During the day, Ken Sons is the development director for Children First in Sarasota, where he works with low-income children ages five and under. He is also a partner in the Humor Institute with Les McCurdy, owner of McCurdy's Comedy Theatre in Sarasota. But in his rare off hours, Sons is a documentary filmmaker, fusing humor with heavy topics like mental and physical illness.
Sons' solo project, Knuckleball, is his freshman attempt at a full-length film that can be entered into national festivals. It centers on the life of his friend, Brett Leake, a comedian with muscular dystrophy whose brother, father, uncles and cousins have the disease as well. "It's really an inspirational piece that has a lot of Brett's comedy in it," says Sons.
Completing the movie took about two years, shooting in Sarasota and Richmond, Va., where Leake lives. Local musician Scott Curts of the band Chameleon is composing the score.
Sons' other documentary, created jointly with McCurdy, is tentatively titled Special Olaughics and will wrap by year's end. "We took 10 mentally handicapped adults through a 12-week comedy course to the final show at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre," Sons says. "It was a moving experience just to do the project."
On top of all this, Sons has been collaborating with his wife, Sheila, on a line of stationery called Spindlyville-cards and notepads depicting characters with skinny little legs. Sheila Sons, a graphic designer and owner of She Designs, combines her illustrations with Ken's humorous verse.