Adam Wilkinson with a puppet

How did you become a Puppeteer?

First of all, a “puppeteer” sounds very formal. I think of some of the people in the world who spend hours a day working on how a puppet moves and I am amazed at their skill. I can not put myself in league with them. I am simply a performer who has a lot of characters in my head and likes to play with puppets:) The first puppet I ever used was a saucy farmer named “Old Mac” in a touring show in 2005. It was a blast. “Old Mac” could say and do things that Adam could never pull off on stage, and no matter how much trouble he caused on stage, the people loved him… and were simultaneously amazed and confused at how he worked;)

Where do the puppets come from?

The puppets I use are Rock the Arts Puppets and they live in a place called “Creatureville”. Rock the Arts Puppets was founded by a fantastic lady named Sarah Argue. Rock the Arts Puppets is based out of Ottawa and  travels across Canada to schools. I have had the honour and privilege to work on some of these shows and as a thank you, Sarah created a couple special “creatures” just for me.

Check them out at: Rockthearts.ca

…. tell them Super Lloyd sent you

And how do you create their personalities?

Some of the puppets I have worked with, have been doing the shows they are in longer than I have, and they may already have certain voices and characters to them. In that case I might need to work with another puppeteer and mimic their voice and then I get to give them a bit of an Adam touch.

As for my creatures; I give them a good look I hold them as if I were talking to them and I observe what is unique about them, we all have things that make us special. Then I have the puppet talk with me about whatever is special about them. Then I might perform a little for myself in the mirror to see if it fits. As time goes on characters grow and change, they have a life of their own, sometimes even I am surprised at what a puppet I am working with might say or do.

Adam Wilkinson posing with a puppet and children at Kids Fest! 2014

What is your favourite part about performing?

Performing gives me a chance to play! And that is why working with young people, or people who are young at heart, is the best because they know how to play! I am amazed at what we can learn and create through performing. I am also a performance teacher, and I have seen performance do wonderful things to open people up to the world and themselves, regardless of their different abilities.

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