Remember the Muppets?
If you grew up in the 70s, 80s or 90s like I did, then you have an extra-special place in your heart for this family of adorable furry creatures that loved dropping wisdom bombs like:
“I don’t care what you think of me, unless you think I’m awesome. In which case you are right.” – Miss Piggy
“Bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself.” – Big Bird
“Sometimes Me Think, ‘What is Friend?’ and then me say, ‘Friend is someone to share the last cookie with.” – Cookie Monster
Kermit the Frog, who said: “Life’s like a movie. Write your own ending.”
My friend Victoria Labalme is married to the legendary Frank Oz — the man who gave voice to all of these characters.
He helped create and perform some of the best-loved characters of all time… Like Bert (remember Bert and Ernie?), Grover and the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. Like Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal from The Muppets. And Yoda from Star Wars.
Yup, Frank Oz is the guy who said:
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
And, of course, “Patience you must have, my young padawan.”
These quotes about life, love and legacy were born from an incredible creative collaboration.
Frank worked for many years, along with an incredible team of puppeteers and performers including Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Fran Brill, Bill Barretta and the legendary Jim Henson on Sesame Street and The Muppets.
And those were the kinds of people that Victoria had around her dinner table… for years she heard them talk about the amazing team environment that they had all worked within. As she witnessed their playfulness, their riffs off each other, their stories about their work culture and Jim Henson’s leadership, she thought to herself:
“This is not a culture I see out there. I shouldn’t be the only one experiencing this! There are leaders who need to see this… there are teams who need to see this… there are entrepreneurs who need to see this… there are artists who need to see this… and I bet there are millions of fans who would want to be here right now. I want to share this with them all. It seems a tragedy to be lost on me alone.”
So, Victoria finally decided to produce a documentary, and convinced Frank to direct it, as a way to record some of those conversations. And that’s how Muppet Guys Talking came to be.
Muppet Guys Talking takes you behind the scenes and gives an insight into what it really took for the performers of Sesame Street and The Muppets to create some of the world’s most beloved characters, and test the limits of their imaginations as a team.
Muppet Guys Talking was released yesterday.
The ONLY way you can access it is online at www.MuppetGuysTalking.com.
Go there and check out the trailer.
(SPOILER: Muppet Guys Talking is not free to watch, but it is reasonably priced and totally worth it! And there’s a special package coming as well for the people who want more!)
I’m not getting an affiliate commission for this… I just think it’s a must-watch.
I’ve been in a mastermind with Victoria and had the privilege of seeing much of this film in advance and I’m moved to tears pretty much every time I see something from her.
Muppet Guys Talking is an extraordinary film about an amazing team of people achieving incredible feats of creative expression, characterization and storytelling through the power of non-competitive COLLABORATION.
Not just the ordinary kind of collaboration – as this film shows us, there was an extreme level of what experts call ‘psychological safety’ present in this team headed up by the late, great Jim Henson.
Muppet Guys Talking shows how your favorite characters were created, how the team functioned so collaboratively, and the crazy lengths the performers had to go to sometimes to shoot some of the amazing scenes we came to know and love (like, remember Kermit the Frog sitting on a log in an actual pond of water… you won’t believe what they had to do to make that happen!)
So what can the Muppets teach you about life, love & legacy?
Well, it shows how a group of people got together in the spirit of fun, collaboration and adventure… It shows how a group of people created a safe space for innovative thinking and radical creativity… and it shows how you can change the world by having the time of your life and loving every moment of it.
Sesame Street and The Muppets changed the world in a big way. They helped shape the mindsets of an entire generation (actually, multiple generations) of kids. They not only taught important lessons about numbers and letters, they also taught about the importance of diversity, inclusivity, love, compassion and playfulness.
Through their willingness to insert outrageous fun into their passion, they showed that growth, learning and life can (and should) be fun! And… they made me laugh, dance and sing along with them in the process!
Find out the behind-the-scenes secrets of how they did all that, by watching Muppet Guys Talking.
Check out the trailer, here:
You’re gonna love it!
Love it? Hate it? Let me know...
“Non-competitive collaboration” leaves so much energy to create within “psychological safety”…great wording, thank you, Marisa