Ramona Jan is the creator of Some Strings Attached, a marionette series. And this week, she’s the subject of our batteryPOP creator interview!
BatteryPOP: How did you first decide you wanted to do performances with puppets? Did you ever perform without puppets?
RAMONA JAN: I decided to do puppets after making all kinds of sculptures that didn't move. I wanted the things I made to move around and be somebody. I performed without puppets when I sang and played electric guitar in rock bands.
bPOP: Where do you get inspiration for what puppets to make or what to do puppet shows about?
RJ: I get my inspiration from music and the things around me. Sometimes I just get an idea for a story and I need a puppet to tell it.
bPOP: Who was the first puppet you made?
RJ: The first puppet I made was Lucinda.
bPOP: What do you make the puppets out of?
RJ: Some of my puppets are made of wood and wire. Others are made from fabric, sand and yarn. I just made a dog, Lacy, from an old pair of boots and a pocket book.
bPOP: How do you decide what show to make next?
RJ: I never really think about what show to do next. I just think about what puppet I want to make and then the story comes alive as I make the character.
bPOP: Did you make puppets or put on plays as a kid? What were they about?
RJ: I put on lots of plays when I was a kid because I have three brothers and a sister for cast members. Most of my plays were about nature.
bPOP: Do you have any puppeteer role models?
RJ: Most of my puppets are marionettes so there are not too many role models. It's a complicated and much forgotten form of puppetry. It's not at all like the muppets!
bPOP: Who were your favorite puppet characters growing up?
RJ: Growing up I was not that interested in puppets, or dolls for that matter. I was a tom-boy. I liked climbing trees, biking, and swimming.
bPOP: How is a marionette different from other kinds of puppets?
RJ: Marionettes are puppets on strings. They take a lot of practice just like a musical instrument and each one is very different to operate than the other.
bPOP: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew?
RJ: When I was ten, I wanted to live in nature around trees and flowers. I wanted to run, jump and play. I never thought about growing up.
Thanks so much to Ramona for answering our questions, and check out SOME STRINGS ATTACHED HERE on batteryPOP!