Kevin Clash: The man behind the Muppet and the unassuming heart and soul of Elmo.
““Like children all over the world, Elmo teaches us that we can always reach a little higher, jump a little farther, and do a little better. What would happen if we all lived our lives this way? Maybe it would mean a happy ending.””
“Society was still sending a loud message that black children like us didn't have much to aspire to, but that negative talk was drowned out by our parents, who taught us that our dreams were worthy simply because they were ours.”
“My family taught me that it was right to ignore the clamor of the crowd and go your own way.”
“When I talk to children and young adults as Kevin—not Elmo—I always try to impress upon them the importance of having self-respect, of listening to their hearts and going after their dreams. . . . No matter who you are—a big yellow bird, a grouch in a can, a frog in a trench coat, or a furry red monster—you can love and be loved and find your place in the world.”
“My parents instilled in me the idea that right and wrong were neither black or white. They have lived that simple ideal their whole lives, and from childhood I learned to appreciate the differences in people without sacrificing my identity.”
“Another sketch modeled for children, in a metaphorical way, is a solution to intolerance. It didn't preach, but rather demonstrated to children, and reminded adults, that we are more the same than different.”
Kevin Clash: Performs as Elmo
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