RTVF alumna Nikki Levy helps audience members find creative voice in virtual speaker session


Courtesy of the Office of External Programs, Internships and Career Services

The poster promoting the event “Your Story is Your Superpower” featuring alumna Nikki Levy (Communication RTVF ‘99). In the event, Levy helped attendees find their “creative voice.”

Diego Ramos-Bechara, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor


Everyone has a story, but attendees of a Wednesday night School of Communication event learned how to use theirs to make an impact.

In an event titled “Your Story is Your Superpower,” Nikki Levy (Communication RTVF ’99) taught audience members how to break down their “origin stories” and use them to channel their unique voices. 

“You have to appreciate yourself — otherwise, it doesn’t matter,” Levy said. “Nobody’s going to appreciate your writing if you don’t appreciate your unique voice.” 

Levy is the host and creator of the podcast “Don’t Tell My Mother!” which invites celebrities to tell true stories they would not want their mothers to know. Levy most recently served as the head of scripted content for DreamWorksTV at NBC Universal. 

The event consisted of a showing of a TED Talk and a roundtable discussion. The talk, which opened the evening, featured Andrew Stanton, the filmmaker behind films like “WALL-E” and “Toy Story.” 

At the beginning of the clip, Stanton spends the first few minutes elaborating on an extended metaphor –– which one would assume might lead to a thought-provoking discussion about the ingenuity of humanity’s ability to build houses and develop infrastructure, Levy said.

But as the metaphor is about to reach its conclusion, Stanton pulls back and makes a punchline, revealing that the extended metaphor was a joke in disguise.

“We think he’s going to say this important thing, and then he makes that joke,” Levy said. “He has created intimacy with the whole TED audience, which makes us like him even more by the time he says his joke. That’s the beauty of finding and capitalizing on your creative voice.” 

Levy said it’s important to understand and appreciate the choices, circumstances and aspirations that make someone who they are since together they formulate one’s identity and strengthen writing skill, which she says is excellent for anyone who wants to work in marketing or create pitches. 

The key to discovering students’ creative voices is assessing their “logline,” Levy said, which includes their interests, career aspirations, demographics and uniqueness. 

In the roundtable discussion, Levy then proceeded to attempt to help audience members “discover their own voices,” asking students one-by-one questions about their future. She began with graduate student Eboni Bryant-Rodgers. 

“I like to do work that helps people in some way or helps to evoke some type of emotion,” Bryant said. “I want to do something that helps somebody else.” 

Levy dug into Bryant’s answer and learned that her reasoning for saying this derived from love stemming from the caretaking of her younger sibling. Levy then made the connection between the two and called it Bryant’s “logline.” 

Multiple audience members got the chance to experience this, as Levy encouraged them to reflect on their lives thus far and to dig out the roots of “what makes you ‘you.’” 

Graduate student Rebekah Sigman, another attendee, said she wasn’t sure what to expect going into the event, but she said she enjoyed it. 

“I’ll attend any event that includes ‘storytelling’ in the description,” Sigman said. “While I was not expecting to find my creative voice tonight, I will say I’m leaving this event knowing and appreciating a lot more about myself.” 

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @D_Ramos42 

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