Sunny Raskin: Heather Henson Sings Along with the Muppets

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Sunny Raskin, from Raskin Dance Studio to discuss her latest venture and what she hopes to do next.

You just finished your tour with Heather Henson Sing Along with the Muppet Movie, How was that experience?

I was already excited before it started! It was a lifelong goal to be involved in the Muppets. What I quickly realized was the impact, way beyond what I expected. Everytime I had the chance to perform and  present Jim Hensons ideas of the world, what he stood for and all he wanted to do was make people happy, and smile. The kids get a bag when they come in and they are a part of the movie. We are excited they are there instead of them excited for us. Our part is to make them feel like they are a part of something.  I find their world and I make them feel safe and slowly they become part of the experience.

What do you feel is the key to creativity?

I think they key to all creativity is feeling safe. The person who feels it is ok to be good at something will try to do all different things. It’s important that there is no one path. If you are an artist, be an artist of many things.

What can you tell professionals in the creative world?

Learn beyond your scope. If you’re a dancer in a company, you know that your earning potential is not great but if you expand your horizon you can do so many things. They say there are no starving artists, just a starving art. If your art (i.e.: dance) is not paying learn another one (i.e.: costume design) this way you will always be an artist, just one who is earning.

What was your role with Heather Henson Sing Along with the Muppet Movie?
We are WhatNots, meaning we are nothing and we are everything. Our job was to make ourselves be the ones who look weird and freaky so that everyone felt that they were in a great place. We are the loading crew, we do tech sound checks, we do the show. There is no true glamour in this job. The glamour comes from the feeling we get at the end of show, when you look at the happiness in the crowd and the crowd smiles back.

What do you want to do next?

I would like to choreograph puppets on bigger scale and maybe a major motion picture with puppets. I would like to do it from a dancers point of view and bring puppets to life, doing dances.

What piece of advice would you give to children?

Dont be in a hurry, don’t be in a hurry to be the best at anything. Don’t think because you’re the kid in the back of the dance class who doesn’t have all the jumps, that you wont be the best dancer one day.

If you could do anything… skys the limit!
I’d like to be in Annie on Broadway and I would like to play Miss Hannigan!

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