I needed the physical comfort of a puppet alongside the kind voice in my head. Maybe giving up our soft friends as we grow up is over rated. I'll broach the subject in my next teenage workshop and see what they think.