Sophie Yalkezian: Reimagining Storytelling Through Audio

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Give us a quick spiel about your life and why you love what you do.
I love reimagining how we tell stories through audio, from making people laugh at Upright Citizen Brigade’s (improv/sketch comedy theater) podcast network to now helping people grow into their most confident selves with the meditations of the self-care app Shine! I’m excited to see how the medium winds its way into so many other different facets of our lives in the future.

What topics are you most obsessed with speaking about?
Audio, pop culture, mental health, wellness, comedy

How has your culture or upbringing shaped the way you see and approach the world?
I’m a rare combo of Armenian and Jewish so the fact that my family has survived genocides on both sides means I’m lucky to even be here! On a day-to-day basis I approach everything I do with the question of whether it’s making a positive impact in someone’s life, not just reaching a profit goal.

What’s something that you’re scared to admit?
I’m often scared to admit when I don’t know something because I love jumping into the unknown and figuring things out as I go — it’s a blessing and a curse!

What’s your “backstage” routine before you go up for a speaking gig?
Depends on the size of the gig, but my adrenaline is usually rushing a bit so I try to find a quick minute or two to be completely alone and still. I close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and try to just meditate and check in with my thoughts. Then I make sure to visualize myself in a calm state while I’m up there speaking because that sets my brain up for success.

What’s your recipe for Badassery?
Start with a strong Armenian-Jewish heritage, a childhood in Canada, and a journalism degree. Mix it together and bake it as a one-woman team making everything from pitches to podcasts to content strategy. Sprinkle with warmth, laughter and green tea before serving.

What’s your life motto?
There are no mistakes — everything just leads you to a new path.

If you had one more hour in the day, how would you spend it?
Going for that early morning jog I never quite get to!

What’s one thing you’ve done recently that you’re proud of?
Getting invited to a few theaters around the UK to teach and perform improv with my BFFs / improv team, Future Wives.

Do you have anything to offer the community?
At Shine we’re always looking for smart, kind humans to join the team and I’m more than happy to put anyone in touch with our HR lead. Especially engineers + content brains!

Check out more about Sophie on her Badassery speaker page.

Danielle Letayf