Photo by Alex Griffin
Rest in Peace Jane Henson - I was 18 and attending my first O'Neill
Puppetry Conference, I had just finished performing a late night solo act in the pub and Richard Termine pulled me aside saying; "I'd like you to meet Jane Henson." Puppet in hand I sat at Jane's table and Richard introduced me with a splendid intro, mentioning that in high school I had started a puppetry club/troupe - to which she responded; "Oh!...Like Jim..." Dry mouthed and nervous as could be with adrenaline pumping I stammered out some words. Jane so welcoming and soothing asked; "When did you start doing puppetry?" My answer - like many puppeteers - was 5 years old, to which she replied; "What did you do before?" One of the best questions ever, because what is puppetry but the natural human tendency to play with and personify dolls, toys and inanimate objects. At that moment I didn't have a reply, but it didn't matter because she turned her attention to the puppet on my hand (whom I had kept active like a good puppeteer) and started asking him questions and engaged in a conversation with this character that I had only begun to develop. A great end to a marvelous and inspiring evening and the perfect beginning to a life changing conference. Thank you Richard for the introduction and Thank you Jane Henson for your time, attention, energy and focus.
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