She knows the way to Sesame Street

Submitted photoLindsey “Z” Briggs and the new Sesame Street character she plays, Foley.

This October, join Sesame Street’s newest neighbor, Foley, as she interviews her friends in the new Sesame Street podcast, “Foley and Friends.”

Foley, who is voiced by Le Roy native Lindsey “Z” Briggs, is a super fun monster who loves hosting this podcast and getting to have her friends from Sesame Street on as special guests.

Each episode will be 15 minutes long and cover a variety a kid-friendly subjects such as vehicles, birthdays and learning the alphabet. Recurring segments are expected to include “Elmo’s Joke of the Day” and songs such as “The Letter of the Day.”

The podcast, launching Oct. 15, will include original music, interactive games, jokes and visits from such beloved Sesame Street characters as Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster.

“As families’ media habits evolve, Sesame Workshop is ready to meet them wherever they are with engaging content that sparks playful learning. Together with Audible, we’re creating a rich audio-only world that will come to life in kids’ imaginations,” Sesame Workshop executive Scott Chambers said in a news release. “We can’t wait for our friends at home to explore the sounds of Sesame Street in a whole new way.”

Foley, described as having an energetic and silly personality, has a love of making silly sound effects. (A foley artist is an artist that uses an array of props to create and record the everyday sounds – footsteps, swishing clothing, swords being drawn from a sheath – heard in films, television shows, and video games.)

This isn’t the first time Briggs has worked in the Sesame Street neighborhood. Before she played Dalia, a foster mom monster for Sesame Street’s foster care initiative, which was released online through Sesame Street Communities.

She’s also been a puppet wrangler on PBS’ “It’s a Big Big World,” worked in stop motion animation for a Fisher-Price project, and played Lottie Lamb for three seasons on SeeMore’s Playhouse.

Briggs explained a puppet wrangler is somebody who gets the puppets ready to go on screen because the puppets can’t get themselves dressed. Wranglers assist with helping the puppet pick up props, and watch all the shots while they are being filmed to make sure they consistently look good.

“I’m really grateful to be able to get to do that because it really gave me a lot of knowledge on how TV sets work, and how TV puppetry works,” she said.

Working on the podcast, however, will be a lot different as Briggs will only be using her voice. She said in some ways, it is very freeing as she only needs to think about one thing.

“I’ve always wanted to be a puppeteer,” Briggs said. “I’ve always enjoyed puppetry. Actually when I was in high school, I used to do a little bit of work in volunteering for the Genesee Orleans Youth Bureau. They did puppet shows at different playgrounds throughout the area. That was probably my first time ever performing live, like with puppets.”

Initially she didn’t have the idea to do puppetry as a career until she realized everyone who does the Muppets for Jim Henson were all adults, and it could be something she could be paid to do. So when she was 17, it was something she realized she wanted to do – declaring in one of her senior bios that she wanted to move to New York City and work for Jim Henson.

It’s a dream she has seen to fruition.

And for anyone else who is from a small town who wants to do something nobody else does, Briggs wants them to know they can do it.

“You can totally do it. You just have to keep trying, keep working hard,” she said. “Meet people do that thing. Get in touch with people who do the thing you want to do, and then find your path to making that happen for yourself.”

Briggs, along with her husband, Chad Williams, run and founded Wonder Spark Puppets, which can be found online at www.wondersparkpuppets.com. They live in New York City, but have been staying the summer in Springville. They expressed their thanks to Springville Center for the Arts for allowing them the opportunity to continue their artist residency at the Arts Underground for the fall season.

Foley and Friends will be on Audible on Oct. 15. New episodes will be released on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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