The Annual 2012

School of Visual Arts
Newsmakers

Emmy Repeat

Jesse Averna

“Working for Sesame Street is a dream come true,” says SVA alumnus Jesse Averna (BFA 2008 Film and Video). “Honestly, there isn’t a day that goes by there that I don’t feel humbled, elated and satisfied. It’s not only a legacy, but a show that is constantly innovating and pushing itself to be better every year.” Averna has good reason to be effusive about the legendary PBS children’s show: in the span of a year he won two Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Achievement in Multiple Camera Editing, for the 2010 and 2011seasons.

Averna launched his professional career while still a student at SVA. “I was working full-time as the offline editor on Johnny and the Sprites, a live action, narrative children’s show with puppets and performers, while also attending SVA,” he says. “This gave me an opportunity to ask the advice and professional opinions of instructors such as Richard Pepperman, Vincent Libretto, Adam Myers, Chris Newman, Sal Petrosino, Lynn Vance, and many more.”

Averna singles out co-editor John Tierney for special thanks: “John has been editing Sesame Street for many years. After Johnny wrapped, I joined his team at Creative Bubble [a video production company]. A couple of years went by and when an opportunity at Sesame came up, John graciously thought of me.”

He plans to stick around on the Street—“I have the best job in the world!”—and offers some straightforward advice to others who might have similar ambitions: “Make good work, be easy to get along with, and deliver your material on time. If you can do that, you will have a rewarding career. It’s a small business, so don’t burn bridges.”