chew on this storytelling



Feb 21st “Change Agents”

REGISTER for FEB 21 Chew On This Storytelling at AltSpaceVR.

We are very honored to have Bruce Cryer, Villy Wang and Jose Alfaro for our panel of “Change Agents.”

Please join host Cici Woo as she invites our guests to share their stories and wisdom about bringing change, whether through music, science or storytelling. Bring your questions, or send them in advance or live Tweet @ChewOnThisStory

Meet Villy Wang.

Villy Wang was Raised by an immigrant single mother in the projects of New York City, Villy Wang’s desire to tell her mom’s story forged a passion for using digital media arts for its power to share and shape narratives. Leveraging her 25 year background in banking, law, education, media, arts, and nonprofit management, Villy founded BAYCAT , a nonprofit social enterprise in San Francisco that helps young people from low-income communities capture untold stories and create social change.

After 10 years, BAYCAT has created a successful pathway from education to employment. BAYCAT helped educated nearly 4000 students; their most recent graduates have gone on to work at Netflix, Lucasfilm, Pixar, HBO, Universal Studios and other production companies.  BAYCAT’s youth media has appeared in over 35 film festivals and has local, national and international clients such as: Super Bowl 50’s, The 50 Fund, Yahoo!, Golden State Warriors, The San Francisco Foundation, etc.

Villy and BAYCAT have also been featured on different platforms such as KQED’s SPARK, KGO TV’s Profiles of Excellence to Forbes to 7×7. Most recently Villy was a keynote speaker at TED; in her talk she explained how she developed a program to train kids in filmmaking so they can create new, authentic stories and break the cycle of bias perpetuated in media.

In addition to her love for producing media and the next generation of filmmakers, she is also President of the SF Film Commission. Villy received her double B.A. in Engineering and Economics from Brown University,  a J.D. degree from Northwestern University, and her teaching credential from San Francisco State University.

Meet Bruce Cryer.

Bruce Cryer has been called a renaissance man – former CEO of HeartMath,  entrepreneur, faculty at Stanford Business School, mentor, writer, speaker, photographer, and actor/singer/dancer on Broadway. He is co-author of From Chaos to Coherence: The Power to Change Performance, and the Harvard Business Review article, “Pull the Plug on Stress”. He founded What Makes Your Heart Sing with Emmy-award winning composer Gary Malkin to awaken the power of inspiration in audiences everywhere. He recently founded an integrated business services network called Vybrato, launching his Renaissance Mentoring program in the process.

He is also Co-CEO of WholeLife, a media technology company created to empower content creators to build and reach new audiences profitably. A cancer and staph infection survivor, Bruce is singing and dancing again on two titanium hips.

Jan 17th “Showing Up”


For our 1st show of 2017, we are thrilled to welcome screenwriter/actor Rajiv Shah (“Run the Tide”) and author/artist Sam Lamott (“Some Assembly Required” co-authored with Anne Lamott) to Chew On This Storytelling in virtual reality at AltSpaceVR.

To join us, please follow the AltSpaceVR link and choose your preferred way to join. There is a “2D” option for anyone who wants to join but doesn’t have a VR headset.

REGISTER HERE for the JANUARY 17 @6pm PT Chew On This Storytelling


We will have a conversation about how writing allows us to show up in our lives, and what it does for others, as it translates via social media,the big screen or any other medium.

Meet Sam Lamott

Sam Lamott was born in San Francisco in 1989, and has been creating elaborate works of art since he was three years old. Raised primarily in Fairfax, California, he struggled with academics but thrived in art, passing math classes by drawing elaborate comics for the teacher in the margins of his homework and tests. What he lacked in scholarly discipline he more than made up for in bold unharnessed creativity, and chutzpah.

He went to three different high schools, graduating from Alldredge Academy in West Virginia, a high school for wayward teenagers, in 2006.  He studied industrial design at San Francisco Academy of Art University.

He discovered sacred geometry while in school, and began to make a name for himself with large works utilizing metal, and stolen street signs from downtown San Francisco, the city he loves so much.

He has displayed his work in shows at the Drop Gallery, Barber Lounge, Ian Ross Gallery, and Gauntlet Gallery while doing private commissions.

