It seemed like a typical Monday morning for me. After a whole weekend in Cocoa Beach, basking in the sun and boogey-boarding all day, we had packed our things and made our way for home. Reality had slowly came back to me as I resumed my daily life. I'd chat with my friends on Skype before I'd leave for a six to eleven shift at Publix, just hoping to get through the night and look forward to a morning shift at my other job... And then I get a text message from one of my best friends. And to my shock, she tells me:
"I know you're working but... Robin Williams died."
... I honestly don't know what to say about this.
I mean this was Robin "Freaking" Williams, one of my favorite actors in my childhood and an inspiration for so many young voice actors and artists I've had a privilege to be friends with. The vocal genius behind The Genie in 'Aladdin', Mrs. Doubtfire, Batty Koda, President Theodore Roosevelt in 'Night at the Museum', the absent-minded professor in 'Flubber', Popeye the Sailor, Mork of 'Mork and Mindy', Alan Parrish in 'Jumanji' and just so many other roles. I grew up listening to his voice in his films, to appreciate that no actor has to be realistic to be great but to prove they have just the right amount of talent to really enjoy what makes an actor so memorable. But what really hurts me the most is that most people who's journals I've read actually got to see him live at some point... I never did. I felt so left out knowing that, but even more sad for his family (Especially his daughter Zelda, who got to appear in a commercial with her own father).
So many actors I've known have passed away not long since the 90's came and went before we made our way through 2010. But of all the actors I've come to admire, I'll never forget Robin Williams. The next time I watch 'Aladdin' or listen to the music from the Broadway show, I'll always remember who was The Genie's greatest portrayer. The next time I watch the Popeye cartoon series, even if the live action wasn't as great, I'll always appreciate the effort Williams put into that character. The next time I play 'Jumanji' the board game or watch the animated television series... I'll always remember who was my favorite Parrish. Thank you for all the memories Robin Williams, you deserve all the praise and accolades that made you an inspiration for a young generation of players like myself and my friends. We'll always miss you and appreciate everything you've done for artists worldwide.
I have this video dedicated to his memory. Never mind the title, but the music is just so captivating that I'll never forget him.
And if that doesn't work, I also post this song because no matter how bad this moment is now we all must carry on with our dreams and remember who inspired us to have fun when it comes to voice work:
R.I.P. Robin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)
Goodbye... "Captain, my Captain"