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SHINE Storytellers “Finding Bravery” At YWCA Santa Monica Event Nov. 20:

When life knocked you down or fear gripped you, how did you move forward? These are questions storytellers will answer at the next SHINE event with its inspiring true stories of “Finding Bravery.”

SHINE will be held this Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 pm at the YWCA Santa Monica/Westside, 2019 14th Street in Santa Monica.

SHINE is a storytelling series highlighting experienced and new storytellers coming together on the third Thursday of every month to share inspiring true stories.

The event features a relaxed community atmosphere, powerful and entertaining stories, refreshments, mingling, and live music.

SHINE will be hosted this month by Ruthy Otero, an actress, writer and solo performer.

To date, Ms. Otero has written and performed four successful solo shows. She was chosen by Variety magazine as one of the 10 Comics to Watch for her one-woman comedy Dancing With My Demons, which she just performed at the One Festival in New York.

She recently started a podcast about solo shows called The ABCs of a One Person Show (www.myownpersonshow.com).

Live music will be provided by Josephine Johnson, an LA-based singer/songwriter. Johnson’s resonant voice is infused with the influence of the small Indiana farming community where she grew up, a bit of Savannah jasmine, Humboldt’s long winters and great trees, and Asia’s ancient rituals.

She has played at an eclectic collection of venues across California. Johnson released her first album, “Elemental”, in 2010 and is currently touring with her 2014 release, “Let It All Out.”

Professional storytellers for SHINE are chosen from some of the nation’s top award-winning storytellers and writers.

Amateur storytellers of all ages and walks of life also take the stage. Submissions are accepted before the event and two slots are reserved for audience members selected through a random drawing.

Storytellers scheduled for November:

Brandon Burkhart is a screenwriter and a veteran of the Los Angeles comedy scene. As an actor, he’s starred in the low-budget indie features Match and Hollywood and Vine. He currently writes jokes for morning radio DJs and for the pun blog PunDumpster.tumblr.com. Brandon would love for you to follow him on Twitter: @burkhartbrandon.

Rachel Gebler Greenberg is a writer, storyteller, artist, and dating coach. As a park ranger’s daughter, she grew up in many of our national parks throughout the U.S. In the late ‘80s, she moved to Los Angeles with her young son and has made a living assisting CEOs. Rachel is currently writing a memoir about her husband Glenn’s sudden passing last year. Some of her past literary readings have been held at Beyond Baroque in Venice.

Michelle Joyner is a professional actress who has had a simple goal: to live until the third act. That dream was seldom realized, and she is still recognized as the girl that Sylvester Stallone dropped 4000 feet off a mountaintop in Cliffhanger. She took a decade-long hiatus from dying on screen to raise twin boys and write eight studio screenplays, now sitting on eight studio shelves. She has now graduated from playing the victim to playing the mother of the victim in recent guest star roles in Bones, Lie to Me and Perception. She has shared her stories at many literary venues around L.A.—and in all of her stories, she gets to live!

David Muchnik is a writer, performer and future therapist. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the United States 13 years ago. He feels blessed that stories come to him, trusting he will find a way to share them with others.

Burt Ross was born in New York and lived in New Jersey until two years ago, when he and his wife moved to Malibu. Burt graduated with honors from Harvard College and got his law degree at NYU Law School. After working on Wall Street, he was elected Mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey. Known for turning down a $500,000 bribe from the mafia, his story was told in the book “The Bribe.” Burt went on to be Administrator of the New Jersey Energy Office and then founded Burt Ross Realty Corp. Since moving to Malibu, he has written humor columns for Malibu Patch and Malibu Times.

Carol Schwalberg’s short stories have appeared in Penthouse, Independent Ink, Steam Ticket, Verdad, Wordplay and The Los Angeles Times (chidlren’s page) (USA), Women in Judaism (Canada), Woman (UK), Ita (Australia) and Fair Lady (South Africa) as well as in the anthologies, If I Had My Life to Live Over, I Would Pick More Daisies (Papier-Mache), Am I Teaching Yet? (Heinemann), Rite of Passage (Lonely Planet), ParaSpheres (Omnidawn). She won first prize both for her story in Verdad and her parody of Joan Didion’s work in the 2008 Happy Endings Contest sponsored by Humanities Montana, and Life is a Roller Coaster (Kind of a Hurricane Press).

Sara Mayer is an actress, educator, activist and self-described troublemaker. A member of Santa Monica Repertory Theater, she has performed in classical theater Off Broadway in New York City and original works here in Los Angeles. Sara has a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and has studied with The Actors’ Gang, the Beckett Center at Trinity College Dublin and BADA at Oxford University. Sara’s wanderings have taken her through the Middle East, East Africa, Europe, Central America, Asia and the Antipodes. If her life is a story, she desperately hopes it is an ‘80s style adventure-comedy.

Marian Silverman is a writer, Licensed Family Therapist and Educational Psychologist whose life’s work has been in education, counseling and psychology. Her memoir was published in 2014: White Rose/Stories of Love, Loss and a Dog Named Holly. See www.mariansilverman.com. An Animal Assisted Therapy specialist, she was consultant for the People-Animal Connection Program at UCLA Medical Center with her canine partner, Holly Go Lightly. She has published articles about the power of the human-animal bond and offers Bereavement Counseling for Pet Loss (www.yourpetloss.com). Marian lives in Culver City with her two feline companions, Gracie and Tabatha.

Those interested in becoming a SHINE storyteller are encouraged to visit www.StoreyProductions.com in advance for monthly theme and guidelines.

SHINE is produced and hosted by Isabel Storey and presented by Storey Productions in association with Santa Monica Repertory Theater, UCLArts and Healing, and the YWCA Women’s Partnership.

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