Meet Rajiv Shah

RAJIV SHAH is an award-winning writer/filmmaker originating from the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Silicon Valley. Starting his career as a theatre actor, Rajiv’s experiences onstage ultimately shaped his voice as a writer. Rajiv is especially interested in telling stories relating to characters on the fringes, family dynamics, and growing up within uncommon communities in contemporary American society.

Rajiv’s first feature-length screenplay, RUN THE TIDE, was produced by 1821 Pictures and stars Taylor Lautner and Constance Zimmer. The screenplay for RUN THE TIDE won the Grand Jury Prize for Project Catalyst at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, was a finalist in Final Draft’s Big Break Competition, and placed in the top 10% of the Academy Nicholl Fellowship.

Most recently two of Rajiv’s screenplays, 808 and NORTHERN LIGHTS, were both selected to the final round of the 2016 Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab. Additionally, 808 was also selected as an Emerging Narrative fellow at the IFP Film Market in New York.

Rajiv is an alumni of California Institute of the Arts and a graduate of San Francisco University. 

Audience Q&A

Our audience will get a chance to ask questions as well. If you have a question for either Rajiv or Sam, feel free to send it in advance to ChewOnThisStorytelling (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet to us @chewonthisstory.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

The Day After

#thedayafter #rio2016 #chewonthisstory #newjourney
img_7673In 2016 most of my resources, both physically and mentally were allocated into qualifying and competing at the Olympic Games in Rio. Essentially I put the other aspects of my life ‘on hold’. Being few months removed from the big dance and its related events, I had the time to recover and re-calibrate and I feel that now in conjunction with running I could slowly explore those other areas of my life. One of those is my desire to be able to get my hands dirty in the marketing world. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to fill that desire in 2017 and beyond with Chew On This Storytelling and Cici Woo.

Onwards and Upwards


Dear Chew On This Storytelling Community,

It’s Cici. I don’t usually start out a blog post this way, but stick with me and you’ll find out why soon.

This has been a year of unexpected highs and lows, even for a storytelling series based on the question: What do you do when you are going through the unknown?

Since last fall we have:

  • Had over 60 guests share their stories
  • Traveled from the SF Bay Area, to Sydney, to Los Angeles, to Sydney again
  • Become the first storytelling series in virtual reality, by having a monthly show presented by AltSpaceVR
  • Held a monthly show at the The Marsh Theatre in Berkeley with our own jazz trio
  • Had an entire audience get up and dance
  • Done yoga as our pre-show routine
  • Created a Slack community for people from Shanghai to Spain to Sydney

We have also had team members come and go, had to delay some projects like our podcast and book, and have put live events on hold for now. Some of you may know that my original reason for becoming a storyteller was to share the story of my mother who has schizoaffective disorder, to help alleviate stigma around mental illness. We celebrated our first year anniversary as a show in September with the help of comedian/actress Kristina Wong, who created a one-woman show “Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” which is a personal take on depression and how many Asian-Americans experience it without seeking help. As it turns out, my mother’s health is in decline, so I have made the choice to keep the Chew On This Storytelling community going, while balancing my family priorities. This means we will no longer have our show in Berkeley, but we are continuing with our show in Virtual Reality, along with some other projects.

It turns out that when you ask for help, people show up! I have been looking for people to join us who are passionate about inspiring storytelling. So I am very happy to announce that in addition to our ongoing support team, we have our newest team member: Maor Tiyouri. Maor was introduced to me by Shanthi Marie Blanchard, who had interviewed her earlier this year. Shanthi said I’d have to wait until Maor was done competing in the Rio Olympics before I could meet her. After I got over being stunned, I casually said “Great!”

If you don’t know Maor’s story, please check it out: “Strides of Faith”. She is back and while training for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics, excited to be part of our team. Maor will help me with some of the blog posts, social media, and some other projects to help get the stories out to you, in case you missed it the first time or want to hear them again. Please join me in welcoming Maor!

You’ll see our social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram: @ChewOnThisStory and you’ll know when Maor is posting or me (or another team member if we continue to expand).

