What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Kind, team player, creative, easy going, and connector.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about self-expression and creating supportive environments. Playing the piano and participating in improv comedy are my forms of self-expression. I have created a routine that I adhere to very regularly, and my wife knows what to expect. Each morning, as soon as wake up, I play the piano for an hour and have several pockets of time during the day to practice. I take piano lessons once a week. Improv shows are usually on Friday or Saturday. I have a community of fellow students who attend improv classes with me who attend the shows too.
I am grateful that my wife is supportive of my piano practice time and my improv schedule. She is a professional photographer and is always looking for self-expression through art. We both have a very good understanding of the need for a supportive environment. Our son is a musician and producer, and our daughter-in-law is a dancer and director. They both teach music and dance to youth and in the community. Art forms are healthy for self-expression and thrive in a supportive environment.
What is your most memorable experience at Ex Fabula?
I thrive on a story that I shared at a StorySlam about how I started piano lessons at the age of 62. I told the story as an encouragement to start something new right now. Don’t wait until you are 62! Another participant in that Ex Fabula Story Slam said that my story inspired him to start his adventures now. He is my fellow Board Member, Dr. Rhoan Garnett! You can read more about it on my blog.
Who is a storyteller that has inspired you? And why?
My mother used to have a wonderful way of telling stories that connected to the heart and built healthy aspirations. In my mother tongue, Telugu, instead of saying “once upon a time,” we say “ana gana ga.” Just the sound of “ana gana ga” is musical and prepares us to enter the world of story. I would eagerly await a time of day when my mother would have time to tell me a story. She taught me morals, spirituality, love, courage, and many more life skills through her stories. From Hindu scripture, there are many tales that are passed on from generation to generation that are part of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Hindu children have heard them many hundreds of times. There is a comfort in the repetition; there is a reminder of life skills. Just the sharing of this memory is therapeutic to me. I remember my mother’s kind and musical voice, and the happiness I get is constant.
Why are you excited to be on the Ex Fabula board?
I believe sharing a story is therapeutic. I hope that through my involvement on the board, I can contribute to an environment for healthy storytelling. You never know exactly when you will connect with a story. You never know exactly the moment it becomes funny. And yet, when it happens, there is a thrill of the moment.