Bobby's memoir transcends his journey in the African/American experience by exploring the subjects of Metaphysics, health, climate change, spirituality, diet and nutrition, yoga, meditation, literacy, the effects of popular culture on youth, theatre, music, sports injuries, and storytelling in the 21st century. Ask for it at your local bookseller or Amazon.com
"An inspiring,beautifully told testimony of a storyteller's quest for identity,healing, joy, and fulfillment. Masterfully written and engaging, Bobby Norfolk's affirmation of life will delight a wide range of readers!"
—Thomas Saxon-Social Worker and Storyteller, New York City
In this engaging and entertaining new program, St. Louisians Beverly Brennan & Bobby Norfolk shine a bright light on the problems of race and culture in America, through the lens of their own city.
Through storytelling, theater, poetry, comedy, song, personal stories, and thought-provoking prose, Beverly and Bobby expose issues such as stereotyping, ethnicity, ignorance & fear, illuminating a pathway to racial harmony.
Communication enables healing from tragedies such as Ferguson. Storytelling is all about listening and, quite often, enables those too racially deaf or intolerant to make positive changes. Beverly and Bobby tell both sides of thestory, and discover that people are more alike than they are different.
We recommend this important and relevant performance for older students & adults. This “straight talk” show is aimed at middle school, high school & college assemblies & programs, and is ideal for keynotes, libraries, conferences, festivals and museums. This program can also be booked for diversity days, in-service training or multi-cultural celebrations for larger companies and small business owners.
Download a handout that contains discussion themes & activities.
Download a handout that contains sample questions for the talk-back session.
Bobby grew up a shy child in North St. Louis with a debilitating stutter. Son of an elevator operator and confectionery clerk, Norfolk's future was hazy when he was young. As a youth, Bobby wondered “What could a lost, lonely, discouraged kid from the low-rent blocks of St. Louis do with the rest of his life?”
Norfolk's path toward storytelling and success began in 1961 when he suddenly overcame his stutter when performing in a fourth-grade poetry recital. From that moment, his teachers helped him to grow as both an individual and a performer.
"They saw things in me didn't see in myself, which is the mark of a master teacher, to see inside the student with low self-esteem (who) hasn't found his or her gifts," Norfolk said in a recent interview. His teachers put him in drama class, Greek club, poetry recitals and talent shows. “Whenever I performed, I wouldn't stutter” he said.
Norfolk is grateful to his teachers who became his role models and helped him overcome adversity as a child and teen-ager. They put me on the right path.
Bobby has been a professional entertainer since 1971. His natural talent combined with a background in theatre and comedy has made him one of the top storytellers in the country today.
As Bobby says:
We all share the exact same character traits, despite color, race or religion. I tell stories to see the happiness and joy that can be shared through the oral tradition. No fancy electronics, just teller and listener. The human brain is hard-wired for story. Once you know a person’s story, it is easier to understand and relate to them.
Bobby promotes character education traits such as: respect, responsibility, honesty, teamwork, cooperation, compassion, and self esteem. He has developed the technique of sprinkling common core curriculum lessons into his stories in a seamless flow of theatre arts in his program called: The Moral of the Story.
Additionally, he has storytelling programs emphasizing cultural diversity, literacy & nature. Favorites include Folktales from around the World, Back to the Books, Monsters, Dragons and Ogres, and the ever popular Anansi Tales.
Audiences of all ages delight in his first person living history programs that range from; Through The Eyes Of York — The Lewis & Clark Expedition, to Henry Box Brown and Other Tales of The Underground Railroad, Lincoln and The Civil War, to the poetry and prose of the Harlem Renaissance.
Bobby’s musical programs highlight the life and music of great artists such as Scott Joplin; The Ragtime King and Swinging With The Duke; The Duke Ellington Story, while The Voices and Music of Africa! and The Storytelling Express combine story, music, dance, and audience participation. He introduces audiences to the rich traditions which underlie much of America's musical landscape. These special two person programs feature Bobby with a professional musician.
Bobby’s keynotes on overcoming adversity and the importance of discipline, persistence focus, and concentration are favorites among educators and corporations. These workshops are also very popular with festivals and conferences where people want to learn how to research, learn, and tell stories.
Welcome to the new school year! Bobby has many educational school programs for K-6th with themes on literacy, character education and cultural diversity. He also has performances for older students in middle & high schools including these new shows: The Ville & The Hill, Take the “A” Train, and Dreams Deferred. Bobby has teamed up with Beverly Brennan for a new holiday program called Glad Tidings, which is geared for audiences of all ages. Please read about all his shows on his webpage.
Bobby is listed as a workshop leader on the Missouri Workshop Calendar. The website is www.moworkshopcalendar.org. Bobby is also a performance artist on the Springboard to Learning rooster. Contact them at 314-768-9670 ext. 109. Financial assistance may be available through this organization. Finally, Bobby is a touring artist with the Missouri Arts Council too. See their website at: www.missouriartscouncil.org.
Call today to book a school performance with Bobby. Special prices on block bookings! Special discounts on December shows!