My Day on Sesame Street - 18th December, 2008. Copied and pasted directly from my Facebook page. Feel free to add me! Written Febuary 18th 2009. P.S - The YouTube show is called "Sean, the Aussie Fan of [title of show]'s Show" - I believe it's still available to watch. P.P.S - This was during a 2 week holiday in New York City with two of my friends.
Okay, it's been like 2 months since I visited the set of Sesame Street, and I still can't get over how freakin' awesome it was! Let me explain: I'm in that YouTube show about those people, those people include Matt Vogel, Matt Vogel is a puppeteer. That should save us some time. So Sean (behind my back) organized for us to visit the set of Sesame Street, and he impressively kept it a secret until the night before. I'll tell ya how he told me. Like it was no big thing. Just a passing comment."What are we doing at 2:30 tomorrow?" "I dunno, why?" "We're going to Sesame Street"
That basically sums up my response. I didn't say much. I did jump around the hotel room a little. Matt (Collins) knew all about it. That night as Matt and I walked Sean to a theater so he could see a show we didn't want to see, I said "I feel bad, like I haven't been great full enough" But we decided this was just the shock to the system. I was excited. I was going to Sesame Street!
Okay, so we got to the studio like an hour early - in our defense we got told by someone at the hotel it would take like and hour and a half to get there - It took 25 minutes, if that! So we sit down in the foyer, and there's a lady on the phone near me. I'm thinking "Why does she look familiar? Where have I seen her?" and she winks at me. I later found out this was because I was wearing a Sesame Street Visitors Pass. And then I realized that lady was Leslie Carrara - one of the puppeteers. So while I'm sitting in the foyer, twiddling my thumbs and trying to calm myself so I didn't giggle like a little girl, people came in and out. I recognized some of these people as Muppet performers, and there was some show being filmed in the next room or something - Nurse Jackie. It's new. It's about doctors. We were making little remarks about it, until FINALLY 2:30 ticks over and we're lead by a little lady (who I've forgotten the name of, but was lovely) up a lift, and into a few corridors. One TV is showing a time lapse of the set being built. Another TV has a vet's waiting room in it, and every so often a hand would pop up. So anyway, we're lead through some rooms, see some of the dressing rooms, and meet the lady who plays Leela - a new character. She seemed a little taken aback by the sudden people saying hi why she was getting her make up done! There was another room and the first thing I saw (so cool but a little creepy) was Big Birds legs! Then it was time for the big moment! Just a step through this door and I'd be whisked onto the worlds most famous street!
The lady told us as soon as we stepped inside to look up - there was Snuffy, hanging from the ceiling. I wish I'd taken a photo, it was so cool and weird! Then we walked around the corner, and... Holy crap! It's Big Birds Nest!
That was cool! We took a couple of photos, just while they were filming a little bit (in the vet - more on that scene in a moment) and I saw the photo of Mr Hooper from the incredibly good scene where Big Bird is told of Hooper's death - I showed that to my Uni class when we were talking about dealing with tragedies in kids lives.
Then we round the corner to see them filming a scene. And there, in front of me, is Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Telly Monster and Gina doing a scene. And then there's a Yak, played by Mr Vogel! They film this twice (because Vogel makes Gina laugh in the last few seconds) and I take in the place around me.
There's puppeteers around me, there's a Muppet chicken hanging up. Eric Jacobson walks past me - Eric Jacobson is Bert, Grover, Miss Piggy and Fozzie among others. I'll talk about him in a moment. So there's a few minutes while they do some re-shoots and what have you, and we go into Hoopers Store. VERY VERY VERY cool.
Then me met the very cool Matt Vogel. And behind him was Paul McGinnis, another puppeteer. We chat for a few moments about [title of show], but then we talk about the REAL issue - why haven't we had our photos taken in Oscars Trash Can!?
Because it's been moved for the day due to room issues or something. So Vogel says "I'll go and get Oscar instead" Um... OKAY!
Paul took the photo while Vogel got on his butt, held up Oscar and stayed in character while we took a few photos. Vogel went to get Kevin Clash and Elmo, and we talked to Kevin about Rove for a bit. Then we met Elmo.
Elmo was very cute and funny, and told us all to get wasted on the weekend. We had to teach Elmo about being underage! Vogel then asked me if there were any characters I'd love to have my photo with. I racked my brains - the choices were HUGE! And then it came to be - "Ernie and/or Bert" So off Vogel went, and came back with The Count (Oh my God!), and behind him was Eric Jacobson with Bert! We quickly shook hands with Eric and said hi, then he put on Bert and didn't lose character for ages! Bert was hilarious, making sly jokes about Ernie's weight. They then took some photos, Bert asking Paul "How many Mega-pixels is that camera, Paul?" "Um, 8 Bert" "That's my favourite amount of Mega-pixels!"
We then watched Kevin with Elmo film something with a Make-A-Wish kid. Then I saw Super Grover. Getting some repairs done. You don't wanna see that! Then Vogel told us to come with him to see something Top Secret, and will remain Top Secret to all of you - its cooler that way! We were lead into a HUGE empty studio space next door, a room we'd already seen quickly. There were 2 HUGE blue boxes in that room, but I hadn't really taken much notice of them. Then Vogel and a stage manager lady opened the box, and there was one of the coolest things I'd EVER seen! After years of seeing it on TV, there it was in front of me! We looked at it in awe, touched it, learnt how it worked, how it was made etc. Probably one of the best things of the day. We then went and watched some more filming, and half hour later we left the studio. Our tour lady was very happy, she had only started a few weeks beforehand and she hadn't had her photo with any of the puppets, so she got just as much of a tour as we did!
So that was my day on Sesame Street! Since then I've spoken to both Vogel and Paul, and both have been very good to me. They're both great guys. Thanks to Vogel for making it so damn cool! Thanks to Sean for organizing it! I can tell you how to get, how to get to Sesame Street