Episode 25: Public Speaking Maven Alicia Dara

Episode 25 of the Mavens Do It Better Podcast features Alicia Dara. Alicia is a nationally recognized  voice teacher  (singing and public speaking) based in Seattle. She has helped thousands of people break through blocks, find their voice, and put it to work. Her most popular group training is "Public Speaking Bootcamp for Women", which helps women strengthen their voices, clarify their messaging, and push back against workplace sexism. 

Alicia and Heather caught up virtually from Seattle, WA, and Marina Del Rey, CA. 

Listen in as Heather talks with Alicia about: 

  • How to step into one’s voice and power as a public speaker 

  • The use of the word “badass” to describe women and the evolution of how and what words matter 

  • Her history as a feminist activist and what sparked her toward becoming a public speaking and voice teacher 

Alicia Dara | Website | Twitter | Instagram 


Heather Newman:  Hello everyone, welcome to another edition of Mavens Do It Better podcast. I am super excited today to have on Alicia Dara and she is amazing. She and I've known each other for a while and hadn't really sort of met and talked in a while, so, um, I got to catch up with her and she is a voice teacher. She's a coach, she's a musician, she's a blogger, she's a bad ass. All of those things. Yup. And welcome. Say Hi to everybody.

Alicia Dara:  Thank you! Hello. Heather, your voice, can we talk about it? I was just telling my husband, I understand why she has a podcast because people just want to bath in the sound of that gorgeous purple voice. Really. It's rare and beautiful.

Heather Newman:  Oh, thank you so much. Thank you. Well and right back at you. It's so, uh, when we were talking the other day I was like, I was like, just say more things please. That's so good.

Alicia Dara:  Oh, that's sweet of you to say. I'm getting over the flu honestly this week. So it's not my best voice day, but I, I'm hydrated, I'm a little caffeinated, I'm even mentholated. I think I'm going to be okay.

Heather Newman:  I know it's like slather on the Vic’s, right?

Alicia Dara:  Yes. Exactly.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. Get that, uh, one of those, you know, the oil diffusers and, you know, get some of that good eucalyptus or whatever. Yeah.

Alicia Dara:  Yes, free the lungs, free the breath.

Heather Newman:  Free the breath for sure. So, um, so I know that you are, you know, obviously you, you do, you're a voice teacher with singing and public speaking and then you also do a bunch of group training. And it's Public Speaking Boot Camp for Women, right?

Alicia Dara:  I do. So I give different kinds of trainings. My most popular training by far is called Public Speaking Boot Camp for Women. And it is a dedicated training in which we work on the three buckets of skills. You've got the basic anatomy bucket, it's how your voice works and how to take care of it going forward. You've got your sort of charisma bucket, which is kind of the way that you project who you are in the world. And the third one really has to do with like your content and whatever it is that you're going to say and how you're going to say it. So it is also a great, wonderful team bonding exercise for women. It's one of the reasons why I was made a Microsoft vendor actually because I was doing it so much and so many women were having this experience. And the first time I went in to give a training at Microsoft on campus to my friend's team in the Women in Gaming Group, I noticed right away that many of the women were sort of greeting each other as soon as they came in the room as if they kind of didn't really know each other like they've seen each other around here and there, but they weren't really like sort of like that close to each other. And after the boot camp everybody was talking and laughing and there was so much great feedback. I got so many people telling me wow, it was so great for us to just kind of bond in that experience. So it has that added benefit. It's wonderful and I give it regularly to the public as well. So it's a great place to meet other fantastic women and work on your public speaking in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. That's awesome. And Yeah, I know you and I both share a Microsoft connection for sure because with my history on the SharePoint team and you know, being an employee, being a vendor and being a partner and all that kind of stuff. And so yeah. So I was really interested in that from that perspective because it's, it's really. Yeah. And you know, I had um, Julia White, uh, who's corporate vice president of Azure marketing on and she's just such a light and she's such a powerful woman and a speaker and you know, everything. And we, we talked a little bit about that, about, you know, because we see her, you know, on most keynotes that have, that are in that space. And she talked about, you know, being, you know, not being like, oh my goodness, I got to get onstage and I got to figure it out. You know. And, and I, and I love that people are willing to share those stories because, you know, public speaking is something that is high on the list of like spiders and sharks. It's terrifying.

Alicia Dara:  Yeah it really is. Julia is kind of a legend. Public speaking is one of those things that is so, um, it has such a kind of a glow around it. It has such a glow of terror for so many people. And the funny thing is, well, once people sort of come into the full power of their voice, they actually tell me that they start speaking up for themselves in every area of their lives. So the way that I think about it is that there's a lifetime value. Like when you actually take a public speaking training and you decide you're going to work on your public speaking in a dedicated way, you're actually working not just on that particular event that you're working on, but also really on your, on the way you present yourself in the world. And for women especially that is so important. You know, it's so important that we're able to speak up and represent who we are and what we believe in, both at work but also just in our lives. It's, it's crucial for us.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. I, yeah. No, so on point. Yeah. I, I credit a woman named Donna Mussina who is an English teacher back in high school. Um, and a few other teachers there, but her for sure. She was my speech coach for the oratory team and so I was an original orator and I did a seven minute memorized speech and mine was on why censorship is un-American and little fiery of course I guess, but she really, that was the first person that like really outside of my family, you know, it's, but it's different when someone else does it, I think that's outside your, your family or your sort of group. And she really was like, let's talk about your voice and I'm not talking about what you sound like, but what you have to say and who you are and how you show up. Right? That was really an important. She was a, she is still in, was an important person in my life on that journey for sure.

