Easter Sunday afternoon, I watched a movie I'd been dying to watch for ages: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey. It was even better than I had hoped.
A documentary about Kevin Clash, the man behind Elmo, Being Elmo is also a story about how mentors make a difference even to those with the strongest of natural talents.
There's no doubt Clash was a natural. He started making puppets as a kid in Baltimore where you can bet that wasn't the cool thing to do. He watched Sesame Street and the Muppet Show obsessively, as much to find out how they made the muppets without visible seams as to see the shows. Whatever it was that drove him, clearly puppets were his medium from his earliest days.
What was wonderful (and made me cry) was how many generous mentors Clash received over the years, and how he clearly understood what he had been given and will pass it along himself. This is no self-made man and he knows it. Special credit goes to Kermit Love, an esteemed muppet and puppet builder, who made a point of taking Clash under his wing--and made his first meeting with Jim Henson a successful one.
Being Elmo is a beautiful movie that embodies generosity of spirit. It made me happy because I got to see someone's dream come true. Watch and enjoy.
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