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Rising Stars: Meet Miyo Yamauchi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Miyo Yamauchi.

Hi Miyo, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I moved to California from Osaka, Japan, in 2004. Before I came, I thought my English would become perfect automatically. But my English didn’t go anywhere — even after living here for years — because I’m a computer programmer. I didn’t need to speak to anybody! Speaking English fluently is like having a good credit score. Without it, your options are limited, and people look down on you. A change was necessary. I needed to force myself to speak more. So I joined Toastmasters, known for teaching public speaking skills. Toastmasters taught me not only how to speak in public but also how to organize an event and lead a team. It was all fun in the beginning, but I got bored eventually. Then, I met StoryMasters (https://thestorymasters.org). It’s an advanced Toastmasters club that specializes in the art of storytelling. I didn’t know what storytelling was, but I felt the power of stories. That was the beginning of my storytelling adventure. Years later, I met my mentor, Jane Morris. Taking her workshop was a game-changer. She embraced my uniqueness and opened new doors for me. “Miyo the Storyteller” wouldn’t have existed if I hadn’t met her.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
This year, the excitement keeps coming. I had my first one-woman solo show, “How To Be Japanese: Your Normal Is Not My Normal,” at the Hollywood Fringe, and the tickets sold out within the first 48 hours. “How To Be Japanese” was also featured on the National Storytelling Network. The show will return this fall — September 25 in the Glendale Room in Glendale and October 1 at the Fanatic Salon Theater in Culver City. Another celebration is my merchandise! I launched my shop, “Wear My Story!”, selling T-shirts and mugs. My stories, fun facts, or random thoughts inspire each art design. They’re super fun. Please check them out at https://shop.miyo.net.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
Podcasts and TV are good resources for my inspiration. So are my friends. Sometimes one little fact, research, fun conversation, or a silly TV scene leads to a train of thoughts. Oftentimes, they become super fun stories.

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Image Credits
Michael Hirabayashi Susy Shearer Darrell_Peacock Anthony Phills

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