CHANGING THE WORLD ONE STORY AT A TIME

Our Mission

Since 2010, TMI Project has led approximately 70 workshops and staged performances by more than 1,500 participants, which have been presented to audiences of nearly 50,000 people in schools, colleges, prisons, mental health clinics, theaters, community centers, and the United Nations.

Through our time-tested storytelling methodology, transformational workshops and stellar performances, TMI Project is changing the world, one story at a time.

Regardless of background or experience, TMI Project storytellers become agents of change for social justice movement building by bravely and candidly sharing the “too much information” parts of their stories, the parts they usually leave out because they’re too ashamed or embarrassed.

TMI Project envisions a world where true storytelling is an agent of change; where, through the sharing of radically candid, true, personal narratives, everyone—storytellers and listeners alike—can become empowered, release shame and stigma, and replace old understandings with new ones. We aspire to engender compassion, understanding and public awareness. We aim to incite social, legal, and political change by providing participants the skills needed to be captivating storytellers, and by amplifying the voices of populations whose stories often go unheard.

Our Board

amyd

Amy Day

President

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Kyra Greweling

Treasurer

mobo

Maureen Bowers

Director

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Vincenza Dante

Director

d_vasquez

Dariel Vasquez

Director

ashley-knox

Ashley Knox

Director

Board Members Emeritus

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Seanne Crozier

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Jeff Roda

Tameka Ramsey

Tameka Ramsey

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Crystal Schachter

Our Staff

  • EVA TENUTO
    EVA TENUTO CO-FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORKSHOP LEADER

    Pronoun: She/Her/Hers

    “One of the most rewarding parts of working at TMI Project is seeing what storytellers look like when they step off stage. It often looks like they’re floating out of the theater. They look taller; lighter. It’s as if something has truly been lifted. To be able to witness that over and over fills my spirit. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.”

    EVA TENUTO is the co-founder and executive director of TMI Project. She studied acting at American Academy of Dramatic Arts and went on to found The Women’s Experimental Theater Group. Since 2010, Eva has brought TMI Project from her living room to a host of performance spaces, theaters, high schools, colleges, detention centers, mental health facilities and the United Nations. Eva is the editor and director of multiple solo shows, one of which was awarded Best Comedic Script of 2014 in the United Solo Festival. Eva’s own true stories have been published in numerous anthologies. More at www.evatenuto.com.

  • SARI BOTTON
    SARI BOTTON EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, WORKSHOP LEADER

    Pronoun: She/Her/Hers

    SARI BOTTON is a writer living in Kingston, NY. She is the editor of the award-winning anthology, Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York and its follow-up, NY Times Bestseller, Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for New York. She has worked as a journalist, essayist, New York Times best-selling ghostwriter, and teacher of various kinds of writing at the college level. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, The Village Voice, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, More, The Rumpus, plus other publications and anthologies. Sari is also the co-editor of, “Get Out of My Crotch: Twenty-One Writers Respond to America’s War on Women’s Rights and Reproductive Health.”

  • Julie Novak
    Julie Novak CO-FOUNDER, WORKSHOP LEADER

    Pronoun: She/Her/Hers

    “To be a part of helping people release the shame that binds them, to see people transform in the most positive way after sharing their truth is what gives my life meaning. Countless times I have witnessed how the act of being seen and heard can create true connection and lasting change.”

    JULIE NOVAK is a multi-talented musician, actor, performance artist, comedian and also the co-author (with Jacinta Bunnell) of the feminist coloring book Girls are Not Chicks. Whether singing in a punk band, storytelling with TMI Project, emceeing an event for a charitable cause, or performing stand-up, Novak brings her own brand of humor, poignancy and “calculated mayhem” to every live show she performs in. With an often humorous spin on her keen observations, she renders even the very personal, universal. She studied comedy and improv at Second City in Chicago and Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC. She’s performed stand-up in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. In 2013 she participated, along with such comedians as Lewis Black and Kathy Griffin, in the Serious Laughs Comedy Festival, headlining “Queerstock”, a gay and lesbian cabaret. She is currently touring her first solo show, America’s Next Top. See more at julienovak.com

  • BLAKE PFEIL
    BLAKE PFEIL OPERATIONS MANAGER

    Pronoun: He/Him/His

    “I see true storytelling as the purest form of journalism out there, and right now, personally, I am dedicated to making sure that progress isn’t reversed. For years I struggled with figuring out how my deep love of storytelling could help make real change on this planet. When I stumbled upon TMI Project everything clicked. With love and respect for history, a passion for theatre and writing, and an urge to stay politically-active, vocal, and present, it all made sense.”

