The Art of Puppetry & Marionettes | SubCultures

The Art of Puppetry & Marionettes | SubCultures


-I’ll be honest with you,
growing up, I hated “Pinocchio” and lumped marionettes
into the same category as ventriloquist dummies, which means I was
completely terrified of them. But I recently met
two very special people who replaced my anxieties
with a love and admiration for this ancient art. I’m Erin Cantelo,
and this is “SubCultures.” [email protected][email protected]! -Right now you’re up in
my hidden, hidden sanctuary. I have a lot of hidden drawings
in boxes and things. We own the corner here,
and we have the theater, and then we have
a warehouse next to it. There are over 3,000 puppets
in that warehouse. I saw my first show
when I was 6. I went to
a local department store, and we saw the first show
of the day. And because
of certain intriguing things, we saw all six performances. I was in dramatic classes. I was taking piano lessons,
two different kinds of dancing. And my mother said,
“What does he do about learning how to work these things?” By the time I was 8,
I acquired enough puppets to do a half an hour show. I was now an entertainer. [ Laughs ] [ Classical music plays ] I had a business partner
for 50 years — Alton Wood. We traveled all over. Alton was much taller than I am. He had a wonderful laugh. “I’d like to go on your show that you’re gonna be doing
over at RKO.” He says, “I want to see what
you do when you’re on film.” After the filming was over,
he said, “Let me take care of all
of your books and your business, and you build your puppets.
We’ll take shows out.” From that point on,
for 50 years, we performed together
and built shows and did motion pictures,
television. -At the age of 7,
I was helping my uncle. He was Bob’s gardener. And that was actually the first
time that I saw a puppet. What I really love
about puppeteering is getting the crowd
into your show and really making them laugh
and having a good time. [ Ding-dong! ]
[ Laughter ] Just that feeling after —
It’s a very good feeling. -I think that was
the whole thing, really. I figured that this was
a good way to make people laugh. [ Up-tempo piano plays ] [ Cheers and applause ] -When I was 16, I had a tumor growing on the right side
of my cheek, which didn’t allow me
to hear or smell or taste. [ Balloon pops ] Had a good life.
I was never sick. And then out of nowhere,
I become sick. After I had surgery,
that was almost the time — That was my senior year. I went into
a kind of depression, and I was really down
in my own little bubble. I didn’t want to express myself. For me,
if I will see another puppeteer, I always feel like,
“Why did he build that puppet?” And the reason I say is if
you see most of Bob’s puppets, he has something
that he has put in there that’s related to himself. Honestly, after coming
and working for Bob and helping him out
and just knowing that you could project yourself,
project other characters through puppets
was amazing for me. And that was kind of my way
of coming back. -Now that I’ve gotten to be 88,
I don’t know how to act. I’ve never been 88 before. I’d love to be down here
every day and being able to do things
and the thrill, especially. -Bob’s plan is to transform the whole block
into this great place. There’s gonna be
the puppet studio. There’s gonna be
the theater itself. It’s gonna be a gallery. We’re gonna have another
second theater for puppeteers that are coming
out of the country or any performance
coming out of the country. A lot of classes — Puppeteer
classes, building puppets. -I have a few little tricks that other puppeteers
aren’t us– haven’t used. Those are the things
that I want to pass on to somebody else
very desperately. -This has been around
for so long. It’s been a tradition,
and we don’t want it just kind of fade out
and, you know, be lost. [email protected][email protected]! -When you go to the theater,
you pay your admission and you watch a show
with really nothing other than a piece of paper
in your hand. But you take home the idea
that goes on that stage, the illusion, the fantasy,
the love, the drama, the music. And you’ll always have it. You’ll have it forever. I did that when I went —
was 6 years old. And I’m still talking about it.

100 thoughts on “The Art of Puppetry & Marionettes | SubCultures

  • July 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm
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    I never liked puppets really, but this was actually… pretty dang cool.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm
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    What a fantastic inspiring video. It's so rare to see somebody love what they do so much like this gentleman. And I love how amazingly positive the comments are. Keep it up, you guys are doing a great job.

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  • July 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm
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    REALLY scaring.

