On Following Your Dreams
March 23, 2012
Kevin Clash, a young African-American puppeteer growing up in the 1970s, didn’t let the obstacles of poverty stand in the way of his dream to work with Jim Henson. His passion for bringing characters to life can be seen in everything he does. You may not know Kevin’s name, but you do know the embodiment of him: Elmo.
In a new documentary about Kevin’s life, Being Elmo is a moving tribute to the human spirit. As we the viewers watch Kevin’s journey unfold, we are able to relate to the obstacles that life affords us all. In Kevin’s case, he didn’t listen to the naysayers. He had one vision: to work on Sesame Street. Lucky for us, his dream came true. But also at a personal cost.
Meeting the demands of being Elmo is not always easy, and Kevin spent most of his time away from his family to make millions of other kids happy. At one point in the documentary, we are shown a scene from his daughter’s Sweet 16 birthday party. He gets several celebrities to wish his daughter, Shannon, a happy birthday on film. We watch as he sheds a tear or two and we are confronted with his sense of loss at the years he wasn’t there for her. For a brief moment in time, we are invited into the fantasy world of puppetry and the sacrifice of being in such demand. It is an incredibly moving film that the entire family can enjoy. I highly recommend it!