Guests

2014 Guests and Attending Professionals

Guests:
Paul McGinnis

Paul McGinnis has been a puppeteer for Sesame Street since 2001. His other television and film credits include The MuppetsCrank YankersWarren the ApeCrash & BernsteinFeltThe West WingIt’s a Big Big WorldDog With a BlogThe Book of PoohGreg the Bunny, and Between the Lions. He has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy FallonGood Morning America, The ViewThe Early Show,Top ChefThe ChewThe Isaac Mizrahi ShowThe Paula Poundstone Show, and The Daytime Emmy Awards

Paul has puppeteered for such viral video hits as Funny Or Die's "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" starring Jon Hamm, Broadway’s The [title of show] Show, and Sesame Street’s Old Spice parody "Smells Like a Monster" and their Call Me Maybe parody "Share It Maybe".   He also puppeteered for the Sesame Street XBox 360 Kinect game series.  And his puppeteering can be seen in commercials for LivingSocial, Sony Bravia, Go Daddy, and Barcel.

On stage, Paul puppeteered the Audrey II puppets for the first national Broadway tour of Little Shop of Horrors. He also manipulated the life-size puppets for the national tour of Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular. He produces his own works of puppetry for screen and stage, and particularly enjoys creating Bunraku-style puppet projects that showcase current dance trends and other types of dynamic movement.

Victor Yerrid


Victor has been a principle puppeteer for the Jim Henson Company for over 15 years. His work with the company includes Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Hangover, Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, Neil’s Puppet Dreams, Sid The Science Kid, Hannah Montana, The Pajanimals, Bear in the Big Blue House, Late Night Liars, The Producers, and the 2010 Grammy Awards with Cee Lo Green. He is also a founding member of the Henson Company’s puppet improv troupe, Puppet Up. Victor has worked both as a puppeteer and voice-over artist on numerous other TV & film projects including Team America, Men In Black II, Angel, Community, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Robot Chicken, MADD, The Sarah Silverman Program, Warren The Ape, Greg The Bunny, and Sesame Street.

The son of a piano teacher, Victor’s early years were spent plunking out tunes on the piano and singing songs in the back of his mother’s ’67 Chevy. He eventually took up classical percussion and was accepted to the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Upon graduation, Victor began playing with the Philadelphia Opera Orchestra and toured Japan with a chamber orchestra led by current New York Philharmonic conductor, Alan Gilbert.

Looking for other fun performance opportunities, Victor began studying acting, voice-over, and even tap dancing. He eventually landed an internship at the beloved children’s TV series, Sesame Street, in the hopes of becoming a songwriter there. What he discovered instead was a performing medium he had absolutely no knowledge of, puppeteering.

Eventually, Victor became one of the Jim Henson company’s lead performers. Today, he continues his work there as a puppeteer, show creator, and producer. He is also the co-creator of the web series The Rufio Show and the Youtube channel Puppets N Sh*t.

Attending Professionals:
Lucky Yates

Lucky Yates plays Dr. Krieger on the hit show Archer on FX. He also played a bazillion characters on the show Good Eats on the Food Network along side his pal Alton Brown. He has a podcast with Amber Nash (Pam on Archer). He was a puppeteer in the movie Elmo In Grouchland. If you look really hard, you can see him walking across Sesame Street. He does improv comedy with Amber every weekend at Dad's Garage Theater right here in Atlanta GA. He had an online puppet show called Spook House Dave and is going on tour with Mr. Brown in October. He is a super nice guy so say hello.

Madison Cripps

Madison J. Cripps cut his puppetry teeth busking in 2006. Now a professional puppeteer and puppet builder in Asheville, NC, he combines his background in fine art, construction, environmentalism and theatre with new interests, such as circuit bending. Madison animates his unique hand carved marionettes with song, interaction, and pun.

Stacey Gordon

Stacey Gordon is an improviser and puppeteer in Phoenix, Arizona, where she's been building puppets, teaching, and performing in Puppet Slams since 2001. Stacey co-directs & puppeteers for The Bob & Angus Show, a web-series produced for Mayfair Games. Her puppets have been featured in music videos, commercials, and on ABC's The View.

Broderick Jones

Brodrick Jones is a writer, comedian, and puppeteer best known for Jigsaw, a web series about a robot and a mad scientist who yell a lot. This is his first Dragon*Con. Be gentle.

