Sunday, March 4, 2012

Being Elmo

I love the muppets. They are so sweet and cute! I'd love to see the Academy Awards hosted by all of the Muppets someday. I think that'd really make them fun to watch! I watched Miss. Piggy interviewing people on the red carpet during this years BAFTA Awards. She was definitely the best interviewer!

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (2011) focuses on the man behind the lovable furry red monster, Kevin Clash. His story of becoming the puppeteer of one of the most popular Muppets of all time is truly incredible. As a child, Clash was always drawn to puppeteering. He grew up watching classic children's shows, such as Captain Kangaroo, which he went on to work for at the beginning of his career, but his favorite was Jim Henson's Sesame Street. The show influenced him to start making his own puppets around the age of 9 or 10. He started putting on his own performances for the children in his neighborhood, which eventually led him to perform in the children's hospital, daycare centers, and a local television show in his community. At first, he was teased a lot by his peers, but this didn't stop him from continuing his passion. The teasing eventually stopped, once Clash became more famous and ended up on television.

Clash dreamed of working for his idol, Jim Henson. He eventually got there because his talent caught the eye of the Muppet designer Kermit Love, mainly known for helping Henson create Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch, who met with Clash after Clash's mother got in contact with him. Love took him under his wing and made sure to introduce Clash to Henson once the opportunity presented itself.

His parents always supported him and encouraged him to do what he loved. They were amazed by his talent right from the beginning, even when Clash destroyed a coat of his dad's in order to make his first puppet. They are both extremely proud of their son and helped him to gain success, despite the fact that they were not wealthy and didn't have many connections. Both did whatever was in their power to support their son.

What amazes me the most about Clash is how shy he seems to be when he is not puppeteering. He really comes to life through his puppets, especially through Elmo. Elmo is so sweet and kind that it's hard not to love him. I know numerous adults who love Elmo just as much as their children and grandchildren do.  In fact, I know a grandmother who bought a Tickle Me Elmo for her own house because she thought it was so adorable. Clash is responsible for bringing smiles to many all over the world and its nice to put a face to the man behind the puppet. 


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