Alicia Dara:  Oh, that's great Heather. There's been a lot of social science to correlate between having a really strong background, like oratorial background, in high school and having higher self-esteem. There's a correlation there apparently, which I didn't know about. I just found out about. So, in other words, kids who take oratory and speech and debating and stuff rate themselves higher in self-esteem than kids who don't.

Heather Newman:  Oh. Yes. That would make sense to me for sure. Yeah, that's, that's very cool. And so, you also, amongst your boot camps and holding workshops, you're also, so you have five original solo records as a musician?

Alicia Dara:  Yeah, I do. And I actually, I actually sing and play in a band right now too. So

Heather Newman:  What's the band?

Alicia Dara:  My Band is called Diamond Wolf. Diamondwolfmusic.com. So, I was born into a family of professional symphony musicians and everybody in my community when I was growing up in Vancouver, BC, everybody was a musician. Everybody was an artist of some kind. And music is very natural for me. I was trained in New York City in musical theater and I've been a singer my whole life and I started when I was really young. I made my first record in 97', I think. So I made a lot of records and I also play guitar and I've written all my songs, et Cetera. Diamond Wolf is my main band right now, although we've taken a year hiatus to get a bunch of stuff done. But we're going to release our second record this year. Super excited about it. Everything got recorded to analog tape. It sounds sweet. Close harmony, folk rock singing. It's a great time. I just love it.

Heather Newman:  That's so cool. And you know, we talked a little bit about both of us being theater majors and you know, what's interesting is I have another friend, Liz Sundet who was a, she was an arts major as well and she's a Microsoft MVP and you know, when you start digging around in technology, you know, I think the bridge between music and mathematics and then developing and coding is, you know, there's so many synergies that go along with that you know?

Alicia Dara:  Yeah, and also improvisation. I just had this conversation the other day with a really close friend of mine who is also an actor and works occasionally at Microsoft as a speech coach. There is something about improvisation, like I am constantly advocating for improvisation wherever I go for Improv training because it is so important to be able to think on your feet and to be able to flow with ideas and to create something out of nothing is such an important skill, I think. And so many of the people that I meet in the tech industry who are kind of stuck in career stuck in their sort of where they want to go, what they want to do. You know, it's amazing working on public speaking and improvisation really opens them up. It's kind of amazing. And again, you know, if you really want to be a great public speaker, you absolutely have to improvise because you have to be able to answer questions. You have to be five levels deep on your subject. You have to be able to be articulate and compelling and engaging, not just in the prepared portion of your speech, but in the moments when you're on the spot answering questions and really helping people.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. No, I, yeah, and you know, with theater training you get that, you know, those of us who were there, you know. I remember we were doing a Marivaux play called The Game of Love and Chance when I ran a theater company with folks in Seattle, and my wig fell off and my partner on stage with me was kneeling around me because he was begging me to marry him or something like that. And I threw my head back and my wig fell off and the audience like, died. Right. And he was like looking at me because he couldn't see that my wig had fallen off, right? But like in that moment it was like, what do we do? Do I pick it up? And we went on and he like looked around me, which made everybody laugh even more. But I think also transferring that kind of stuff into being a producer. I think that there's a lot of us, and anytime you build something, you're, you're a producer or maker, right? And so improvisation is super important with that because, you know, sometimes you know, that thing doesn't fit there and what do we do to make it work and can I get the elephant to show up in Times Square with Adam Levine on it? I don't know? Maybe.

Alicia Dara:  Did you actually do that Heather?

Heather Newman:  No, I didn't, but I love that example and I use it all the time because it makes people laugh, but I was like, I wonder if I was asked to do that, if I could really get it done.

Alicia Dara:  Oh, I totally believe you could. My money's on you babe. My money's on you.

Heather Newman:  I think so too, but, but yeah, I just wouldn't paint the elephant pink or anything because you shouldn't do that to animals. But anyway.

Alicia Dara:  Yes, yes, that's true.

Heather Newman:  For sure. But, yeah. So, and I know that you, so you're in, what city are you in? Tell everybody.

Alicia Dara:  Seattle. I'm in Seattle.

Heather Newman:  Yep. Absolutely. So coming to us from Seattle and today I'm, I'm at home in Marina del Rey. So we're obviously doing this virtually. I know that you also have, from your bio and from talking to you and everything that you have been an activist since you were about 15.

Alicia Dara:  I have been. Yes.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. So will you talk a little bit about that because close to my heart too, and love for you to talk about that?

Alicia Dara:  Sure, sure. Yeah, I've been a feminist activist since I was 15 years old. When I was 15 a teacher in my classroom at home in Canada, stood up in the classroom and spewed out some horrible anti-choice rhetoric and I stood up, pointed my finger at him and I said, you can't do that. And he threw me out of the classroom and I went right down the hall to the principal's office and I told him what happened. And I later learned much later that he had been censured, which is kind of a big deal in Canada up there. Um, and because of that I was voted most likely to start a new feminist movement in my high school yearbook, which is not, it was not meant as a compliment. It was, it was a pejorative, it was put down. Because, you know, at that time it was still kind of a dirty word and sort of considered to be kind of a throwback and stuff. And I already knew who I was. I already was fine with it. Um, you know, I, it wasn't a problem for me, but um, ever since then that was my first real lesson and understanding like, Oh, if you, if you stand up for something that you really believe in, that is controversial, people are going to call you an activist and you better be ready to do that, you know? So, um, so I, yeah, so I serve on the board of advocates of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest because women's healthcare and wellness is my passion. My other passion, aside from women's voices, and periodically I go around and I talk about the work that I do, that I've done volunteering with Planned Parenthood. I've done everything from stapling papers together to photocopies to speaking at events and I also put together, a couple years back, I put together a CD compilation of northwest bands to benefit Planned Parenthood. And it's kind of my spiritual mother. I love it and I also just really work very hard to make sure that every woman that I come in contact with, every woman that I'm with really understands her value and is really in touch with that and really sees the bigger picture in terms of how important women's voices really are. It's funny, Heather, I loved that at the beginning of this, of this intro, you called me a bad ass because I just sent out an email yesterday to my mailing list, which is how I mostly communicate with everybody, via email. I sent out this email about how I can't stand the term bad ass women and about why it sort of bothered me and really it comes down to the fact that. And there's, you know, there's a whole argument to be made about it besides, but for me, what I wrote in my post, just briefly to summarize, because it's quite, it's quite a long one. Women are constantly being told how to be women and we are under enormous, just huge, enormous cultural, political and social scrutiny. Every single thing we do, every single thing wear, every single thing we think, every single thing we say is under scrutiny and really creating this sort of category of like, you know, women who are like bad-assed, creates another category of women who are not. And ultimately I believe that's bad for women actually.

