When somebody who has touched our lives with their work passes away, often we are reminded why we do what we do, and what fuels our passions.

As many of you have heard, the actor Gene Wilder passed away on Monday. His work in films like Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Young Frankenstein made us laugh, made us think, and for some, sparked a passion for the world of the weird, wonderful, and creative.

I remember as a kid my mother pulling out the “classic” Willy Wonka and us watching it together. It was an altogether surreal experience, but I remember, even at that young age, being utterly transfixed by Wilder’s Wonka.

What drives a person that influential? Where does their captivating passion come from?

Today, we bring you a great video from the Quoted Studios and PBS Digital Studios series Blank on Blank, that takes archived interviews with some of the most influential thought leaders and gives them new life with animation. Here is Wilder, from March of 2007, talking about the forces that shaped his comedic talents with interviewer Cottin Pogrebin.

Blank on Blank is an absolutely incredible series who we’ve featured many times before here on EWC. Our favorites that we’ve written about include Sally Ride, Jane Goodall, Carl Sagan, and David Bowie. It’s all incredible stuff! Definitely take a moment to check out their YouTube channel here. 

The forces that shape us…

Who or what shapes you at your most fundamental level? Why, really, do you do what you do?

Take a moment to answer those questions.

Sometimes we need to check in with ourselves about our intention and motivation in order to fully appreciate where we are in life. Maybe we are working towards an ultimate goal, perhaps we are finding ourselves, or even better we have created a life that feeds our soul.

Wherever we are on our journey, we can always take a moment to regroup and find inspiration in our intention.

Thank you, Gene, for moving us with your life’s work, making us laugh, and reminding us to reflect on the forces that shape us!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!



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  1. “Gene Wilder on The Truth | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios.” YouTube. Blank on Blank, 06 May 2014. Web. 30 Aug. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PUW2POEjX4>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV