I hope that all my puppetry fans and friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. My family and I watched the Macy’s parade on television (where was the Underdog balloon?), shared a delicious meal together, took a walk around our neighborhood to the playground, and enjoyed each others company.
Later in the evening I performed my puppet show at the Ronald McDonald House near Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati. I have been donating shows for the guests for two years now. Every show I perform there is special. Why? Because for thirty minutes or so I let the children and families forget about the reason they are staying at the Ronald McDonald House and share my imagination with them. Nothing more. Sharing my love of puppetry, singing a silly song, telling a goofy joke, having a bit of fun.
As I prepared to pack up the puppets and the stage, a noticed a young boy who was about four years old standing in the theatre with his parents. I offered him one of our coloring pages to color. He seemed rather shy, so I was sure to give him space. Suddenly he perked up and asked to see “the blue puppet” (which is our “Monster of Ceremonies” Cyril). The boy began to open up to Cyril, ignoring that I was operating and voicing the puppet. He asked Cyril many questions about his purple beard, where does his voice come from, and how does he pop up from the puppet stage. All along his father was snapping photos of his son interacting with the puppet. It was a wonderful moment for me. This is why I am a puppeteer. I brought magic to this young boy’s life for half an hour.
When the gear was all packed up and ready to be loaded, I passed the reception desk to have one of the volunteers tell me she overheard many of the children exit the theatre saying, “That was an awesome puppet show!”. She thanked me for spending my Thanksgiving evening entertaining the children and guests and asked if I would come back again. You bet I will!
This made my Thanksgiving special.