Friend a Day – Gordon Smuder
I’ve known Gordon from olden Renaissance Festival days. He has moved on to become a puppeteer and the producer of Transylvania Television.
Gordon is not only a great puppeteer, he is also extremely talented at building puppets as well. Last year, I decided I wanted to do a puppet show for CONvergence opening ceremonies and I asked Gordon to help out. Most important was a puppet version of the convention mascot, Connie. Oh, and a puppet version of a Dalek and The TARDIS.
He completely nailed the design on all of them because he’s just that good. You give him an idea and he is going to pull it off because he’s a perfectionist.
I’ve been working with him as a writer for the last several months and he is a very good collaborative partner. He let’s you write what you are going to write but if he feels something needs a push, he’ll offer a few good comments to get your work back on track.
Gordon is very geeky about certain things, like Sid & Marty Krofft shows. It made me think of him when I was looking at Puff n’ Stuff Geyser in Yellowstone this week. I don’t know if the geyser of the TV show came first but it doesn’t matter.
As a puppeteer, he knows how to bring out the best in all of the characters he performs. He’s one of those people who recognizes he is best as a supporting character rather than a lead. I’d love to see him offer classes in puppeteering. I don’t imagine too many people would take them and that would be a shame because he has a lot of good information to share.
When he sits panels at CONvergence, I know that he will have done his research and will have a lot of good information to share. He’s serious about being a fan and being a puppeteer and he wants to make sure that his audience gets the most out of their time.
I am sometimes amazed at the talented people with whom I work. Gordon is one of those people. I’m lucky to know him.