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We all speak ball: Q&A with Full Spectrum speaker Kevin Carroll


Kevin Carroll was one of 17 presenters at Tuesday evening’s Full Spectrum Auditions in New York. He brought along beatboxer Shamik Dynamic (you can just see Shamik’s head at left in the photo above, or see the gorgeous double portrait below) to help him tell the story of how his life had been saved by a ball — and of his work now, going around the world spreading a message of peace and play. Check out his book Rules of the Red Rubber Ball for more, or watch the archived livestream to see the show.

The TED Blog caught up to Kevin after his talk.

CR: How did you feel about your presentation?
KC: I’m always my biggest critic. Shamik and I got a wonderful opportunity to do a lot of rehearsing and practicing around it. To cull down your passion into 3 minutes is challenging. But I really love that challenge. I had to be direct. I had to be very succinct. I had to be very clear about the message around a ball can change the world.

CR: What do you hope the audience took from your presentation with Shamik?
KC: I felt like it was important for people to get that and understand that a ball saved my life. So, I really was selective about the things I wanted to share. I’m hoping that people took pause, changed their perspective a little bit and all the things that I tried to inject in that short pithy message.

CR: What does Shamik bring to the table with your presentation? What was the purpose of the collaboration?
KC: Selfishly, I’m a lover of The Roots. I’m from Philly. So my roots are all about Philly soul, R&B and hip-hop. I’ve always been a person that has tremendous respect for those genres. Music is apart of me and allows me to express myself and enjoy myself even more.

When I met Shamik, we met at a TEDx in Vancouver. We didn’t know each other. Now, fast-forward two years later and we’ve done an event in Philly with 10,000 people. We did my one-man show together and now TED Full Spectrum. TED is about building relationships and creating those moments, so TEDxVancouver created this for us. When I heard this wisp of a man beatboxing and all those sound coming out of him, I thought it was ultra cool. He’s my Roots.

Watch the archived video of Kevin and Shamik’s Full Spectrum talk >>


Speaker Kevin Carroll (left) and beatboxer Shamik Dynamic, at the portrait session for TED Full Spectrum Auditions, May 24, 2011, New York, NY. Credit: James Duncan Davidson