RICHMOND, Va. -- GalaxyCon, a three-day festival with some of your favorite voice actors, gamers and more, is back in Richmond this weekend.
Steve Whitmire is a puppeteer or a Muppet performer who worked with the late Muppets creator Jim Henson.
"I had done characters with Jim for about a dozen years prior to his passing and then when he passed away, I sorta inherited Kermit the Frog and Ernie from Sesame Street and a few of his other characters, too," Whitmire said.
Whitmire is also known for other popular shows.
"We did a series called Fraggle Rock back in the 80s, I did Wembley and Sprocket on there, probably my favorite thing I ever worked on, we did the Dark Crystal, I did this character called the scientist who drained the life out of people," Whitmire said.
As a young child, Whitmire was fascinated by how alive and real the Muppets were and credits his love of puppetry to that.
“I was three or four years old when Rowlf was on the Jimmy Dean show back in the 60's, and it seemed like the people who were doing it were enjoying themselves, so I got obsessed with it in high school was the nerdy puppet guy in high school and just lived for that.”
GalaxyCon gives Whitmire the opportunity to meet new performers and see some of the seasoned professionals.
"It's always great to see William Shatner, he's always here, the people from Star Trek, the future star treks, John Reese Davis is here from the Raiders of The Lost Ark and 150 other films, John Cleese is here today, so those folks are kinda fun for me.”
For GalaxyCOn owner Michael Broder, this undertaking is much more than a ComiCon.
“It's more than just comics, it's comics, it's TV, it's animate, it's Sci-fi, it's superman, it's Star Wars, anything you're a fan of, wrestling, if you're a fan of the stuff, this is the place for you."
It's a space for connections with other fans and celebrities and is one of his favorites. A chance meeting with a Star Trek actor at an early age got Whitmire more interested in these conventions.
“I always love seeing Bill Shatner, so two days ago was his 92 birthday, he does all our shows with us, he was here last year, he's here this year and God willing he'll be with us next year.”