|Puppets On Hand|
|Age (at audition)||33-47|
Tom Blasco is the owner and operator of Puppets on Hand and Puppetcraft Playhouse. Tom’s interests in puppetry began in early childhood. “As a child the first film I remember seeing was Disney’s Pinocchio and I was instantly hooked. He is still my favorite today, coincidently the first puppet I ever owned was a Pelham Pinocchio marionette, and I remember it had color coded strings.” Tom’s desire for building puppets soon followed.
Upon reaching adulthood Tom acquired the skills to become an accomplished make up artist, specializing in effects, however his love for puppetry didn’t stop there. During an 8 year stint as a make up teacher Tom taught advanced classes in the art of animatronic and cable controlled puppets along with varied make up techniques.
After leaving teaching, Tom has maintained a successful freelance career creating special effects for the entertainment industry with clients including Disney, Feld Entertainment, Universal Studios, and Hardrive Productions. Tom then found a charming marionette theater in Central Florida called “Pinocchio’s” There he began building marionettes along with other puppet builders for their productions. With his local reputation rapidly growing he soon became the resident puppet builder, as well as a performer, for “The City of Orlando Puppetroupe”. Tom continues to build puppets for both companies. Tom’s knowledge of materials, expertise, and attention to detail has made him sought after by puppeteers and puppet builders of all levels, from novices to seasoned veterans such as Master Puppeteer Paddy Blackwood. Mr. Blackwood is the acclaimed puppeteer controlling the strings of the famous “Howdy Doody” puppet for the 1976 revival of the beloved children’s television program. 1
Puppets On Hand's audition in Episode 709 consisted of the puppeteers controlling worm puppets and portraying the worms performing in a circus and at one point combining into a "human shape." Throughout their performance, the puppeteers played a circus theme and "New York, New York" on the kazoo. Howard Stern and Sharon Osbourne buzzed the act. Although Howie Mandel voted "Yes," Howard and Sharon both voted "No," eliminating the act from the competition.