How it all started - My Puppeteer Journey

Ever since I was two years old, I was interested in puppetry.

I was inspired by Sesame Street and Mister Rodgers Neighborhood. Then my parents took me to “Sesame Street Live” and exposed me to the theatre. I fell in love, and immediately after, I began putting on my own live shows in my basement for family members, guests and neighborhood kids that incorporated puppetry, song and dance.

While I was in school, I forgot about puppetry but was writing stories, making up characters, drawing, taking theatre/art classes, doing voices, and producing videos.

In 2011, I rediscovered my love of puppetry through “The Muppets – 2011” when Disney re-launched them for a new generation. All the memories flooded back, and I remembered how these characters made me feel, and realized this was something special. Months later, I discovered “Being Elmo – A Puppeteers Journey” and finally got to see what it was to be a puppeteer. I saw the pure joy the art of puppetry brought to people’s lives and realized it was a combination of so many arts I was already pursuing. In that moment, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I realized my high school was not giving me the education I wanted or deserved, so I began actively pursuing local workshops and classes outside of school. I discovered Stan Winston School of Character Arts and had the opportunity to learn different techniques including puppet fabrication, mold making and more. It was through this, and lots of trial and error that I began learning how to build puppets.

In 2014, I founded Creventive Puppet Co and began producing educational puppet productions for family audiences.

Outside of my own work, I have performed as a puppeteer for Opera In Focus, Sea Beast Puppet Company, The Field Museum, Jabberwocky Marionettes, Jeannie McQueenie Productions, and more.

I have also been fortunate to teach the art of puppetry at Buck’s Rock Performing and Creative Arts camp as the head of the puppetry shop in 2017, as well as offering educational puppet performance and building workshops for the public, teaching at libraries, schools, public events and conventions which has allowed me to travel throughout the USA.

In addition to puppetry, I’m a part-time preschool teacher working in early childhood education and development. I volunteer my time to organizations such as the Chicagoland Puppetry Guild as their vice president and the Kiwanis Club of Oak Park River Forest where I have done multiple hospital visits to sick children with my puppet characters and built costumed wheelchairs for children with disabilities.

In 2017, I was awarded the Mike and Frances Oznowicz Young Adult scholarship to attend the Puppeteers of America’s National Puppetry Festival in Saint Paul, MN.

I hope to continue exploring and pushing the boundaries of early childhood education through the art of puppetry in the future.