He was quiet. I was curious. It was 1999, but I remember like it was yesterday. He sat at the end of the conference table, among the magical production team who would safely herd 13,000 patrons through the Sun Dome for USF Commencement. I was in charge of coordinating the big occasion, on behalf of USF administration. I wanted to get to know him and had a sense that he was a funny guy. One thing led to another, and BAM, I became friends with Clark Brooks. (This is the part of the blog post where I foreshadow that I discovered him---LOL).
Like Bill Brasky, who once nursed a baby flamingo back to health, Clark has helped me metaphorically rise from the dead after numerous, painful life lessons. He’s the guy who picks up the phone when you call. He’s smart, objective, thoughtful and compassionate. He’s a big guy with even a bigger heart. He loves the color purple, and Batman, drives a truck, wears puffy shirts,
loves baseball and takes time to rescue kittens. A man’s man, but made for a woman…
Clark endured my going to graduate school. Tolerated my “take no prisoners” approach to producing Ten at the Top in Tampa Bay, and served as an Associate Producer/Co-writer of the film. He believed in me and taught me the importance of “serving my story” amid the noisy critics. The documentary film premiered on PBS WEDU, in 2007. He even did the leg work to get us registered with IMDB.
My admiration for Clark continues to grow, but here are highlights of the cool stuff he’s done and does: Served in the Army with an honorable discharge—(While in the service he spent time in Germany and he expresses his gratitude to the fertility gods every Father’s Day by posting messages about how thrilled he is that there’s no knock on his door from a German lad—lol); has a very successful blog called: Ridiculously Inconsistent Trickle of Consciousness; self published A Ridiculously Inconsistent Treasury; writes for Raw Charge; performs in local plays; does public address announcing for sports and ceremonies; is a walking baseball and hockey almanac—go ahead, ask him anything! …And, NOW, a standup comic.
I can always rely on Clark … he’ll often belt out a loud, long Sccooooooorrre, upon my request to give me a boost or to celebrate my achievements. He’s the brother I never had. I can be myself with Clark-- cry, cuss, scream, discuss politics and current events…and even penguins.
His creativity--ability to write, act, and now perform comedy, astounds me… I believed early on, that his talent was Saturday Night Live worthy (the vintage kind from the early years)… I’ve tried to encourage him to keep on keeping on and I only hope I’ve given him a nudge of confidence, in the many, many ways he has given me that extra boost to take another step or strive for my dreams. Besides being a tremendous writer and the funniest person I know, he’s one hell of a human being. SO--Come check him out: August 16th at Side Splitters -- and cheer him on. He’s one of the good guys and I’m proud to call him my friend.
Memory Lane photos and creative clips:
|Here we are glove cursing at a Ray’s game|
|He produced this short video when we decided that this innocent Christmas song contained profanity|
|Me hijacking his book signing table at the launch of A Ridiculously Inconsistent Treasury|
|Celebrating at Clark’s book signing|
|Clark’s cool friends I got to hang with at his book signing|
|Here we are at the premiere of Ten at the Top in Tampa Bay:|
|My all time favorite is Clark’s Spooning Podcast|