It is my third day in Mexico City and I have been unexpectedly busy with the online portion of my research, and with classes to improve my already spectacular Spanish. (Bromeando ;-) What I haven't done is meet a single living puppeteer (or puppet).
I have exchanged emails and gotten survey responses with many puppeteers here, but the first shows on my schedule don't happen until this weekend. I did speak briefly with a librarian who has a permanent puppet stage beside her desk, but I don't think it's hers. She only spoke to me to tell me not to take photos.
I have spoken about puppetry to a few locals. The dueña where I am staying lamented that children today have little interest in puppetry. And then there was an exchange with my Spanish professor, Armando. When I was introducing myself, I explained a bit about my research.
"You are studying puppets?" He said, his face pulsing with incredulity. "Why?" He even reiterated in English.
I explained that collaboration among puppeteers is very strong, and therefore a good model for information science, and so on.
"I have always hated puppets," he said. "Whenever my mother wanted to take me, I screamed, No!"
I thought I might introduce him to some lesser-known forms of object performance which fall under the umbrella of puppetry, so I pulled out the book Títeres y Titiriteros: El Lenguaje de los Títeres by Pilar Amorós y Paco Paricio. He flipped through photos of hopelessly congenial muppets (bocones) and marionettes, then chose a page with five images of pole puppetes. "Why are they scary?" He asked, thrusting the book at the class. "Why do they want to scare everybody?"
I closed my book and smiled, and as we moved on to discuss the future tense I thought to myself, un día el abrirá su corazón a los títeres.
Later I learned what he does like: Kiss. That's right, the band. He doesn't think Kiss is scary. So Armando, este video es para tí.