Heather Newman:  Well, it's kind of the term Wonder Woman too, right? Potentially.

Alicia Dara:  Well yeah. Like I mean I think women who are living under horrible violence and oppression and poverty are bad ass wonder women. And I don't think any of them are getting any kind of credit for that.

Heather Newman:  Right, they're not called bad asses on a podcast necessarily.

Alicia Dara:  Yeah. Yeah, totally, totally. Like it's just really a question of kind of understanding the sort of bigger picture at work. But for me it all comes back to women's voices. The thing that I've learned in the 20 plus years I've been doing this job is that women's voices are always about women's power, how we feel about our power, how we broadcast our power to the material world and how the world responds to that power. So in my activism, and in my work that I do as a voice coach, a professional coach, I'm always keeping these things in mind and I'm always asking myself, how can I help make women's voices stronger today? That's my mandate.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I love, I love that. And thank you for sharing that because I feel like, but I swear, I just, I had a couple of conversations earlier today talking about, oh gosh, inclusion and belonging and diversity and all of that. And, and you know, and thinking of how you spoke about the feminism and the word feminist and that where it's a dirty word and hearkening back to a dirty word. And I mean today it's still a dirty word and in many, in many camps, right? Right. But, but it also, like I wrote a piece about how words matter and you know, like dissecting, sort of say the word bad ass, you know, if you look at what is it, is it Jen who wrote the book? You A Bad Ass. Jen Sincero, I believe. Yeah, she's amazing.

Alicia Dara:  She's a great coach. Jen is great coach.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. She's someone I, you know, in the myriad of coaches and all of that, you know, you've had so many male voices especially, you know, I mean you harken back to Napoleon Hill and that whole Think and Grow Rich and Tony Robinson, you know, so like Zig Ziglar and all that kind of stuff. And I was talking to a friend, I was like, who are the women? Can we name five? Can we name 10? Can we name two? You know? And so that was kind of interesting in talking about that. And then dissecting words, say like the word bad ass or wonder woman, just like we were talking and I, and I love it that you just wrote that, that I called you that. That is fantastic. And because it is something that I'm like, we're all evolving all the time. Right? And we're all trying to say the right things or you know, I had an issue with somebody, it wasn't me, but I referenced Brenee Brown's book where she used the word "gypped" and she had someone come up to her and looking at sort of intersectionality of the vitriol that somebody came at her with.

Alicia Dara:  Oh, my goodness.

Heather Newman:  But then she got, she said, well, she shouldn't have come at me that way, but it's like, wait a minute, somebody who's been oppressed or, you know, had years of discrimination and all of that, they have a right to be mad, right?

Alicia Dara:  It's funny about the word Feminism like, I think when I was younger, I thought that I had feminism all figured it out. And really, what I had figured out was white feminism. Like I had a really good sense of what that is. Intersectional Feminism and understanding the fact that all, you know most people don't even know what that word means. But really the fact that all movements of oppression prop each other up. And so all movements of social justice are connected. It's so important for us to understand. And the concept of intersexual feminism I think promotes a personal evolution that is so powerful, you know, and just the constant awareness and the understanding that we are always evolving. We're always out here learning. We're always, you know, hopefully we're always maintaining an openness and understanding of what it is that we really want for the world. I was just reading right before we got on with our talk, I was just reading a, just a terrible report today about just the, you know, this woman who's an amazing trans activist. She just spoke at an event, she's the PR spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign and she was just speaking at an event in the UK and there were some women who attacked her for being a trans woman. And they did it very, very publicly and they did it in this very big official event. And this woman just held herself with so much grace. And she said, you know, we just finished this extraordinary event where I spoke to all these young trans people and I'm not going to let this incident of hatred, you know, overshadow that. But really, you know, and these women who were attacking her actually call themselves feminists. They call themselves radical trans exclusionary feminists. They have a vision of what that means to them, you know, and all of these things are very, these issues are very hot. They're very charged, you know, but hopefully, ideally it doesn't culminate in people's minds becoming narrower and more full of hatred. Hopefully we stay open and we have a dialogue with each other and we respect each other's fundamental human rights. And, and ideally that's the place we want to live in.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, I agree. Yeah. I mean I was saying, I was like, you know, my, like with you also being a theater major, I was like, you know, when, when I say look at myself and I'm like, well, my art, my heart is of an artist. That's kind of where I start. And then

Alicia Dara:  Me too.