We’ll share more about what we plan to bring in 2017 to help you connect with inspiration through story. If you have ideas or suggestions you would like to see, please let us know by emailing us at: ChewOnThisStorytelling (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thanks to everyone for your support, especially our wonderful friends and sponsors at Epic Coffee, The Writing Pad, Archetypal Musings, and many more. We had put our monthly newsletter on hold, and will resume it in 2017, so please be sure to keep an eye out and/or subscribe by emailing us your request, if you are so inclined.

Sending you good wishes, onwards and upwards,





“Connection” Recap

We are so grateful for our special guests from last night: Elisa Camahort Page (Co-founder of BlogHer), Christine Arylo (author and spiritual catalyst) and Shiloh Sophia (artist and UN Speaker)! Each one brought her own take on our theme of “CONNECTION” and in fact, there were many connections we discovered just before the show. One was that our friend and AltSpaceVR Community Manger, Lisa Kotecki, independently knew each of them. Another was that the new AltSpaceVR office was in the same location as the original BlogHer office!

We had Elisa’s take on community, taking action locally, and what it means to be an introvert or extrovert; Christine’s recommendation for how to get through turbulent times (hint: go spend time in Nature); and Shiloh’s invitation to think about your dream, and how to make space for a new possibility in your life.

We’ll update when the replay is available! Until then, if you want to stay connected with us, please be sure to subscribe to our blog and/or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ChewOnThisStory.

Next show in Virtual Reality: January 17, 2017!


Nov 15th “Connection”

Register TODAY to meet Elisa Camahort Page, Christine Arylo and Shiloh Sophia on November 15 (6pPT/9pET) 

On Tuesday, November 15 (6pPT/9pET) we are celebrating the theme of “Connection” with Elisa Camahort Page (BlogHer cofounder; SheKnows Media Chief Content Officer), author and spiritual catalyst Christine Arylo, and artist Shiloh Sophia.

Q: Where is this happening?

A: Join us from your computer to get into Virtual Reality, at AltSpaceVR

Q: Do I need Virtual Reality gear to join in?

A: No Virtual Reality gear? No problem! Our show is presented by AltSpaceVR and they have options for you, including 2D mode (that means you can watch from your laptop).

Q: Is there special software?

A: If you want to join us (meaning pick an avatar) you will need to allow 5-10 minutes to register for a log-in and download the software at AltSpaceVR

Q: What if I have a question for a guest?

A: If you want to submit questions for any of our guests as you watch or in advance, you can:

Email us: ChewOnThisStorytelling (at) gmail (dot) com

Tweet: @ChewOnThisStory

We check these during the show and will reply as well as we can.


More about Elisa Camahort Page:

Elisa Camahort Page co-founded BlogHer, Inc., in 2005 with Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone. The company was acquired in 2014 by SheKnows Media where she now serves as the Chief Community Officer. Elisa has appeared on or been quoted in  USA TODAY, New York Times, CNBC Squawk box, and more. Together, BlogHer’s co-founders were named among Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2013, in the Ernst & Young Winning Women Class of 2011, and among the seven most powerful people in new media by Forbes Magazine. Elisahas also been honored as an NCWIT Hero, an AlwaysOn Power Player, and as one of the AWM’s Sixty@60. Elisa is a founding Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research and serves on the Board of Directors of the 42nd Street Moon Theatre in San Francisco, the programming advisory committee for SXSW Interactive and SXSW V2V,  and the Board of Advisors for Oakland’s Hack the Hood and the Our Hen House animal rights non-profit.

More about Christine Arylo:

Christine Arylo is a transformational teacher, women’s leadership advisor and mentor, internationally recognized speaker and three-time best selling author. After earning her MBA and climbing the corporate ladder for a decade, she chose to devote her life to helping people transform and architect lives that were both successful + sustainable, in which their hearts and souls could thrive. Known as a kind of “modern day mystic” her transformational programs, workshops, retreats and talks based on the feminine power and leadership, yogic techniques and earth-based wisdom, have transformed the lives of over 35,000 women on 6 continents. You can tune into her thought provoking insights on her weekly podcast, Feminine Power Time, at or on her regular blog on Huffington Post. She loves speaking in person and virtually with people, and has been a featured speaker at TedX, Emerging Women, Kohler, Gap, Wharton and many other women’s conferences, retreat centers, and organizations and companies worldwide. Connect with her at

