Any actor or Hollywood bigwig who does anything cool for kids is absolutely cool in my book.
In fact, one recent story I was very happy to report on was Ron Perlman putting on the Hellboy make-up again for the Make-A-Wish foundation. A young kid dealing with a life threatening condition got to hang out with Hellboy for the day, and also got made up as Hellboy. Just when you think Hollywood couldn’t be more awful, something like this shows you there are people in the biz who do have heart.
This is also why I was very pleased to see that Joss Whedon recently lent his talents to a show called Written By a Kid. As the L.A. Times reported, a five year old kid wrote a story called Scary Smash, and Whedon acted it out. The video’s all over YouTube, and I think it’s a great thing to do for a young kid. (Also acting out scary Smash are Dave Foley from Kids in the Hall, and actress / comedian Kate Micucci).
Last year there was a joke video on the The Onion where the screenwriter of the recent Fast and Furious movie was being interviewed for a news show, and it turned out he was a little kid. The joke of course is that current Hollywood movies are so childish, they might as well have been written by a child with a crayon.
At the same time, it’s wonderful to hear kids tell stories, because when you’re young you don’t put limits on your imagination, and the real world hasn’t made you cynical yet, so you’re not worried about anyone telling you your story’s stupid. You just let it flow out of you without fear of being judged.
Some artists recommend going back to that phase of your life when you’re trying to create, and without the hang ups and fears that come with adulthood, you can probably come up with some amazing stuff. And having one of Hollywood’s biggest storytellers like Whedon encouraging a kid to be creative, and bringing his story to life is truly a wonderful thing.
So if this kid grows up to be the next mega-author one day, let’s hope he keeps Whedon’s performance of Scary Smash on his computer as a reminder of his young, unbridled creativity whenever needing inspiration.