Lives of love and beauty – Kevin

kevin

Kevin is the one on the left

Kevin Bruce Scott: son, actor, puppeteer, integrity trainer

The man I affectionately dubbed Sweetums on our first meeting in honour of his impressive size, hirsuteness and rolling voice has wondrously become a constant in my life, even despite his gregarious activities that see him crisscrossing the North American continent. I first met Kevin when he auditioned as a puppeteer and actor for a sketch comedy show I was helping another friend develop (Nicholas Lemon’s SomeTV!), and it was bromance at first blush.

To know Kevin even for a few moments is to experience an earthquake of enthusiasm and playfulness that has been rivalled by very few in my advancing lifetime. Quick of wit, clever of brain and charming of eyebrow (you have to see it), Kevin routinely explodes with volcanic laughter and excitedly joins any creative moment with love and insane bonhomie. To merely stand in Kevin’s presence is to experience unbridled love…but dive in for the amazing hug, if you get the chance.

I say without hyperbole that should Kevin reach out with any idea, I am an eager participant because I know that even if the idea amounts to nothing tangible, I will have had the best time working on it.

Thanks you, Sweetums, for going on that audition and making my face hurt with smiles.

 

See also:

12 Days of Gratitude – Kevin

Effortless Alpha (Kevin’s blog & mission)

12 Days of Gratitude – Kevin

Kevin Scott

This is my friend Sweetums…I mean Kevin…a man whose body had to be so large simply to contain his great heart.

Actor, comedian, puppeteer, voice of God, Kevin has more talent than any one individual should, but it is his smile and laugh that set him most apart from everyone else. When Kevin is amused, all of Kevin is amused, and his laugh is a sonic hug that embraces you and makes you feel special.

If you have never been hugged by Kevin, you are seriously missing some love in your life. It is totally worth the risk of asphyxia.

(Image ©edwardambrosius)

P.S. You can check out some interesting work by Leo, a mutual friend, below.

(Part Four of my 12 Days of Gratitude…because the rest of the news sucks)

Bringing joy to others

I’m not a celeb-stalker generally, but I was killing time with my camera downtown when I stumbled across a crowd awaiting the arrival of movie stars (no one knew who) for the Toronto International Film Festival or TIFF.

I managed to grab a couple of shots of Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons (check out my Twitter feed), but I specifically loved this photo. If you can bring this type of joy to people in your life or to those completely peripheral to it, you have done well.

After premiering his movie, Dev Patel came back out to embrace his fans.

After premiering his movie, Dev Patel came back out to embrace his fans.

Robin

Robin-Williams-1999-robin-williams-19521877-2048-2560

Laughter has died,

But for a moment,

As the jester reposes

Into tranquility.

Frenzied fantasies

Silenced of a sudden,

Cut off from a world

Unable to keep up.

Rest frightened clown;

Be still and be whole;

Clap hands with peace,

As we clap hands in mourning.

The hurricane is stilled;

Black clouds soften;

Yet we will laugh anew

Bearing scars of ache.

Robin Williams meant the world to me. A supernova of mirth and tears, bravery and anger…and always, just a man.

Today, the man found his end, as so many of his ilk have.

But his legacy will echo for eternity to brighten our nights and nourish our souls.

Sleep, noble prince, assured that we are better for knowing you.

 

Not for nothing – REQUEST FOR HELP

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How do you write about nothing?

I know how to not write. In fact, I was very good at that in the past, but gratefully not writing is no longer much of an option for me.

I’m not talking about not writing, however. Instead, I am talking about writing scenes where superficially nothing happens, where a character walks through the mundane actions of life. What they are doing is unimportant to them, a robotic response to an overwhelming thought or scenario. There is an astronomic exchange of information and yet no words are spoken.

In a novel or short story, you can have an inner dialogue, revealing the character’s thoughts, but in a film, you have only silence. Sure, there’s always the trusty voiceover, but I personally think that unless the character is recalling a past statement, voiceovers are a crutch. And a voiceover weakens a scene when you compare it with silence.

Think of the last time you were faced with silence in response to something you said or did. Think of the dis-ease (yes, that’s where “disease” comes from) you experienced as you tried to figure out what the other party was thinking. In many of those situations, I bet that shouting would have been preferable to silence.

In an improv class I took—I am sorry that this is my version of “This one time, in band camp…”—we were doing a status exercise wherein one character would try to take status away from the other one, proving themselves superior through statement or action. While many student pairs would do their best to out-pompous, out-preen or out-bravado each other, I took a different tack. I went completely silent.

No matter what my partner said or did, I faced him stoically or indifferently, deigning to give him the merest glance on occasion while going about my activities. And the louder or larger he got, the less I minded or acknowledged him. The more he talked, the weaker he appeared.

Silence is powerful. And even if the silence is due to idiocy, it comes across as thoughtfulness.

Think of scenes in movies where a character has chosen to deal with a problem by thinking about it. With a good actor, you can see all the thoughts as they play out in his or her mind. The body, the face, the eyes tell you all you need to know about the emotional swells washing through the actor. A single word breaks that tension and weakens the moment. As a storyteller, why would you ever give that up?

Which brings me back to my original question: How do you write nothing?

Perhaps I am delving too far into the domains of the director and actor, but there has to be a way to ensure both those artists know what you, the writer, intend. But I’ll be damned if I know how.

So, I open the question to you, my fellow artists.

What do you do, what have you learned, what have you seen that tells you how to write nothing and yet convey a world of thought and feeling?

Please share your thoughts here as I can’t be the only one who wants to know.