Video Auditions Announced for Puppeteer for Web Series as NKU

NKU_SOTA logoNKU is casting a puppeteer for two puppet characters on a web series. Info is below.  If you have any questions they can be directed to Chris Strobel at

Puppeteer Auditions 

  • Project Name: HEAD GAMES
  • Type of Project: Paid
  • Roles: “Bellum” and “Shelly” – puppets
  • Production Dates: 3 days TBA in June and July 2021
  • Location: Northern Kentucky University
  • Distribution: Online streaming

Description: HEAD GAMES is a project created by Dr. Christopher Lawrence with NKU’s College of Health and Human Services that seeks to teach children about a variety of social and emotional issues and how to navigate them. The host (Dr. Lawrence, in a “Doc” character mode) is joined by two puppets, Shelly (a sea monster) and Bellum (a disembodied brain) as they explore different social, emotional, and psychological concepts in each video. 

Self-Audition Deadline: end of the day, June 14
Callbacks will be in person. 

Shelly: All impulse and energy, she is fun and expressive. A fully functional puppet, Shelly physically interacts with Doc and Bellum. 

Bellum: Contemplative and cerebral. The puppet itself doesn’t move, but the case has colors that change to indicate when Bellum is speaking. His case has a screen and physical interface that will connect us to other locations and illustrative animations. 

Audition video details:

  • Please concentrate on one character in your video and clearly indicate which character you are reading.
  • If auditioning for both characters please submit two separate videos.
  • Having someone read with you is welcome, but solo also works.
  • When auditioning for Shelly use your hand (or another full-arm puppet) to indicate how the performance would work.
  • Bellum is all voice work.
  • Please include a slate (name, location) at the start of your video.

Submit your video audition and information through this link: 

Audition Script: 

(Shelly hums as she draws, a pencil held in her mouth. Bellum works a crossword puzzle on his screen.) 

Bellum: A 16 letter word for giving human characteristics to nonhuman things?  

Shelly: I don’t know. Is that a real thing? 

Bellum: OK, how about a four letter word for artistic expression? 

Shelly: draw! 

Bellum: Yes! That fits. 

Doc: Hi, Shelly. Hi, Bellum.  

Shelly: Doc! 

Bellum: Doc. 

Doc: It is good to see you two. How are you two feeling today?  

Shelly: I’m good.  

Bellum: I am fine.

Doc: But how are you feeling? 

Shelly: I’m okay.  

Bellum: I am alright.  

Shelly: Umm, Doc. Are you feeling OK? You asked us that already.  

Doc: I know, Shelly. I repeated myself because I want to understand. “Good” and “fine” and “okay” and “alright” don’t really tell me much about how you really are. I emphasized “feeling” because I want to understand your current emotions.  

Shelly: Our…emotions? 

Bellum: Emotion: A seven letter word that describes our inner reactions to ourselves, to others, and to our experiences. 

Doc: That’s right, Bellum. Emotions are how we feel about things we do, how we feel about the things that happen to us, and how we feel about the people in our lives.  

Shelly: Wow. That’s a lot. That’s like…everything. 

Doc: It can be. Emotions are powerful parts of who we are. 

Doc: So how about we try again? How are you feeling today?  

Shelly: I’m not sure what to say. Or that I want to say. I don’t think Bellum does, either. 

Doc: My apologies. Would it help if I tell you a bit more about emotions?  

Shelly: Woo-hoo! New stuff! 

Bellum: Oh, yes. That would be helpful.  

Doc: Bellum, may we use your screen?  

Bellum: Yes. (Thank you for asking.)  

Doc: Let’s see what we can do… 

Doc: Poets and authors have lots and lots and lots and lots of words to describe the emotions we feel.  

SoundFX: words “typing” out onscreen. 

Shelly: Wow. That’s a looooooong list.  

Doc: Yes, it is.  

Bellum: Even I would have a hard time remembering all of those.  

Doc: Let’s start with “glad.” When you feel glad you’re… 

Shelly: Happppyyyyyy!!!! 

Doc: Happy is our body’s way of telling us what we like. When I come over and see the two of you, I feel happy on the inside, because I care about you both.  

Bellum: When I work on a puzzle, I am glad.  

Shelly: When I draw, I’m glad, too.  

Doc: Exactly. Now think about how you show people you’re happy. I may smile or laugh.  

Shelly: You were smiling when you came in today! 

Doc: That’s right. 

Bellum: My colors change.  

Shelly: Oh! I move around a lot.  

Doc: Good job!  

Shelly: I feel happy hearing that.  

Doc: You’ve gotten the hang of glad. How about sad?  

Shelly: When I feel sad, I feel small. Like I have no energy.  

Bellum: Me, too. It’s like my lights are low.  

Doc: Mm-hmm. Sadness can be our body’s way of telling us we need support. It can also be a sign that something didn’t work out how we hoped. For example, if I’m looking forward to visiting with you, and I’m not able to make it, I may feel sad.  

Bellum: Shelly, you just dropped your head. 

Shelly: I did?  

Bellum: Yes.  

Shelly: Hmm…I thought about Doc not being able to come over, and I felt sad.  

Doc: Missing people can lead us to feel sad inside, and – as Shelly was kind enough to show us – sometimes we do tend to droop a bit when we’re sad. Our chins drop. Our shoulders hunch. Our faces may look a little pouty. We may frown. 

