Episode 136

Using Storytelling to Stand Up for What Matters

It’s 2018. I’m working with a Syrian-born American filmmaker named Sam to get him ready to hit the TEDx stage. We’re forming the foundation of his Talk–his idea worth spreading–when I ask him, “Why was making this particular film so important to you?”

And he responds, “It’s imperative to amplify the voices of what Syrians are going through. Their voices are muted right now and giving voice to the voiceless should be an obligation. That’s why people literally risked their lives to make this film.”

With that, we have his idea worth spreading: For society to survive, the voices of repressed people must be revived. 

By the way, Sam’s film, Little Gandhi, becomes the first official Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film and goes on to win several awards.

And most importantly of all, Sam’s willingness to stand up for and speak on what he believes has changed individual and collective stories around the world…which leads me to my special guest today!

Lynn Andrews is a versatile artist who has been standing up for what she believes, literally. As a singer, actress, and writer, she has a stake in bringing stories to life as part of her life’s work and is fresh off the picket line protesting as part of the SAG-AFTRA strike.

In this episode of the Storytelling School Podcast, listen in as she and I dive into the idea of using your story to stand up and speak up, whether your voice matters at all, and how to influence the stories that are told. You’ll also discover the answer to questions such as:

What’s it like participating in a community of storytellers standing up for themselves? What’s one thing you need to be mindful of as you speak up for your cause during a protest or strike? What opportunity can you choose to take with an Improv performance, beyond the humor? And why does your profession not matter when it comes to storytelling?

And along the way, you’ll hear about trimmed trees, strongly-worded umbrellas, memorable theater moments, and more!

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why your voice matters in changing an unfolding story
  • Why people sometimes hesitate to speak up with their story
  • How to get an audience to love a villainous character

Who is Lynn Andrews?

Lynn Andrews, an artist excelling as an actor, singer, and writer, was born in Denver, Colorado. Her passion for the arts led her to pursue training at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City. Lynn won the coveted role of Miss Hannigan in the national tour of Annie. The New York Times praised her, saying she “has a wonderful way with a shimmy.” During her time in New York, Lynn showcased her singer-songwriter abilities as one-third of the girl group The Shirtwaist Sisters, highlighted by the NPR Tiny Desk competition.

In 2017, Lynn made her way to Los Angeles, where she appeared in popular television shows like The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and Dead To Me, as well as the critically acclaimed film The Dark and the Wicked. Her recent appearances on The Resident and American Auto continue to solidify her status as an accomplished and skillful performer.

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Traver Boehm

2-time TEDx Speaker, Author, Coach, and Founder of the Uncivilized Movement

Mo Barrett

TEDx Speaker, Anecdotist, Connector, Mischief-maker, Retired Military Commander, Keynote Speaker

Katy Stevens

Musician, Performer, Recording Artist, Voice Teacher

Greg Smith

TEDx Youngstown Organizer and Voice Coach, Chairman and CCO of Compco

Than Baardson

Entrepreneur, Speaker, Connector, CEO of Unseen, Humanitarian

Cathy Sommerville

TEDx Speaker, Coach, Advisor, Leader, Author, Vice President


I'm ready to stand out!