2013 Guests and Attending Professionals

Michael Frith

As a designer, illustrator, writer, performer and producer, Michael K. Frith has been deeply involved in the world of family entertainment for almost 50 years. He joined The Muppets/Jim Henson Productions in 1975 as Art Director, becoming Executive Vice President and Director of Creative Services. A key member of the creative teams that developed many of Henson’s greatest successes, he conceived and/or designed scores of television’s most popular characters, from Sesame Street to The Muppet Show, Saturday Night Live and a myriad other Henson productions. He was co-creator (credited as Conceptual Designer) on HBO’s International Emmy Award- and Ace Award-winning series Fraggle Rock and co-producer of the NBC series in animation; as co-creator, he was credited as Creative Consultant and Executive Producer on CBS’s four-time Emmy Award-winner for Outstanding Animated Children’s Series, Muppet Babies, for which he reconceived the classic Muppets as infant versions of themselves. He was Creative and Design Consultant on the internationally acclaimed The Muppet Show; Design Consultant on five Muppet movies, creating characters for The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Christmas Carol and The Muppet Treasure Island as well as Sesame Street’s Follow That Bird; on the holiday classic Emmett Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas; and on the network television series The Jim Henson Hour, and Muppets Tonight. He was Creative Producer (and designer) of CBS’s Little Muppet Monsters, and Muppet segment producer on the Emmy Award-winning special, Free To Be…A Family, designer and Executive Producer (and two-time Gemini Award-winner) on the FOX Children’s Network series Jim Henson’s Dog City and on the 1995 CBS Nabisco Family Classics special starring Robert Downey, Jr., Leslie Nielson and Stockard Channing, Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree. He also served as Executive Producer for the Henson/Nickelodeon series, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, for which he twice received Prime Time Emmy Award nominations. In 1978 and 1986, Jim Henson invited him to share in the company’s two George Foster Peabody Awards.

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.

Kathryn Mullen

Kathryn Mullen began as an actor and director in live children’s theatre, but through puppetry, came to a long career in television and film. She joined Jim Henson’s Muppets in 1978 as a puppet builder and background puppeteer on the Muppet Movie. She then joined the cast of The Muppet Show and soon became a principle performer. She was featured in many Muppet productions including The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Labyrinth, numerous Muppet Specials, Little Muppet Monsters, The Christmas Toy, and Sesame Street. She performed the heroine, Kira, in the Henson fantasy film, The Dark Crystal and played Mokey Fraggle and Cotterpin Doozer on the beloved HBO series Fraggle Rock. After leaving the Muppets Ms. Mullen played the title role in the Jumbo Pictures/Nickelodeon series Allegra’s Window for three seasons. Returning to the Muppets in 1996-97, she was puppet captain and principle puppeteer on the Nickelodeon series The Wubbulous Word of Dr. Seuss… a ground-breaking show using live puppets against live-time manipulated, computer generated backgrounds. She also directed many short pieces for this series. In 1999-2001 Ms. Mullen was one of the co-creators of the PBS literacy series Between the Lions, on which she also performed one of the main characters, puppet captained, wrote and directed. Currently Ms. Mullen is co-founder and the Artistic Director of No Strings USA a not-for-profit puppet production company whose mission is to provide life-saving, culturally sensitive, educational entertainment to at-risk children in developing countries. Under Kathryn’s artistic direction, No Strings has produced 13 short films dubbed into 24 languages. These films are being used to help children in over 12 countries.

Karen Prell

Karen embarked on her first career as a puppeteer with Jim Henson and the Muppets in 1980 and performed popular film and television puppet characters for 16 years. Her most well known characters are fan favorites Red Fraggle in Fraggle Rock and the Worm in Labyrinth. Her puppet credits also include Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and several classic and recent Muppet movies. Her second career as a computer animator included work on the award-winning Pixar films Geri’s Game, For the Birds, A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story 2 and Disney’s Enchanted through Tippett Studio. Karen is now well into a third career in video games at Valve, animating characters as well as tackling game testing, merchandise design and development. She was the main animator for Wheatley the mechanical companion sphere in Portal 2 and also contributed to animation for GLaDOS and the co-op bots Atlas and P-body. She is currently animating a wide variety of creatures for DotA 2. Karen’s career has come full circle and to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Fraggle Rock, she recently resumed performing Red Fraggle for the next generation.

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.

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:
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.

Honey Goodenough

Honey Goodenough is a New York City based puppeteer, producer, educator, clown, and magician. Puppetry credits include Phantom Limb's The Fortune Teller, Puppetworks, and The National Marionette Theater, and No Strings International. She produces Puppet Pandemic, a nationally touring showcase of puppetry works. And yes, that really is her name.

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.

Mike Horner

Mike Horner is a professional puppeteer and puppet builder. Since 2006 he has been the Associate Artistic Director for the Paul Mesner Puppets in Kansas City, MO. Mike is the creator of the Timey Wimey Puppet Show, a puppet web series celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who.

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.

Aaron Lathrop

Aaron has performed his puppets all over the country, with Tears of Joy, Great Arizona Puppet Theatre, and others. He creates new works of all types with his partner Gina Leigh and is thrilled to be a part of this year's Dragon*Con.

Gina Leigh

Gina Leigh is a puppeteer and playwright. With her partner Aaron Lathrop, Gina has toured both coasts with puppet theatre companies. She played Alfreda The Cheetah in The Jim Henson Company's X.Tink.Shun. She has produced shows, classes, and workshops; and played in puppet slams across the country.

Carla Rhodes

Carla Rhodes is a rock n’ roll ventriloquist and comedienne. Mentored by the legendary Shari Lewis, Carla has performed since her teens and appears regularly in New York City when not touring nationally. Most recently, she was honored to be a finalist in the 2012 Andy Kaufman Awards.

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!

Andrew Young

Andrew Young is a professional puppeteer, independent filmmaker, and animator from Toronto, Canada who has worked in puppetry for film, television, and theatre for over 15 years. He is the author/editor of the popular PuppetVision Blog and is currently completing a feature-length documentary about puppeteers and puppetry around the world.