“Jordan Yanco helped me find my voice!”
— Ashley L.

RIP Robin Williams (1951-2014)

Monday night, we learned of the loss of one of the greatest talents that ever lived. Robin Williams touched us with his stand-up comedy, his movies, and even the countless stories from people who just had ordinary interactions with him on set or off.

I remember being 9 years old at FAO Schwarz, then in the GM building where my Mom worked, around the time “Good Morning Vietnam” was in theaters. Robin came in with his family and the whispers of admiration started immediately. I remember taking the elevator up to my Mom’s office, excitedly saying “Robin Williams is downstairs, can I have a pen and paper?” and coming back downstairs out of breath to ask one of my greatest idols for an autograph. Proof that he and I existed in the same proximity. It seems silly now.

I looked way up at him, and said, “You’re…you’re…Good Morning Vietnam!” to which he quipped, “My name’s Robin, though” and we laughed. I handed him the pen and paper and he said, “Woa, catch your breath!” and my inspiration gladly smiled and signed it for me.

If you want to talk about brilliance with accents and voices, just watch “Mrs. Doubtfire”, “Aladdin,”and so many other works which include everything from California, British, Southern, Asian and SO many more. He deftly switched between them with effortless talent. We all just knew he could do it, and we let him run free with them, the highest compliment for a performer.

I’ll miss your genius so much, Robin, and know that you’ve already inspired me all those years ago, and I will continue to respect and admire you always.