How to Get Your Stories Past “Once Upon a Time…”


This Week’s Episode:

I’m prepping for a role when my movement coach Jean-Louis Rodrigue asks me, “What animal are you?” I’m confused because I’m playing a police officer from Philadelphia, not an animal. He continues, “We need to infuse your character with an animal. So what kind of animal would a Philadelphia police officer be?”

I honestly have no clue. First, I say I’m a jaguar. But that doesn’t work. He doesn’t think a fox quite fits either, and then he mentions a Doberman Pinscher. 

I don’t get it. What does a Doberman have to do with my role?

But here’s the thing: Dobermans are badasses in the canine world. They’re smart, protective, and always on the lookout for danger. You really don’t want to mess with them!

Rehearsals begin and I take on the traits of a Doberman in the way I move my head, my body, and even walk across the stage. It completely transforms my character--just from that one coaching session! 

Speaking of roles, my incredible guest on the Storytelling School Podcast, Kalinda Gray, spends her life creating characters as her vocation. In this episode, she and I dive into so much goodness about how she does it, where characters matter in storytelling, and much more! You’ll hear about character and stories as a personal escape, what helps suspend belief the most in storytelling and performance art, and how adaptation helps a business survive through a crisis like COVID when other companies fold.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How fairy-tale princess stories also serve as life lessons
  • How to help your audience go along for the ride with you as a storytelling performer
  • How storytelling through character can help others with trauma

Who is Kalinda?

Born and raised in Southern California, Kalinda made the world of performance art (and storytelling in all forms!) her home since the tender age of five. She particularly enjoys works that bring to life historical events and figures like Eva Peron, The Waltons, and Marilyn Monroe.

In the live theater world, Kalinda has performed in over 200 local Southern California productions at the MET, the Blank Theatre, the Hollywood Bowl, Segerstrom Hall, the Maverick Theater, and other institutions. She co-founded the comedic improv puppeteering group All Puppet Players and has been involved in original works and creating characters for the stage, screen, and theme parks with Disney, Youtube, Universal Studios Hollywood, actor Cliff Osmond, and television writers Stan Zimmerman and Daniel Knauf.

Kalinda uses her love of fairy tales, impersonations, puppetry, working with children, and event planning to entertain at parties through her Wishing Well Entertainment and Parties company. As the highest-rated company of its kind in Southern California, Wishing Well Entertainment has planned over 6,500 events for all ages to date and is privately sought after by the entertainment industry, A-list celebrities, high-end events, and families.

When not on stage or at an event, Kalinda loves traveling to investigate famous myths and legends of famous places like Transylvania, Glastonbury, and Versailles. She also works in film television, and commercials and is a voiceover artist for video games and web series projects. Currently, she has multimedia projects, essays, and a Salem Witch Trials storytelling tour based on her independent historical research in the works.

Ready to be unforgettable? Good.


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