i. I work as a: Set/Props Designer and Puppeteer/Puppet Creator.
ii. I do this creative work because:
I love exploring different mediums of art, collaborating with others, and making an impact on people with live theatre.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
Being easy-going and always finding fun and humour in my work, but also my commitment to perfection and hard work.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Finding the right balance of work/life while having a stable income and staying social.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
I loved making miniatures, drawing comics, crafting little creatures, making short films and music videos, pretending to be famous.
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
It changes every project I work on. I constantly meet new artists and people and they would be my inspiration that month!
vii. Training that has helped me in this career:
I trained at Studio 58 partly as an acting student and partly as a production student. It has been the backbone of my career and I owe my success to all my teachers and colleagues from that school.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Overwork from taking on too many projects. Because we work on our own time, it is very easy to never take breaks and constantly be working. Also becoming isolated and antisocial from the result of being too busy and alone all the time.
ix. Some proud career moments:
Seeing my insanely close-up face on the big screen when I was a lead actor in a short film (we won first place in a contest called MAMM). Standing in the dark listening to the applause after I’d finished my graduating solo show at Studio 58. Seeing my first published article about me in the newspaper. Winning my first Jessie Richardson Award! Finally creating my own puppet show about my father (called Otosan, currently in working-progress).
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Be prepared for a lot of hard work and commitment. Being super-duper poor and never owning your own house! Haha! But also exchanging disappointment and stress for very rewarding and incredibly fun experiences. There’s nothing like getting paid for work that you love doing.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
Creating and establishing Vancouver’s puppet company which will produce large and small scale puppet shows for all ages, all year long!
xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
Header Photo: Erin Aberle-Palm
Internal Photos: Courtesy of Shizuka Kai
Final Blue-Hued Salmon Girl Photos. Erik Zennstrom