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Steven Shipman
  • Male
  • Lincoln, NE
  • United States
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Steven Shipman's Friends

  • izy somers
  • Elias Escobedo Aravena
  • Gareth Brown
  • danettadanetta - theatre makers
  • MikeFX
  • André Milano
  • Dave Showler
  • Paulo Sergio
  • Keith Frederick
  • Eric Anthony Smith
  • Asa Nodelman
  • Britton Sear
  • Beau Brown
  • Nate Brown
  • Jim Menke    (Mr. Puppetman)

Steven Shipman's Discussions

Airplane Control vs. Vertical Control

Started this discussion. Last reply by Michelle Jun 25, 2010. 13 Replies

Hi, I'm new here, so let me know if this has already been discussed. I just wanted to ask the marionette artists which control they prefer: airplane or the vertical European. Or the Sicilian. I've…Continue

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Profile Information

Lincoln, NE
Relationship to Puppetry
I'm a self-taught puppeteer, having started in elementary school. Professional puppeteer and designer (Fantoccini Bizarre, Sunflower Puppets, Paul Mesner Puppets and freelance design work in NYC) from the late 1970's through 2000. Currently an illustrator and puppetry lover/scholar as well as sometime puppet designer/performer.
What First Got Me Interested in Puppetry
In Kindergarten (1967) at Whitson Elementary School in Topeka, KS I saw a marionette film about the pilgrims. It could have been either the Rose Marionettes or the Beatons, not sure. But I remember it only very slowly dawned on me that the performers were not real people, that I was experiencing something more enchanting than reality.

I was also fascinated by the Braun Marionettes on Mister Rogers Neighborhood (as well as Fred Rogers' puppets) and loved Bunny Rabbit and Mister Moose on Captain Kangaroo. Also Kukla, Fran and Ollie. And then, of course, there were Jim Henson's Muppets. Looks like I got everything on TV or film except for a live performance that I believe was by the Cashore Marionettes. It was at Fairlawn Mall in Topeka, KS. Would've been early to mid 70's? I remember a bit with melancholy music and an old man on a park bench. It broke my heart.

I'm self-taught via the wealth of puppetry books available at the school and public libraries during the 1970's. Started when I was 7. I believe the first puppetry book I read was "Be A Puppeteer" (?).
My Puppetry (or Puppet) Hero
So many, it's hard to choose...definitely Jim and Brian Henson, Frank Oz, and Richard Teschner are right up there. John R. Wright. Julie Taymor. The Bairds, the Roses, the Beatons and Shari Lewis. And I learned SO MUCH from Paul Mesner. Before working with him I was a puppet designer/maker with versatile vocal abilities, but not really the most imaginative performer. More than anyone, Paul's improvisational techniques have shaped my working methods....particularly with regard to comedy,.
If I Were a Puppet, I'd Be...
Mister Moose
My Company/Troupe/Group
None currently. I am an artist/designer and have chosen to get back to my roots...puppetry. It's only recently that I've realized something very important: puppetry informs almost all of my artistic instincts. I've begun building new puppets for the first time in nearly 10 years.
Affiliations/Professional Organizations
Puppeteers of America

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Comment Wall (12 comments)

At 12:07pm on May 27, 2010, Dave Showler said…
Hi Steven,
Wecome to the Hub.
At 8:55pm on May 27, 2010, Steven Shipman said…
Thanks! It's good to be here. I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out my homepage and comment page. I accidentally deleted a comment sent to me by David C. Herzog. Sorry! Please bear with me while I figure this out. Thanks, David, for the info about the Beaton film I saw in kindergarten. :)
At 9:36am on June 1, 2010, Phillip Huber said…
Steven, Thank you for your generous compliments on my work. Glad to have you joining us here at the hub.
All best wishes,
At 1:29pm on June 4, 2010, Tears of Joy Theatre said…
Thank you for the compliments on our 'Malika' puppets. Love your fairies!
Best to you, Nancy at Tears of Joy
At 6:34pm on June 4, 2010, Steven Shipman said…
I've been away from puppets for nearly 20 years, so it's just incredibly exciting to come back and see what wonderful stuff everyone is doing. I love going through all the photos... :)
At 7:02pm on June 4, 2010, James "Jimmy" Eisenberg said…
Steven Welcome the most Puppetiest place ever.
At 10:32am on June 9, 2010, Britton Sear said…
thanx The puppet is for sale at 15 dollars and i took the picture at the north carolina aquarium
At 7:47pm on June 9, 2010, Jon From Elmwood said…
Hey man!
Thanks for the comments on the vids! Glad you like Steve!!! The cats might come for you next!
At 8:30pm on June 9, 2010, Steven Shipman said…
Heh, heh, heh....I think my cats have already learned something from 'em! :)
At 11:48am on June 10, 2010, indepeye said…
Hi Steve,

The Miranda is a puppet, actually. Our most common style is with one hand up in the head, the other as the puppet's live hand. There's a 10-minute video sampler of our TEMPEST at www.independenteye.org.

Conrad B.

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