Friday, September 22, 2006

My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo has Taught me about Life, Love, and Laughing out Loud - Kevin Clash [September/06]

It's an Elmo! As soon as I opened my box of books and saw this book, I knew I had to read it right away. I started it soon after I posted about my goody box and finished it up tonight at work.

From the flap:

The furry red monster known as Elmo has charmed his way into hearts and homes throughout the world with his unmistakable laught, over-the-top enthusiasm, and boundless love. Elmo's appeal is nothing short of magical. Kids adore him, and parents find him irresistible. What is is about his little monster? Meet Kevin Clash, the man behind the Muppet and unassuming heart and soul of Elmo. At last, the puppeteer who has performed Elmo for nearly twenty years comes out from behind the stage to share his story. Weaving together his memories of growing up with the life lessons gained from his furry red alter ego, Kevin reveals himself to be as caring, and as eager to grow and learn and love, as the very special character he brings to life. You will discover how young Kevin honed his talent entertaining the kids in his mother's home day care with puppets he made from slippers and coat liners; how, as a struggling young artist, he realized his dream to meet and then work for his idol, Muppet creator Jim Hensonl and how each and every day of performing Elmo reinforces for him what is most important in life. As Kevin has been inspired by Elmo, now we can all learn from his furry red ways. Kevin' s (and Elmo's) thoughts on love, creativity, friendship, and optimism remind us of life's simple truths and ultimately encourage us all to be a little more like Elmo - to live with joy, to love more easily, and to laugh more often.

I was browsing the new releases from Random House, and I saw this book in the non-fiction section. I am rather glad I did, because to be honest, I am not sure I would have even known this book existed otherwise. And then I would have missed out! I am not even a big Elmo fan, he was just really making his name when I was watching Sesame Street, so I was not enchanted with him as I was with other Muppets. In recent years, though, his fame has sky-rocketed, and that has brought him more and more to my attention.

I have to say, though. I am a huge Jim Henson fan! To me, Sesame Street is a children's show, and it was never something I could watch as I got older, but when I was a kid, I was right there. I loved three shows when I was a child: Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and The Muppet Show. I have been thinking about my favourite muppets, and, you know, that's a hard question. Every Christmas I watch Muppet's Christmas Carol. The tape is gone, luckily it broke on the year the movie came out on DVD! So, that, and Muppet's Treasure Island, are my favourite movies. But, muppets, hard question. I love Kermit, of course. I have been enchanted with him since I was a child, and I would LOVE to meet him. Picking runner ups, though, is hard. I like Gonzo, Oscar, Rizzo the Rat, Big Bird, Miss Piggy, etc, etc. Anyways, as a muppet fan, I had to read this book about the man behind Elmo.

This book was so great. It is a bit of a self-help book, and I probably wouldn't have picked it up if it wasn't for Elmo. I, of course, know that there is someone controlling Elmo, but I never think of him, to me, Elmo is Elmo. To get a behind the scenes look at how Clash made his way to the controls of this delightful muppet and to see what it is like to be Elmo was very interesting. And, it is amazing to think what this writer has learned from Elmo. To think you can learn something from an essentially inanimate object without someone controlling him. But, Elmo has a very individual personality, he acts like a 3 and a half year old. Pointing out the way that Elmo sees the world was very inspiring, but when it gets down to it, this is a story about a man who is living his dream and giving the world a very special puppet to enjoy by all ages. More of the men and women behind the various Jim Henson (and other masterminds) muppets. They are very interesting reads!

To all the kids at heart, I recommend this book. To all the Seasame Street fans of old, I recommend this book. To anyone that wants a good read, I recommend this book.


I almost forgot, for more information on this book, click here

1 comment:

  1. OMG I want to read this. LOL.

    I think Elmo is too damn cute.


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