STUFFIE SPOTLIGHT: Emily Harkess and Hermione Beare


Today we are introducing some new friends to the STUFFIE SPOTLIGHT. Please welcome EMILY HARKESS and HERMIONE BEARE! (Fun fact: Hermione Beare is my cousin.)

1) What is your name and where do you live?

My name is Emily Harkess (I’m a monkey!) and this is my best friend, Hermione Beare. We’ve just moved to a suburb of Albuquerque, New Mexico! Up until this September, we lived in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Our pet human and I (Emily) are originally from Denver, Colorado, but we met Hermione at a Shakespeare festival in western Massachusetts.

2) Tell us about how you got started blogging/writing.

We have a very active presence on Facebook, with lots of friends (fluffy and human) all over the world! It grew accidentally out of our love of theater: You see, our pet human is an actress. Once, she was in a show that was a collection of scenes from Shakespeare, and that included the pirate scene from Hamlet. You did know there were pirates in Hamlet, didn’t you? Sometimes they just tell you about the pirates, but in this show, they thought, “How can we have pirates in the story and not show them off?” so the pirates came in and acted out their story while Horatio was talking about them. My human was playing a pirate, and it was a pretty silly scene, so one day, she suggested to the director that every pirate ship needs a pirate monkey, and she asked if I could join the show. The director agreed, and I became part of the cast. Here I am in my pirate costume, with one of my co-stars:

Well, everyone in the show was having fun posting cast pictures on Facebook and tagging every actor so all of their friends could see how much fun they were having in the play. One day the director said, “Why doesn’t Emily have a Facebook page? I want to tag Emily in the photos, too!” So Anita (my human) built a Facebook page for me. At first, we just expected it would be a way to tag me in pictures from that play, but then I started getting friend requests from other stuffies on Facebook. I accepted, and those fluffy friends introduced me to more and more fluffy friends, and my Facebook life and international fluffy network grew from there!

There are also some good stories about how Hermione Beare came into the mix: I met Hermione when my pet human went to Shakespeare & Company, a theater company in Lenox, Massachusetts, to attend their month-long intensive actor training course. Actors move in for a whole month, and they spend almost every waking moment in that month studying voice, movement, emotional connection, stage combat, clown, and all kinds of actor-y things like that! I knew it was going to be hard work for her, so I came along to teddy my human through it. While we were there, we found out there were Shakespearean teddy bears in the theater gift shop. One of the big shows in the company’s latest season had been Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale,” which includes the famous stage direction, “Exit, pursued by a beare.” So the gift shop was selling teddy bears wearing t-shirts that said “Exit, pursued by a beare.” One of those bears chose my human to adopt and follow home. She was named Hermione, after the queen who is a main character in “The Winter’s Tale.” Queen Hermione is very smart and brave and tough, and so is Hermione Beare! As soon as she came back to our dorm room to meet me, I knew we were going to be bestest buddies forever!

One more amazing thing we discovered about Hermione’s heritage: As we got to know Ajdin Adilovic, the Bosnian Bear, online, we noticed that he and Hermione looked a lot alike. But how could that be? Hermione grew up at a Shakespeare festival in Massachusetts, and Ajdin was from a gift shop far away (in Bosnia, was it?). But Hermione and Ajdin checked the tags on their bums, and they both had the same company name on them, Steven Smith! It turns out that Hermione is Ajdin’s cousin from the same stuffie manufacturer!

3) What other pursuits do you have?

As I’ve mentioned, we have a pet human, and she does fun things we like to participate in with her. Sometimes, at Halloween, the human dresses up as someone fun, and Hermione and I can dress up in costumes that go with that. For example, last Halloween, our pet human went as Nanny Ashtoreth, the demon nanny from the Amazon Prime show, “Good Omens.” I put on devilish red jammies and a name tag that said “Hello, my name is Warlock” (That’s the kid Ashtoreth nannied for.) and Hermione went as my demonic teddy bear! (Her t-shirt says “All hail the great beast.)

Here we are with our human:

And here’s a better shot of our costumes:

We also like to go on road trips to interesting places (like the site of a Jesse James train robbery in Iowa!):

And I play stuffed guitar:

And hang out with our sweethearts, Chip the monkey for me and Groot bear for Hermione.

And finally, we love the theater, especially Shakespeare. In fact, Ajdin featured us on his blog earlier this year, when he asked what everyone was doing for fun during quarantine lockdown, and we sent this photo of us and some of our other fluffy friends watching a video of David Tennant in Shakespeare’s “Richard II.”

4) What is your favorite food and favorite thing to do?

We’ve already listed so many of our favorite things to do! As for foods, my (Emily’s) favorite foods are anything to do with bananas! I especially like banana-flavored lattes. I actually started my life as a decoration in a monkey-themed coffee shop called The Monkey Bean. We had banana-flavored syrup our customers could choose to add to any coffee drink! When the coffee shop had to close down (the land owners tore it down and put up a parking lot. Really.), my pet human, who was a customer there, adopted me and took me home with her. I still love coffee, though!

Hermione, true to her brown bear roots, is a big fan of salmon and everything to do with honey! We also both love banana splits. I love the bananas, Hermione loves the berries, and we both love sharing the sweetness with our very best friend!



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