Variety Magazine

A piece for Variety Magazine and for Art Director Chuck Kerr.

Being a topical piece, it seems this was a last minute editorial added to the issue. My deadline was very short. It is for a story about depression in actors and actresses and how this serious issue can be solved.

I was surprisingly saddened by the death of Robin Williams. My heart drops when I hear or read about deaths but if it is about a person I don't know, there is usually a slight disconnect from it, which is normal. In this case, I felt very affected by it. I had to stop and think about why I was so upset. Putting it together, I realized that Williams was part of my pop culture life since the late 70's with Mork & Mindy. Importantly, he made me laugh. I think that is a huge connector with people. Most usually remember the people that make them laugh, not cry. Since then, seeing him in movies, stand-up and generally around in celebrity life over the years, one gets the impression, even with all of his faults, he was a good man. He enjoyed the good parts of life. He seemed to enjoy people. That combination apparently had a profound effect on me - at least in terms of celebrity.

I've heard that 'clowns are the saddest people'. In this case, it seems very true.

We all get sad, down and depressed now and again. I've certainly have had my low points that have even led me to being paralyzed in life not being able to function or do anything which, of course, adds to the weight. But, I am the type of person that recognizes these sorts of things and are able to figure out how to pull myself out of it. Sometimes, its not easy and takes a heck of along time. Other people, unfortunately, may not have the ability to do this. This is where one's ailment needs to be recognized and effective treatment started.

We are different people with different lives. There are no 'right answers' but there are answers...and good ones. There are certainly wrong solutions made in haste. I hope that people out there in the world find ways not to succumb to their sadnesses.

I did three variations of this piece. I had no idea which one they were going to use. The image on top is my favorite with the cloud passing through the actors head which I was led to believe they were going to use. It seems they used a cleaner version. The website version is another variation still. Occasionally, I've done two variations of pieces and they select one to publish. This is likely the first time that all three variations made their way out there.