Ryan Dosier – Exactly five years ago today, on nothing but a whim and a prayer, armed with a handful of articles and a lifetime of fandom, The Muppet Mindset was started. It was a Wednesday, I was 19, I had started my freshman year of college just a few days earlier, and, as cliche as it may sound, my whole life was going to change. To put into words what this website and this community of fans and friends has meant to me these past five years is next to impossible.
People often ask me why I started The Muppet Mindset, and it’s a fair question. My go-to answer is that I was just looking to give Muppet fans an outlet to express themselves online on a large stage–and obviously that’s true. That was the idea from the get-go, and I like to think the site has stuck to that over the years. But after five years, I realized that my true goal was to put something meaningful out into the world. It was my attempt to find a place and meaning, and it worked.
The Muppet Mindset has allowed me to grow and change, just as the site has grown and changed. By far, these have been the most constantly changing and evolving five years of my life. Everything about the site has shaped my life; from its (almost) daily updates, to its social media presence, to everything in between. I know who I am because of The Muppet Mindset, because it’s more real and tangible than most things in my life.
My thankfulness to so many people is unending. To Jim Henson, I owe everything I can possibly fathom. He is the influence in my life, none higher. I’m so thrilled to honor this anniversary with the image at the top of the article, provided by Dave Hulteen. It speaks to who Jim was so well, and I adore it. To my heroes, the Muppet performers, I am immensely grateful for your friendship and your kindness. The fact that I can call these men and women my friends is honestly the thing I am most happy about. Every single person involved with the Muppets whom I have met have affected my life with an onslaught of support and kindness that I will never be able to repay.
When I was 20 years old, I met Bill Barretta, his wife Cristina, and his son Jackson on my first visit to Los Angeles. The treatment they showed me, after knowing me for only a few minutes, changed me. Inspired me. Moved me. I owe the world to this family, and I’m so honored to know them.
My friend Peter Linz has shown me more love and light than almost anyone. I value his friendship so very much and I treasure every moment I’m with him or talk to him. Matt Vogel makes me laugh almost every time I talk to him, and is a source of pure joy for me. David Rudman is so delightfully charming and smart and brilliant. Eric Jacobson is such a sweet, magical person. Steve Whitmire is so consistently excited to see me whenever I have the joy of being in his presence. And Dave Goelz… I struggle for words. Dave Goelz is the funniest, smartest, sharpest, most genuine, and genuinely kind person I know. He is my hero forever and I am blown away that I know him and he knows me. Getting to interview Dave was my favorite moment in five years of The Muppet Mindset. I also need to give shout outs to my wonderful friends John Tartaglia, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Paul Rudolph, Louis Henry Mitchell, Jim Lewis, Marty Robinson, Nathan Danforth, and so many more.
I also must thank Jerry Nelson, who was a hero I reached but unfortunately never met. Jerry was the snappiest, sweetest, smartest, most humble person, based on my small amount of communication with him. To interview Jerry and getting to interact with this legend–my hero–and ask him my questions was the biggest honor I’ve ever had. I adored every interaction I got to have with Jerry, and I miss him dearly and will always thank him for his generosity.
My most heartfelt thanks go out to the insanely passionate, devoted, and incredible contributors and fans. There are too many of you to name, so I won’t even try. But the outpouring of love and support heaped upon me and The Muppet Mindset by these fine people is overwhelming at times. The Muppet Mindset has had over 100 contributors over five years, which is insane to me. The amount of fans who have supported us for five years takes my breath away. I’m so beyond thankful to every single person who has supported The Muppet Mindset in any way shape or form I can’t express that in words, but know that I thank you.
Anyway! You may have noticed by now that you’re reading this article on a different Muppet Mindset than usual. In honor of the fifth anniversary, The Muppet Mindset has converted fully over from Blogger to WordPress! WordPress allows us easier editing, sharing, and posting. It’s a truly wonderful change and we hope you like the new setup! Welcome to The Muppet Mindset, again, Muppet fans! We’re so glad you’re here and we hope you have a most sensational, inspirational, Muppetational time. I close this post the same way I closed the first post way back on August 26th, 2009…
Movin’ right along, Fozzie.
Endless thanks to my friend Dave Hulteen for the incredible artwork at the top and bottom of this post. As always, Dave, I am floored.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, email@example.com