Ah yes, the seminal “how to use a stick question.” Don’t worry, everyone has a hard time using a stick when they first get one. Let me give you some advice.
If you have a job, quit. If you are in school, dropout. If you have a significant other, break up with them. Cut all ties from your family. Sell all of your worldly goods, except of course, your arcade stick.
This will give you some cash in hand and a lot of spare time. Use this money and time to set up a business. I recommend a traveling sock puppet play. You can entertain small children and recovering drug addicts at their local gatherings. You’ll find this experience very rewarding and interesting.
Sock puppets are very easy to make. All you do is put eyes on a sock. Some people like to add hats and tongues and the like. That’s cool too. Be creative! When you’re learning, don’t be too concerned about sticking to the cliches. It’s totally acceptable to put a baret on a sock and name it Pierre when you are first starting off, for instance.
Be sure to use a wide range of colors for the sock puppets. If they are all old sports socks, your audience will have a hard time relating to your socks. I recommend a Beijing Opera-esque color scheme where certain colors are used to represent certain roles. Just avoid black; you should be dressed in all black in order to blend into the background. Remember, the sock puppets are the actors, not you.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “that’s all well and good, but what should the plays be about?” Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think. Start off with a simple morality play or perhaps something with a Shakespearean influence. Stick to the classics, then stick googly eyes on the classics, as the saying goes.
Where are you from? Traveling sock puppet shows are especially popular on the East Coast, and of course Utah. Consider relocating if there is a lack of interest in your area.
Speaking of Utah, if anyone in the industry gives you that spiel about needing to be Mormon to break into the sock puppet scene, well, that’s just a line of baloney. Don’t let that get you down, sport. Although many of the most famous grand master puppeteers are indeed Mormon, there is still plenty of room in the industry for people of other faiths.
After a few months of traveling around in the sock puppet scene, pick your old arcade stick back up again. You’ll probably find that your execution has increased immensely. If not, consider going back on the road again.
Alternatively, you can just go to training mode and practice, but that would be crazy, right?