Look Who's Talking Now!
Fascinated by what he refers to as "a world of little people," Halliday set his sights on a career of puppetry and never looked back--despite some general opposition from concerned adults. "My show is about making people laugh," he says. "I make people laugh their asses off."
by Blair Tellers
hen Jerry Halliday was five years old, he went to see an elaborate production of a touring puppet marionette show in New York. Upon it's finale, the young boy marched himself backstage and made acquaintances with all of the puppeteers. "One of the performers told my mother about a book on how to make puppets. She got it for me, and I started making my own," he recalls. Fascinated by what he refers to as "a world of little people," Halliday set his sights on a career of puppetry and never looked back--despite some general opposition from concerned adults. "In the 7th grade we had to write a paper on what we wanted to be when we grew up," says Halliday. "My teacher was so concerned she had my parents and I meet with the guidance counselor, who told me if I said something like that in college I would get laughed off campus." The counselor was, in some respects, correct. People did laugh. Hordes of them. And they haven't stopped. Today, Halliday
and his troupe of sassy diva puppets (including likenesses of Mae West, Bette Davis, Carol Channing and more) have gabbed their way across the continent. If you thought the world had room for only one Joan Rivers, think again. Now a major success, the talented puppeteer and his fabulous companions have paved their own legacy worthy of mention alongside the names of icons like Jim Henson (The Muppets) and "Bil" Baird ("The Sound of Music"). And while all of Halliday's puppets are masterfully constructed himself, he's not taking any orders. "I make puppets as rarely as possible," he quips. "It's tedious, a pain in the ass and it takes forever. Most puppeteers say, `Oh, don't you just love making puppets?' And I say, "No." Halliday has visited Spokane before and describes it as a charming city with an "exciting cosmopolitan nightlife." He wants to return, and subsequently contacted the Spokane AIDS Network (SAN) to set up a benefit show for the local organization in
WHAT: "Diva's Gone Wild" A Fundraiser for Spokane AIDS Network by Jerry Halliday WHEN: July 14, 2009, 6pm WHERE: Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W Sprague, Spokane, WA COST: $15 For ticket information please call Tickets West at 1-800-325-SEAT or visit www.ticketswest.com.
which all the proceeds will benefit SAN. He's hoping for a large turnout. "My show is about making people laugh," he says. "I make people laugh their asses off." While Halliday prefers to keep his show focused on healthy oneliners and straight up comedy, he does boast quite the interesting political background. Growing up on the East coast, Halliday participated in the first large gay march in Washington D.C, helped put out the first gay newspaper in Virginia in the early 1970's, went to an all-black college and was on campus when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Halliday - Continued Page 12
www.qviewnorthwest.com | Q View Northwest - Spokane Edition | June 2009 |