Heather Newman:  Right, you know, like that's where, that's where my, where it starts, you know, and then you know, I'm a marketer and a brander and a strategist, you know, and then,

Alicia Dara:  Yeah, you're a world builder. That's your thing. Yeah.

Heather Newman:  Thank you for that. But, um, but then, you know, and then there's the things you care about, right? And that you're passionate about and all of that that stem out from that and whatever those things are and whatever you call them. But, you know, it's definitely, I really enjoy doing the work in these spaces of women and voices and inclusion and all of that. But it's hard.

Alicia Dara:  Of course it is. Of course it is.

Heather Newman:  And I say that, and maybe somebody is listening and they're like, Oh, poor you Heather Newman. I'm like, yeah, I know I'm sitting here as a white privileged woman who gets to do a podcast because she can. So I know that. I'm aware, you know. So, but it is, I love the connection and looking at what you've been doing of like the intersect, your intersectionality, if you will, or maybe just more your life of where you've taken something that's very artistic and you've been, you know, bringing it to other people. Being a world builder of your own in helping people find their voices and also coloring that with all the things that you come to the table with.

Alicia Dara:  Thank you. I so appreciate that. And I will say I think that there, I think the arts are part of the solution.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, I agree.

Alicia Dara:  I'm sitting here in my office looking at a poster by Shepard Fairey that says, "Make Art Not War", you know.

Heather Newman:  Oh, my goodness. I have that in my bathroom. That same poster.

Alicia Dara:  Oh, that's awesome. I just got it. I've had my eye on it forever and I just got framed. I think that the arts are part of the solution and I think that there is so much to be said for a mind, a human mind and heart that is, that is connected to the arts and to what the purpose of the artist is. My father used to talk to me when I was younger about what the, what the purpose of the artist is in society. Which is to reflect culture, to express culture and ultimately to help create culture, and hopefully, you know, again really to work toward a fulfillment of supreme human rights, which is kind of, you know, so much of what artists are doing, especially now, I think is expressing, well really throughout history, is just expressing a tremendous, a release for so many oppressive and oppressed cultures. You know, any time, there's a conventional saying in academia and the arts, which is that anytime artists are forced underground the art that they make becomes extraordinary. It just kind of explodes, you know? And I think that we're seeing that now and I do think that there is a place for an artistic mind and for the artist at every level of society everywhere, really in every level of business and industry. Just like there's a place for women in every level of business and industry. So I appreciate that too in a big way.

Heather Newman:  Well and song. Just simple songs that, you know, kept people going during all kinds of situations, just even that little thing, you know, like throughout history, right? Just that, just a simple song that people would sing quietly to keep their hearts from, I don't know, breaking, exploding, you know, just, yeah. I was like, you just gave me goosebumps. Okay. So, let's talk about, you are writing a book. Let's talk about that.

Alicia Dara:  Oh goodness. Thank you. Thank you for mentioning that. So I've been working on this book that comes from a lot of the stuff that I teach during my training called Public Speaking Boot Camp for Women because I've been contacted by women around the world. I've been contacted by women from India and from China and from Japan and from many different places that I'd never been and don't know if I ever will be able to travel to. I would certainly love to, but just in case I can't. I'm working on this book that really kind of takes a lot of the things we've worked on in the boot camp and a whole bunch of other stuff that comes from my years of experience of just thousands and thousands of hours of observing women and working with women at close range. It Kind of takes it in, it's an amalgamation of all the lessons I've learned and it is a little bit prescriptive and it's got a whole bunch of tips and tricks for working on your voice and it's coming out sometime this spring. Cross your fingers. If you would like to know more, please sign up on my email list via my website. I love to communicate with everybody. I am active on social media, I'd like to say, but I really do love communicating with people via my list, my email list. And I'm so excited about it and very shortly I'll have the cover of the book. I'll have some updates for everybody. Yeah, I'm excited.

Heather Newman:  That's awesome. When you get ready for that, I would love a couple too, I'll get some from you and, pay you for them obviously, but I'd love to give them to a couple of our listeners and maybe do a little contest around that. That would be awesome.

Alicia Dara:  Yes, a contest, that would be great. I love contests.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, me too. That's great. So, gosh, so much. Uh, so it's something that I always ask everybody and that I'm very interested in is that, you know, looking at moments of sort of macro moments, micro moments in your life. And there's always the big things, you know, sort of the, you know, loves and deaths and marriages or kids or what, you know, like all of those biggies. Right. And then there's all the little ones where you're like, oh my goodness, that little one thing that was just a word or a smile or something, just was the spark that led me to x, y, z. and so can you think of, what's your spark like maybe one of those things that, where you were like, yes.

