Yes you can, not only can you, you must to be able to perform, your character must come to life.
Take your character and go to your mirror and try it on for size. The few tips that follow will help you on your way to becomming that puppeteer that you always wanted to be.
Insert your thumb in the lower jaw/lip area and the 4 fingers in the upper, or grasp the head rod with your lower 3 fingers with your thumb manipulate the mouth, eyes, ears ect. Remeber that each movement is per sylable. NOTE: even if you’re right-handed, you might find your left hand more relaxed for puppeteering (or vice-versa.) This is a common experience, and one we can’t explain. With the animal on one hand, hold it in the crook of your other arm. This gives your puppet a nice nest and conceals the secret of your participation. Also keep in mind that when looking at something, such as around the audience, or somewhere in particular the eyes move before the head. when yawning raise the puppets hands to his mouth, if he is afraid of something open the eyes wide and drop the jaw...work on some characteristics you might see in a human
If your puppet has a snout (bears, beavers, raccoons, skunks) two twitching fingers will produce a wiggling nose. Have your puppet crawl up your shoulder, tug at your sleeve, scratch, twist around, or hide in the crook of your arm.
For animals with tails, nest the puppet on your free arm, extending your fingers of that arm toward the elbow of your “puppet arm.” Position your thumb under the base of the tail and move it up and down to swish the tail.
The sea otter, small panda, and cats look particularly endearing ontheir backs, in the crook of your arm. From this position, have themgaze at their audience, occasionally hiding their eyes behind their paws, scratching, or nestling down for a snooze.
Props like rubber balls, oranges, small mirrors, cups, or wrapped candywill awaken the natural curiosity of your animal. Insert your whole handthrough the hidden sleeve of the larger, cuddly animals for animated head action.