Synopses & Reviews
For the past seventeen years, Kevin Clash has lived a secret life of the best and most rewarding kind, taking on the identity of the beloved cherry red monster known as Elmo. The seven-time Emmy winner performs to an audience of 120 million boys and girls who tune in daily to "Elmo's World," bringing Elmo to life in such a way that even adults forget that there is a man behind the muppet.
After spending so many years by Elmo's side, Kevin has been able to see beyond his alter ego's obvious, cuddly charms to the real way the puppet connects with those around him. In My Life as a Furry Red Monster, Kevin shares what he has learned about love, joy, creativity, friends, and more from this most unlikely of teachers and how all of us can benefit from acting a little more like Elmo.
This inspiring memoir invites us on the remarkable journey that Kevin has been on since Elmo's rise to fame. As an ambassador bringing joy to children all over the world, Kevin has met heads of state and worked with stars like Robert De Niro, Jim Carrey, and Mel Gibson. With full-color photographs of the pair at work and play, this book is a treat for the eye as well as the heart. No one who reads of Kevin's regard for his mentor, the late Jim Henson, or of Elmo's bedside visits to the children of the Make a Wish Foundation will be able to deny the poignant impact of My Life as a Furry Red Monster.
"It's hard to believe, but it's been more than 20 years since beloved preschooler icon Elmo made his debut on Sesame Street in fact, Clash wasn't even the first puppeteer to try his hand at bringing the 'baby monster' to life. It was Clash, though, who gave the character the high-pitched voice and distinctive laugh that quickly endeared him to young viewers and eventually led to his own spinoff series. When he writes about Elmo, in fact, he verges on describing the Muppet as if it possesses its own personality. Clash's working relationship with Elmo is used as a starting point to discuss basic themes like love, tolerance and courage, but it's the story of his life before meeting his furry partner that often holds the most interest. He talks with obvious affection about his childhood growing up in an African-American suburb of Baltimore, encouraged from a early age to follow his talent for designing and performing with puppets. Though generally upbeat, this is no sugar-coated tale; Clash describes his initial struggles to make a name for himself on other children's shows, and speaks frankly about the toll performing on Sesame Street took on his marriage. (Sept. 25)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This delightful book illuminates a man's journey from child to parent, student to teacher, puppeteer to Muppeteer, and reveals to us who our favorite red furry monster really is a gifted, humane, empathetic entertainer named Kevin Clash. His book is a meditation on the things that really matter to Elmo and to all of us." Julianne Moore
"It should come as no surprise that the man behind America's most beloved red furball is as wise, warm, witty, and wonderful as Elmo himself. My Life as a Furry Red Monster is an entertaining sneak peek at the life and times of one of the most endearing and enduring characters ever created." Katie Couric
"I love Elmo and I love this book. What a cutie-patootie. Thanks, Kevin!" Rosie O'Donnell
For the past 17 years, Clash has lived a secret life of the best and most rewarding kind, taking on the identity of the beloved cherry red monster known as Elmo. He shares what he has learned about love, joy, creativity, friends, and more from this most unlikely of teachers.
Meet Kevin Clash, the man behind the Muppet and the 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 mothers 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 Henson; 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. Kevins (and Elmos) thoughts on love, creativity, friendship, and optimism remind us of lifes simple truths and ultimately encourage us all to be a little bit more like Elmo–to live with joy, to love more easily, and to laugh more often.
About the Author
Kevin Clash has been with Sesame Street for twenty-six years and is coexecutive producer of “Elmos World.” He has won three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in a Childrens Series and six for his work as coexecutive producer of an Outstanding Pre-School Childrens Series. He has a daughter, Shannon, and lives in New York City.