Eva Grayzel is a nationally recognized master storyteller and expert on interactive storytelling techniques with almost 30 years’ experience. While working in education, Eva developed unique storytelling skills to motivate a new method of learning. Through her business ‘Story Theater’ she began lecturing and performing nationwide. Ten years later, a late-stage oral cancer diagnosis almost stole her ability to return to the work she loved. Regaining her articulation and deep vibrant voice, she transitioned to speaking in the healthcare industry about the patient perspective based on her survival story. She crafted her story in a way that attracted companies to request programs on developing their own stories. Eva’s professional training as an actress allows her to deliver mesmerizing programs, actively engaging each audience—no matter how large or small. Eva is the author of ‘Mr. C Plays Hide & Seek‘ and ‘Mr. C the Globetrotter.’ She founded the Six-Step Screening™ oral cancer awareness campaign.
How I Became a Storyteller
I didn’t go to school to become a storyteller. In fact, I never even heard of storytelling being a job! I graduated from Barnard College/Columbia University in 1986 with a BA in Writing planning on being an author one day after pursuing a career as an actress in NYC. While going on ‘cattle calls’ and trying to land acting work, I got a job teaching biblical stories at a religious school. Now, I never thought I would go into a career in religion, but it paid well and didn’t interfere with auditioning. One day, my life path changed when the principal came into my classroom quite upset. The bell rang, there was a traffic jam outside, and my students were engaged in my story and didn’t want to leave. This was a first for this after-school program. The principal recognized my unique interactive storytelling techniques and told me I could start a business developing storytelling programs. My first publication was a recording of my signature stories on the CD “A Story A Day.” Pick up a copy for $5 in the store.
Beating The Odds
In 1998, at age 33, in the midst of a successful career in storytelling, I was diagnosed with advanced stage oral cancer and given a 15% chance of survival. A non-smoker, I had been bounced from dentist to doctor for more than two years. The ulcer on my tongue became larger and more painful. After diagnosis, I endured a partial tongue reconstruction, a modified radical neck dissection and a maximum dose of radiation therapy. After getting a second chance at life, I wanted to do whatever I could to raise awareness about this disease and prevent what happened to me from happening to others. Six-Step Screening was born!