5 Minutes With…Chief of the Chief Scott Parker | SteamboatToday.com

5 Minutes With…Chief of the Chief Scott Parker

John F. Russell

One look at the marquee for the Chief Theater downtown — Western Melodrama, Acronym, The Vagina Monologues — and it's easy to see that Executive Director Scott Parker is 1) having fun; and 2) doing a great job of bringing the arts in their myriad forms to downtown's premiere performance venue. When not juggling his Chief duties, he can be found doing so for his family — including wife, Shannon, and kids Delaney, 11, Finley, 8, and Veronika, 3; comedy troupe We're Not Clowns; and as president-elect of the Ski Town USA Rotary Club. We caught up with the chief of the Chief for his take on Steamboat, the Sabres and town's newest stage.

I grew up in Buffalo, New York, (go Sabres!) and went to Kenmore West High, the same as news anchor Wolf Blitzer, and then Buffalo State College, where I played four years of volleyball.

I moved to Steamboat in 1996 because my friend Kelly Anzalone was moving here because of his friend Rick Boese. It's the classic friend-of-a-friend story, like how a lot of people got here. I went back home for a few years but quickly realized how great it is here and came back.

The people here are what set Steamboat apart. Most everyone here moved here by choice. It makes a huge difference to live somewhere where people actually want to be. Steamboat is a super generous and supportive community. I couldn't imagine raising my kids anyplace else.

My first time on stage came in 1998 performing in the Western Melodrama at the Ore House. I play Cyril (not Cereal) Twigbucket; I'm the hero people yell "Yay!" for. I still do occasional gigs with We’re Not Clowns also, even after 20 years. We won a Silver Medal in 2000 at the world's biggest juggling convention in Montreal, and in 2001, we performed three shows in Switzerland and at the Netherlands' European Juggling Convention.

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The juggling background definitely helps me keep all the balls in the air for the Chief. Juggling is an apt metaphor for life. You have to learn to multitask … and if you drop the ball, pick it up and try again.

I have the best job in the world. I'm executive director of an amazing nonprofit organization, in an historic building that has been entertaining locals since the mid-1920s. There's a lot of history there. I also get to book some amazing acts and work with amazing actors, musicians and dancers. I love seeing people's smiles after a great show.

This winter I got voted president-elect of the Ski Town USA Rotary Club. I'm honored to be working with such a great club whose goal is to make a difference in people's lives. I hope to do a lot of outreach and let people know how we support the community. I'm heading to the international convention in Seoul in May.

I'm a big sports fan (and recovering Buffalo Bills fan). If it wasn't the Bills winning the SuperBowl, I'm glad it was the Broncos. I also love playing hockey and hiking with my kids, whenever I can get them all going the same direction. I guess the juggling helps there as well.