Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Being Elmo

I found this post that I wrote ages ago, but I seem to have neglected to publish it.  It's a review of another movie from the Bloor Cinema's opening week as Hot Docs theatre  in Toronto.

Kevin Clash is a man who has lived his dream.   As a young boy growing up in a poorish neighbourhood in Baltimore, he fell in love with puppets.  His first romance was with Captain Kangaroo, but Sesame Street brought his passion to full flower.  Sesame Street looked like a place he could live, and oh, those puppets were absolutely wonderful.

So Kevin started making puppets himself.  An early visit with Kermit Love broke open some of the secrets of a great puppeteer, like how did you make a puppet where the seams didn't show.  Through Kermit's mentorship, he found his way to Sesame Street, his dream home.

Clash just fell into being Elmo. Another puppeteer on the show just didn't relate to the puppet and threw it to Clash with the words 'you try to do something with it'.  Clash turned the puppet into a symbol of love.  But more than that, he just became Elmo.  His warm, all-encompassing smile and voice brings Elmo to life.  He is now Executive Producer of Sesame Street, and is greeted all over the world with delighted recognition - and yes love - from Elmo's many fans.

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