Anthony Ascione is one of our booksellers and someone you might recognize from his frequent TV appearances. He's the one who gets roped into appearing in interviews for Brilliant Books because he's just so good on camera! Must be all his theatre experience—if he's not at the bookstore, chances are good he's involved in one of the productions at The Old Town Playhouse just a few blocks from the bookstore!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a queer artist and forensic anthropologist/archaeologist who spent a decade traveling the world before returning to Northern Michigan where I was born and raised. In my spare I am active in local theatre, I hang out with my rescue Newfoundland named Martial, and I also appear weekly on 9&10's lifestyle program "The Four" where I recommend new and interesting books you may have missed.
What's the quirkiest job you've ever had?
The quirkiest job I ever had was making memes and doing social media at I Can Has Cheezburger back in the heyday of internet humor websites. They paid me to do things like throw eggs at a coworker or look at pictures of dogs all day and I got lots of cool t-shirts.
How many states have you lived in?
I have lived in Michigan (both peninsulas), Texas, Seattle, and Montana. I've also spent extended time in Maine, Spain, and Poland for work.
What's your favorite thing about being a bookseller?
My favorite thing (aside from the free books!) is seeing what people read. You can gain incredible insights into someone's personality based on the titles they do and do not choose.
What would you be doing if you weren't a bookseller?
If I weren't a bookseller I would likely be in grad school in Australia right now studying biological anthropology at Australia National University.
Tell us about meeting a favorite author
I met Jane Goodall at a signing event in Seattle once. I hugged her and thanked her for everything she's done. She hugged me back and said "thank you for everything you're going to do." Probably one of the most perfect moments of my life.