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Nate Butler Bio

Greetings, Net Traveler; thank you for opening The Big Butler Book! This is the part where you get to learn a little about my personal history, if ya want.

I was cast in my first play when I was in the fifth grade (as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit", Fresno Children's Playhouse, 1975), and I've been performing ever since; sometimes as an actor, sometimes as a singer (The Double Doors), sometimes as a bass player AND singer (The Beetles), but usually these days as a pianist. I currently play piano most Saturday & Sunday mornings at The Fresno Breakfast House, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; Tuesday nights at Goldstein's Mortuary & Delicatessen 8:00 to 11:00 p.m.; and Wednesday evenings at Veni Vidi Vici 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.

I play piano on the 1st Saturday of every month for Silent Movies, at The Revue Cafe. Besides providing the accompanment, I use my own curiousity about this important era of the movies to educate and entertain new generations of film fans.

I am also something of a cartoonist, and had once considered a career in that field; but these days I draw only as a hobby. Since The Fresno Metropolitan Museum discontinued the annual Christmas At The Met play that I performed and directed for nearly a decade, I don't do much *acting* anymore either, unless you count my continuing role as Jim Morrison in The Double Doors or my two turns as Captain Hook in "Peter Pan". I did my first Shakespeare in April 2012, in the New Ensemble's production of "Hamlet" (you can read the "Hamlet" review here).

I was never good at sports as a child, and instead spent most of my time drawing, listening to records over and over, making up plays and puppet shows, putting together model kits, and most of all playing with my tape recorder. I'm still not much good at sports, and I still play a lot with tape recorders and other audio/visual toys.

Once of my most interesting life experiences ocurred in the summer of 2014, when I was cast in the fourth season of the Swedish Reality TV show "Allt for Sverige". You can watch all eight episodes on YouTube; I have a page with links to all the episodes and my cast-mates' Facebook pages here.

When I first created this website years ago, I decided that I was not well suited to writing much more of my own biography than what's above, so I ask
ed my sister to write her recollections of what I was like to live with while she was growing up. My sister is many things, but among them she is a lawyer and so has to write all the time, so I hoped she wouldn't mind. She didn't mind, and she wrote what is printed below; I found it truly touching, I hope you all don't mind me sharing it with you. (Thanks, Sis! I love you.)

Yours truly, Nate Butler

Big Brother Nate
by Christine Williams (formerly Butler)

I'm thinking back to my first memory of my older brother, Nate Butler; I couldn't have been more than 5 years old, which means Nate was probably in junior high. We were still living in the "old house" over on Safford Road next to what used to be Bullard Elementary School, near Fig Garden Village in Fresno, California. Nate had some friends over and they were all playing Dungeons & Dragons. At the time, I was too young to understand why I couldn't join in; it looked a lot like the game Candy Land to me. I pestered them all afternoon to let me play until I was called into the kitchen to "help make snacks for the boys" (Mom to the rescue). I remember carrying a big bowl of potato chips into the front room, and just before I was going to win over my brother and his friends with snacks, I inadvertently let out a huge sneeze, contaminating the entire bowl. The boys just laughed as I sheepishly asked if they wanted any chips, but Nate just gave me a little hug and said, "Thanks anyway, Sis."

Soon after that, we moved over to Northwest Fresno and Nate started high school. Our oldest brother went to the high school in our district, but Nate's friends were going to Fresno High, which was across town in our old district. Our parents were opposed to spoiling us, so Nate had a choice: either go to the school in our district and catch the schoolbus at the end of the block, or go to Fresno High and take the city bus to get there. Nate must have really loved D & D, because he got up hours before school started to ride the city bus across town to school every day. It must have been worth it too because he was adored by many, some of whom called him Nate "the Walrus" Butler; they even announced that as his name at graduation. I thought he was so cool.

This brings us to his musical career. Some of his most famous work is with the cover band "The Beetles". The Walrus's love for the fab four lives on in this musical tribute that always draws a large and diverse crowd. Nate has been a local star, composing and recording his own music as well as "covers", for as long as I can remember. However, his passion for the arts predates all of my memories. Before I was even born, after only a year of piano lessons he was playing just about anything on the piano; I must have made him play "The Pink Panther's Theme" a million times. From there he learned to play the guitar, play the bass (stand up and electric), and to sing, and has played in a number of bands over the years, sometimes upwards of four at a time. I would venture to say there are still nights when you could see him do some of each in five different settings, if you can keep up.

Nate's creativity is not limited to music; this artist is skilled in many mediums. As a child, I loved his clay-mation short films. Plus while all my little friends were playing pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey at their birthday parties, at my parties we played pin-the-hairpiece-on-the-old-man, courtesy of my cool older brother. In addition to music, drawing, and short films, Nate is also an actor. While growing up he performed in community theater productions and competed on the Fresno High forensics team. You can still see Nate, the thespian, at least once a year in the holiday children's play that he puts on every Christmas at The Fresno Metropolitan Museum. This one-man show utilizes music, props, and the parents' favorite part, an introductory lesson on audience etiquette. It is no wonder that the response I usually get when I tell someone that Nate is my older brother is, "Nate Butler is your brother? Wow, I love his work in ... (you name it)."

The awe in the voices of Nate's fans when they find out I am his little sister needs no explanation. The cause for surprise may not be as obvious. First, mutual friends, especially ones who have heard me sing, are shocked because Nate definitely got the talent in the family. Furthermore, I imagine that Nate, with his blonde hair and blue eyes, resembles our great, great grandfather the Swedish sailor who disembarked in Trinidad California all those years ago and fell in love, both with Yurok country, and our great, great grandmother, a Yurok woman. In contrast, my oldest brother and I bear dark hair and dark eyes. Native Californians in the most literal sense, the three of us are all enrolled members of the Yurok Tribe of Northern California.

I was flattered when my brother asked me to write his history from my perspective. I see his history as a wonderful collage of creative expressions, colored by a focus on family and community. From my perspective, the history of Nate Butler is best characterized as the canvas of a work of art perpetually in progress, but never finished.

~ Christine Williams (nee Butler)