A writer enjoying Los Angeles. AND/OR, Eigengrau, Confluence and other bits you haven't read. I don't sleep.
The impact of his passing, the sadness and the shock will not soon fade. I’m continually touched by the recounting of personal stories and memories of the brilliant man and am grateful to be able to share even my smallest of encounters. I had the immense privilege of working with Williams for the first time and once after this past year.
My first day on his last production remains vivid which is such a lovely thing. Most others disappear so very quickly. I was excited to meet this mythical man who’d been such a distinct part of my childhood and was curious to know how, “funny” he would be in a non stand-up setting or during moments of normalcy between takes. That absence of reality before you comprehend that, “Oh, yes. This is just another human being, no different than you or I.”
Williams entering a set is a wonderful thing to see. Such an un-imposing figure with a gentle face radiating kindness but instantaneously bringing awe to the room. Everything grows a little quieter and a deserved deferential respect is felt throughout.
I had been told that I wouldn’t be introduced to Williams until much later in the day so I sat behind camera, twiddling my thumbs and doing not much of anything. Lighting wasn’t quite as ready as they had thought so Williams stepped aside and took a seat in the nearest unmarked directors chair. That chair was next to me.
He immediately turned to me and in a surprisingly quiet voice said hello and introduced himself. Taken aback, I quickly introduced myself in turn and without a beat he made a joke about the scene not being ready to shoot. I desperately wish I could remember that joke to share with you. I can recall my face lighting up and laughing quietly besides the man. My mind somewhat reeling at the thought that I and I alone had just had Robin Williams tell me a joke that no one else had heard. (At least at that moment) We remained in conversation for just a few short minutes until it was time for him to create a bit of magic. I called my father shortly after to share the experience knowing that he, like all of us, was a tremendous fan.
Watching Williams film was a joy. Quiet and professional, arms always crossed loosely at the waist when not shooting. Still between the majority of takes he’d be making jokes on anything at all that was occurring at the time. The cast and crew all doing their utmost to not break for too long but sometimes it was just too much to hold in and you’d hear the set crack into uproarious laughter.
He was a kind and beautiful man who sincerely brought such an immense amount of joy to this world.
You will be missed, you will be remembered, you are loved.