    BLAKE PFEIL is an award-winning songwriter and actor. His songwriting work has been heard live in venues across NY, including headliner appearances at Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, Rockwood Music Hall, the Highline Ballroom. Blake’s debut album WALLPAPER is available anywhere you can stream/buy music online, and his Joni Mitchell-inspired theatrical creation THE BBC 1970 (in development) has enjoyed three sold-out workshops in NYC and Mexico. Blake is also one of the co-founders of NYC-based folk fusion collective Macabre Americana who recently released their debut single “American Train.” Additionally, Blake worked as the resident composer for the government-operated Gyeonggi English Village in South Korea and served as a guest artist at Concordia College, Icaro Teatro (Mexico), and at the National YoungArts Foundation where he recently collaborated with Jay Jackson (aka Laganja Estranja from RuPaul’s Drag Race) on [IN]visibility, a new immersive dance piece which debuted at the original Bacardi Headquarters Building in Miami. As a proud member of Actor’s Equity, Blake’s credits include the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Huntington Theatre Co., New Repertory Theatre, among others. Blake is a YoungArts alumni, received his BFA from Emerson College, and recently obtained his MA in Arts Entrepreneurship from Purchase College @ the State University of New York.

  • SARA DEROSE
    SARA DEROSE MARKETING & EXTERNAL AFFAIRS DIRECTOR

    Pronoun: She/Her/Hers

    “I believe that there is nothing more powerful than the exchange that happens when we share our stories with each other. The sharing of personal stories and perspectives bridges cultural divides, breaks down dysfunctional belief systems, and exposes our shared humanity. And given the state of our world currently, there’s never been a more important time to uncover and elevate the stories of the underrepresented in our society.”

    SARA DEROSE is a nonprofit executive and marketing & communications consultant with over a decade of experience leading marketing teams, and developing full-stack marketing strategies across diverse categories ranging from CPG, Food, Arts, Finance, Tech start-ups and Nonprofit. She is passionate about helping nonprofits and entrepreneurs leverage technology, design and storytelling to reach wide audiences so they can achieve their goals.

    She draws inspiration from NYC’s vibrant and varied arts and cultural community. Prior to working as a consultant, she served for several years as Brooklyn Arts Council’s marketing and communications director, and worked in a variety of project management, organizational development, and fundraising capacities. Sara loves a good brand story and has been fortunate to tell quite a few. She has worked with venerable arts, cultural and social justice organizations such as Creative Time, Public Art Fund, Repair the World and National Council of Jewish Woman as well as brands and start-ups including CA Technologies, Fruit Bliss and Dashride.

    Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University and a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from New School University.

  • Micah Blumenthal
    Micah Blumenthal Workshop Leader

    Pronoun: He/Him/His

    “TMI Project allows an exchange to happen. It feeds a deep need to know our own truth, to connect to something real. This is an ancient practice of sharing our stories and it’s perhaps the most revolutionary tool we have at our disposal.”

    In addition to leading TMI Project workshops, Micah serves as the manager at GWI’s (Good Works Institute) Greenhouse Kingston, a yoga teacher at Mudita, and creator of DAY 1 (a New Year’s Day community event). He is on the board of Wild Earth (a non-profit Wilderness School), Radio Kingston, The Center for Creative Education, and O+ (a nonprofit health and wellness festival for artists and creators). He also serves as City of Kingston’s Art Commissioner at the Kingston Farmers Market.

  • SETH DAVIS BRANITZ
    SETH DAVIS BRANITZ Workshop Leader

    Pronoun: He/Him/His

    “We go through life more alone than we realize. There are thoughts and memories that we don’t dare reveal. Being a small part of TMI Project workshops is an honor and a life-affirming process. Time and time again I’ve witnessed individuals unshelve long stored pains and transform troubling notions into inspiration. I’ve seen acts of courage and ferocity that have changed workshop participants in fundamental ways and am awed by the healing change that occurs as a result of this work.”

    In addition to leading TMI Project workshops, Seth Davis Branitz is a storyteller, singer and songwriter, and acclaimed chef. He’s produced four albums and his essays have been published by The Weeklings and Longreads. He writes about his experiences with mental illness, addiction, fatherhood, and loss. He’s won multiple Moth Story Slams and has done readings from Brooklyn to Boston.

     

  • HAYLEY DOWNS
    HAYLEY DOWNS Workshop Leader

    Pronoun: She/Her/Hers

    “As a new resident of the Hudson Valley, when I first heard the words “TMI Project” I interrupted the speaker saying, “What is that? I want to do that!” I had no idea what it meant, but I knew that any group that valued “TMI” enough to make it a “Project” were people that I had to know.”