Alicia Dara:  Oh my gosh, I saw Anita Hill, Professor Hill, Dr. Anita Hill speak. So in 2011 I was asked to make the, what we call "the ask" at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser here in Seattle. And it was, it was unbeknownst to me, it was at that time the biggest luncheon for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest at the time it was called the organization. So the, the political advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood, had a big annual fundraising luncheon and it was at that time the biggest luncheon, you know, and Jay Inslee, our now governor was there, and I had to make the ask of the donors and also I had to introduce him and it was like, you know, up until that point, the highest pressure I think public speaking gig I had ever really done and our guest of honor was Professor Hill, Dr. Anita Hill. And I just remember there was this moment she took the stage and you know she's kind of a petite woman. But she's one of these people who just radiates this enormous presence. And I just remember when she took the stage, there were two moments for me. One was just when she stepped up to the microphone, I immediately felt the entire weather system in the room change. It was so dramatic and you couldn't, there's no way, there's nothing you could point to, like it all happened sort of energetically, like on an energetic level. Everybody just felt her, you know, and it was before she even opened her mouth. And then she started speaking and I just remember being a kid, like a young woman watching these trials and watching what she had been through and at that moment when she was speaking, I got a sense of how time passes sort of for each of us and how, how these movements of social justice keep evolving and how they become more and more powerful as long as we keep them alive. So the fact that this woman had been through all this, I mean, I don't know what happens to people after they've been through an experience like she went through in the 1990's when no one believed her. Nobody believed her except for a small but dedicated group of people who said, yeah, we, you know, but so, she could have easily folded up and just said, you know what, I'm just going to be quiet and teach and not really like interact with people anymore, but she hasn't done that. She's gone on to become this extraordinary advocate and person and, and so I think I just kind of in that moment also I just realized like, you know, if she can do it, I think I can probably ramp up whatever it is that I'm supposed to be doing. Like it just sort of hit me like a ton of bricks. I was like, Oh yeah, like I'm here giving this talk and that's great, but there is so much more I could be doing, you know? And so I still, I still think of that. I still remember it quite vividly, how she, how she affected me and how she changed the room with her presence. As somebody like you who studied theater, I had been in the presence of great actors who do that. And certainly I've coached my share of very charismatic speakers, but this was something different. It was something from the spirit that was forged in a fire like a public fire. And because of that, she was just in a very deep way, she was utterly fearless.

Heather Newman:  That's so cool. What a great spark moment. Okay.

Alicia Dara:  I guess I kind of , I don't know, I guess I kind of aspire to that in some way. Yeah.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Yeah, that's really cool. Thank you for sharing that. I just find those things super interesting and everybody's is always very different and it's, it's not like you just have one, you know, there's more than one, but usually there's something that sticks out that's like that one thing when you're like, oh yeah, that was.

Alicia Dara:  Definitely. Yeah, I think those moments are kind of like touchstones. They're like personal touchstones that you return to. Hopefully we're all kind of, hopefully we're all kind of like paying attention in our lives and learning from the stuff that's really important.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I'm fascinated with that and that when, and if this book ever comes out of mine that it's definitely about that, you know?

Alicia Dara:  Oh, my goodness, I hope so.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I'm very interested in. And that's why I keep asking the question to everybody too, but uh, but I also just find it fascinating. So yeah. So. Oh my God. So, you are available online at www dot alicia dara dot com and it's spelled like Alicia Keys. Yeah, and the best way to connect with you, obviously you can do it on social media and we'll have all that stuff in the show notes everybody but um, but yeah, like get on that list of hers because she's, I know I love your stuff that you put out and you have a great blog and are putting things out all the time.

Alicia Dara:  Thank you.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. And I feel like we should, you know, look for your book to come out and maybe you'll give me a nudge when you have a book cover and I'll make sure.

Alicia Dara:  I certainly will.

Heather Newman:  Blast that out on social media and

Alicia Dara:  And I'm at Microsoft. I'm available for hire at Microsoft. I'm a vendor. I'm available. I would love to come and train some more teams anytime. I love being at Microsoft. It's so international women from all over the world I get to work with. I love it there.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, yeah. So all you Microsoft folks that listen and I know there's a lot of you that do, check her out and say hi and uh, you know, tell her that you heard about her here on the Mavens Do It Better podcast, ha ha. But yeah, but no, I so appreciate your time and, and just what you're doing in the world. Thank you for that and thank you for lifting us all up.

Alicia Dara:  It is my pleasure, heather.

Heather Newman:  It's really wonderful. So. All right. Thank you. And signing off. Thank you everybody. It was great to be with you again for another Mavens Do It Better podcast. I hope you.

Alicia Dara:  Yay.

Heather Newman:  Yay. Hope you have a wonderful day and thanks again.

Alicia Dara:  My pleasure.

Heather Newman:  All right, bye everybody.

Episode 24: Mystical Maven Tracy* Talley

Episode 24 of the Mavens Do It Better Podcast features Tracy* Talley, mystic, numerologist, astrologist, tarot reader and owner of The Mystical Life. Tracy was given her first Astrology book as a girl by her grandmother, Adelaide. Since then, she’s come to understand that divine knowledge has many complimentary expressions. Tracy’s services energize people with mystical tools to better navigate their lives. Sessions with Tracy are inspirational, intense and empowering. 

Tracy* and Heather caught up virtually from Portland, OR and Marina Del Rey, CA. 

Listen in as Heather talks with Tracy about: 

What numerology is and how it can be applied  

A look into astrology, numerology and tarot and how they influence each other 

Pattern recognition in one’s life and how the mystical can be a fun way to connect and learn about one’s self 

Tracy* has generously given all of our Mavens Do It Better listeners a code for 30% off of her Numerology readings until March 1, 2019. To check out her wonderful offerings – see her website - https://www.themystical.life/numerology/ 

At check out use the code mavensdoitbetter 

Tracy Talley | The Mystical Life


Heather Newman:  Hello everyone, here we are again for another Mavens Do It Better podcast. I am thrilled to have a wonderful friend on the phone today. Her name is Tracy Talley and she owns a super cool business and I have used her services now a few times. She's a numerologist, I would say she plays in the mystical, Taro and uh, she does a lot around, you know, looking into who you are with numbers and um, I love talking to her and love working with her. So welcome to the pod.

Tracy Talley:  Yay. Thank you Heather. I'm really happy to be here and I appreciate all of your descriptive words.

Heather Newman:  Wonderful. Where are you coming to us today from?

Tracy Talley:  At the moment, I am in Portland, Oregon.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. And I am. I am actually home in Marina del Rey, so that's kind of, so we're both in our home offices. And we were just saying, you know, no video because when you work from home sometimes you know you're a, I'm not in a bathrobe but you know, definitely comfortable.

