Story Coaching

 


 
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My first time hearing true stories told live on stage was fifteen years ago, in a dark and dilapidated jazz club in Washington, DC.

I watched in awe as ordinary people, not actors, got up one at a time and told stories. Stories that were hilarious, devastating, and moving  - all without notes or props. Just a person, a mic, a stage, and an audience.

My first thought upon seeing this was: “I want to do that!”

My second thought was: “There is no way you can do that.”

I listened to that second thought, and waited ten years to get up on that stage and tell a story.


Some years ago, I watched a performer put on a one-person show at a conference.

As I watched the show, I remember feeling ashamed by feelings of jealousy arising, but I recognized pretty soon after that this feeling was a sign: I needed to create a one-person show of my own.

It would take many years, but in 2016 I ended up creating and performing my solo show, Aliens, Nazis, and Angels to sold-out audiences -- something I never imagined was possible.

What made the difference, in both cases?

Having someone in my corner.

If it were not for Kevin, a local educator and story coach who said to me, “you have a solo show in you,” I don’t know if I would have ever moved towards it.

Kevin’s sudden, untimely passing, a loss to an entire community, jolted me out of my frozen state. His death at the age of 49 left me with a resounding echo: life is not a given. We do not know how much time is left to us, individually or collectively.

While the creative process takes as long as it takes, I don’t want you to have to wait years to let your story out, if you don’t have to.

I want you to feel empowered and resourced to do the creative and change-making work you were born to do.

I would love to support you to craft and hone your most impactful life stories.

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You can incorporate these stories into your writing, into videos, into audio and podcasts.

You can infuse these stories into talks, workshops, theatrical performances, and educational work.

You can bring these stories to your movement-building, change-making, policy-making, and justice-doing.

And, if you’re called to, you can shape your stories into a one-person show!

I would be honored to be your story coach and mentor.

To be in your corner, encouraging you every step of the way, as folks did for me.

If you’d like some extra support on your storytelling path, please contact me to set up a time to talk.


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My experience:

  • I’ve been a performer for over two decades. The stage feels like a second home to me.

  • I worked as a teaching artist with Story District.

  • I’m a certified Life Stories Institute Facilitator with the Theatre Lab of DC.

  • I’ve been telling true stories live on stages across the Washington, DC area since 2013.

  • See some examples of my storytelling here and here.

  • My 2016 solo show, Aliens, Nazis, and Angels was named among “Best of the Capital Fringe” by DC Metro Theater Arts.

  • I have performed my spoken word poetry live on stages and in public places.

  • I’ve got a spoken word album called Take Refuge and a chapbook called Poems of Mass Construction.

  • I was featured in Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Movement.

  • I worked with the Mental Health Association of San Francisco to help create and train a speakers’ bureau training for suicide attempt survivors.

What folks say about my story coaching:

"Leah Harris is both a powerful story-teller and an incredible teacher. Leah's story-telling approach is personal in that she gets to know the core of someone's story, provides a safety net for them to dive deep into difficult topics, shares strength-based feedback, and partners with them to craft dynamic messages into their narratives. Because of our work together, I have felt confident in telling my story in The S Word documentary, spoken confidently with reporters, and presented to state legislators about suicide prevention. For anyone interested in feeling stronger in their storytelling, Leah Harris is a powerful advocate to have on your side."

-Kelechi Ubozoh- Mental Health Advocate, Senior Program Associate, Oakland California

"You are amazing at seeing what needs to be said! You provided just the kick I needed to tell the stories I thought I could never tell - thank you, Leah! I feel taller, somehow."

—Stefanie S, Washington DC


Ready to craft your story and deliver it into the world?

I’d love to support you.
Reach out to set up a time to talk.