    In addition to leading TMI Project workshops, Hayley is a writer, storyteller and documentary filmmaker. She produced the documentary film Hidden Battles directed by Victoria Mills about the psychological effects of killing on soldiers. She also produced and broadcast edited Naturally Obsessed: the Making of a Scientist, a documentary about laboratory research by Richard and Carole Rifkind. Naturally Obsessed premiered on WNYC/Thirteen and is distributed by PBS International. Most recently she produced J.L. Sert: A Nomadic Dream, a Spanish/U.S. co-production directed by Pablo Bujosa.  Her installations and experimental films: Move, Coleslaw Wrestling and Boar Hog, exploring multi-generational Florida folk culture, have shown at underground film festivals including NY, Chicago and SF, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Miami and Art Basel. Her angst-filled teen journal was included in Mortified: Real Words, Real People, Real Pathetic, published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment. Hayley moved to upstate New York from Brooklyn four years ago where she’s focused on writing and her work as a TMI Project Workshop Leader.

  • DARA LURIE
    DARA LURIE WORKSHOP LEADER

    Pronoun: She/Her/Hers

    I jumped at the opportunity to participate as a storyteller in TMI project’s first workshop and performance of #BlackStoriesMatter in early 2017 and, later that year, as a TMI teacher-trainee. I can’t think of more important work than helping people tell their true stories.  If you think it’s simple, you should try it sometime.

    In addition to leading TMI Project workshops, Dara is an author and manuscript coach. She received a B.A. in Film & Theater from Vassar College and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hunter College. Dara grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and migrated in the early 1980s to West Berlin, Germany, where she tended bar, wrote and performed in the theater while living in different communities of squatters, Green Party activists, journalists, teachers, and social workers. Her first book, Great Space of Desire; Writing for Personal Evolution, is a memoir and creative guide for writers wishing to tell their own stories.

  • REBECCA WONG
    REBECCA WONG Workshop Leader

    Pronoun: She/Her/Hers

    “Our culture’s perception around mental illness is shifting. TMI Project’s work is facilitating a deeper shift in compassion and understanding, to eradicate stigma and raise awareness about the ways so many suffer, and suffer in silence, for too long. I believe the ancient art of storytelling can help eradicate stigma, improve mental health and create a truly inclusive community.”

    In addition to leading TMI Project workshops, Rebecca is a relationship therapist in New Paltz, NY. In her private practice, she works with adults and couples struggling in love, facing sexual issues, on the brink of divorce, and parenting. She also mentors and consults with therapists and change-making professionals, and hosts the podcast, Practice Of Being Seen.

Testimonials

  • "By not merely acknowledging my deepest insecurities, but also publicly sharing them at the United Nations, of all the places in the world, I began to accept them. I became more open with my mentors and friends and ended up creating an amazing circle of support based on genuine human connection."

    Momal Mushtaq
    Momal Mushtaq Participant
  • "Listening to veterans' stories is literally a way to consciously share the burden of war with the warriors. I know because through TMI Project, the people in my community listened, and shared the burden of Vietnam with me."  

    Ray Cocks
    Ray Cocks Participant
  • "I don't want the mental illness to rule my life anymore; I want to be free: Free from that which has controlled me. I truly believe that I would have sought help sooner had I heard someone relate a story similar to mine. So I read my story at the performance, and I will continue to read it if people ask me."  

    Anastasia Wasko
    Anastasia Wasko Participant
  • “The retreat had such an impact – in terms of identifying their passions and purpose;  understanding that effective leaders must ‘challenge the process’ and ‘model the way;’  that they build such trusting relationships and a judgment free environment in such a short period of time; and most importantly, that to truly unleash their leadership potential, they need to tell their stories, let go of the demons holding them back and prepare to re-write their future.”

    Maureen Peters Gittelman
    Maureen Peters Gittelman Deputy Director, Elanor Roosevelt Leadership Center
  • "TMI Project has created an innovative methodology - one that creates community, deepens intimacy and is so needed in our culture at this time. My personal experience has been life changing and emotionally transforming. I have moved to Los Angeles but until there are TMI Project workshops out west, I plan to travel back east once a year specifically to work with them."

    Gaige Clark
    Gaige Clark Founder/Creative Director, Spruce
  • “Both Eva and Sari have done a wonderful job of modifying each workshop to meet the diverse needs of the students as they create a new venue for participants to explore themselves as learners, capture and record their voice in a safe manner, and work on public speaking and performance. I look forward to growing the partnership with TMI Project and our shared effort in serving the students of Ulster County and beyond."

    Jonah M. Schenker
    Jonah M. Schenker Principal, Ulster BOCES Alternative High School
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