Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Puppetry Book Club

I can’t speak for the rest of the USA, but here in Seattle, the latest rage is book clubs. They meet once a month at someone’s house for a potluck and discuss which ever book they all decided to tackle the previous meeting. From what I hear about my mom’s club and ENSR’s club (my work), they are usually stuff like “Three Cups of Tea” or other critically acclaimed books at the time. Usually it’s fiction although I was pretty impressed to hear that ENSR’s club read the 9/11 reports. Also, I know for a fact that when it is my mom’s turn to pick a book…she goes for biographies.

Reading books is a great excuse to get together socially for both my work set and my mother’s set…so I thought, why not the puppetry set? There are several advantages to a puppetry book club. First of all, libraries are usually very well stocked with books on puppets. Puppet shows and libraries go hand-in-hand you see. Hopefully, the starving artists of our set wouldn’t find money the prohibitive factor.

Second, they would be non-fiction books for the most part, so even if you only read half of it, you could still come to the potluck—because it’s not like anyone is going to give away the ending. Even if you skimmed it…you could join in the conversation on what you gleaned.

Third, there might be things you’ve tried in the books we choose, so you could share insights with others that you probably wouldn’t think of if the conversation didn’t turn that way naturally. In addition, people might discover that you are an expert on some skill or other and they might call you if they need help. A subject you take for granted might be a huge help to someone else.

Fourth, this would set up regular hassle-free meetings—no performance to beg up, no workshop to put together, or event to plan. It would be just a comfortable gathering of friends to discuss a book on their mutual favorite subject.

Fifth, I think newbies would find it a less intimidating meeting to join in with. Reading and thinking being the only implied skills needed. They would probably benefit greatly by the discussion or examples people might bring. It’s a forum in which all level of skill in puppetry could feel comfortable. Also, I don’t see it as an age limiting forum either—kids and adults could both join in.

Sixth…our guild puppeteers seem to love potlucks. When ever we have one, it’s always well attended.

Seventh, some of our guild members have written puppetry books…a book club meeting attended by the author! How snazzy is that?

Eighth, except for the smallest of apartments, anyone could host it at their place…space to sit being the only real requirement of the location.

What do you think?

Do you see any downsides?

If you lived in my neck of the woods, which books would you like to see on the list?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I invite you to see the online bibliography about puppetry I present in my website.