Startup Stories: Merging My Love and My Money


Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service?
We train business professionals to better communicate through the use of basic acting techniques and theatre games. We work one-on-one with professionals to prepare for a specific speech or event or even an “elevator” pitch and we offer structured group classes where we discuss, exercise and review acting elements. We also offer business theatre to our corporate clients which pulls from our structured classes and goes further into the needs and culture of the company by using scripts and scenarios designed around the workplace.

What inspired you to launch your business idea?
I love the theatre and acting and everything to do with performing. I have often thought for a long time that there was a need in the “straight” business world for the use of theatrical skills. In my banking career, I saw more frequently that the use of technology was robbing us of our ability to speak to each other face-to-face and that the simplest ideas were getting lost in translation. There’s no need for that. It’s like an oil rig without a pipeline – it does no one any good just sitting there!

After moving from NY to SC late last year, I saw the opportunity to reinvent myself. I had a choice to look for another money-making job in banking or to really create a business that was unique and one which I love and can be passionate about. So I took the leap and started Pragmatic Dramatics.

What problem does your business or organization solve?
Our training provides people the opportunity to find the actor, speaker, presenter and showman (woman) within themselves. From the most painfully shy introvert to the seasoned speaker, acting and theatre skills gives an opening for people to play, practice and fail forward. We look at every meeting, interview or presentation as an audition – a chance to find success or failure and take the best of both and continue to move forward. Acting techniques offer the opportunity for professionals to move past their comfort zones and inhibitions. By looking at and pushing past what makes us uncomfortable, we can do amazing things AND we can share them with the world.

What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
Hands down the biggest challenge has been money. Start up costs can be reasonable but RUNNING the business can be far more costly than anticipated. Guerilla marketing – networking at every opportunity and deal sites like Groupon and Living Social have really helped get the word out. We’ll be setting up a crowd funding campaign very soon in order to expand our marketing footprint. Also, social media has been invaluable by using friends and customers to spread the word.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
I love that Project Eve offers a forum and a community for women of all types to come together, share and educate each other. I frequently find nuggets of wisdom and practical advice to take with me during my day.

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry.
Communication happens whether you think it does or not. The goal must be to convey what you WANT to convey.

Company: Pragmatic Dramatics


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