A Short Story Long

11/15/17

As you no doubt have learned, what with being hammered over the head with it by the website URL, the opening line of my about page, and the bold lettering on top of ever page thereafter, I am Robbie Clark.

We've already discussed the spark notes: born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, videographer, actor, editor, writer, director, musician and podcast host. That's all well and good.

To not so briefly continue, I consider myself to be a creative type. I also consider myself lucky to be born into a family that encourages that type of deviant behavior. My father is an engineer at a nuclear power plant, my mother is a senior branch office administrator for Edward Jones, and my sister is a Texas A&M graduate, working as a civil engineer.  So when I came along and ordered dinner out of my butt at Don Pablo's because I had just seen Ace Ventura: Pet Detective...well, you can only imagine.  I've never been the black sheep of my family on account of everyone mostly embracing and supporting my areas of interest. But I do reside on the opposite end of the spectrum as far as professional endeavors. It's fine. I think after 31 years they've learned to love me. Kidding.

As a person, I'm energetic, funny, positive, and creative with a habit of thinking outside the box. I tend to bathe in a steady stream pop culture, marinating my brain with Netflix binges, Hulu marathons, $5 movies from Best Buy, and TV on DVD. I've been able to hold semi-lengthy conversations using nothing but film references, both obscure and apparent, and sometimes I think people hate me for it.  

As far as being on the job, I tend to blur the line between professional and casual. I've done that my entire life. It's probably the worst habit I have aside from quoting movies out loud while I watch them. I'm an incredibly passionate person, and I tend to put my everything into filming, editing, acting.  But if you see me in shorts and a backwards hat instead of a suit, it's for optimal comfort. I respect the craft too much to slack off or half-ass it, but I've never been a suit and tie kind of guy. I wonder if I'll ever get to stop explaining myself.  Anywho...

When I was 3 years old, I began asking my parents to look through the eye piece of our VHS camera, because I was fascinated.  At the age of 6, I decided I wanted to play the drums.  When I was 7 I got my first drum kit for Christmas. Through the years, I started learning lines and monologues from movies. Someone somewhere has footage of me doing the Cuban Pete with two baseball trophies as maracas at an award ceremony. In middle school, I acted in the yearly production, through the years portraying characters such as Forrest Gump and Michael Jackson, and in eighth grade we had our "musical review" written by a few high-schoolers, and the lead part of the nerd chasing the popular girl was written with me in mind. Both insulting and pretty cool, I suppose.

In high-school, I was the first freshman to be cast in the lead in a play. The play in question was Moliere's The Bourgeois Gentleman. From there it was being cast in almost every play in both supporting and lead parts. The only play I rarely participated in was the one that interfered with volleyball season. I freakin' love volleyball.

 Junior year, I took my first video production course. It became a calling, and I took it up as a hobby, going so far as to film our first annual talent show with a five camera set up. The summer between high-school and college my friends and I had a video scavenger hunt. It took a few days to edit together the six cameras worth of footage.  The footage of both the talent show and scavenger hunt has been lost. It was glorious, I assure you.

I began college at the University of Tulsa as a theatre major. While stage acting, lighting, directing, and history of playwriting took up most of my time, I took a few screen writing courses. After a couple years I transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington in order to be closer to my family while we went through a rough patch. I took more stage acting and directing courses, adding a film acting course and playwriting courses as I went. I eventually graduated in December 2010 with a BFA in Theatre Performance.

In December of 2015, a whole 5 years after graduating and not doing much of anything but bouncing around from job to job as a bartender and server, I finally picked up the camera phone, and started shooting some short clips. It was the start of something new and fun. In November 2016 I went on my first film audition in four years. It was the continuation of something old and fun. In all honesty, I got started on the right path a little late in life, but the important thing is I actually found it. 

In September 2017, I started a video production company called 7Shakes Entertainment. In October of the same year I began recording my podcast, So Called To Greatness. I've been lucky to turn a hobby into a small source of income, and I'm lucky enough to have the freedom to forever capture my verbalized thoughts on digital audio with my revolving door of castmates I get to call my friends.

And that's probably more than you ever wished to know about me. While we're at it, I've been sorted into Ravenclaw, I still have a Ninja Turtle's pillowcase, and my favorite thing about sushi is eel sauce. So now that I more or less have my ducks in a row and have a fairly solid idea of where I'm headed, I just keep working, and working, and working. I keep learning, and reading, and studying. The work is never done, and no one ever knows anything, so I continuously strive to be better. That's why I'm here. That's who I am. That's what I do.

I know that it's confusing. It is one thing to question the official story, and another thing entirely to make wild accusations, or insinuate that I'm a superhero. Because that would be outlandish and, uh, fantastic. I'm just not the hero type. Clearly. With this laundry list of character defects, all the mistakes I've made, largely public. The truth is...

I am Robbie Clark.