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Training Proposition for: Los Angeles Puppeteers

Subject: Puppetry Training- Lip-Syc and working with an Audio Track.

Overview: Participants will learn the skill of creating a puppet performance using a Pre-Recorded Audio Track.

Importance: Pre-Recorded Audio is used when filming puppets for many Television, Film, Commercials, and Music Videos. Performers/Puppeteers should have skills that go beyond Lip-Syncing words, to creating engaging physical performances based on the information in the Audio Track.

Training: Participants will:

·      Watch a video* on Learning an Audio Track for Puppet Performance.

·      Be assigned roles and given an Audio Track with a brief dialogue.

·      Memorize the Audio Track as well as interpreting physical clues that may be present in the dialogue or audio.

·      Rehearse the track with their counterparts, and then

·      Present a puppet performance to the track.

·      Critique, refine and then perform a final presentation.

NOTES: The skill of “Lip-Syncing” is one that puppeteers underestimate in it’s importance and as a choice that producer will make when creating a Film or Television show. There are many examples of productions using celebrity voices that need to be animated with puppets or simply as a production choice to lock down the audio first and then focus on the visuals during production.

I have puppeteered on many productions that made this choice and after years of working with an Audio Track it is clear to me that there is far more to learn and incorporate in one’s puppet performance than simply opening and closing the puppet mouth to indicate syllables.

Each Audio Track has many layers beyond simply the words. Further in cases when the Audio is a recording of a live conversation the Audio will contain many other artifacts that need to be studied and considered as cues for a physical performance.  These Audio artifacts are things such as:

·      Breaths

·      Interruptions

·      Partial or misspoken words

·      Overlapping dialogue

·      Laughs

·      Room noise

·      Repeated words

·      Vocal ticks such as a stutter or starting to say a word and then saying another.

Far from these Audio artifacts being mistakes or an uneven recording, these Audio cues document an honest Audio reality that, when studied, memorized and performed, will create a highly believable and entertaining Puppet performance for camera.


Training Logistics:

What can be provided by Ronald Binion

Audio Track to memorize and use for training

A short Video Training film on how to memorize an Audio Track

A plan of the workshop exercises and time break-down.


What will be needed:

Participants bringing their own Hand/Rod Puppets

Participants able to spend time memorizing their track before the workshop.

A facilitator who will follow the schedule.

A collaborative environment.


What is not needed:

A camera and a monitor is not needed. This seems counterintuitive, but to develop this training properly participants should engage with the Lip-Sync training for an entire session without the use of a Camera/Monitor in order to focus on the performance skills. Only after these skills have been developed and tested should participants perform for the camera.


*Training Video Link:


trainingRonald Binion