Hand Puppeteer

The other half of modern puppetry is the old hand puppet. Puppeteer Kevin Clash is one of the best; he has even won an Emmy Award for his work on "Sesame Street," where he plays Elmo. He has his hands right in the thick of things, manually controlling all the facial reactions and expressions of his puppet, especially the mouth.

But even Kevin rarely works alone. Even with the simplest of muppets, there is usually at least one other person operating the hands.

Most of the Henson puppeteers do their own voices, and Kevin suggests developing five really strong ones. Those voices can then be applied or modified to fit any character you're given to do. And if a new voice comes to you, use it, nurture it, and add it to your repertoire. "It's a great job—you can act as crazy as you want."

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