Christie was given her first puppet when she was a baby, a glove puppet rabbit, followed by a Winnie the Pooh glove puppet which she loved dearly and used throughout her childhood. Christie has always been an enthusiast for nostalgic children’s TV shows, in particular puppet-based shows such as The Muppet Show, Bear in the Big Blue House, Tweenies, Rainbow, The Wombles, Bagpuss, Arnie and Barnie from Nick Jr and many more. As well as these, she also regularly watched CBBC, growing up with the well-known Hacker T. Dog, Dodge T. Dog and Oucho T. Cactus – all of which inspired an interest in puppetry from an early age.
It was only during the first covid lockdown in 2020 that Christie thought seriously about taking up puppetry as a hobby. She practised with her BBC Merchandise version of Hacker T. Dog and used chopsticks and rubber bands as arm rods and began to manipulate the puppet and attempt to mimic his movements. Continuing to practise during second lockdown, she gradually improved her puppeteering skills and decided to take out her merchandise version of Hacker on Halloween and she dressed up as one of her favourite puppeteers, Phil Fletcher.
In September 2022, Christie was given her first Kermit puppet (a children’s hand puppet) as a belated birthday present from a relative. She decided to practise by taking him out in public (in supermarkets, at airports, holiday resorts etc) and mainly for her own entertainment, having Kermit interact in conversation with herself. Other people began to take an interest in her conversations with Kermit and joined in with their conversations. The hotel staff even brought Kermit his own special green coloured drink.
After successful interactions on her holidays with holiday makers, hotel staff and airport staff, Christie decided that she wanted to increase her involvement with puppetry and joined the Guild in December 2022. Soon after joining the Guild, she bought her first professional puppet called Furlow, who she has been puppeteering with ever since. She has been taking him out and about in public and interacting with more and more people which has given her increased confidence in herself. Events Christie has attended with both Furlow and Kermit include the Guild New Year lunch in Cheltenham in January 2023 and also the 2023 annual May Fayre in Covent Garden.
Christie also attended a Comic Con in Stoke-on-Trent in April where she was fortunate enough to operate the official Hacker T. Dog and to meet Phil Fletcher in person. Christie’s Dad has also attended these events with her and has been thoroughly enjoying them, so he has also decided to join the Guild so that they can continue to develop their puppeteering knowledge together. Christie is interested in working with puppets and children. Her experiences to date when travelling with her puppets have been very positive, with both children and adults interacting and engaging with the puppet characters.
She would love the opportunity to bring her puppets to television and other media. Christie is currently building her first puppet (a dinosaur pattern from Puppet Things). It is a new challenge and to her surprise is more complex than she had expected, although she is enjoying working on this so far. To see more, you can find Christie on Instagram.