October 07, 2014

By Sesame Workshop

I Found My Way to Sesame Street: Lisa Marie Fulton, Sesame Street Live

vee1Lisa Marie Fulton (pictured in the green hat above) is a professional Sesame Street character performer. She is going into her sixth season with Sesame Street Live and her seventh with VEE Corporation. Here’s her look back at how she found her way to Sesame Street.

My journey started in 1985, I was 4 years old and my mom and grandma took my brother and me to see Sesame Street Live in Detroit. I was mesmerized — hooked. I was going to be on that stage when I grew up! We continued to see the show year after year. As I grew older, my ambitions changed as fast as my shoe size. When I grew up I wanted to be a teacher, a cartoonist, or a stay-at-home mom. But in my heart I always knew I wanted to be on stage.

Throughout my life, I’ve worked to get there. When I was young I started taking dance classes at Randazzo Dance Studio. At Ypsilanti High School I joined a club that involved performance. I went to college and graduated in 2003 with a degree in theatre from Bowling Green State University. My first audition out of college? It was for Sesame Street Live in Columbus, OH.

I didn’t get it.

Of course, I was disappointed. But I was a performer and rejection is inevitable. Sometimes you’re just not the right fit.

Shortly thereafter, I moved to Minneapolis. While there I acted, taught, designed costumes, danced and even became the mascot for the Saint Paul Saints professional baseball team. I was pretty content with my life until one day I saw a posting for Sesame Street Live auditions at Target Center. It had been more than three years since my first audition, but I had more professional experience and even costume character experience so I decided to go. Six months after that audition I got the call to go on tour with VEE Corporation.

Three years after that I stepped on stage as Baby Bear. I had finally found my way to Sesame Street.

This is where I live. Of course traveling the country I miss my friends and family back home (luckily, I’ve gotten to perform for them in my travels) but tour is my home away from home and the people I tour with are like family. I’ve been like an older sister, younger sister, mother and even the cool aunt to some of my tour mates. I still have close relationships with people I’ve toured with, especially those I shared hotel rooms with for ten months at a time. For example, I know I can call or text fellow performer Timmy Hayes, former management team members Dave and Mary Hart, and countless others at anytime for a laugh or tough love.

Touring is a lifestyle full of hard work and adventures. It requires a dedication to your craft unlike any other. Touring also has it perks like traveling to new places. On my days off I like to visit major and minor league ballparks (Go Tigers!) and try the different foods each state has to offer. (New Orleans has my vote for the best!) I also love seeing what challenges each year brings. This year I decided to go back to school. I was accepted to Purdue’s Master in Communication program. So while I continue to travel the country performing I will be taking online classes and fulfill another dream of mine by obtaining my master’s degree. I know it won’t be easy, however, like Grover says (which I also quoted in my essay to get into grad school, thank you Grover!):

 I, Grover, am big and tall
and very smart and kind of cute and wonderful
I think that there is nothing I cannot do

I wholeheartedly believe that. I can do anything. Hey, I found my way to Sesame Street, didn’t I?

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