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This Week’s Episode:

How Digging Deep Into Self Expands Your Storytelling Magic

I’m taking an Improv class at The Groundlings. We’re doing two-person scenes when our instructor says it’s time for a drill. My scene goes a little something like this:

Kymberlee: Carl, you look lonely standing here by the punchbowl all by yourself.

Carl: I look lonely standing here by the punchbowl all by myself, and what that means is I’m not very good at social events.

K: You’re not very good at social events, and what that means is you prefer to have fun where you don’t have to talk to people.

C: I prefer to have fun where I don’t have to talk to people, and what that means is I’m really into gaming.

And on and on it goes until the instructor shouts, “Scene!”

In our world, we as communicators have so much we want to share. But sometimes we get stuck in expressing the meat of it in a way that resonates with our audience. When you tap into your feelings, you get to the heart of your story faster!

My guest today, Jane Lui, knows all about storytelling in a variety of ways. She does it through singing, composing, acting, producing, and so much more. In this episode, she talks about how she brings stories to life through her work with emotion leading the way and answers questions like:

In what ways can you start to build your story if you’re stuck? And how can you make your story more interesting for your audience?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What really lies behind the magic of storytelling
  • How you can structure your story to get people’s attention
  • How you can bring out the layers and multiple facets of your story

Who is Jane Lui?

Jane Lui is a singer, songwriter, composer, and actress who goes by the stage name Surrija (sur-rye-ya). Originally from Hong Kong, she grew up playing piano. She immigrated to the Bay area and started listening to everything from 1930s oldies to 1990s Bjork.

After obtaining her Bachelor of Music in Choral Conducting, Jane released three albums on Youtube that gained a strong following. Then she evolved into her self-titled concept album SURRIJA based on Picasso’s lovers and demonstrating her own growth as both a woman and musician, from classical training to electro-pop artistry. The album, which received a 2021 Best Pop Album nomination at the San Diego Music Awards, features drummer Matt Chamberlain who has also worked with artists such as David Bowie and Fiona Apple.

In addition to Chamberlain, Jane also collaborated with Kate Earl, Melissa Polinar, Son Lux, Tom Brousseau, Vienna Teng, and more. Currently, she’s a cast member and co-music director of Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band. She also composed for the theater productions All’s Well That Ends Well and Secret in the Wings.

Ready to be unforgettable? Good.

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"Storytelling is an art form - and Kymberlee Weil is the master! I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the most talented creatives in the world, and Kymberlee is close to the top of that list. She has an uncanny ability to uncover nuance and layers in a story - details often overlooked by the author - and has a deep understanding and connection with the value of well-executed presentation. Working with Kymberlee is more than a journey, it’s a transformative experience."
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JULIAN REEVE

SPEAKER, AUTHOR, FORMER MUSIC DIRECTOR OF HAMILTON
"Kymberlee helped me tremendously in the weeks leading up to my TED talk and afterwards. I have given hundreds of talks to audiences big and small. But the TED stage is a different beast -- every word matters.Kymberlee kept me on point, focused, and she took the time to figure out what my objectives really were and how to get me there. She is a true master of her trade and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from her."
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JUNA KOLLMEIER

ASTROPHYSICIST, TED SPEAKER
"I thought I had public speaking down pat. I've addressed audiences all over the world ranging from 62 to 1000 people. But going into that red circle at TEDx, and connecting with a vastly diverse audience is like moving to another planet. Kymberlee made that move effortless and exciting. As a former Green Beret, I have followed a lot of quality leaders and coaches, and I would follow Kymberlee anywhere… Especially into the red circle."
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LTC (RET.) SCOTT MANN

GREEN BERET, ENTREPRENEUR, STORYTELLER, TRAINER, COACH, AUTHOR