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Member of the week: Kirk Maynard, puppeteer

Our member of the week is Kirk Maynard. Kirk is the president of a Natural Bridges, an Ohio-based puppet production company that helps businesses get their messages out with the use of puppets. The Natural Bridges Puppets are used in advertisements, promotions, theatrical productions, and recently in their own television show (NBTV). Learn more about the Natural Bridges Puppets at their website, and learn more about Kirk and his path to being a freelancer in his profile and in our interview with him.


1. What has been your most interesting project?

To date I would have to say “NBTV,â€? our pending TV series. It has taken many turns and although some have not been that great, we are now on the verge of finally getting back into production and on-the-air, both in the States and abroad. “NBTVâ€? is our TV series that is all about a brand-new station that has gone on the air. They have strange new shows and programs, in addition to having lots and lots of technical mishaps and problems. “NBTVâ€? is a live-action, family-friendly puppet comedy TV series that everyone can watch--even the family pet!

2. Why did you decide to go freelance? After working 20 years in the law enforcement field, in addition to trying to make a name for myself in the entertainment field, I felt the time was right for me to focus all of my attention on my business. Sometimes if you don’t take a chance and risk it, you’ll always wonder "what if?" I felt the time was right to finally move forward with Natural Bridges LLC, my business, on a full-time basis. 3. What tip would you give to a new freelancer or someone who is considering going freelance? Before taking the plunge and going for it, make sure that you have some time vested in what it is you will be doing. In addition, it doesn’t hurts to have a bit of savings stashed away to use in case you run low on funds, and it never hurts to have a back-up career or job that you can go to if you really need to. Most importantly is to never give up. Keep trying and one day all your hard work and dedication to your dreams and goals will pay off. It took me a little over 7 years to finally make it, and I’m still working at it.

4. What is your favorite spot in the city in which you live? To pick one spot is a bit hard in the Greater Cleveland area, as I enjoy visiting many locations, but a few places that come to mind over others include the Cleveland Metroparks, the Cleveland Zoo, and the Cleveland Museum, and the City of Oberlin, Ohio which made us very welcome during filming.

5. What is your inspiration? What really inspires me to keep at it and work hard to make Natural Bridges LLC a success is the fact that I really love what I do, and my idols (Jim Henson, Shari Lewis and Mister Rogers) also loved what they did. They made it work and I can to, just as long as I keep at it and remember that one day I might also inspire someone as well.

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