I've always been curious to know what goes on behind the scenes and hear the personal story of why people are doing what they do. That's exactly what you get to do in this documentary! As a young child, Kevin Clash became fascinated by the characters of Sesame Street when it premiered on November 10th, 1969. The Sesame Street set reminded him of his own neighborhood in Baltimore. He loved everything Jim Henson did including his ability to make his own puppets from start to finish. It motivated Kevin to take the steps needed to make his dreams become a reality. When he was 17 years old, his mom Gladys knew he had talent as a puppeteer, so she called Kermit Love, the man who built many of the life size muppets for Jim Henson. She asked Kermit if her son Kevin could meet him since he was interested in puppetry. Kermit said the next time he, Jim and the team were in town, he could come to the muppet workshop. The time came sooner than later when Kevin and his high school class took a trip to New York City! Finally, Kevin could learn more to further his skills as a puppet maker and a puppeteer. During that once in a lifetime trip, he got to tour the muppet workshop, ask questions about what materials the muppets were made from, and even discover the Jim Henson "stitch". While growing up, Kevin was teased in school by classmates because they said he was "playing with dolls". He wasn't just playing with dolls, he was perfecting his craft, which brought smiles to those who needed it most, including children with special needs or terminal illness. In time, Kevin met Jim Henson and became part of Sesame Street as a curious, precocious three year old monster named Elmo! Elmo is known for his love of children and children just LOVE Elmo!! Kevin through Elmo shows that he cares for people and understands that love, support and belief in others really allows them to soar! Being Elmo is unbelievably well done and shows that with tenacity and determination you can do what you truly love and make an indelible impact on the lives and hearts of all those who need it most, which happens to be all of us!
Thank you Kevin Clash and Constance Marks for coming together and sharing each of your talents to produce this touching and inspiring documentary! Michelle Fischer is host of A View from My Window, a podcast produced by The Arc of Indiana