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PUBLIC SPEAKing & Storytelling

With nearly two decade's experience as a performer, I bring a playful, genuine presence to any platform. I view the invitation to address people as an opportunity to listen first, and then put words to what's needed. I use comedy and personal narrative to highlight the beautiful, absurd, difficult, and hope-giving aspects of shared experience that often go unspoken. I enjoy making people laugh, sense possibility, and remember things they already know but might have forgotten. 

As a speaker, I address listening and trust, and how these effect well-being in communities. I give attention to the knowing life inside us, and the good things that may come from honoring it. I examine the obstacles placed in the way of trusting ourselves and each other, and offer strategies for their removal. 

I have been a guest speaker for the Disruptor League, Kohj Lab, Columbia College, WBEZ, Young Chicago Authors, The Young Non Profit Professionals Network, and The I&M Canal National Heritage Area, where I gave the Keynote address. I was once booked to give a Sunday sermon at Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple!

As a solo performer and storyteller, I've been invited to stage two solo shows with Chicago Solo Theater, and I won the world-renowned Uptown Poetry Slam's first and only Story Slam. I've been honored as a Year's Best Storyteller by The Encyclopedia Show and Real Talk Live, am a 3-time story slam winner with Write Club, and have been repeat-performer for Essay Fiesta, Story Club, This Much is True, Young Chicago Authors, Chicago Slam Works, and many other live-lit and storytelling events. 

I am also an actor and improvisor, and in these Zoom times, I continue to speak, perform and play in tiny digital rectangles all over the world. If you'd like to invite me to speak, tell a story, or perform with your group, say hello! I'll reply within 48 hours.  

"Janna Sobel's stories are remarkable for what they unearth about the reader/listener's own hidden agendas toward love, sorrow and triumph. It is not often that a writer - and here i speak of the whole writer; read or listened to - can create such 'seeing eye' works. Janna's stories undress and affirm at once. 

 You will be transformed."   

Roger Bonair-Agard~ Cave Canem Poet & two time National Poetry Slam Champion



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