|Mark Binder telling a story. Photo by Paul Porter|
I met him at the Trinity Rep Conservatory in 1987 and we've been close friends ever since. We've worked together on various projects, I went to his wedding reception, I am the godfather to one of his children, he signed my wedding vows, and when we lived in the same state I averaged eating with him and his family twice a week.
I ran a New Year's Eve festival for 10 years, and Mark ran the storytelling stage for me every year. Put plainly, I love the guy. And I admit that bias.
Transmit Joy. (available on Amazon by clicking the title)
It's an audio book of about 65 minutes length that features 10 of Mark's signature stories.
Listen to samples of the stories here.
The stories are varied, from a re-telling of the classic story of The Billy Goats Gruff to the first story ever told (by Og, Caveman) to a wonderful and personal telling of why he writes stories, which features a word portrait of a candy shop that almost makes you taste the chocolate.
The stories are sometimes silly and sometimes profound, but they are all done with a sense of lightness and joy and a sense of humor that makes you glad you listened to them.
There's a German/Yiddish word that describes Mark's work well: Haimishe, meaning homey and well-meaning and comfortable. Mark's mission (indeed, the name of his website) is to Transmit Joy to his audiences, and I think that he succeeds quite well.
|Photo of Mark and I making silly faces on Bright Night in 2011.|
In short, I think this audio storybook makes a fine introduction to Mark's work as a storyteller and will entertain and entrance all of the members of your family. You should definitely add it to your collection.
To find out more about Mark (and catch the flavor of his storytellingand lots of complimentary accolades), here's his introductory video from his website Transmit Joy: