August 2019

Dear Friends and Family, I am all for taking risks, lifelong learning, ‘getting out of your comfort zone’…for my students. For me, I’m pretty comfortable being comfortable. I only get uncomfortable when I’m tricked into it. Like the other day when my friend Tara asked if I would perform in her site specific dance piece set in a bar. I don’t dance and I hate bars so, of course, “no thanks, I’m good.” But … Read More

Stand and Be Present

A student, I’ll call her Beth, stood facing away from the audience in a theater class I taught last month. She turned, walked downstage and said, “Hello, my name is Beth.” Just that, and my eyes teared up. It was her third try at an exercise I describe in The Secret Life of Clowns: “Let’s start with something basic, the very simplest performance — one human being standing in front of a group of … Read More

What’s Your Secure Base?

“My mama came to visit me in San Quinton every time she had the money for a Greyhound from Bakersfield.” Merle Haggard’s grizzly old face turned soft and teary in Ken Burns’ documentary on country music. Haggard’s mother was his ‘secure base,’ a metaphor that becomes very real in acrobatics, although I find it harder to be an emotional secure base than to hold people standing on my shoulders. George Kohlrieser, psychologist and hostage … Read More

Tricked into Growing

I am all for taking risks, lifelong learning, ‘getting out of your comfort zone’…for my students. For me, I’m pretty comfortable being comfortable. I only get uncomfortable when I’m tricked into it. Like the other day when my friend Tara asked if I would perform in her site specific dance piece set in a bar. I don’t dance and I hate bars so, of course, “no thanks, I’m good.” But she tricked me! When … Read More

On Gender in the Workplace

The participants in my recent webinar for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) on July 2, 2019, “Delving into the Art of Storytelling in a Business Environment,” asked a lot of important questions. I will answer many of them in this series of blog posts. Participant comment: It’s a double-edged sword: Women typically lead family decision-making; as parents, we juggle multiple demands and must show leadership continuously; children and spouses rely on our … Read More

July 2019

If you enjoy the Raz Gazette, you’re going to LOVE this in-depth interview I did with Yitzi Weiner. We covered everything from medical clowning to workplace well-being to leadership styles to a story about my mentor. It is now available on two different sites, Thrive Global and Authority Magazine (yes, you can read it twice!). If you were not among the 100+ folks on the webinar I did for the International Association of Business … Read More

Finding Stories

The participants in my recent webinar for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) on July 2, 2019, “Delving into the Art of Storytelling in a Business Environment,” asked a lot of important questions. I will answer many of them in this series of blog posts. Question: Where can you find stories if you don’t have something that illustrates the idea you want to communicate? The good news is that stories are everywhere, within … Read More

Story Structure

The participants in my recent webinar for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) on July 2, 2019, “Delving into the Art of Storytelling in a Business Environment,” asked a lot of important questions. I will answer many of them in this series of blog posts. Question: Does your story structure work with business stories? In my recent webinar, “Delving into the Art of Storytelling in the Business Environment,” I offered a simple three-act … Read More

On Powerful Vulnerability

The participants in my webinar for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) on July 2, 2019, ‘Delving into the Art of Storytelling in the Business Environment,’ asked a lot of important questions. I will answer many of them in this series of blog posts. Question: How can you discern when a story may be too personal or possibly not appropriate for sharing in a business setting? This has a lot to do with … Read More

Golden Mistakes

Mistakes can be your friend. Really. Throughout my career on stage, in the circus ring and in recent years, in boardrooms and work sites, I’ve seen over and again how the hardest and often most important, moments are when something goes wrong – the tech fails, you forget your next line, you accidentally offend someone. These are the times for what I call “Golden Mistakes” – opportunities to make deeper connections because things are … Read More

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