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  • July 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm
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    I think a SubCulture on steampunk would be really cool. Especially when combined with Erin's directing style.

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  • July 27, 2012 at 7:37 pm
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    When I saw this in my sub box I was hesitant to watch it because I thought it would be creepy because I thought puppets were kinda creepy but I am really glad I did watch it because the video was well made and interesting and had great cinematography and music. It really made me rethink my stance on puppets! Thanks!

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  • July 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm
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    Awesome, Gotta keep these coming. So good.

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  • July 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm
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    This is a fantastic video. Really looking forward to what other Subculture videos are put out.

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  • July 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm
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    That was so wonderful. Their passion really touched me. I think these are definitely going to be my favorite part of Soulpancake. Great Job!

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  • July 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm
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    Absolutely beautiful work. Thank You.

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  • July 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm
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    I love what your channel is becoming. It's really something beautiful.

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  • July 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm
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    i'm in awe. soulpancake is brilliant.

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  • July 27, 2012 at 11:35 pm
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    I got goose bumps in the end when Bob said he still talked about puppetry since he was 8. That is passion! Not many people have that. Great job Bob!

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  • July 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm
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    Gottle O Gear

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  • July 27, 2012 at 11:50 pm
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    As someone who participates in a few subculture communities, I love this show! I've always wanted to know about small communities of underrated and stereotyped fields of interest from the inside.

    Reply
  • July 28, 2012 at 12:12 am
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    Always nice to listen to passionate people talk about their passion. That was great. Yep.

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  • July 28, 2012 at 12:49 am
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    Wow, this is really something, great job

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  • July 28, 2012 at 1:10 am
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    I love puppets!

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  • July 28, 2012 at 1:14 am
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    I have another suggestion for a future SubCultures episode – medieval re-creationists. Find a chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism near you. We sword fight, dress in costumes, make things like they did in the middle ages. It's awesome!

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  • July 28, 2012 at 1:40 am
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    It just makes me happy to know that this exists 🙂 Thank you.

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  • July 28, 2012 at 2:41 am
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    Yes! Now this is something I'm looking forward to every week…

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  • July 28, 2012 at 4:35 am
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    This is such a nice video 🙂 I hope this theater gets more visitors because of this video <3

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  • July 28, 2012 at 5:17 am
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    by far my favorite soulpancake show. Great job. this is truly beautiful.

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  • July 28, 2012 at 5:27 am
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    How delicate and wonderful, the art and creation of marionettes. Great Share

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  • July 28, 2012 at 5:44 am
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    This is just a beautiful story. Very well done, Soulpancake.

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  • July 28, 2012 at 6:09 am
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    Fucking shit. This is goddamn awesome.

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  • July 28, 2012 at 6:24 am
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    This is definitely my favorite segment that you've done on here. I LOVED it. I can't wait to see more. One "subculture" that I would love to see you guys do is marching bands/drum and bugle corps.

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  • July 28, 2012 at 8:55 am
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    This was chillingly brilliant. It left me with such a wonderful feeling and I can't wait for more "subculture" videos! Everything you guys have uploaded so far is just amazing to watch and share. All of the people who worked on this did such a wonderful job and Conner Davis's editing is beautiful!

    A subculture video on Zines would be pretty neat. There are some really talented people out there who devote themselves to creating them. 😀 I've always wanted to learn more about it.

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  • July 28, 2012 at 9:18 am
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    I love the passion that goes into their work. Loved this video 🙂

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  • July 28, 2012 at 9:38 am
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    This was absolutely fascinating! After 1 week of content I am without a doubt staying around for Soul Pancake. I loved all the shows but this was really touching and it's amazing to see someone who is so passionate about something doing it till their elder ages. Thank you so much for this!

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  • July 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm
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    I dare someone to look up puppet porn.

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  • July 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm
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    This is just wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing it!

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  • July 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm
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    hula hooping sub culture!

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  • July 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm
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    Yay for nerdfighters on soulpancake!

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  • July 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm
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    Why am I crying? :')

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  • July 29, 2012 at 5:10 am
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    This is so beautiful and so sensitively portrayed. What a truly wonderful video, and subculture! Thank you soulpancake :')

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  • July 29, 2012 at 7:36 am
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    Great video, keep em coming

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  • July 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm
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    Next subculture – Chiropractors!

