Friday, July 13, 2012

"Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" (2011)

I am not a fan of Elmo. I have always thought of him as a “Johnny come lately,” a part of the syrupy sweet wave that Barney and the Teletubbies represented, one of the characters that had my kids thinking that Grover, Ernie and Burt were not good enough. He was the toddler takeover of a medium that had been sophisticated enough to entertain adults while keeping the kids happy. That being said, I like Kevin Clash.

This documentary is an inspiring film. It may be hard to show in a mere 80 minutes the hard road to success that Kevin undertook to be where he is today. It seems like instant success. However, it took years of hard work, dedication, and near obsession to get there. Kevin honed his craft, learned every aspect of the business, and even after achieving a place with the Muppets, he took on bit roles and small parts. When he finally got Elmo as a reject character he was ready to be at the right place at the right time.

If you get a chance to watch this film, do so. Better yet watch it with the kids in your life and talk about it. Point out the work that creating fun can demand, but also the fun that hard work and dedication produce.

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