The year is 2000. I am sitting alone in the small courtyard outside of my funky adobe house on Galisteo Street in Santa Fe. My 2 1/2 year old daughter runs outside to find me, and stares up at me with her huge innocent eyes. This child is the light of my life.
Her 39-year-old father and I are getting a divorce. Within a very short period he will be diagnosed schizophrenic. Our lives, her life, and my life will be shattered in various ways over the next few years.
Financially, I am broke. I have no idea how to take care of my daughter at this moment. I’m a theater major living in Santa Fe with a young child and no visible means of support. All agreements from Chloe’s dad, emotional and financial, become impossible for him to fulfill.
Suddenly I find myself a single mom, the one thing I never wanted to be and the one thing I’m afraid I can’t handle.
To keep the terror at bay that night I pray to a God/The Universe/Angels… someone. It is a desperate plea. How will I support my child? How will I take care of us?
At this point, I was writing and performing my own solo shows, but not yet making sustainable income from them.
That night I had a dream. I saw the words “The Cancer Monologues” floating over Lincoln Center in New York City. When I awoke in the morning, I knew what I was supposed to do. I was supposed to offer storytelling/monologue workshops to people with cancer and their loved ones.
The first project was an enormous success in Santa Fe and I followed the dream from there. I applied for funding and received it to do to more workshops and performances here. I was taken on vacation by a man I was dating now. I stood in the ocean with my hands above my head and called in a book deal. Within the next 10 days of returning home to Santa Fe, I had manifested the largest advance they had ever given by MacAdam/Cage publishing house in San Francisco for The Cancer Monologue Project in 2002.
The project became a book that was featured in Oprah Winfrey’s magazine “O,” on the CBS early show, on NPR stations across the country and Canada, in Spirituality and Health Magazine and in 50 other local and national media outlets. Based on the level of attention the project received, I was able to do Cancer Monologues in hospitals, cancer centers and wellness centers across the country the next three years. This project culminated in doing The Cancer Monologues at an off-Broadway theatre in New York City called Second Stage. This project changed my life entirely, and put me on my path as a professional story coach.
It’s 20 years later and I’m still here, continuing to offer story services in the forms of teaching, facilitating, directing, coaching and trainings to actors, writers, entrepreneurs and businesses globally.
My passion for story and performance, combined with the immediate need to make income to support my tiny family, combined with a touch of grace…a very specific dream, which dropped into my mind that night, created my entire professional path.
That path has included my famous Solo Performance Boot Camps, in person and on Skype, where I work with clients one-on-one to complete their one person shows. It has included memoir writing groups with elders, publishing many books of their material and bonding in a profound way through their stories. It has included the StoryHealers project that you heard about above, presenting at retreats alongside people like Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron and Ann Randolph. Now, I am primarily focused on training others to start their own story coaching businesses.
If you are interested in following a lucrative AND soulful story-based path, as a professional story coach, you have my heartfelt invitation to meet me here. You will be supported in understanding what it takes to be a professional story coach, from working with clients on a solo show or memoir, to coaching transformational storytelling, to the nuts and bolts of working with brand story, to running a business. If this is your soul’s desire, consider either working with me one-on-one in my One Year Story Coach Mentorship, or joining my online program, S-School. You will find the deep root systems of passion, structure and inspiration to make your dream a reality.
To learn more about the Story Coaching Mentorship, go to this page on the Global School of Story website.
To learn more about joining S-School, go to this page on the Global School of Story website..