Kristian Michaels (born Christopher Columbus Michaels, July 6, 1970) is a Canadian-American puppeteer, voice actress, actress, and writer. She has voiced women, men, and children due to her versatile vocal range.
Kristian started her career as the performer of Christopher Johnston in It's the Paul Taylor Program!. Because she had transitioned from male to female midway through her run as the character, for later episodes she wore padding and tied her hair with bows while in the role to hide the fact she was no longer male.
From 1991 onwards under the pseudonym of Louise Farlone, Kristian was a prominent writer of fan-fiction, mainly specializing in the Muppets and other children's media characters. Her crossover fanfiction You Are Our Hero won the first annual American Fanfiction Writers' Prize for Children's Media Fanfiction.
For several years beginning in the mid-1990s, Kristian worked on several Muppets projects - as a writer (co-writing Journey to Eagle Rock and episodes of Eagle Rock), as a puppeteer (she performed Brenda and the Grand Councilor in Eagle Rock, and was an ensemble Muppeteer for Sesame Park and Wacky Works), and doing photo puppet work for several Muppets books. She also performed a walk-around version of Louis the otter in Sesame Park Live: When I Grow Up and Sesame Park Live: 1-2-3 Imagine! and walk-arounds of Zoe and Rosita at Ontario's Playland. She was sometimes referred to in her Muppets works as "Crystal Michaels", her post-transition real name.
She was Creative Director for Latikuu Edacra Entertainment North America from 2008-2015.
Kristian was born in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S. to a Canadian father of Czech origin and American mother. She was born Christopher Columbus Michaels (named after the explorer) and was assigned male at birth. Her father, at the time a historian at Auvray College, had been rescued in the Kindertransport and was adopted by a Canadian couple from Brandon, Manitoba. Kristian came out as transgender to her parents on her 16th birthday.
Kristian graduated from Crestwood Secondary School in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada in 1989 under the name of "Chris Michaels", and was her class' valedictorian. She studied at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
Visual artist and cultural advisor Walton Michaels is her older brother.