Day 5 of my first trip to NYC in 2008 brought upon one of the most surreal and cool experiences I’ve ever had. From the image above you can probably already tell what it is. How many of you can say you know how to get to Sesame Street? If you don’t know how I got to this point, it’s probably worth reading Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4.
(Above the title is stuck a sticker, which once appeared on my chest. It reads:)
Kaufman Astoria Studios
Dec 18 2008
V.I.P.N.Y.C (Dec 18, 2008)
It is the night of the 18th of December, and it is hard to write right now, not because we just got back to the hotel and my hands are frozen, and not because i just ate KFC and they’re greasy, but because we had an amazing day.
To get to Sesame Street we had to take the Subway, and then a short walk through Astoria which was a nice little town. Then we waited in the lobby of the studios with the cast of Nurse Jackie…a show we had never heard of before. Pretty soon it was up to Stage J and the world of Sesame Street.
We were there inside Hoopers Store, hanging out at Big Bird’s Nest, standing under the sign, seeing what was behind the doors under the basketball ring.
Our tour guide was nice but we were about to encounter a better one, Mr Matt Vogel, the coolest muppeteer in my opinion “There seems to be some Australians over here” he said as he came to chat. Next thing he was organising photos for us.
Kevin Clash and Elmo were soon over with us and we were taking photos. “Elmo thinks you’re all going to get wasted tonight, especially you!” said Elmo to Jarrod, we had to teach Elmo about being underage.
Then Matt had rustled up Eric Jacobson with Bert to come along and Matt had the Count. “What Mega Pixel is that?” asked Bert.
“My favourite size Mega Pixel”
We were introduced to Carrol Spinney’s Oscar, the (well pretty much) original Oscar, well worn, well loved. Amazing.
After photos Matt showed us his bird.
His top secret Big Bird.
Usually the Big Bird puppets are not shown to the public, they’re locked away in giant boxes but today Matt’s was opened and I touched Big Bird!
The experience was mind blowing. We left the studios feeling complete.
That night we saw Shrek…
SKIP AHEAD, SKIP AHEAD
Freezing Aussie Ass Off.
No sign of John Tartaglia, then suddenly he bursts out of the door happy as can be, and people are lining up for autographs. He gets round to us and I’ve pushed Jarrod in front with his Johnny Fund Bag.
John says hi, gets ready to sign and then clicks.
“Wait a minute, are you guys those Australians that do the [title of show] thing?”
Then it is crazy signing and chatting and getting video footage, and he apologises to the crowd, but we’re from Australia. He’s chuffed by the spot on the show, and loved it. He’s genuinely impressed. He personally signs everything, getting all our names, poses for photos and asks about the trip.
He is in the general consensus that In The Heights rocks.
He wishes us the best for the rest of the trip, and says goodbye again as we pass.
We all love Johnny.
We are commissioned to film a new series for him.
I’m pinching myself.
It was all real.