This Week’s Episode:
Growing up, every summer my family and I’d go off the coast of Seattle to Bainbridge Island to stay with family friends Bob and Denise. One summer, Denise shares with me that she and Bob are in a play while we’re in town. This means I’ll be on my own - unless, “You want to usher?” she asks.
As a 14-year-old kid, I’m thinking, “Yeah, right! I’m not here to work! I’m here to relax and play!” Yet Bob convinces me to go to the rehearsal that night before making my final decision.
Off we go. When we arrive and I walk up to the theater, open the doors, and proceed to… have my breath taken away!
I’m standing in front of this huge set for Fiddler on the Roof. People are running around in costumes with music playing, warming up their voices and practicing their lines. I’m immediately hooked!
I turn to Denise and say, “Not only am I going to usher, I’m doing it for every performance until I have to board the plane home.”
Walking into that theater for the first time was like a dream. And dreams are often inspired by reality because my special guest today on the Storytelling School Podcast is an actress, singer, performer, and labor leader. Brooke Ishibashi has been part of the arts and culture sector for her entire life and she joins me this week to share tremendous insights and ideas on stories and storytelling.
In this episode, we discuss her huge mobilization effort for protecting the arts and culture sector of the U.S. through the grassroots campaign she co-founded, as well as answer questions like:
Why is storytelling so critically important in our society today? What’s happened to the arts and culture sector of the economy due to the pandemic? Why is truth such an essential storytelling ingredient?
What you will learn in this episode:
- How COVID has impacted arts workers and the domino effect on the economy
- How a grassroots campaign pivoted when faced with a story problem
- How to tell a truthful story that isn’t yours
Who is Brooke?
Brooke Ishibashi is a singer, actor, and labor leader who is passionate about exploring anti-racism, social justice, and trans-generational trauma in her work. She is a 4th generation Japanese American and hails from a showbiz family. Her recent theater credits include: Cambodian Rock Band at South Coast Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and La Jolla Playhouse (where she developed and originated the role of Neary), and the critically-acclaimed NYCC Encores! production of Into the Woods, which will be transferring for a limited Broadway run in the summer of 2022.
She is also the National Councilor for the Actors’ Equity Association, a NYCLU Artist Ambassador, a core member of Fair Wage Onstage, and the co-founder of Be an #ArtsHero/Arts Workers United, an intersectional grassroots campaign for proportionate relief to the Arts & Culture sector of the American economy. *Arts & Culture contributes over $919 billion to the U.S. economy and employs over 5.2 million arts workers. You can learn more about the campaign at BeAnArtsHero.com.
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