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Meet Christopher Rivas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christopher Rivas.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Christopher. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
Three years ago, my partner and I went on this epic adventure to Big Sur. There happened to be mushrooms (The burning-man kind) on this adventure. While having this wonderful time in this beautiful place, all of our stuff – camping gear, money, clothes, everything was stolen.

Meanwhile, we are very far from home, it’s getting dark fast, and we have nothing to sleep in. So, we decide to venture forth in the dark, on mushrooms through the Big Sur winding roads to find our things… Long story short, we do find everything! This was the first moment I knew, “I have something to share.” I had been a performer and writer before that, but never of my own stories, of my own experience. I knew this story was not only funny but poignant, and that it had to be shared. When you make a declaration like that, life provides the opportunity.

Next thing you know, I am winning storytelling shows left and right. Then I’m begging friends to take a personal storytelling class for free. That turns to $15 classes, which turn into $45 classes, which turn into $150 classes, which turned into working for the UNHCR, speaking and leading workshops at museums and universities, working with talent at The WWE; and developing content for Upworthy and SoulPancake to name a few.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all. Most of it self imposed, as is a lot of our suffering (something personal story reveals real quick – save that for another time).

I mean, besides the salad days and sleeping in my car and all that; that was easy in comparison, to the mental struggles. The ones where no matter what I was doing and how good things seemed on the surface I was not happy. This overwhelming feeling of none of it was ever enough.

And in today’s let me compare myself to the best of everyone else’ social media world; it’s extremely hard to stay grounded and rooted in one’s own worth. No one is showing you the art that didn’t make the final gallery cut. Regardless of the “things” in my life, I know I have to work diligently through my daily practices (meditation, prayer, movement) to remember that my worth is from within, not from external likes or what I might be doing next.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I go into corporations, companies, NGO’s, and I facilitate storytelling workshops. Some of those are for brand consulting and products – it’s a story that sells a product, never the product (we don’t all have iPhones because they are the best technology – they’re not).

I work with entrepreneurs, getting them to a place to tell the story of their brand and idea, so that future investors and customers can continue to buy in. I coach keynotes, TedTalks, and speeches for professionals and artist of all fields.

I specialize in story. Facilitating and pulling out the juiciest, most human, most relatable details of a story – so that a story goes in one ear and stays there; doesn’t just come out the other.

The work I’m most proud of is my personal storytelling work with communities of trauma. I have a couple of ongoing workshops on Skid Row, and with the homeless youth in Venice and with Refugees, here and abroad.

The personal story for healing work lives in two concepts:

Everything is a story, one you’ve been made to believe or one you’ve chosen to believe, knowing the difference is profound.

Every human beings wants to and deserves to be seen and heard. Every single one. so, how can make we make more safe spaces to be seen and be heard? Safe enough to tell our own story. Our own knowings, our own truths.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I love LA. It’s large, but when you take the time to find your LA – it’s amazing. This place is ripe for creativity and entrepreneurs, and most importantly there is space to breathe and be still. Coming from NY – I know how vital a commodity space and sun is.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jiro Schneider

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