Tracy Talley:  Skirting the edge perhaps.

Heather Newman:  Awesome. So we were introduced by a mutual friend Priscilla who, shout out to Priscilla love, wonderful goddess, and tell everybody a little bit about your business and how you got started in the numerology and mystical realms.

Tracy Talley:  Thank you. Um, I was a teenager like we all were and I have a great grandmother who read tea leaves and my grandmother, this is my maternal grandmother, um, inherited a few books on mystical things such as astrology, creative visualization and um, you know, some of the things that are kind of coming about in the Victorian era. And I started to look at these books when I was about 14 or 15 and was immediately captivated and kind of catapulted really into all things mystical. Um, there was just this really deep desire to know more about world, kind of emotions, the human condition and how we can inform the landscape of our lives with mysticism and just the power of numerology and Tarot and astrology and old mystery school teachings, because there are things that we can't quite, none of us really truly understand, but we all kind of interpret and inherently know. I do think everybody has the gift too. Yeah. So, here I am.

Heather Newman:  That's cool. Yeah. So your spark came from your grandmother.

Tracy Talley:  Yes.

Heather Newman:  That's awesome. Yeah, I think that and that, that time, that Victorian time, was the time when I think that those sorts of things really started. I mean, obviously there's been seers and holders of oral traditions and you know, um, depending on the Gods you worship and all of those sorts of things, you know, over time. But I think the Victorian area, definitely the things that came out of that were what are our modern day astrology and Tarot and all of that. Um, and so talk about, uh, so tell everybody, not everybody may know like, what is numerology?

Tracy Talley:  So, numerology is probably my favorite of the mystical things that I study because numbers are in everything and I mean that as far as whether, you know, clock faces, the measurements of things. Um, there's always dimension and depth to, you know, both human beings, animals, structures, you know, the animate and the inanimate in life can somehow be measured. So therefore numbers are always with us and they always have their own voice. Numerology in your personal life is calculated and kind of born and explained primarily from your birth date. The rest of the numbers will come from the numerological value of the vowels and the consonants in your name. So, yeah, and all of them have their own meanings really based on scale one to nine, one being the youth and nine being the elder. So you can even say, you know, the inexperienced versus the experienced,

Heather Newman:  Right. Yeah. And you know, kind of in the vein of numerology where each of the numbers, one through nine represents something and then there's some special numbers as well, right? That are outside of one through nine and 11. Yeah?

Tracy Talley:  Exactly. You remember well. And 22.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. And you know, in any of these, you know, if you're looking at astrology or Tarot, or numerology. You know, there's lots of base in, you know, each of the signs, right, they also have houses and those houses mean something for the different Sun signs of astrological chart. And then same, same with Tarot with the major. Is it Arcana or Arcana?

Tracy Talley:  I really think it's open to interpretation. Most often I hear Arcana.

Heather Newman:  Arcana, yeah, so major and minor, right? So, those each have an interpretation and numbers that go along with them. And so I think. Do you find the relationship between those influence each other? They come from similar places. How, like how different are they? Just in your study because you study all of them, right?

Tracy Talley:  Right. I feel like they're all complimentary, especially Tarot, astrology and numerology. Um, I feel like, again, if you were to look at the numbers as the fundamental piece, we also see that just as you stated in the major Arcana, as well as the minor Arcana and the Tarot, we're going to have one through 22, uh, you know, and wow, there goes another, there's a correlation right there is that the 22nd card of the major Arcana, right? Which is a master number in numerology. Uh, as well as through the minor Arcana, up to 78. Those will all be lower echoes of the major Arcana so then whatever life path you might have, one through nine, 11 or 22 will have corresponding cards or archetypes in all of the suits. And then astrology, just as you said again, we have the 12 houses and then we're also, you could even get into the minutia of the degrees.

Heather Newman:  Oh, my goodness.

Tracy Talley:  I know. It's the coordinates. Right? What time were you born? If you were born at 11:00 AM, then the 11 is going to hold some significance there too, much as if you were born on the 11th day of a month etcetera.

Heather Newman:  Right. So if you were born on 11/22 or you know, all of that. Yeah. No I, I, and with the numerology because that's one of the things that we've done together is um, will you talk about sort of the differences between the sort of readings you do because you know, we did sort of the initial one and then I guess maybe I'll call it a tune up if you will, recently to look at to look at those things. Will you talk about that and how those are different and what, what's that about?

Tracy Talley:  Yes. I recommend and one of my favorite readings is I call it the Code Reading and that consists of four numbers. These are all personal and they are again calculated from birth date and numerological values in consonants and vowels in your name. The first one is the life lesson number. The second number is the soul number, the third number is the personality number, which is akin to the rising sign in astrology, and the fourth number is your destiny number. So I always like to appoint key words to those four numbers. The life lesson number is what you're here to learn. Soul number is what you arrived here already knowing. The personality number is who you are to others, how you're perceived, and the destiny number is what you are here to do. So learn, know, are, do. We complete the initial code reading then what we can do is we can build on a forecast reading and this is where we get more in depth and maybe even have a little bit more fun. What we'll do is we're going to map out a personal year, everybody's birthday begins a new 12 months cycle.

Heather Newman:  This is my favorite part.

Tracy Talley:  And it's a good part.

Heather Newman:  I've written about this and said, I learned this from you. So I love, I love this part. So go ahead I love this part.

