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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Clark

MO-TELL Member of the Month: Anthony Clark

Vocation: I'm an economics professor, and I also work as a freelance writer.

Hobbies: Tennis, weightlifting, reading, listening to podcasts, playing guitar

Family: I have two beautiful grandchildren, and I'm very close to both of them. My son, who used to be my roadie when I traveled around in the summer as a storyteller, is now 26!

I started out as a writer. After seeing Bobby Norfolk perform one New Year's Eve in Columbia, I decided to give storytelling a try. I joined MOST, the storytelling group in MidMo at that time, and quickly became hooked. I began reading stories from all over the world, searching for stories to tell. That process of reading hundreds of folktales and myths really helped me learn about story structure. That process actually helped my writing more

than any writing workshop I've ever attended.

I told my first story in public at a MO-TELL event in downtown St. Charles. It was an important day in my life because it put me on a path that has been very enriching. Being involved with MO-TELL over the years has put me in the midst of the most wonderful community of people I've ever know--the community of storytellers. I wanted to help launch the Missouri Liar's Contest as a way to give something back to the community that has given me so much. I've been involved in the storytelling community for over 20 years now! I feel blessed that I found this community, and that I found storytelling all those years ago.

I joined MOST after watching Bobby Norfolk perform, so he's definitely on my list. I learned a lot from Ron Adams, and he actually hosted the event where I told my first stories. Ron was very excited about my performance, and he gave me some very good feedback about how I could restructure one of the stories I told. I followed his advice, and I've told that story hundreds of times over the years, exactly in the manner Ron suggested.

I've been involved in a couple of different work groups with other storytellers. I had the opportunity to see how Beth Horner crafts a story. I've worked with Larry Brown, Roger Rose, Sue Hinkel, and Milbre Burch. I've performed alongside a number of storytellers I admire, such as Gladys Coggswell, Jim Two Crows, Joyce Slater, Ken Wolfe, Tim Manson, Papa and Jackie Wright, Steve Otto, the Kuntzs, Joe Wos, Sherry Norfolk, and Dianne Joy Banks.

I never performed in a show with David Novak, but he's also a storyteller who inspired me.

Lastly, I'd have to say that the storyteller who influenced me the most was Greg Tyler. Greg really made me feel welcomed in the storytelling group in MidMo. He and I were involved in a couple of different work groups, and the two of us spent hours and hours working on our stories together. Greg was also my best friend for a good chunk of my adult life. I miss his presence and I miss his stories, as do many other people in the storytelling community. To me the Chicken Fest isn't the same without Greg.

My favorite folktales are Iron John and The Boy Who Drew Cats. I also really dove deeply into several of the stories from 1,001 Arabian Nights and I love those.

My favorite book is Brave New World by Huxley. Favorite movie is probably Braveheart, but it's tough to pick just one.

Memory of Christmas? The year I discovered that Santa actually is real (but Rudolph is a fraud).

Valentine Memory? No comment.

Favorite vacation? Who can remember going on vacation?

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