"Stories are my passion, and I hold the firm belief that everyone has a story that deserves to be told. Through the sharing of diverse voices and perspectives, we are able to create a true sense of community and belonging."
Stories are powerful. They are how we connect to each other, ourselves, and the world around us. They hold the power to inspire, enlighten, connect, and empower. When we share our perspectives and experiences we not only validate our own truths but hold space for others who may need to hear that story told.
Storytelling is not only one of the oldest communal art forms but also the means by which we connect through the sharing of experiences.
I have always had an unwavering love for stories and storytelling. From a young age I can remember some of my early books, brightly colored folktales written in both Korean and English, and telling my own tales between toy animals.
An painfully introverted child of a single working father, it was my creative outlet - the way I engaged with a world more overwhelming than I knew what to do with. It was my siblings, my companions, and way that I developed methodology and understanding to shape my reality.
Beneath the misunderstanding, the lack of inclusion, the fear, the whitewashing, and a slew of a hundred other problems that divide us, is a lack of really listening to each others' stories...
The first storytelling event I spoke at held the theme of "Origins" to celebrate the creation of the event itself. Some spoke of their childhood through the lens of socioeconomics, some spoke of world-view defining moment, while some shared insights about their identities. The tale I told paralleled my coming into adulthood with one of my favorite Korean folktales.
As I became involved in nonprofit and mission-driven work, I began to connect the pieces between storytelling to a much bigger social picture. Having worked in marketing as well as with theatre, I realized both how potent and prevalent stories are.
They influence our decisions in what to buy (commercial of a new house with an aunt problem, anyone?). They connect us to those around us whether over a dinner table or work coffee pot. They can even affect how we perceive others and ourselves, as any minority person who grew up watching media filled with faces that looked nothing like ours will know.
Speaking nationally on topics such as diverse representation in media, inclusion, whitewashing, and beyond, it was evident how important shared stories could be. Because they are our lived experiences. They are unique and they are universal. They matter, as does everyone who has a story to tell. And everyone has a story that deserves to be told.
Beneath the misunderstanding, the lack of inclusion, the fear, the whitewashing, and the slew of a hundred other problems that divided us, is a lack of really listening to each others' stories - stories that bridge gaps, that represent diverse voices and perspectives, and, in my experience, help us learn and grow.
When everyone’s story is given equal place at the table, we are able to better understand not only each other and the world around us but ourselves and how we fit into a bigger picture.
the Story Seed
Runtime: 2 hours
When everyone’s story is given equal place at the table, we are able to better understand not only each other and the world around us but ourselves and how we fit into a bigger picture. The Story Seed provides an inclusive and safer space in which attendees
explore writing and sharing their story. After an introduction, participants receive a workbook and complete several exercises to help get them thinking about a personal story they would like to focus on. Prompted writing activities help put each story into words and empower each individual to find their voice. Once the stories are written, we cover practices that help give tips and insights into how to present a story well. At the workshop’s conclusion, each participant is given the space to tell their story if they would like to share.
Runtime: 1 hour
Storytelling is a useful tool in not only allowing diverse voices to be heard and understood but also shifting the paradigm in group-focused spaces. The Storytelling Rapport workshop is designed for small groups (or groups that can be divided into small groups)
to have a space where each individual can hear, listen, and learn something about those around them. Each participant tells a short, simple story based on a common theme, after which is a guided discussion exploring differences and commonalities among participants' stories. The goal of this workshop is to create a space in which established group dynamics are broken down and each individual has the space to share and learn about their peers with the goal of rebuilding the community bond.
Why Your Story Matters
Runtime: 1.5 hours
Stories shape our world. Through media, film, news, marketing, and beyond, the stories we are given frame how we understand and interact with the world and those around us. However, when only a select few are telling these stories, voices are not only left out
but many times misunderstood and misrepresented. This discussion-based workshop focuses on why storytelling is so vital, especially in our current political and social climate, while supporting the idea that each person's story matters and deserves to be told. When every single voice has the space to speak their story, we can begin to really come together and understand our common struggles, unique perspectives, and truly build community.
Connecting Your Story to the Stage
Runtime: 1 hour
Everyone has a story and while no two experiences are the same, we can all watch a scene of deep loss or painful awkwardness and easily empathize. That’s the power of theatre and art! As a performer and storyteller, you can take this power even further by drawing from your personal story. This workshop asks participants to connect to different personal stories that invoke specific safe emotions for them (happiness, loss, jealousy, etc) and share. Following is an open discussion about the universalities of these experiences and how flexible their interpretation can be. Lastly we discuss methods and practices of the self-care that becomes vital when engaging with vulnerability on stage.