TACOMA, WASH. - What has green eyes, stands nearly as tall as a two story building and tells really bad giant jokes like “What are the largest ants in the world?” (“Gi-Ants”.)
The answer is Gerald the Giant Marionette.
A few years ago, Jason Holland hurt his back moving furniture and found himself bed ridden.
“It really gave me a chance to focus on art which is something I've always loved to do,” Holland said.
He began sketching a character. A giant puppet. Not to scare people. Quite the opposite.
“The idea behind this was to just bring people together,” Holland said.
A 15-foot puppet needs help coming to life. One person per limb, and someone to work the eyes and mouth.
“There can be as many as four people on those levers at once,” Holland said. “Preferably all strangers.”
Holland says people have more in common with each other than they might think.
“I don't care if you're rich, poor, black, white, Asian or Hispanic, we're all people. We're all beautiful in our way,” Holland said.
Holland says that's what he learned growing up in Tacoma.
“You have to choose to love people and at some point in my life I just chose to love people and that was it. There's nothing constructive in hating people.”
So Gerald the Giant is spreading big love, one bad giant joke at a time.
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