As a lifelong St. Louisan, Chris is very proud of his place in the St. Louis arts scene. He graduated from St. Louis University High School in 1979 and with honors from Webster University in 1985. Drawing upon his background in film studies, mass media, and public-event coordination, he has been an intergral part of many important changes to the growth and artistic directions of the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) and the growing number of annual film-related events produced by CSL, including the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase and an LGBT film festival called QFest. This is a dream job for Chris and he plans to keep it indefinitely by living forever. So far, so good. In June of 2011 however he was diagnosed with Stage 1E Mantle Cell Lymphoma in his throat and has been fighting the good fight against cancer ever since. While not completely done with chemotherapy treatments until July of 2013, his current good health is attributed to fierce determination, a relatively healthy lifestyle, swimming almost every day, and flinging himself headlong into the local stand up comedy scene, which had been a dream since childhood. Comedy is the best medicine after all. Chris regularly performs his scathing comedy routines several nights a week at a number of venues around the St. Louis area. He and his partner of eight years, Adrain, plus two spoiled and feisty dogs, Saki and Dahlia, live happily in Maplewood, MO. They will be married in October, 2013.
Fair Saint Louis is coming at you starting tonight in Forest Park. Will it be a glorious kerfuffle of traffic jams and madness? Will the Pope effect keep people away? Could the weather be any nicer for the weekend? Wouldn't it be cool if Harrier jets buzzed the park at some point anyway just because?
Mardi Gras in Soulard is one thing, but this thing is quite another. It's hot (usually), it's summertime, and it's the mother frickin' birfday of this great nation. What's not to celebrate? I have always loved witnessing the humanity that comes out in full force to these events. 'Murica at its redneck best. In honor of the fair being in Forest Park this year, I decided to look back at a few July 4th memories of my own.
Summer in the city. That means excessive heat warnings, pork steaks, PrideFest, and the joyful madness that is Fair St. Louis. Today is blissfully cool and tonight will be a downright chilly 57 degrees - in July. Suh-weet! The heat has been here for sure; last week or so was pretty darn hot. I've enjoyed pork steaks more than a few times. The massive and impressive 2014 PrideFest was incredibly moving in its second year downtown. A shout out as well to the vastly smaller, but awfully cool, Tower Grove Pride event. There is certainly room for both of them in the Lou. I volunteered on Saturday at downtown PrideFest and actually marched in the massive and impressive parade on Sunday. I do look forward to attending Fair St. Louis on Saturday, but I have a very important affair to attend on Friday the 4th. I am going to a big, gay wedding.
I like loopholes. Sometimes they get you out of trouble and sometimes they are in integral part of the shoe tying process. I am no stranger to moving violations and have at times relied upon the long, proud history and tradition of being able to make tickets go away in St. Louis. Of course it happened again, but this time it just made me mad - and a bit poorer.
I perpetually have way more vacation time built up than I can easily use. Around the December holidays I traditionally take a few weeks off to relax and decompress after a ridiculously busy fall. At the end of April I was feeling a bit out of sorts and scheduled some down time towards the latter half of May. What was initially only a week morphed into almost two, with a few guest appearances in the office mid-stream. I didn't have anywhere to go or any real plans, but I plunged headlong into an earned and hopefully deserved staycation in the Lou culminating on Memorial Day. Here is what I did and didn't do.
I love animals. Most of them love me too. Almost anywhere I go people's pets will seek me out at some point to spend some quality time. Dogs are my favorite furry friends, but it's often the shyest of cats that wind up curled up on my lap or chest for a brief chat and visit. We had a few dog's growing up, none of which I was especially close to.
Pets belonging to close friends and relatives became my canine and feline nieces and nephews to be spoiled and petted when Uncle Chris was around. I shared pets with a few exes over the years as well, but always seemed to lose custody in the divorce proceedings. That was rough. Tougher still was when these precious creatures came to the end of their face-licking lives here on Earth. I felt sorrow along with their owners at losing my friend. Now it's painfully close to the end for our thirteen year old named Saki.
St. Louis drivers are awful. I am one of them. Agressive, impatient, rude and on the phone. Yep, that's me. I need to be where I want to be now, so please get the f*ck out of my way.
To my credit (and luck) I have never been in a major collission while driving. I am much better at hitting things that are parked or stationary. I did slide on the ice once on Kingshighway in the 80's in my shitty Nissan Sentra and rear-ended some lady. A few summers ago my trusty Honda Civic was itself rear-ended when the driver behind me bent over to pick up his lit cigar from the floor of the passenger side of his car. Other than that, nobody was harmed or killed by me due to my questionable driving skills.
I had an epiphany recently that has caused me to work very hard each and every day to literally slow my roll. Part of it was surviving cancer, which made me realize that I did in fact not want to die. The main reason though was the unintentional advice I received from Neil Degrasse Tyson and "Cosmos."
Oh, St. Louis. Every time I start to think you are a horrible and evil place filled with unchecked racism and burning piles of nuclear waste, you do something so wonderfully magical that I fall in love with you all over again. This time it was trees. Flowering trees actually, Bradford Pear trees to be exact. If you missed the explosion of white blooms gently waving in the soft kisses of spring breezes, then you are a recluse in dangerous need of getting out more. Please, please just look out the window for pity's sake.
I need not remind you how brutal our recently concluded winter is, nor shall I waste any additional keystrokes complaining about how cold it was or how many times I fell down. With the exception of the previous sentence, and it was three times. My left hip is still sore sometimes. Curse you black ice and poor footwear choices! But I digress once again for this is not the topic at hand. The topic is how gorgeous the Lou was this weekend.
The information that I am about to share in this post will almost certainly lead to my incarceration in some unnamed bottomless pit of a military prison somewhere, but I feel it is my civic and personal duty to share it while I still can. If I suddenly and mysteriously disappear, please try to find me and help me if you can. My safety is no longer relevant, but it is important for me to share this while I still can. I am scared and unsure what will become of me. Please share with anyone who will listen. This affects all of us.
Reporting live from Cleveland, OH this is your faithful correspondent in the field Christ Clark. Thanks United for the best upgrade ever. I vow to use my powers for good, but I will start a plague if necessary. Wine is on me!
A great perk of my rock star job is traveling to other film festivals to watch movies all day and hang out with filmmakers. It doesn't suck. Today I am going to see five films. It might sound like fun, and it is, but at a certain point my skinny ass can't sit in a theater for one more second. Thankfully I have been training for over a decade.