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"As a performer, I couldn't find the kinds of puppets I wanted to use, so I started making my own. In the past five years, I've made hundreds of puppets. When I met the guys from Avenue Q, I told them, 'The only person I know that can build these kinds of puppets and do it at the price you need is me.' The Avenue Q puppets have to be built like tanks because they do eight shows a week. They're double-stitched with reinforced seams and have custom fake fur, feathers, and steel boning. I still service them. What's next for me? It's a great mystery."
WHO: Rick Lyon
WHAT: Performer and puppetmaker
WHERE: East Orange, N.J.
HOW HE DID IT: Lyon had his own troupe and worked with Jim Henson's Muppets before collaborating on Avenue Q, a Broadway musical.
COSTS OF A PUPPET: Up to $10,000 and 120 hours to make.