My life changed when the principal of the after-school program I was teaching at came into the room furious, “Didn’t you hear the bell ring? Dismiss the students! You have caused a traffic jam!” I asked the kids if they heard the bell ring….they said, “Wait, just tell us the rest of the story.” With the help of this principal, I launched Story Theater, performing nationwide interactive stories with meaningful messages.
At the peak of my career, a sore on my tongue was diagnosed as stage IV oral cancer. After regaining articulation and my deep vibrant voice, I transitioned to speaking in the healthcare industry about the patient perspective surviving late stage cancer of the tongue. One day, a sales manager said, ‘If my sales team could tell a story like you do, we would be golden.’ I gave my first workshop on finding and crafting the story you are meant to tell to showcase your strengths, build rapport, and inspire trust.
Does your website bio list your education, memberships and hobbies? If so, you need me. Engage website readers with a short yet powerful story and attract the clients and customers who are right for you.
See & Hear My Story
A snippet of my personal story (7 minutes).
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 becoming an author one day. But first, I had to pursue my dream career as an actress on Broadway. While going on ‘cattle calls’ and trying to land acting work, I got a job teaching biblical stories at a religious school. Never in my wildest dreams, did I think I would accept a job in a religious institution, but it paid well and didn’t interfere with auditioning, and I had the experience they were looking for. I tried many creative ways to teach the lessons in a memorable way so a month from then, they would recall the story and the lessons. Engaging imaginations was only possible when each student participated actively in the story. My business Story Theater took me across the country to schools, camps, and community events.
Helping others tell an interactive and engaging story would only help my career, so I developed the program, “To Life, To Life Your Stories.” and lectured at educational conferences and educator in-service programs. I was speaking and performing nationwide, until….
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!