James Wojtal is a talented puppet designer and builder. During his career he has worked on projects like Avenue Q, Bear in the Big Blue House, Crank Yankers, Saturday Night Live, Sesame Street (the American and various internationl versions), Mop-a-Top's Shop, Kermit's Swamp Years, Animal Jam, and more. In this interview I asked him to share his thoughts about puppet building.
SJ: How did you first become interested in puppetry and puppet building?
JW: I guess when I was a kid, my mom taught me how to sew when I was 4. I would make little stuffed animals, and things like that - small mice and rats, little animals that would fit in my pants pocket so I could take them with me anywhere I went. I didn't really realize it was puppetry that was fueling my interest till I was older, maybe in 5th or 6th grade. Still, I didn't think of it as a career at that point. For a long time I was really considering becoming a Paleontologist, one of my other passions that I still have a strong interest in.