Tell Your Story- Let Your Whole Self Speak- Be Heard
It's time to let your WHOLE Self Speak.
Do you keep saying you want to be seen or heard? Are you frustrated at times, feeling like no one really sees or hears you? Do you feel like you lost or gave up your power? Do you feel like maybe something inside you is trying to get through to you, but you're afraid to listen?
My question to you is - What part of yourself are you hiding or not letting speak? Were you ever told that a part of you was too much, too wild, too dark, too sensitive, too loud, too arrogant or too serious? Were you told you needed to "settle down", shut up or not show that part of yourself in public? What were you told not to talk about?
I want to hear ALL of your voices. I want to hear from your WHOLE self. Tell Your Story was created as a way for you to listen to those parts of yourself that you may be afraid to listen to. I will be there with you listening for what you're not allowing yourself to say or feel.
I recently read in Psychology Today that the biggest lies we tell are to ourselves. Why is that? Because if we convince ourselves that something is true- it won't seem like we are "lying" to other people.
I know you have been lying to yourself.
One of the biggest lies I frequently encounter is the lie of the "good" or "bad" person. Of how we have to chop ourselves up into pieces in order to fit in. We may "fit in' but we will never feel wanted or like we belong. I saw in the most recent round of Tell Your Story that people were holding in strong and powerful feelings. Why? Because they didn't want to look like a "bad" or "mean" person. Isn't it wonderful that we have the page and the stage as an outlet for all of our strong feelings?
Every time I hear the phrase "let it go" I want to scream - Stop trying to 'Let it go" and LET IT OUT. What you are trying to "let go" of is pointing you towards something deep inside of youthat needs to be expressed.
"If you've found Denise, there's probably a good reason. But it might not be clear at first. Our world actually is craving the authentic details that you might want to throw away. Denise will not let you ignore them or throw them away. It's where all the truly creative stuff comes from." - Priscilla A.
Authenticity is only a buzzword if you are chopping parts of yourself off to get clients or be liked. It's time to get excited and enthusiastic about what makes YOU authenthic. What's "authenthic" about you may very well be the same thing that some people told you was unworthy or unlikable about you.
Creativity is not about knowing what you are doing. It's about knowing that you have entered a space that doesn't work in a linear way and that you may not be able to make "sense" out of it right away. It's about undeniable images, words and sensations that push themselves into your dreams and consciousness and guide you to what you might not want to look at or feel when you are awake. It's here to guide you to create meaning and tell a new story. Creativity will not allow you to silence or push parts of yourself underground.
What story are you living right now? Whose story are you living? I'd love to help you listen to the parts of your self that you've been trying to ignore. It's time to Tell Your Story.
What will we do during Tell Your Story?
* Free write from prompts for 8-15 minutes.
* Each person will read a piece aloud to the class. When I call on you- you will start reading with no preambles, justifications or explanations. This can be harder than it sounds and it is incredibly liberating.
* I will help you move out of "distancing" language and get you closer to your feelings.
* I will help you see where the story has energy and life.
* I will challenge you to write from points of view that are different than your own.
* You will have short assignments each week.
* Create compelling writing that can be used onstage- be it in a talk you give, a performance piece or in a video.
* Create a 15 minute piece.
What we will not do during Tell Your Story
* Give feedback to the other people in the class. You will work on your story and they will work on theirs.
* Give up
* Belittle ourselves or our writing.
I need you to know that this is a "brave space." All your feelings are welcome. I will be acting like a midwife coaching you to birth your story- which might feel hard or scary! It doesn't have to be :) The idea that you have to wait until it is "safe" to be open or vulnerable can be holding you back from expressing ALL of yourself.
What parts of yourself are you afraid of? It's never going to be safe to be fully you. Are you ready to take the risk of listening to ALL of yourself? Are you ready to hear what you may not want to hear? Tell Your Story will bring it all to the surface.
You don't have to take my word for it- here's what a few of the people in Tell Your Story had to say:
Work with Denise if:
"Work with Denise if you want to change your perspective because you can’t escape your past.
Work with her if you feel that other groups and other therapies have been ineffective.
Work with Denise if you feel like no one understands what you’ve been through as an individual and a writer (or artist/musician).
Work with Denise if you feel like you are a loner and don’t fit into other groups.
Work with Denise if you always find yourself on the fringe of most groups, as more an observer than a participant."
- Gail T.
You're tired of working with people who are afraid of the "dark" or "losing control." You want to be around someone who gets excited and enthusiastic when you cross into a space you've been afraid to go into.
"I haven't found this kind of support, for going into the dark places and putting words out into the world, elsewhere. The whole process has surprised me but it is beginning to make sense. Difficult feelings are like refugees inside you, yearning, yelling to come home. They need their expression - it's not enough to talk "about" them."
- Priscilla A.