More about Shiloh Sophia:

Shiloh Sophia lives life as a great adventure narrated by the creative fire of her Muse! She has been painting, writing poetry, publishing books and teaching at universities, the United Nations and in her own programs and around the world for over twenty years.
Her soul work is inspired by the idea that self expression is a basic human right. That each person has a right to know how they think, and feel, and the freedom to express that in the world. Her research and development around this idea has focused on serving women and girls through giving them access to methods of transformational art making through stories, symbols and inquiry.
She is the co-curator and founder of the Intentional Creativity Foundation and Cosmic Cowgirls, a woman and girl owned school and they serve between 500 and 2500 women a month through revolutionary education. Their school, inn and museum is located in Sonoma County. She also has a teacher training, Color of Woman, which certifies women to teach Intentional Creativity worldwide.
Currently there are close to 200 teachers in the lineage of Intentional Creativity. She lives in the vineyard lined hills with her husband, also a poet and artist, Jonathan. Their Muses can be found most mornings having tea and discussing quantum physics, philosophy and sacred texts in the Red Thread Cafe.


November 1 “Courage”

We are dedicating this show to all the people who show courage through their creativity and by making a stand. We welcome TEDx speakers: author AJ Mattheis and comedian Nina G! Joining them we also have poet Jan Sollish, writer and solo performer Toni Weingarten, and singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Johnston.

We also have items from comedian Kristina Wong, and authors Jake Ducey and Dave Nihill, available in exchange for donations to the Red Warrior Camp Legal Fund. 

Join us for our last show at The Marsh in Berkeley in 2016!

Tickets available for the Nov 1st show

Use code: CHEWONTHIS for discounted tickets.

Connection Through Virtual Reality


TODAY! Join us by registering for today’s Chew On This Storytelling at AltSpaceVR

#VR #Connection #Startup #Entrepreneur #DrewCarey

We have an all-virtual line-up in VR! We are bringing together entrepreneurs from NYC and Sydney into one comedy room, so choose your avatar, and join the conversation!

Meet JOEL PALATH of Shareflo

Joel is an entrepreneur and experienced leader in tech, mobile products, and entrepreneurship.  He has worked in tech and product management in Fintech, for major media brands like CBS, Cosmo, Esquire, NBCUniversal, and has also managed special programs for the department of defense.  In addition, he has a Ph.D in Modeling and Simulation where he developed a virtual human in healthcare and proved that people can learn just as effectively with video avatars vs. video based elearning.
He is currently the founder & CEO of Shareflo, which is a hyperlocal app that allows you rent or buy things nearby.

Meet JANE SPROULE of Academy Xi

Working as the Course Manager and as part of the founding team at Academy Xi in Sydney, Jane has dived head first into her passion for education and innovation. Marrying a childhood love for Sci-Fi with modern day emerging technology.
Academy Xi’s vision is to ‘Improve Lives’ through meaningful design and to ‘Change The World’ through education. Academy Xi is bridging the skills gap in new industries such as Virtual Reality.
Working with industry experts, Jane produced a 10 week Virtual Reality Design course, curating an industry lead curriculum that is the first of it’s kind in Australia and if not a world first.
Be sure to stick around afterwards, to meet Drew Carey at AltSpaceVR!

Friendship – October 2016


Many thanks to our friend and guest MC, Bruce Pachtman, for hosting our musicians, and leading improv storytelling for storyteller Chris Breen, plus Founder of Friendtier, Lynda Nguyen and team members. 

This week we catch up with friends in Sydney, and you’ll find us in Virtual Reality at AltSpaceVR on Tuesday, October 25. AltSpaceVR is busy this week hosting Reggie Watts, and all month presenting NBC News coverage of the US Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates. 

If you want to catch our show in person, be sure to get tickets for Tuesday, November 1, when we have singer/songwriter Lisa Marie Johnston and her band!  Tickets for the Nov 1st show in Berkeley

Don’t miss the chance to join us in 2016! 


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