My name is Mary Arlene, sometimes spelled “Arline”–it’s a long story. I live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where I work as a medical transcriptionist–oh, sorry: “healthcare documentation specialist.” I attended Northern State University, where I majored in English and minored in Theatre, and the University of South Dakota where I earned a Master’s degree in Literature. Born in 1980, the fourth of five children, I’ve been a fan of the Muppets for as long as I can remember.
I’m not a puppeteer, but I have done some puppeteering. In 2007, I was involved in a dinner theater production of Little Shop of Horrors, in which I performed three out of the four plant puppets (the second-to-smallest puppet only appeared in one scene and was performed by the actor who played Seymour). It was, I am embarrassed to say, an extremely amateur effort; I’d had no previous puppeteering experience, I had no one to teach me the right way to do it, and the puppets themselves were not easy to work with because they had been taken apart and then put back together by somebody who really didn’t know how.
My favorite Muppet is Kermit. My favorite Muppet Show/movie characters are Beaker and Dr. Teeth. My favorite Sesame Street characters are Bert and Ernie–don’t make me choose one over the other! My favorite Fraggle Rock characters are Wembley, Mokey, and Cantus.
I once made Steve Whitmire’s day. This ranks as one of the proudest accomplishments of my life, right alongside performing in The Laramie Project in college and writing an A+ term paper on Paradise Lost in grad school.