How it all started - My Puppeteer Journey

Ever since Connor Asher was two years old, he was interested in puppetry. Connor was inspired by Sesame Street and Mister Rodgers Neighborhood. Then his parents took him to “Sesame Street Live” and exposed him to the theatre. He fell in love, and immediately after, he began putting on his own live shows in my basement for family members, guests and neighborhood kids that incorporated puppetry, song and dance.

 

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

 

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

 

During high school, Connor began actively pursuing local workshops and classes outside of school. Connor 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 he began learning how to build puppets.

 

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

 

Outside of his work, Connor has performed as a puppeteer for Opera In Focus, Sea Beast Puppet Company, The Field Museum, Jabberwocky Marionettes, Jeannie McQueenie Productions, and more.

 

Connor has 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. In addition, he began offering educational puppet performance and building workshops for the public, teaching at libraries, schools, public events and conventions which has allowed him to travel throughout the USA.

 

In addition to puppetry, Connor was a part-time preschool teacher working in early childhood education and development. He volunteers his time to organizations such as the Chicagoland Puppetry Guild as their vice president, and the Kiwanis Club of Oak Park River Forest where he has done multiple hospital visits to children with his puppet characters and built costumed wheelchairs for children with disabilities.

 

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

 

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