PuppetMaster 213 keeps Los Angeles fans happy with El Triste

Carlos Granda Image
Saturday, September 24, 2022
PuppetMaster 213 keeps Los Angeles fans happy with El Triste
Performing as Puppet Master213, Cain Carias created a puppet he named El Triste, which translates to The Sad One - the opposite of his own happy personality.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- When Cain Carias performs, his audience is mesmorized by the gentle movements and emotions he brings to his puppets.

Performing as Puppet Master213, Carias created a puppet he named El Triste, which translates to The Sad One.

The name, he said, was meant to represent the opposite emotions from his own personality.

"I'm always happy, I'm always smiling and I wanted to do something the opposite of that, which is sadness," Carias said.

Cain came to the United States from Tijuana when he was 13 years old. He said at the beginning it was difficult but then he was able to get his first job at the world famous Bob Baker Marionette Theater.

"As soon as I walked in there he just blew my mind," Carias recalled. "Because it was around Halloween so around that time they had skeletons that glow in the dark, they had Dracula, Vampira. It was a whole amazing thing going on so it really caught my attention."

He says Baker was his teacher and he fell in love with the art of puppetry. He now tries to honor the past while bringing a positive message for the future.

Bob Baker died in 2014 at age 90. Carias points proudly to a tattoo of Baker's name on his hand.

"I put the name Bob Baker here. He's the one that taught me everything that I know. This is actually a memorial for him and a reminder to myself that I'm going to be doing this forever because he practically saved my life. I grew up on the streets right here and it's not the best reputation that we have around here but we're putting on a different image for myself."

The organizer of an event where Carias recently performed says over the years PuppetMaster 213 has built up a following for his work and for El Triste. Now people want to take pictures with him and his puppets.

"Because PuppetMaster is so involved in the community and makes appearances at different health fairs and other different types of community events a lot of people are just really excited to interact with him," event organizer Allegra Padilla said. "And (for) the youth it's also the opportunity to see him as a role model."

And his fans love his work and his emotion.

"He's uplifting," said fan Dwayne Wright. "Everybody here has a smile on his face and he's expressing emotions that many of us are too afraid to express. he's expressing all of it on that stage."

His girlfriend says he is happiest on stage bringing joy to others.

"I actually like seeing him perform and doing something that he loves," said Mayra Plascencia.

"He never complains about it. He might get tired but it's like, seeing him being happy it makes me happy too because he's living a dream basically."

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