The Sci-Fi Janitors

Bob and Carl are Dragon Con's little yellow puppet ambassadors. You can catch their geeky antics on DCTV. They are your hosts for an incredible 3rd year of The Late Night Puppet Slam bringing you the very best in geeky adult puppet shows at the biggest puppet slam in the world! They will also be filming a live episode in their panel again this year so be sure to check it out!

Jessica Simon
Jessica Simon recently workshopped her piece Ruby and Charlie as an Emerging Artist at the O'Neill National Puppetry Conference. Her work as a puppeteer has appeared in New York at LaMama, St. Ann's Warehouse, Streb Lab, and Puppet Playlist, on your computer for an H&M viral campaign, and regionally at the O'Neill Theatre Center, the Puppeteers of America National Festival, Trouble Puppet Theater, Open Eye Figure Theater, Links Hall, and Puppet Showplace Theater. She served on the Artistic Direction Committee for Puppet Festival (r)Evolution. This is her 3rd appearance in the National Puppet Slam.
Donna Kimball
Donna Kimball is an actor/singer/puppeteer whose career began in theatre, most notably performing all 14 roles in the first regional production of The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Many screen appearances followed, including roles in Catch Me If You Can, Jarhead, Patch Adams, Tracey Ullman’s Tracey Takes On…, and hundreds of commercials….even an appearance on a cereal box. As a professional puppeteer, her credits include the Emmy-winning Sid The Science Kid, Pajanimals, Crank Yankers, Greg The Bunny, Neil’s Puppet Dreams with Neil Patrick Harris, the puppet episodes of Community and Glee, Hot Dog TV, Team America: World Police, and Doc Ock’s badass upper right claw in Spider-Man 2. She also performs puppet improv with the Jim Henson Company’s Puppet Up!
Alison Mork
Alison Mork began puppeteering in the art world collaborating with painter Wayne White and performance artist Michael Smith. Her television and film credits include Sesame Street, Crank Yankers, The Man Show, Alt/Reality, Hollow Man and Team America: World Police. She’s best known for playing Chairry on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Not surprisingly, she has an affinity for inanimate objects and has subsequently portrayed an angry square, an exhausted dinner plate, a singing sock and an enthusiastic spoon. Alison performs with the Jim Henson Company’s improv troupe, Puppet Up!
Kristin Charney

Kristin Charney is an actress and puppeteer for film, television and theatre. Among Kristin’s film credits are The Muppets, Team America: World Police, Men In Black II and The Hollow Man. Television credits include the PBS series Sid the Science Kid, Good Morning Today, Imagination Movers, Glee, Frances, Crank Yankers, The Grimm Adventures of Billy and Mandy, The Crayon Box and more. Kristin has made many live theatre appearances in Los Angeles, New York and beyond. Kristin’s other talents include puppet design & construction as well as teaching. She created several educational programs that employ puppetry, storytelling and improv to teach academics and the art of puppetry to elementary school students. Her passion is inspiring children to learn to love learning.

