“A compelling story is an essential component in any business endeavor.
It accelerates change, attracts and unites an audience, influences mindsets and attitudes, underlines your core beliefs, and entertains and enlightens — all the while conveying a key message.”
Mark’s story began in New Zealand and is currently set in LA and Atlanta.
As well as Universal in both London and Los Angeles, Staufer has worked with a host of others including Disney, Turner, Foxtel, and the Mark Gordon Company.
He’s collaborated with, amongst others, Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Akiva Goldsman, and filmmakers Eli Roth (Hostel) and Josh Stewart (the Collector).
“Everyone, every thing has a story, is a story.
Knowing who you are means being able to articulate yours in a compelling and authentic way.
It is a merging of your story with your audience’s, and this powerful, new narrative is one that you both now share.
In this way, the audience and the ‘hero’ are journeying together.”
Staufer’s work is always bespoke, holistic, goal-oriented, and completely confidential on request.
A little over 2,500 years ago a young Greek man went on a quest to find the greatest stories never told. Ever since he was young, he’d been receiving traces of these epic tales in dreams and daydreams.
But, his intuition told him that he was only at the very beginning — that there was so much more to discover.
Homer, as he was called, came to believe that there was a place where stories lived after they were made, and before they were told.
Homer called this mythic in-between place “the Brilliancy”.
Homer believed that the only way to secure these stories — to become the storyteller — was to commune with the nine women who guarded and cultivated all creativity while it dwelled in the Brilliancy.
The guardians were all beautiful sisters and their names were Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomeni, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia and Ouraninia. Legend had it that they were the daughters of Zeus, CEO of all the gods.
But there was a seemingly insurmountable problem: This nonet of sister-Goddesses lived on Mount Helicon in central Greece which was several hundred miles away from Homer and his remote island home in the Aegean.
So, he procrastinated.
Eventually, sitting on these embryonic stories became agony for Homer. It not only caused him physical pain, he lost interest in girls, in his mother’s delicious Spanikopita, and even in the sixty-seven precious goats he so conscientiously herded every day.
All Homer could daydream about were the snatches of stories inside him, the ones he desperately needed to tell. His friends and family became increasingly alarmed. Finally, the entire village agreed, if Homer didn’t give birth to these stories, he would surely die. With his magnificent stories.
The elders organized an ancient version of a GoFundMe campaign to send Homer off on his mission. Homer was well-liked and everyone donated a few drachma because they also couldn’t wait to hear the stories he brought back.
With the coins jangling in his purse, Homer said goodbye to his family and friends and boarded a boat for the first leg of his journey.
It took Homer many arduous months to reach the mountain where the Goddesses’ sanctuary was located.
Despite the travails, he never wavered, believing his journey to be blessed with many omens pointing to his destiny.
Homer was popular with all the other travelers he encountered. The pilgrims and sailors and soldiers all loved to hear the stories he was working on, and he was never without an audience.
The night he arrived at the sanctuary doors there was a full Moon and a mighty storm, which Homer took as meaning the parts of the stories he needed were being conveyed back to this world from the heavens in readiness.
The young wannabe story-teller spent many days on Mt. Helicon. He brought the Muses offerings of fresh goat’s milk, wild honey and gold, and he swam often in their freezing sacred springs.
Homer called on the Goddess he felt closest to — Calliope, Muse of epic poetry — to inspire the telling of these tales which were not quite his, not quite yet.
Alas, even though Homer spent many hours praying, fasting and making offerings, Calliope and her sisters refused to reveal what he sought.
When Homer started running out of money, he became disgruntled — Had he traveled all this way and gone through all these hardships for nothing? How would his friends and family react when he returned home empty-handed? Would they want refunds?
Perhaps the Muses had found themselves a more adept storyteller with a bigger vocabulary. Perhaps he was unworthy of the Goddess’s attention.
And then, when his money and supplies were gone and he was spending his final night on Mt. Helicon, the Goddess Calliope visited in a dream. She was even more beautiful than Homer expected, and her voice was the most musical he’d ever heard. Unfortunately, the words Calliope sang proved anticlimactic.
“Go home, Little Storyteller” said Calliope, “and on the way, for once be silent.”
Regardless, Homer did as Calliope commanded. He set off on his return journey, and this time instead of telling his own tales, he remained mostly mute and listened to the stories of others.
From the pilgrims, sailors, and soldiers he met along the way he heard epic tales of love and hate, Gods and monsters, and battles and fabulous sea-journeys
And again, his journey was not without its own adventures along the way.
Little by little Homer realized that to be a truly great storyteller, he needed to be a great listener and collector.
He’d been reading the signs leading him to the Brilliancy, rather than realizing the signs and omens themselves were the fabric of the very tales he was looking for.
Calliope was telling Homer that he had the stories in his heart and at his fingertips all along.
Homer’s adventures on land and sea, and the many tales he collected all became part of the two books of epic poetry he gave birth to, and the world came to know as The Iliad and the Odyssey.
I mentor writers of all levels from around the world in Intuitional Writing. The process is aimed at encouraging you — like Homer — to cultivate your intuition, tap into the mystical Brilliancy and tell stories of the human condition that break and then repair hearts.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and book a 15 minute FaceTime story appraisal, and let your journey begin!