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  • July 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm
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    Next subculture – Chiropractors!

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  • July 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm
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    This was really amazing! Can't wait to see more!

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  • July 29, 2012 at 8:38 pm
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    Ridiculously well done!

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  • July 30, 2012 at 5:30 am
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    Theater is located at 1345 west first street los Angeles ca 90026. Phone number for theater is 2132509995

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  • July 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm
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    Beautiful and fascinating! 🙂

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  • July 31, 2012 at 4:49 am
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    Touching

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  • July 31, 2012 at 6:21 am
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    Great job! Pleasure meeting you as well.

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  • July 31, 2012 at 8:29 pm
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    Can I just say that if there was more of this on soul pancake and less awkward talking with ridiculously loud backround music, stories as amazing as this would get better press?

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  • July 31, 2012 at 8:40 pm
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    GREAT VIDEO! I got to be honest, I almost didnt watch and just get rid of it out of my subscription queue. The story, the editing, the quality of this video was excellent!

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  • August 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm
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    This is amazing. Thanks Soul Pancake!

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  • August 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm
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    I find puppets creepy, I always have, but this video touched my heart, what an amazing man with a lifetime of living his passion, I hope he finds his special someone to pass his "special tricks" onto. xxx

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  • August 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm
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    same here. i nearly cried because his words were so beautiful. he lives his dream and this is what you just could wish every human being.

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  • August 5, 2012 at 2:36 am
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    Thank you so much, Soul Pancake. This was absolutely beautiful. I love the grace with which the puppets move. I've never seen anything like it.

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  • August 5, 2012 at 4:24 am
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    This was so… incredible. Totally cried a bit.

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  • August 5, 2012 at 5:32 am
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    THIS IS AWESOME

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  • August 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm
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    This Was beautiful

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  • August 6, 2012 at 4:16 am
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    2:00 Someone starts fapping.

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  • August 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm
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    I loved that, it was so well made. Looking forward to more 🙂

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  • August 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm
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    wow…cheers Bob!!

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  • August 7, 2012 at 8:55 am
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    I'd appreciate meeting you.I wished for Jim Henson to fond me..but things..ya know fate..death.
    I was always hoping he would mentor me. Sure would appreciate a shot..

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  • August 17, 2012 at 8:59 am
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    Wow I wish I could see this show.

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  • August 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm
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    Oh my God it's true.

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  • August 18, 2012 at 1:21 am
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    Wow! I like the overalls!

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  • August 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm
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    that was very cool,… thanks for sharing!

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  • August 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm
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    Thanks for posting this video. This story was especially touching because of Bob's obvious love for puppets and marionettes, and how they can entertain everyone from the very youngest to the oldest. Eric's story was evocative, also, since he was drawn back to life among the living by Bob & his puppets after enduring his own trials. May Bob, Eric and those who care about them live long and prosper.

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  • September 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm
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    This is fantastic. I love puppets so much; it's good to see others who do too, and who are keeping the art alive.

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  • September 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm
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    still creepy…

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  • September 27, 2012 at 11:44 pm
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    i though it said bob barker lol

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  • October 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm
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    um…. I love this man. I want him to be my grandpa

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  • November 9, 2012 at 2:23 am
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    4 people couldnt make puppets…

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  • November 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm
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    Absolutely Great!

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  • November 29, 2012 at 3:43 am
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    I'm a ventriloquist and I want to get into puppeteering with marionettes.

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  • December 1, 2012 at 1:11 am
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    A cliche that rings true – "Heart warming." It's absolutely heart warming to see that small art forms such as this aren't dead. I FREAKING LOVE SOUL PANCAKE!

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  • December 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm
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    I would love to shake this mans hand one day. Such a wonderful person.

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  • December 18, 2012 at 7:06 am
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    Amazing .Impressed. Beautiful artistic.

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  • January 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm
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    Brought tears to my eyes. Touching.

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  • January 31, 2013 at 8:08 am
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    it's like in better off ted 😀

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  • March 18, 2013 at 2:21 am
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    Great Video but more importantly a great subject. Truly amazing and touching. This is something that should be saved.

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  • March 26, 2013 at 12:21 am
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    This things like this are really touching and meaningful loved it absolutely loved it

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  • April 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm
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    I LOVE marionettes and this guy is truly amazing – don't let this art die…

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  • April 17, 2013 at 11:13 pm
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    That was a lovely documentary!

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  • May 5, 2013 at 8:35 am
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    I'll bring my family and spreading the word. hope your open. do you have classes on how to make puppets and marionettes.

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  • May 5, 2013 at 8:40 am
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    where is the theater

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  • May 14, 2013 at 11:15 pm
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    im bringing my family. thank you

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  • May 17, 2013 at 4:45 pm
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    best thing ever!

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  • June 3, 2013 at 4:53 am
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    I went to Bob Baker's Marionette Theatre when I was three years old. It was one of my fondest memories as a child. I remember being so enchanted by the puppets and how live like their motions were. I can't even describe how happy I was when I recognized the theater. It's really amazing.

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  • June 11, 2013 at 8:13 am
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    It's what I have done–when you make it yourself, you have this…tie to it, I suppose; like it means more than one you would buy. It is a lot of hard work (it took me several days to finish my cardboard and Styrofoam beta-version, but I wanted to get "him" "down-pat" before moving on to wood), but when the project is done, it is worth it. Good luck!

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  • June 12, 2013 at 12:00 am
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    Nice piece. Thanks Soul Pancake!

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  • August 12, 2013 at 8:48 am
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    I was always scared of puppets because of my childhood films like chukie and puppetmaster.

    I'm really touched, Puppeteer is such a beautiful thing.

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  • August 21, 2013 at 3:00 am
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    Were could you learn how to do this stuff

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  • December 8, 2013 at 6:45 am
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    Bob Baker is a very dear man, he has done so much to promote puppetry, to entertain and make others happy. Very lovely video showcasing his art and his kind heart.

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  • February 18, 2014 at 12:08 am
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    Eric De La Cruz ,my name is Cecilia Friedl I will like to make a question abut marionettes Im a puppeter maker I never studied for that .I just learn for some books but I have many questions about the controls ,material movements ,I speak spanish .please Eric what kind the material you used for the marionettes for the heads?the marionetees I made I think are so heavy ,how much weigth need to have.?I invited you to see my work if you type in 86uzziel or Cecilia Friedl in you tube ,tell me what you think about that .please I will apreciate that.

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  • November 9, 2014 at 4:23 am
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    Being a puppet myself, I appreciate this video.  Check out my show folks.

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  • January 14, 2015 at 8:37 pm
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    -_-

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  • April 13, 2015 at 3:45 am
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    @SoulPancake Nice episode; most enjoyed this quote by Bob Baker: (05:46) 'When you go to the theatre, you pay admission and watch a show, with nothing but a piece of paper in your hand. But you take home […] the illusion, the fantasy, the love, the drama, the music – and you'll always have it.'

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  • May 2, 2015 at 3:37 pm
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    GREAT!!!

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  • January 19, 2016 at 2:26 pm
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    Bob Baker gave me my first paying, long-term gig in puppetry. I will forever be grateful. There won't be another talent like him.

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  • January 25, 2016 at 8:17 am
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    awesommmmee! thanks for the post. now i am going to watch pinocchio!

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  • April 8, 2016 at 2:18 am
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    I missed the old days when puppets and marionettes are famous. Now people these days are like, Donate Me the Mini P.E.K.K.A dammit not a freaking SKELETON!sigh I miss the past

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  • May 16, 2016 at 3:11 pm
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    Extraordinary work by u guys… my kids loved it..Like to see u in India…

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  • June 25, 2016 at 7:59 pm
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    i expect more subculture videos

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  • November 29, 2016 at 2:42 am
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    I want to learn how to do this, I have 4 marionettes in my room right now and I have a relationship with them like they are my friends

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  • July 23, 2018 at 1:37 pm
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    I really want to meet Bob Baker so badly! He sounds like such a nice guy! Also, call me crazy but I've never been scared of puppets and I really like the idea of being a puppeteer! Bob Baker and Jim Henson are such inspirations! ♡

    Reply

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