Guests for August 16, 2020
Jane Gootnick. Kevin Clash
With college degrees in both acting and set design Jane first moved to Europe working in Belgium and London. In the mid-70’s she moved to NYC working with alternative theatre groups (LaMama, Joe Papp’s Public Theatre). Jane became head sculptor at Brooks Van Horn Costume Co. making props, masks and creatures for a large variety of venues: Broadway shows (Sweeney Todd, Dracula, Peter Pan), feature films (The Wiz, Hair), Warner Bros walkarounds, commercials, Ringling Bros Circus, and the first four seasons of Saturday Night Live.
In 1978, the costume designer for SNL mentioned that the Jim Henson Company was looking for sculptors for a film called The Dark Crystal and suggested she interview.
Jane was offered three weeks work to build a prototype support harness for the Skeksis they were developing. So, she left her three-year full-time job for three weeks of work at Henson’s and stayed 40 years!
Jane has worked in both the New York puppet shop and the London Creature Shop throughout the years. Designing/building puppets and creatures, supervising builds, and running workshops on location for Muppet/Henson films and TV series, (Dark Crystal, Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth, The Storyteller, The Witches, Ninja Turtles, Dinosaurs, Muppets Tonight, The Muppets, etc.). She has also worked on a variety of talk shows, game shows, and awards shows (Oscars, Grammys, Hollywood Bowl and many more).
Jane is an art director for print and media photoshoots, film posters and endless fashion shoots with Miss Piggy with Louis Vuitton, Prada and other diva designers.
Performer, Director, Producer
Kevin Clash is best known for Elmo (Sesame Street) 1979-2012. He also was part of Labyrinth (1986), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 (1990) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (1991), Happy Time Murders (SFX) 2018, and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Netflix) 2019. In addition to Elmo, Clash is also known for performing Splinter (TMNT) Baby Sinclair (Dinosaurs), and Clifford (Muppets Tonight).
Kevin Clash has won 29 daytime Emmys, over one hundred fifty -six performing title credits, thirty- one producing title credits and twenty- seven directing title credits. In 2011, his documentary, Being Elmo, was awarded the Special Jury Prize at Sundance. He has appeared in numerous television specials, commercials, feature films and direct-to-video products.
During his career, he has worked with great innovators who founded the classic puppet television industry including Kermit Love, Frank Oz, and Jim Henson.
Clash has recruited, auditioned, and trained puppeteers from all over the world. He was the senior puppet coordinator, and was also a director, co-producer and senior creative adviser on Sesame Street. Kevin was essential to the success of Elmo’s World and the creative branding powerhouse of Elmo. Business Insider states that in 1996 the toy company Tyco saw their sales grow from $70 million to an astounding $350 million thanks to the Tickle Me Elmo Doll.
Clash’s most recent project, Earth to Ned, will be airing on Disney+ this Fall and he currently has several projects in development.