Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"I'm a Professional! I've Had Three Performances!"

Sights and sounds of TADW:
“I'm a professional! I've had three performances!" - Fozzie Bear

Bruce Lanoil
The cast of Jungle Book got a surprise visit last Monday from an actual Muppet!  It was Bruce Lanoil who has been a puppeteer since the early 1980’s when he joined Sid and Marty Croft’s Puppet School while he was a student at CSUN.

I asked Bruce when he started working for the Muppets.  He said, “Jim Henson came west for the TV show Dinosaurs. I auditioned and got the part, and that’s when I got my career," Bruce told me, "I’ve been blessed to be able to about a movie every year sense I joined the Muppets”

Bruce / Dinosaurs
Ronnie Sperling, one of the directors of Jungle Book, was at CSUN with Bruce.  He asked the skilled puppeteer to come in and do a demonstration for the TADWanians, and to help out one of the cast members who will be working with a puppet.  As Bruce gave his lesson, Ronnie leaned over to me and said, “These kids won’t remember me or what play they were in, but are going to remember that an actual Muppet came and talked with them.”

The kids' eyes were glued to Bruce, and you could see their personal little light bulbs of intrigue lighting up left and right. Bruce and his puppets were all they could talk about for the rest of the day. When I got the chance to talk with him one-on-one, he told me this was his first-ever interaction with  TADW kids and it was very fun. “My sister in law did TADW a long time ago so I knew what it was.”

He also said he's fascinated in the new interest among young people and puppets. “They really love working with puppets, and I’m like, good for them!”

So thank you Bruce for coming to TADW! Who knows? He might have awakened the interest of the next Jim Henson.

-Hailey Graves

1 comment:

  1. Hi, greets from the other side of the world, i love your Dino Family, great job Fozzie bear