Mark Ezra Stokes learned storytelling out of rebellion.
As a three-year-old, he was devastated to find out he couldn’t go to school with his older brother, so he did what any other kid would do: He created an imaginary schoolhouse under his bed, where Mickey, Goofy and friends used an invisible rolling chalkboard to teach him reading and math… whatever that was.
Eventually, Mark was allowed to go to school with flesh-and-bone teachers, and he did well. Valedictory speeches, scholarships and a few extra degrees brought him pleasure. He found great comfort and safety in prescribed academic tracks. At the end of his degrees, though, he found anything but security in his newly-acquired independence.
That’s when the consistent love for storytelling kicked in and (along with the performance-enhancing drug of fatherhood) led him to infuse storytelling into the fields of journalism, college professorship, special education and filmmaking.
For the past decade, Mark has taught screenwriting workshops for students ranging from elementary-schoolers to senior citizens. He picked up an M.A. in Screenwriting & Film Studies, and an M.F.A. in Screenwriting, allowing him to provide more in-depth content for both his students and the clients he’s served as script doctor.
Mark has followed his pursuit of great stories to the nonprofit sector, where he learned to create nonprofits from the ground up, to build like-minded communities from scratch, and to break through to “non-communicative” special-needs students through the distinct language of cinema.
He’s been a keynote speaker for awards banquets, writer’s conferences and many, many private sessions in front of the bathroom mirror. (Unfortunately, he can’t fit under the bed anymore.)
With Holistic Storyteller, Mark is able to spread the contagion of great storytelling. He does so while encouraging you to acknowledge your multifaceted life as a storyteller, to discover strategies and hacks for dealing with it all, and to tell better and more engaging stories in the midst of your distinct existence.