Shelly: Oh, and we cry! 

Doc: Yes. Sometimes when we’re sad, we cry.  

Bellum: What about mad, Doc?  

Doc: Anger can be a response to something that doesn’t feel right. Mad is like a burst of energy our bodies send us to try and fight our way out of a situation.   

Shelly: When I’m drawing a picture, and I can’t get it to look the way I want, I feel mad.  

Doc: Yep. I used to feel that way when I couldn’t figure out my homework. We get frustrated that we can’t do what we want, and that can lead to anger.  

Shelly: Sometimes I’ll just tear up a picture that isn’t working right. 

Bellum: It’s hard to think when I feel that way.  

Doc: Very much so. It’s like someone turns up the sound on the radio or television so loud that I can’t hear anything else. It’s just me and my anger. On the outside, I may grimace or scowl. When I feel anger, I ball my fists.  

Shelly: Umm, I don’t have fists.  

Doc: In that case, maybe your heart starts to beat really fast, so you feel it in your chest.  

Bellum: I don’t have a chest.  

Doc: Okay, so how – or where – do you feel anger?  

Bellum: My brain hurts.  

Shelly: I grind my teeth. And talk without opening my mouth. 

Doc: See? Everyone can have a different way of expressing their emotions. Here’s another one…Surprise is often described as the fastest emotion.  

Bellum: Fastest?  

Shelly: Like me? (She runs) 

Doc: Not so much fast in the running, swimming, or flying sense, but more in the sense that it doesn’t last very long. Something happens, maybe we gasp, and in the second or two it takes us to figure out what’s going on, we feel surprised.   

Bellum: Then what? 

Doc: Well, then the surprise usually gives way to another feeling. It could be glad, or scared, or mad, or whatever.  

Shelly: Whatever’s not a feeling, Doc.  

Doc: You know what I meant. When we feel surprise, our mouths might drop. Our eyes could open really wide, and our eyebrows go up, like they’re shooting to the ceiling.  

Shelly: I’ve got this. Ready? 

(Shelly faces away) 

Doc & Bellum: Ready. 

(Shelly spins around) 

Shelly: Sur-PRISE!!! 

Doc: Nicely done.  

Doc: So now that we’ve run through all the emotions, let’s try again. Shelly, how are you feeling?  

Shelly: I…umm, I said “good” earlier. Does that mean I’m feeling happy? Happy is the good emotion, right?  

Doc: Actually, emotions aren’t “good” or “bad.” It’s more about whether they’re a match for the situation.

Bellum: A match?  

Doc: Yes. It is okay if we go back to the screen? 

Bellum: Go right ahead. 

Doc: Let’s say it’s time to leave for school.  

Doc (animated): I walk outside, and suddenly, a Tyrannosaurus Rex jumps out from behind a bush.  

Shelly: That’d have to be a really big bush.  

Doc: How do you think I’d feel in that split second?  

Shelly: Ooh, I know this! Surprise! 

Doc: Well done! I’d feel surprised. Surprise would be a good match for the situation.  

Bellum: But surprise doesn’t last long.  

Doc: No, it doesn’t. Let’s say that my body replaced surprised with happy. How might I show that emotion? 

Shelly: Maybe you’d smile.  

Doc: I could smile.  

Bellum: Maybe you’d clap your hands and jump up and down.  

Doc: I could clap my hands and jump up and down.  

Doc: And if I stood there smiling, clapping, and jumping up and down, what would happen to me? I’d become the T-Rex’s lunch.  

Shelly: Oh, no! 

Doc: So would happy be a good match?  

Bellum: Probably not.  

Doc: Now let’s say when my surprise goes away, I feel sad.  

Shelly: Oh. Because dinosaurs are extinct.  

Doc: That could be a reason. What signs might show I was sad?  

Bellum: Maybe you’d sit down and pout.  

Doc: I could sit down and pout.  

Shelly: You’d cry.  

Doc: If I sat down, pouted, and cried, what would happen to me?  

Shelly: Lunch time!!!!

Doc: Would sad be a good match?  

Shelly: No way! 

Bellum: Doc, could we please try contempt? 

Doc: Of course. I walk outside, the T-rex roars. 

Shelly: You shake your head at it, and say, “That’s not how you roar.” 

Animated Doc: “That’s not how you roar.” 

Shelly: Lunch! 

Doc: A good match? 

Bellum: Not even close.  

Doc: Now let’s say my surprise gives way to fear.  

Bellum: You might start to shake.  

Doc: Yep. My knees could start to shake, I’d look terrified… 

Doc: and then – super quickly – I’d run back in the house.  

Doc: I’d be safe… And the T-Rex would need to have pizza for lunch.  

(The T-Rex can’t reach the pizza with his little arms) 

Shelly: Ha! Look at him. I wonder if that’s why they went extinct… 

Bellum – they should have helped each other with their pizza instead of trying to eat each other. 

Doc: So which emotion provided the best match for that situation?  

Bellum & Shelly: Fear.  

Doc: You got it. When faced with a T-Rex on my way to school, fear would be a productive emotional match.  

Doc: So one more time: how are you feeling? 

Shelly: I feel happy.  

Bellum: Me, too.  

Doc: I’m very glad to hear it. Being able to recognize our emotions – and being willing to talk about them – can help others understand us. That understanding can help draw us closer.  

Shelly: But not closer to a T-Rex, right?  ‘cause that thing was scary.

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