Tracy Talley:  Yes, and I think people should be excited. Um, you know, the night before your birthday, I always call that your New Year's Eve, so it's kind of saying farewell to the personal year that you just had. And then also welcoming with open arms, new eyes and opportunity the year that's coming in. Uh, when you are doing a forecast reading, then what we'll do is we'll calculate your 12 months ahead and that will be the personal year that will also be, there are three, four month periods that all have a numerological vibration as well as each month inside the year will also have its own. If we even wanted to go a step further each day. So you will have 365 days of different numbers and that's, you know, those are for the die hards.

Heather Newman:  The deep, the deep.

Tracy Talley:  So yeah, and then there's a half birthday illumination, so that's for people that kind of want, I think that's like you said, a tune-up. If you come to your half birthday and you're like, I really just kind of want to talk about what's happened so far and maybe touch base and get a refreshing perspective on the last six months of my personal year. Those are great too, to just kind of come in and check in. Um, yeah, those are, those are primarily the three readings. There's also a big one where you can do the whole kit-and-caboodle, which is, you'll do the code reading and then you'll also capitalize on that by getting a forecast at the same time.

Heather Newman:  Right. Yeah, no, that's, yeah, I think that was the first one that we did and yeah. So I recently had a tune up because my, my, you know, year, my birthday is July 18th and so as you know, and so mine was January 18th that just happened and it was fun to dip into that with Tracy and I like how you put it, you, you called it, you know, the, the going to your summit as well. you know, that you kind of work from your birthday till your half birthday and that's kind of the summit and then you make hay kind of like, if you will, out of sort of the things you've worked on till you renew again. Um, and depending on when your birthday is in the Gregorian calendar too, you know, how that sort of, how does that play off of it a little bit? What do you think?

Tracy Talley:  Well, I mean, that's an interesting question because I think there are a lot of people that might question numerology because there are different calendars. I've also had some people asked me, um, you know, what if, what if my name is French, right? Um, there are going to be different letters and different words and they are going to hold different values. These are all great questions. If I had been around in the twelfth century with Pythagoras, it's quite possible he had more of a universal system. But, uh, you know, again, I love what I do. I also always want to cast it as novelty. So it's a nice supplement and guide to illustrate in a more colorful way how we live our life, who we are and possibly where we're going and if you can let it be that kind of entertainment and insight, I do think you get the most out of it.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, I agree. I mean, for me when it, it's fun, you know, and it's all about you, you know? Yes. Is it a construct of numbers and things that, you know, somebody created and came up with? Sure. But at the same time, I mean, there's so many things in life that are right? That you buy into and, but it is one of those things that I really enjoy, you know, astrology as well. Um, but numerology, how you described it about, you know, that there are numbers and everything and that it is truly about when you were born and your name and all of that. And so it's this sort of dive into kind of your own personal space in the world as it relates to this construct or this, you know, this system, if you will. And I just, I do. I find it fun. You know, I do. Do you get people that are, I would assume the people that sort of come to you and ask you to do this kind of thing. Do you have people that ask you and then they're like, I don't believe in any of this stuff or you know what I mean? Or do you have, is it mostly people that are like, oh, I love it. Yeah, let's do this. You know?

Tracy Talley:  Actually, I mean, that's a good question. There's a combination. I'll definitely have some skeptics, but those skeptics are absolutely leaning towards the wanting to believe and are often referred by, you know, close friends or family who really loved the work. Um, I think too though, I really like, I like reading for people that are more skeptical because they ask very interesting questions and they ask the kinds of questions that challenged my own knowledge. And maybe even in that moment help me give them a kind of guidance that I hadn't, you know, perspectives that I hadn't yet arrived at.

Heather Newman:  That's interesting because I don't know, it's like I, I sometimes call myself a skeptic-believer. You know what I mean? I'm always like, I don't know if I trust you, but I like what you're saying, you know what I mean? Especially with this stuff too. And I think, I mean, I also would assume that you probably get people who are going through something too, you know? That it's, that it is a kinship to major changes in somebody's life or something has happened. Um, and it, and sometimes it's just, you know, here's a fun birthday present for a girlfriend or a friend, a guy or whatever. You know what I mean? So there's, I'm sure combination. Do you find that it's more on either side, one or the other of those?

Tracy Talley:  There are a lot of people, especially with the forecast, as you can imagine. Heather, I do ask clients when they come to me for a forecast to have their calendars, have goals and dreams and perhaps you know, everything is a best-laid plan. You know, I want to hear about what you want to manifest and achieve. (Inaudible) the year when the best time is to do that and those, you know, that definitely lends itself to people that (break) I had a client last year who wanted to leave her husband, and was, you know, a burgeoning painter and was really confident that she could somehow make a livelihood for herself through her painting. But she had been financially dependent on her husband and obviously was reluctant and a little bit scared because she didn't quite know, Gosh, you know, do I do all these things at once? Is it possible? Is it smart? So there's one example and you know, we looked, we looked at her year and though she may have felt an immediacy in wanting to make her decisions, we ended up going, looking at the year and saying, actually it's better if you wait another six months because of how the numbers looked. And I've been in touch with her again and so far it's worked well for her and she's landed somewhere safely and she's working through her transition. But yeah, things like that, you know, moving house, especially if people are moving out of the country or to another state, if they want to take a new job, ask for a raise, you know? There are people too, especially a lot of women who if they want to meet somebody,

Heather Newman:  Right.

Tracy Talley:  You know, and again, it's like best laid plans and, and a positivity. But I also think with all this work, you've got to stay realistic and we all have to champion our own needs.

Heather Newman:  Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, there's no magic secret sauce, right? I mean, to any of,

Tracy Talley:  No. Why don't we invent it and make the ten million dollars.