Haley Jenkins
Haley’s puppetry has been seen on Sesame Street, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Sunny Side Up Show, The Katie Couric Show, Logo’s Felt, Yahoo Screen’s The Fuzz, The Pee-wee Herman Show (Original Broadway Cast), John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean, The Center for Puppetry Art’s Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, and Playhouse Disney Live on Stage, as well as commercials for H&M, National Geographic, and Comedy Central. She studied musical theater at Point Park University. Haley has a pet pigeon with a limp. His name is Pidge and he loves Cheerios.
Sarah Nolen
Sarah Nolen is a puppeteer and filmmaker from Austin, Texas. She is currently an MFA Candidate in the Puppet Arts program at the University of Connecticut. In 2009, she earned her bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and went on to work as a production coordinator for nationally-syndicated television shows on networks such as CMT & HGTV. Her short films have been featured in the SXSW Film Festival in Austin as well as the AFI Film Festival in Dallas. As a puppeteer, Sarah has trained with Sandglass Theater and at the National Puppetry Conference at the O'Neill Theater Center. In 2011, Sarah completed a year-long improvisational training program at the Dallas Comedy House, and continued there as an improviser for the house troupe "Roadside Couch," the long-form puppet improv troupe "Commerce Street," and also taught puppet-improv training workshops. Her solo puppet piece, "How Unfortunate," was chosen as part of the National Puppet Slam in 2013, and she has performed as a puppeteer at UConn Puppet Slams, Puppets in the Green Mountains Festival, as a puppeteer narrator for the Boston Pops Orchestra, EnvisionFEST Hartford, and The Out of Bounds Festival in Austin.
Anamaria Craciun
Born on the 22nd of November 1984 in Campulung Muscel, Romania, Anamaria Craciun discovered the world of theatre since childhood.As a student at the National University of Drama and Film in Bucharest she has been involved in different projects related to the theatre and cinema. In October 2011 she founded the Uninvented Theatre Company which intends to produce shows and films using puppets and marionettes, to cultivate the audience’s interest for multidisciplinary performances and to revitalize artistic initiative among young artists. Anamaria is currently pursuing her MFA in Puppetry at the University of Connecticut through a Fulbright scholarship.
Marta Mozelle MacRostie
Marta Mozelle MacRostie has performed at The New Victory Theater, La Mama, PS 122, St. Ann's Warehouse, The Guggenheim, the Kennedy Center, the Studio Theater, the Smithsonian Institute, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and the windows Bergdorf Goodman Department Store. Highlights include: Baby Universe (Wakka Wakka Productions), La Divina Caricatura (Mabu Mines), Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead (Phantom Limb Company), and Puss in Boots (Moises Kaufman, Gotham Chamber Opera & Blind Summit). Marta's first full-length work, Close to Decline, was workshopped at St. Ann's Warehouse and presented at the Tank Theater's Flint & Tinder Series in 2013. Her current collaboration with Liz Hara, titled Help Save the Monkey!, was awarded a 2014 Family Grant from the Jim Henson Foundation. Marta holds a degree in Puppetry and Music from UMass Amherst, is a many-time alum of the O'Neill Puppetry Conference, and served on the the Artistic Direction Committee for the 2013 National Puppetry Festival.
Davey T Steinman
Davey T Steinman is an artist, educator, and explorer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. In his theatre-making, he often combines music, puppetry and projection. Davey is excited to travel with his talented brigade of musicians, vaudevillians and scientists to present to National Puppet Slam audiences a space rock opera, Moon Gas, which premiered at the Full Moon Puppet Show at Open Eye Figure Theatre in Minneapolis. In addition to creating rock operas, Davey works as a teaching artist with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, makes music and tours as Davey T Stonemann, and is a member of the MAW Collective projecting light and sound in public art events and urban interventions. In autumn of 2013, Davey created a suitcase shadow concert, DreamCase, inspired by his job as an airline baggage handler, and toured the country by airline performing in livingrooms, taverns, and on tree stumps. This summer, Davey embarks on a solo motorcycle journey around the Great Lakes and along the Saint Lawrence Seaway, with shadow puppets and a ukulele strapped on the back seat.
Joshua Holden
Joshua Holden is an award winning puppeteer who radiates pure joy as he combines his dance training, musical skills, and love for classic vaudeville physical humor to create a style that is truly unique. He was seen on the Broadway national tour of AVENUE Q, and was the Lead Puppeteer in Peter Pan 360, the world’s first production to use brand new 360-CGI technology from London-Based ThreeSixty Entertainment. Most recently, Joshua worked with international artist Banksy on his controversial Sirens of the Lambs. In August 2013, Joshua was one of 24 puppeteers representing American puppetry at The Puppeteers of America’s National Festival, with a show he created called The Joshua Show. It was awarded “Best Performance” and was voted “Audience Favorite.” The Joshua Show inspires audiences across the nation, through live performances and online videos, to be themselves and make the world a better place by simply being kind to others. This proud Massachusetts native is an alumni of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and has a B.F.A. in Acting from The Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University. www.TheAmbassadorOfJoy.com
Alex and Sarah have been making original movement and puppetry pieces together since 2010. Long before they met, Alex was a fire-breather and knife juggler at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival and Sarah was a clown at Le Samovar, Ecole de Clowns, in Paris. In recent years they have performed at the Kennedy Center, the Shakespeare Theater Company, Black Cherry Puppet Theater, D.C.’s Clown Cabaret, Vermont Vaudeville, and even the White House. They are also company members of Happenstance Theater, with whom they devise original, full-length productions. They are thrilled to be performing at the National Puppet Slam this Summer!
Michael and Valerie Nelson's
Michael and Valerie Nelson's Little Blue Moon Theatre repertoire was inspired by a chance meeting between two loving puppeteers and an aphrodisiac maker, resulting in two exciting and popular seasons of underground theatre at Wild Swan Aphrodisiac Factory in Napa, California.
Today Little Blue Moon's award winning, short, humorous theatre pieces with themes of sex, romance and adventure are a festival favorite in Europe and have excited and delighted audiences coast to coast in the U.S.