Originally posted by TrainingMagi:
and thought it might be fun to perform Rocky, however, I am in need of some good effects to perform with him besides finding a card and eating a quarter. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I'm not sure if you will find the following helpful, but here's some thoughts on this subject.
The first question to think about sounds simple, but it is easy to forget.
What is the effect?
If you first can define that, what the illusion should be, then the other questions becomes more easy to handle.
If I had to perform Rocky, I would probably decide that the effect is that an inanimate object gets alive.
Then take away everything that makes the Raccoon less alive, and add things that makes him MORE alive.
That makes my choices a lot easier. What does living things do?
They eat, sleep and want to procreate. And they show emotions like love, hate, anger, joy, confusion, jealousy, stubborness, fear etc. etc.
When do these emotions turn up? In the interaction with someone else!
So, just try to get the Raccoon to show as many of those things and emotions as possible.
Now, just write down as many things you can think of, it doesn't have to be good. You'll take away the bad ideas later. Here's a start:
The raccoon is very afraid of the man to your left.
He is in love with the handbag of the woman to your right.
He wants to sleep each time you want to do cardtricks with him.
He gets mad and angry when you play with his food. Unfortunately, he thinks that your coins are food.
He gets jealous whenever you say something to the girl infront of you.
Write down 2-3 pages with ideas like that, and write down even the most silly ideas, as a silly idea might become a good one a few days later. Ideas are weird that way.
At the same time, try to find as many other stories and movies about inanimate things that gets alive, like: Pinoccio, Frankenstein, the Golem myth, Robot Sci-fi etc. etc. There might be ideas there that you can adapt and apply.
When you have collected a bunch of ideas, then you can select some of the best ones, perhaps 5-8 of them to begin with.
Now, consider these ideas to be threads that you will try to weave together. That is that you try to make it so each idea returns several times. As a quick example:
You place a small bag on your left side, and say that your little friend is sleeping there.
So you wake up the raccoon, and he sees the man on your left and becomes terrified. He hides inside your coat, and finds something in your pocket that he gets curious about. He tickles you as he sniffs around. You bring it out, and it's a deck of cards. He gets very sleepy when you ask him if you can do a cardtrick together, so he wants to return to the bag. Halfway to the bag, he sees the man on your left, and gets terrified again.
This time, in the hiding place in your coat, he discovers that he is hungry.. etc.
Try to return to the same ideas over and over, but in an unpredictable order. The tighter you weave the ideas, the better it will be.
Then finally, go through it all again. And remove the things that doesn't add to the illusion that he is alive, and replace it with ideas that will make him seem more alive.
And don't worry about finding tricks for him. After all, he's just an animal. But you can have him react to tricks that you perform, as that shows emotions.
I suggest that you also search out two books by a man named Keith Johnstone. The books are titled:
"Impro", and; "Impro for Storytellers".
The titles sounds a bit boring perhaps, but they are really funny to read, as they are stuffed with weird and comic examples of ideas that can be done on a stage.
I'm confident that you will be able to put together something that will top anything that David Williamson have done with that puppet.