Fairfield Trading Card Spotlight - Paul Stokstad

| Trading Card Spotlight

Our first Fairfield Trading Card Spotlight features Paul Stokstad, who is displayed on card number 22, from the Fairfield Collection.  These cards commemorate Fairfield, Iowa's unique distinction as the "Renaissance Capital of the World." Paul is the founder of the Fairfield Public Access Channel (FPAC) and is a producer of hundreds of improv and dance events in the area.  He has written many books on such topics as dance, tennis and poetry.  Paul is a terrific tennis player and has competed in many tournaments and has finished as high as third in his age division and 1st is doubles competition.  He has dream of being a screenplay writer and producer.

Where did you grow up in Iowa?

I grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa, finished HS in Des Moines and went to college and grad school in Iowa City (plus getting a second Master’s Degree at MUM.edu).  I moved here in 1974, then away in 1978 and back in 1980 then away in 2000 and back in 2004.

Growing up, what did you see yourself doing as an adult?

I suppose I thought I might be a teacher or actor.

What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Fairfield’?

Something close to Missouri juxtaposed with an international collection of rare birds.

Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a trading card? 

Not unless I would have one in my pocket and sit on it while chewing the pink slab of gum that they came with.

Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the trading Card?

Some of my employees showed it to me.

When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?

I don’t really remember; it seems like he has always been there like a sort of zebra-striped piece of friendly furniture in my Fairfield existence.

If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?

Walter is a promoter of stuff that no one else cared about until he reminded them that they actually did.

Are you still involved with dance, and what role do you play?

I have no active dance outlet at this time since I’m married to the Jimi Hendrix of dance: it’s a lot better on your ego to watch than to try to play along.

What is your favorite type of dance and why?

Any kind of dance where you have a woman in your arms and you are inspired by the music and she is open to taking a lead and you are in a sort of kinetic conversation and the music, you, and the woman are in a magical land all alone, and then the song is over and everybody is happy and no one has to discuss whether to get married or not – you were already as perfect as possible for 2.5 minutes.

What other sports do you play and why was tennis your favorite?

I’ve played football, basketball, run hurdles, pole vaulted, et al. But tennis is in my family and an ongoing, never ending curious conversation between me and the Tennis Deva.

How is your involvement in Improv important to you?

Improv got me onstage without having the fear of memorization as a crippling factor for performance. And it enabled me to create a number of ensembles built on deep physical and personal trust, plus create spontaneous joy for a lot of audiences.

What does it take to be an enthusiastic event coordinator?

You have to care about your performers and be willing to work harder than anyone.

What do you think about electronic books that you can download versus the actual physical hard copy?

I love the portability, night reading and always-there element with a digital book. Handheld books are nice too, if there are illustrations, etc. But I feel digital books can do even more than we yet have – such as geo-mapping of place names.

What celebrities do you admire today and who did you look up to as a child? 

As far as living celebrities go I have a fondness for Helena Bonham Carter. As a child I was into Alan Sheppard, Rosemary Clooney and Haley Mills.

What are your favorite movies past and present?

The Tolkien Movies, A River Runs through It, A Man for All Seasons, Zefferelli’s Romeo and Juliet (but let’s mention TV: Downton, GOT, Rome, Deadwood, Larkrise to Candleford, Walking Dead).

Who is your favorite Sports figure and what makes that person special?

Rafael Nadal: Plays with such intensity and passion.

Did you play Video games growing up and what were some of your favorites?

They didn’t show up until I was out of college, really. I spent three days playing Pong. I wasn’t much of a gamer during the classic era. More recently I’ve dropped a lot of hours on Plants versus Zombies.

If you can design your own video game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?

It would be an RPG game where the goal was enlightenment and you would get stress points and deal with rakshasas and try to evolve to higher states of consciousness including supernormal abilities.

What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? 

I would like to see the multiplatform/multiplayer stuff evolving.

Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?

I just wish FPS games didn’t exist. But then I wish guns didn’t exist either.

If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why? 

Probably Pacman. It’s just a classic.

What do you see yourself doing in the next 10 years?

Writing fiction or screenplays on a beach while some grandkids throw driftwood into the water.



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