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This book, which I hope conveys the spiritual tenor of my times as well as the philosophical and educational enrichment I have received within them, is a distinctly personal account and interpretation of my life experiences that may also serve as a lasting record of the events described, many of which have historical significance beyond my own personal story. The four deca This book, which I hope conveys the spiritual tenor of my times as well as the philosophical and educational enrichment I have received within them, is a distinctly personal account and interpretation of my life experiences that may also serve as a lasting record of the events described, many of which have historical significance beyond my own personal story. The four decades that my career has thus far spanned encompass a period of change that is unprecedented in the history of American society. Certainly, my three decades as Gordon on Sesame Street have provided one of the most enriching and edifying stories of my life. If I could boast of no other major career accomplishment, having played a central role as I have in the development and continuation of this landmark series would alone have made my life sufficiently meaningful. The historical significance of Sesame Street and its surprising longevity have made my association with the show, in many regards, my life's crowning achievement. Reviewing the entirety of my career, however, has given me an opportunity to examine the political, moral, social, cultural, and artistic connections and influences that have defined all its aspects. Within the realm of theater, for instance, it is clear that my early affiliations with The Free Southern Theater of New Orleans and The New Lafayette Theatre of Harlem between the mid-1960s and the early 1970s have been, arguably, even more influential in defining the content of my personal character and my life's work than have my many years as Gordon. Given that each new age must follow a course suited to its own current demands, I offer my story in a spirit of generosity, joy, hope, and compassion as a voice from the recent past and present to the open ears of the future.


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This book, which I hope conveys the spiritual tenor of my times as well as the philosophical and educational enrichment I have received within them, is a distinctly personal account and interpretation of my life experiences that may also serve as a lasting record of the events described, many of which have historical significance beyond my own personal story. The four deca This book, which I hope conveys the spiritual tenor of my times as well as the philosophical and educational enrichment I have received within them, is a distinctly personal account and interpretation of my life experiences that may also serve as a lasting record of the events described, many of which have historical significance beyond my own personal story. The four decades that my career has thus far spanned encompass a period of change that is unprecedented in the history of American society. Certainly, my three decades as Gordon on Sesame Street have provided one of the most enriching and edifying stories of my life. If I could boast of no other major career accomplishment, having played a central role as I have in the development and continuation of this landmark series would alone have made my life sufficiently meaningful. The historical significance of Sesame Street and its surprising longevity have made my association with the show, in many regards, my life's crowning achievement. Reviewing the entirety of my career, however, has given me an opportunity to examine the political, moral, social, cultural, and artistic connections and influences that have defined all its aspects. Within the realm of theater, for instance, it is clear that my early affiliations with The Free Southern Theater of New Orleans and The New Lafayette Theatre of Harlem between the mid-1960s and the early 1970s have been, arguably, even more influential in defining the content of my personal character and my life's work than have my many years as Gordon. Given that each new age must follow a course suited to its own current demands, I offer my story in a spirit of generosity, joy, hope, and compassion as a voice from the recent past and present to the open ears of the future.

36 review for Sesame Street Dad: Evolution of an Actor

  1. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Hudson

    I had to give up on this book. Like a few other reviews had mentioned, I felt that the name dropping was a little distracting. The way he structured his writing was also a little difficult for me as I really couldn't get into the flow. I was about 1/3 of the way in and I still felt like I was waiting for the book to start. :-/ I skimmed through other parts of the book and felt more of the same. I grew up watching Gordon and I absolutely love his character so I did sort of have certain Sesame St I had to give up on this book. Like a few other reviews had mentioned, I felt that the name dropping was a little distracting. The way he structured his writing was also a little difficult for me as I really couldn't get into the flow. I was about 1/3 of the way in and I still felt like I was waiting for the book to start. :-/ I skimmed through other parts of the book and felt more of the same. I grew up watching Gordon and I absolutely love his character so I did sort of have certain Sesame Street expectations. I was very excited when I found this book at the library and I guess I am a little disappointed that it wasn't what I thought it'd be. I take interest in reading the poetry at the beginning of each chapter, but I couldn't get into it enough to devote time reading it all the way. I chalked it up to a writing style that I didn't find enjoyable, and these days I'm reading for just pleasure.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rich

    This book was a bit of surprise to me, but then again based on the title I suppose it shouldn't be. I saw the title "Sesame Street Dad" and assumed the majority of the book would focus on the evolution of Roscoe Orman as a father and his journey through the iconic world of Sesame Street. While this does happen, the book spends equal time (if not more) on Orman's evolution as an actor. It is interesting to think of Orman as an actor outside of Sesame Street - most memorably a violent pimp-like cha This book was a bit of surprise to me, but then again based on the title I suppose it shouldn't be. I saw the title "Sesame Street Dad" and assumed the majority of the book would focus on the evolution of Roscoe Orman as a father and his journey through the iconic world of Sesame Street. While this does happen, the book spends equal time (if not more) on Orman's evolution as an actor. It is interesting to think of Orman as an actor outside of Sesame Street - most memorably a violent pimp-like character on a daytime soap opera. His stage works is impressive, as is his web of friends he created throughout his stage and screen experiences. I couldn't help but feel like Orman is a bit bitter that he has not had more critical/commercial success outside of Sesame Street - though that may just be my imagination. I enjoyed this book quite a bit, though it makes me want to read more about Sesame Street.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I had high expectations of this book when I first heard about it since I was an avid fan of Sesame Street growing up and still feel a lot of affection for the show and its characters. This book, however, wasn't what I thought it was or what the title led me to believe. There wasn't enough about Sesame Street *or* about being a dad. Rather, this memoir was a list of other productions that he was involved in, with a heavy amount of name listing in the process. It came across to me almost as if he I had high expectations of this book when I first heard about it since I was an avid fan of Sesame Street growing up and still feel a lot of affection for the show and its characters. This book, however, wasn't what I thought it was or what the title led me to believe. There wasn't enough about Sesame Street *or* about being a dad. Rather, this memoir was a list of other productions that he was involved in, with a heavy amount of name listing in the process. It came across to me almost as if he was trying to prove the value of his career beyond Sesame Street. I did appreciate understanding the influence that working in black theatre had on him, but it lacked the same in depth discussion about being Gordon on Sesame Street. Maybe if the title were different, the reader would adjust their expectations of what's inside.

  4. 5 out of 5

    jessicamax stein

    Gordon speaks! Totally fantastic. He's a big ol' baby boomer lefty, traveled with the Free Southern Theater (the drama arm of SNCC) for two years in the early sixties, has decades of experience in black theater working with everyone from Morgan Freeman to Phylicia Rashad, and deftly analyzes the underlying politics and inequities still affecting the career of the black actor. Who knew he could also sing, dance, draw and write poetry? The sentences are artfully crafted, a pleasure to read. And al Gordon speaks! Totally fantastic. He's a big ol' baby boomer lefty, traveled with the Free Southern Theater (the drama arm of SNCC) for two years in the early sixties, has decades of experience in black theater working with everyone from Morgan Freeman to Phylicia Rashad, and deftly analyzes the underlying politics and inequities still affecting the career of the black actor. Who knew he could also sing, dance, draw and write poetry? The sentences are artfully crafted, a pleasure to read. And all this is besides the inside scoop on Sesame Street. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gerry

    I skimmed this more than reading it. It was overdue at the library so I hurried through. I've enjoyed reading about Big Bird and Elmo so this was my 3rd Sesame Street book. This one is about Gordon who is a human on the show as opposed to a puppet. I didn't know that the little boy who played his adopted son on the show is his real life son too. Having one aspiring actor in the family and 2 other artistics kids, it's good to read about successful actors/artists. I skimmed this more than reading it. It was overdue at the library so I hurried through. I've enjoyed reading about Big Bird and Elmo so this was my 3rd Sesame Street book. This one is about Gordon who is a human on the show as opposed to a puppet. I didn't know that the little boy who played his adopted son on the show is his real life son too. Having one aspiring actor in the family and 2 other artistics kids, it's good to read about successful actors/artists.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Evy Breit

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Rosita, Elmo, Abby, Grover, and Cookie Monster are appeared on the show on September 21, 2011 to ask question about Latino themed episode, smart game, and the Sesame Street cast performing "Sing". Roscoe Orman and Rosita interview on the 123 Sesame Street. Rosita, Elmo, Abby, Grover, and Cookie Monster are appeared on the show on September 21, 2011 to ask question about Latino themed episode, smart game, and the Sesame Street cast performing "Sing". Roscoe Orman and Rosita interview on the 123 Sesame Street.

  7. 5 out of 5

    E.C.

    This was kind of an assigned book because the author will be speaking to my department at our staff retreat, but I found it an interesting read--and of course, I grew up watching Gordon on Sesame Street.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jenni

    I just can't finish this book. He has done so many amazing things, but I find myself skipping a lot of pages (mostly all the name dropping and there was a LOT of name dropping), so I am just giving up on it. *sigh* I just can't finish this book. He has done so many amazing things, but I find myself skipping a lot of pages (mostly all the name dropping and there was a LOT of name dropping), so I am just giving up on it. *sigh*

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gracewellworn

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jami

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marie F

  13. 4 out of 5

    Inkwater Press

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rosann

  15. 4 out of 5

    Quinn Rollins

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amanda K

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wordstock - Portland's Literary Festival

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rory

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chrisiant

  20. 5 out of 5

    April

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

  22. 4 out of 5

    Inkwater Press

  23. 4 out of 5

    Yoni Weiss

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emily Casey

  26. 5 out of 5

    Annelisa

  27. 5 out of 5

    Halasaur

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ellen K

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christine

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy Holiday

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Fort

  32. 4 out of 5

    Gilly

  33. 4 out of 5

    Meltha

  34. 5 out of 5

    Heather jameyson

  35. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  36. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Kay

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