My Meeting With A Couple Of Muppets

Have you ever gone out for a walk and run into your favorite movie star? Gone to the grocery store and bumped in to a rock star? That’s what I felt like last week when I stumbled upon Sesame Street characters Grover and Abby Cadabby.

I was in San Francisco, at the BlogHer convention. The convention was taking up most of the meeting rooms and ballrooms at the Westin St. Francis, and there was a ton to see. I had read something about a Sesame Street Suite in the convention guide, but hadn’t made my way over there. I was trying to gather up as much swag as possible (yes, I’m completely shameless) and was targeting the bigger rooms first.

So thank goodness I overheard another convention goer in an elevator, talking about how she had just met Grover! Not some second-string guy-in-a-big-furry-suit Grover, but the actual Grover. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, so I raced over to the Sesame Street Suite.

When I walked in, this is what I saw:

It was a little piece of Sesame Street, all the way in San Francisco!

There was so much to take in, at first I didn’t even notice the man behind the light pole. (No, there’s nothing wrong with his eyes, just my crappy camera.)

His name is Eric Jacobson, and for the past eight years he’s been doing many of the characters that Frank Oz used to do. I couldn’t tell the difference. I mean, not even a little bit. Whenever I hear any Frank Oz characters talk, I always hear a hint of Yoda, and there it was in Eric Jacobson’s voice.

I was still not quite over the fact that I was in the same room as Grover when Abby Cadabby came over and started talking to me. She was so nice and friendly, I was really embarrassed that I had no idea who she was. But she’s a pretty new character and my kids don’t watch Sesame Street as much as I wish they would anymore (although after all of this, they may start again).

Abby Cadabby is voiced by Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, who is just a really sweet person (thanks for letting me totally monopolize your time, Leslie!).

Abby was so lifelike I was making eye contact with her. After talking to Abby for a few minutes, I asked her if I could speak to the woman “behind” her. I really felt like I had to ask permission, it would have been rude not too. Of course Abby said yes, and I introduced myself to Leslie. I asked her how she is able to put so much life and personality into Abby, and her answer almost made me cry: “You have to learn to put your heart in two places.” Wow.

Here’s Leslie in action:

After talking to Leslie and Abby for a little while, I went in search of information on how to get a video made with Grover. Would I have to donate money to PBS? Win a contest? Write an essay? Complete some kind of epic quest? Promise The Children’s Television Workshop my next born child? Nope, I was next in line. That’s all I had to do, wait until the person in front of me was done making her video. I couldn’t believe that they were doing this. Watching Eric Jacobson bring Grover to life was really amazing:

Making the video was completely nerve-wracking. I wanted to act relaxed in my video but was just too freaked out. Grover! I’m talking to Grover! OMG Grover just said my kids names!

While I was waiting for my DVD I wandered over to the food table. I couldn’t bring myself to eat any of the desserts, they were just too cute!

I really can’t say enough good things about the nice people at The Children’s Television Workshop, and especially Eric and Leslie. It must have been very draining for them to interact with all of us excited and starstruck parents for two days, but they gave 100% to each and every one of us. It was truly one of the most special things I ever participated in in my life.

Originally posted on Selfish Mom


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