My Application to REALITY Storytellers — February 4, 2017

Daily Journal, written in Williamsburg

I’m going to Israel! Today I was accepted into a program called REALITY STORYTELLERS. Here’s my responses to the application interview which I think gives a little snapshot of my mission, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.

“Q: Chris, can you provide us with an overview of your professional journey?”

There’s a quote I love, “You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

Over the past 12+ years of my career I can say that I owe most of my success, and drive to the inspiration of those with whom I’ve been so lucky to work with on projects, and to mentor me. I’m very fortunate, and grateful.

My mission in life is to inspire that same positivity in other people. Because I realize that not everyone has such a great opportunity as to be directly surrounded by such inspiring people. How I’ve been working on this mission, is to use a variety of storytelling mediums as a tool for inspiration.

* My current project (with One Month and Columbia University) is aimed at scaling education via a hybrid of online video, and in person training. I’ve been successfully building an audience and have reached over 50,000 students in 3 years.

* In 2010 I co-launched the RISK storytelling podcast which tells “True stories boldy told.” It’s now a self-sustaining business that receives over 200,000 downloads per episode, per week. That same year I co-launched The Story Studio, New York City’s first storytelling school.

* Last month, my short film “The Shoelace” premiered at the Charleston International Film Festival.

I have a love for education. And I love using the medium of video to inspire confidence and empathy. I feel lucky enough to continue to collaborate with such talented, loving people.

“Q: In 10 years, how do you envision yourself using your storytelling abilities to help repair the world?”

Yes! I love this question.

Storytelling is a skill that allows for a profound transformation of empathy. I think that if everyone in the world be just 20% more empathetic we’d be able to make a mass transformation in unifying the many divided schisms of the world.

I set my mission of inspiring positivity in the world at: the ability to affect over 1 million people. In order to reach this many people I think that there are three I face:

1) Collaborating with the right people. The people you surround yourself with are everything.

2) Focusing is always a challenge. Saying “no” to work that won’t serve the mission as well.

“Q: Tell us about your connections to and/or interest in Israel/Jewish history and/or community?”

I’m not Jewish, but I’m very interested (and potentially naive in some ways) to the current state of Israel, and how it was founded.

I realize that there is so much I still don’t know. At the moment, everything I know comes second hand from friends, books, and lectures. I’d love to see it for myself.

Have you been to Israel?

I’ve never been to Israel, but would love to visit. This sounds like a tremendous opportunity to visit, and have a fulfilling learning experience at the same time!