You're ready to face your truth and for direct and constructive criticism.
What helped me tremendously were Denise’s questions and feedback. She has a knack for zeroing in on the most interesting words, phrases or moments in each person’s writing. And then she asks you to take it further, to examine it, to add to it, to shift it in some crucial way. She’s skilled at finding connections or patterns. I normally am very uncomfortable or afraid of feedback, but Denise delivers it in ways that are helpful and engaging. I never felt criticized or judged – she was direct, but supportive. It was always obvious that she was incredibly interested in what we wrote and genuinely wanted us to go as deep into our truth as possible. - Marlene C.
I stumbled into TYS. Denise's prompts brought up strong memories and strong feelings. Writing both compelled me and scared me. There were truths I needed not only to face but to write down and voice. Denise has a way of holding steady on the track of the truth, wherever it is hiding, and she also had a way of encouraging me when I wasn't sure of what I was doing, writing-wise. - Rosaleen B.
Don't work with Denise if:
Don't work with Denise if you just want a nice creative writing class. Denise helps you to develop the story that needs to be voiced by you and as a result you are transformed. I feel more confident and empowered as a result of doing TYS. As a result of TYS, I have a stronger sense that my presence on the planet matters. That I matter and I feel ready to be more visible.
- Rosaleen B
Don’t work with Denise if you aren’t really motivated to discover what is unique about your life experiences.
Don't work with Denise if you feel uncomfortable about looking at yourself and your life objectively. Don’t work with her if you don’t want to be committed to your writing. Don’t work with her if you can’t take constructive criticism. Don’t work with her if you don’t want to keep revising your work until it’s the absolute best you can do. Don’t work with Denise if you are a quitter and give up easily. - Gail T.
Results? At the end of Tell Your Story you will perform a 15 minute piece. This is done virtually but remember if you were in a theater and the lights and power went out all you would have left to convey the story would be your VOICE.
The Monday night TYS performance was filled with powerful and real stories. Denise is a great story coach. - Eric R.
As a result of Tell Your Story:
What I know now is I have the right to tell my truth and to be real. - Nina C.
I am no longer whitewashing or candy-coating my story for the sake of protecting the people in the story. I am no longer trying to protect myself either. I have felt the power of total vulnerability in my story and the stories of the others writers in TYS. The uncomfortable moments of TYS helped me to face feelings I had buried for decades. - Gail T.
I found my voice. Denise helped me blow the lid off my “canned excuses”. I have uncovered one of my biggest blocks to moving forward. I didn’t like writing, and did not consider myself a writer. My writing surprised me. I actually started to get excited about writing. I found my voice. Because we are anonymous to the other writers, I was able to write and read about things I could/would never talk about. - Julie G.
As a result of TYS- I feel motivated to write a book about my life. I am better able to leave out unnecessary details for the sake of telling a better story. I have learned how to be a better storyteller, and a better performer by being more aware of the story embedded in my body. As a result of TYS - my story is the same but I see it quite differently. - Gail T.
I will be using writing for solo performance techniques which powerfully help you cut through the "I don't want to make any one look bad" and/or "I don't want to blame anyone," lingo and help you get to the truth that you want to express that will connect you with your audience.
This workshop is about personal truth - it's not about absolute truth.
Tell Your Story is 12 weeks long. We will meet every week for up to 2 hours. You will receive 15 minutes (live on the call) of 1:1 time with me each week. You will also receive 4 - 30 minute 1:1 sessions with me.
You will be reading your writing out loud. I will be coaching you live as you are reading. The group will not be giving feedback to each other because this isn't about we like or don't like - it's about getting each of you deeper into your emotional truth.
You will learn lots from observing each person breakthrough to expressing their truth. You will laugh, get pissed off, hit a wall, laugh, have wow moments and cry. You will keep showing up because you know showing up is the only way to bring your story to life. You understand that this is not a cookie cutter one size fits all workshop or class. You will be getting feedback unique to YOU and your story.
Maximum group size is 4 people.
The next round of Tell Your Story begins in June. Each class will last between 90 and 120 minutes.
You can pick from these days and times.
Monday - Class is Full
Thursday 11:00 am pacific/12:00 pm mountain/1:00 pm central/2:00 pm eastern/7:00 pm UK
Saturday 7:00* am pacific/8:00 am mountain/9:00 am central/10:00 am eastern/3:00 pm UK
* This time may switch to 8:00 am pacific/9:00 am mountain/10:00 am central/11:00 am eastern/4:00 pm UK depending on what works best for the majority of people in the group.
12 weeks of Tell Your Story + 4- 30 minute 1:1 session with me is only $397 through 6/6. This goes up to $497 on June 6th. If you need to make payments e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set that up.
12 weeks of Tell Your Story without the 4 - 30 minute 1:1 sessions with me is $197. You will receive 15 minutes 1:1 with me during each call.