Founder of Mimics Productions
Sally Preisig, founder of UK based Mimics Productions Ltd, began her stage career whilst still at school. She regularly took part in school plays and village stage productions and won a place with the National Youth Theatre whilst in year 11 at school. Sally also loved all aspects of sewing and design and studied at The Royal School of Needlework for a year, achieving a distinction in City & Guilds Embroidery Parts 1 & 2. Sally loved getting involved in as many needlework and sewing classes and soft sculpture projects as she could. Sally was successfully awarded a 2:1 degree in Performance Arts at Middlesex University in 1988.
Whilst at Middlesex, Sally had learnt that on a performance Arts course there is always a shortage of backstage crew. Sally found the gap in the market, which she rapidly turned into a career! As part of the course, Sally had to act and sing on stage, which she loved, but much preferred not to be seen! So she helped behind the scenes whenever she could! She dabbled in puppetry, but had yet to realize that she had the talents to become a successful TV puppet maker and TV puppeteer. After Middlesex, Sally continued her love of all things back stage by getting her first job with Trestle Theatre Company, spending 3 years as Company Stage manager, prop & costume maker and also doing the odd bit of set design, winning the ‘Time Out’ Award for best set design of 1991 with Trestle’s show ‘The Edge’.
In 1991 Sally was offered her first TV job on a joint Children’s programme with Channel 4 and French TV channel TF1 ‘The Wild Bunch’. Sally was the TV prop maker on the programme and also ended up assisting the three puppeteers on set in Paris and also doing bits of puppeteering on location back in the UK. She loved her time so much with the puppets that after the filming had finished she found out who had made the puppets for that programme. It was John Thirtle of ‘Playboard Puppets’. Sally joined John’s workshop as a workshop assistant and was also taken on by his partner Ian Allen as a member of the new cast for their next tour of ‘Fun and Games on Button Moon’. When work in the workshop hotted up she was taken from the tour to assist, on all sorts of different productions and on mammoth projects – two commercials for ‘Robinsons Fruit Drink’ and three TV series for Carlton of ‘The Spooks of Bottle Bay’. Through all those busy times at Playboard Puppets she was unselfishly taught nearly everything she knows about puppets!
In 1992 Sally was also an additional Puppeteer in the film ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’. Then in 1994 Sally got her first big break on BBC children’s programme ‘Playdays’ performing the puppet and voice of Peggy Patch. Her three and a half years with Playdays was great fun and very varied up until the very last Playdays programme which was sadly recorded in 1997.
It was during the years as Peggy Patch on Playdays that Sally started working with her Playdays colleagues Iain Lauchlan and Will Brenton on their ‘Fun Song Factory’ videos, produced by their company Tell-Tale Productions. Sally was the puppeteer for many of the Fun Song Factory characters and she made, voiced and puppeteered ‘Sally The Cat’. She was also their prop and puppet designer and maker and made the character costumes of ‘Ozzy Octave’, ‘Bump’ and the Singing Paint Pot puppets amongst many.
Her years with Tell-tale lead her to being in the team that devised the ‘Tweenies’ for BBC’s Cbeebies. Sally designed and made the original prototype dolls and all the original Tweenie television character costumes and puppets and was given the amazing job of voicing and animating ‘Bella’.
Since Tweenies, Sally has worked on GMTV’s – ‘MacDonald’s Farm’ and BBC’s ‘Cbeebies’ – ‘The Shiny Show’ – Sally built the three puppets and was the original ‘Dogsby’ and she was the original ‘Bits’ on ‘Bits and Bobs’. Sally was also the puppet builder of ‘Superbaby’ for Story Makers.
Sally has voiced two sets of singing and story CD’s for Marks and Spencer, has voiced and sung on 21 different Parragon children’s rhyme and story books, has recorded character voices for Legoland and was the voice of Miki the cat on a Sooty touring stage show.
Her first Production Manager job was making a video for Hamleys and their ‘Bear Factory’ franchises. Also enjoying the opportunity to design the two sets, make the 4 character costumes and voice the two female characters! Over the years Sally has designed, made, puppeteered and voiced many puppet characters for children’s TV and made some weird and wonderful props and character costumes for TV and theatre as well as numerous private commissions including brand character mascots, sports mascot costumes, character heads, animal mascots and puppets for music videos. She absolutely loves her work as it is so varied. She enjoys a creative challenge! She would have done none of the above without the huge support from her husband and 2 kids! She has been a full British Actors Equity member since 1988. Sally is included in the Directory of Professional UK Puppeteers & UK Puppet Makers published by The Puppet Centre Trust.
In 2003 Sally also set up a second company from her workshop - Crafty Kids Ltd. Designing and creating craft and string puppet making kits for kids over 4. In 2010 she handed over the running of this successful company to another company in order to concentrate more fully on her real passion.
Since 1988 Sally hasn’t stopped making puppets, costumes and anything involving fabrics. She just loves the challenge and carries on whittling things in her small workshop by the sea in southern most Hampshire in the UK with her husband and 2 children. Sally can’t wait for the next email or for the phone to ring with the next exciting project!