“Honker is my main role, but I can do all of the tall roles – Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Bert and Telly Monster,” said Matney, who will perform as one of those characters when Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Super Heroes comes to Augusta for three shows.
Matney has performed in several incarnations of Sesame Street Live, including Elmo’s Green Thumb and When Elmo Grows Up.
He said he works with the Sesame Street Live franchise because there is a positive message and children learn through the show.
Like many adults, Matney learned some basic math and alphabet skills while watching Sesame Street on television as a child. He likes inspiring the next generation.
“I had thoughts about becoming a teacher, but I’ve been performing most of my life,” Matney said. “I performed in high school and college and worked at Disney. It’s a passion of mine.”
He said he particularly likes the message of this production.
“This really focuses on healthy habits. Childhood obesity is on the rise and we need to teach healthy habits – proper nutrition and encouraging children to exercise,” he said. “Ironically enough, I’m doing this in the show by exercising in costume.”
The Sesame Street characters stress healthy habits including proper nutrition, exercise, sleep/energy and good hygiene, while singing and dancing to songs such as Sunny Days, Splish Splash and Old MacDonald.
Fitness is a high priority for Matney. He is looking at a career in that field after his performing days are over.
Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Super Heroes will be performed at 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 5, and 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 6, at Bell Auditorium. Tickets are $16, $21, $26, $36 and $58 from (877) 4AUGTIX or www.georgialinatix.com.