Bobby Norfolk entertains again

Speaker+Bobby+Norfolk+performs+in+the+PAC+to+an+audience+of+World+Studies%2C+advisory+and+African+American+History+classes.+Photo+by+Morgan+Nuetzman.

Speaker Bobby Norfolk performs in the PAC to an audience of World Studies, advisory and African American History classes. Photo by Morgan Nuetzman.

Urmilla Kuttikad

Speaker Bobby Norfolk performs in the PAC to an audience of World Studies, advisory and African American History classes. Photo by Morgan Nuetzman.
At a little after noon, three-time Emmy-winning storyteller Bobby Norfolk entertained students  in the PAC. Including an overview of the history of African storytelling, Norfolk’s stories covered everything from shape-shifting spiders to African drums.
Using storytelling to communicate important life lessons, Norfolk seamlessly wove together a wide range of eccentric folk tales.
“Everything we experience in life has a story that revolves around it,” Norfolk said. “So I take that ancient, ancient tradition of storytelling, and  I mix it with theater and I call it story theater.”
Based out of St. Louis, Norfolk began his career as a comedian and actor but quickly rose to a level of prominence that demands the level of respect he is now shown.  Along the way, he has worked a number of odd jobs ranging from a Gateway Arch park service ranger to a storyteller at the St. Louis Story Telling Festival, amassing a variety of inspiration for his storytelling.
Norfolk has picked up many bits of wisdom along his journey, and among those, he holds in high esteem that the  magic of a story is universal.
“No matter what age one is … every time people are involved in live stage or movies, you get lost in the plot of the story,” Norfolk said. “Nothing else is around you, and you’re with the protagonist, you’re with the characters, you’re with the villain. So that’s the power of story telling.”
Norfolk came to Columbia as part of Daniel Boone Regional Library’s Teen Read Week, and when DBRL contacted Rock Bridge to see if it wanted to host Norfolk, media specialist Gwen Struchtemeyer immediately said ‘yes’. It was Norfolk’s eloquence and ability to captivate that drew Rock Bridge to Norfolk.
“The main thing is to let the people know about the power of the imagination and the power of intuition and stories,” Norfolk said.  “The brain is hard-wired to storytelling, and everything we see, hear, taste and touch makes a story. “
By Ashleigh Atasoy, Urmila Kutikkad and Daphne Yu