Heather Newman:  Oh, the secret is..., right? Or the, you know, what is that? The meaning of life number is 42. Right? Um, all of that. Now that's interesting. Yeah. Because, you know, people are always seeking guidance and they find it in many different places. And I was watching that show the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which is so good and love it. And it was, I was giggling because I was watching, you know, the mom, like, you know, she was like going to a different part of town to go in and see, you know, a reader, a seer, to, you know, to read the tea leaves. And it was, you know, she was like, don't tell anybody I'm here and Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah. You know? And there is, I think there is some of that stigma about it and I think it's different and not as it was, but I definitely think that, I think, I don't know. Do you feel that people are sometimes just afraid or closed off to that kind of thing because they, I don't know, maybe they don't want to tap into the subconscious or the mystic or the, I don't know, you know?

Tracy Talley:  I do. I feel like the biggest thing that's remained through the stigma, because I do think more people, you know, it's coming around again, mysticism is in vogue. But what's definitely stayed is the mystery. You know, the veil across all of it. Because again, I mean, none of us really know where this stuff came from, if it works, but it's fascinating because of that reason and so people will continue to seek it out. Uh, you know, still though, there's a lot of snake charmers. There are of course certain people that don't want anyone to know that there are perhaps going to these really gifted readers for information that's going to help inform what they do next, especially if it's an important decision. But there's, there are people too that use it as what it should be used as, which is a resource. It's just, it's a different kind of depth.

Heather Newman:  Right. Do you feel. Because I mean, we've talked about, there are numbers that are important in my life and you know what those are and we've talked about that before where it's not just, it's like things happen. It's sort of births, deaths, anniversaries, whatever, all of that stuff. And I think, I know for me, I've sort of always had that, but I didn't maybe put my finger on it until we did our reading and I was like, oh my goodness, you know, these are the days when things happen in my life. I know and I keep saying that I don't play the lottery enough on those numbers and I probably should do it more.

Tracy Talley:  Yeah, it can't hurt.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. But I think. Do you feel like that once you sort of open yourself up to that, you start seeing it in everything?

Tracy Talley:  Yes. I think um, you know, those are those little feathers we put in our hat. When you see a number all the time there is significance to that number and not only maybe that what it might universally mean, but ultimately what it means to you. What is happening when you see this number, when you hear this number, when you know this number is a part of this moment in your life that you're witnessing what, what is the deeper meaning as you know it? And then you put that up against what else might be known about it. And you come up with your own cocktail of reasoning and magic about what it possibly could be suggesting to you.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I like that. I just find it, because I do find that, you know, when I meet somebody I, when I've figure out what their birthday is and I really connect with them, it usually falls on one of those numbers or something or something about them or a kid of theirs or whatever. Or you know, it's, it's very funny that way. I don't know.

Tracy Talley:  I thought I'd ask you too, as you know, really kind of a mega business woman empire that you are. How do you know, how often might you hear of or see people using, you know, mysticism, you know, or let's even just call it modern fortune telling like the, like the Egyptian Pharaohs did, or even President Reagan and Nancy had an astrologer. Um, how often do you see that in big business, if at all?

Heather Newman:  I see it. I don't see it usually out front. Um, I see it a lot in personal relationships I have with people, you know, for a while I did a lot of executive handling when I was doing logistics for events and I think more of that was there and also ritual, like things you do before you speak and uh, your favorite pair of socks and that kind of thing. And um, and so I saw that, that kind of thing there. I also, you know, once you get talking to people and it comes up, for whatever reason, or, you know, because I talk about it in the things that I write and all of that stuff, you know, I'll have people ask me about it, you know, and it's, you know, CEOs to whoever, you know, they're like, that kind of intrigued me, you know, who does that or where did you, or how, how does that play in your life and that sort of thing. So, but it's usually more of somebody's heard me talking about it. And I think it sort of in sports, I think they're, you know, I have a few friends who are athletes and I think it definitely is there. There's more sort of like a superstition in that and even in entertainment. People especially who are performing there's a lot of that, you know, what they do before they go on and that kind of thing. I see it definitely there. And then there's some people I know that, you know, I know that they pull a Tarot card every morning or they'll do a, you know, the three, the set of three as well. And there's been a lot of talk. I've seen more people in the world paying attention to the full moons, you know, we had, we had so many interesting things happen in the last year or so with eclipses and you know, the blood moon and things happening only, you know, once in a, ha ha, blue moon. It seems to me more people are talking about those things than, than they have in the past, you know?

Tracy Talley:  Yeah.

Heather Newman:  It could be the Zeitgeist of our time. I don't know, you know, the landscape of our world with, you know, depending on whatever you believe, but you know, the negative 50 that's happening in Minneapolis today, polar vortexes and hurricanes and all that stuff. I think there's a need for the mystic and the centering and the looking into self of things that are about you in addition to whatever religion you happen to practice or not, or your spirituality practices or not so. So yeah, that's kind of where I see it, where I have seen it. I guess

Tracy Talley:  When they need just a little something extra. Especially to echo your point, talking about, you know, not only the climate of the world but the political climate. You know, even just how busy people are. It's like this thing that you can do independently of anything else. Even if we sit quietly for five minutes and we ask our higher self a question, you know, the mystical definitely, those are again, those resources or tools they're instruments to getting deeper with our higher self. So it makes sense to me too that it's not out front. Right? It's really kind of beautiful that it's not.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, I think, you know, meditation I think has become a huge piece of, especially with the apps, you know, you've got a ton of apps that are, you know, about meditation that are about shutting off your social media for certain amount of time a day and that sort of thing. So I think that connection to higher self, and a grounding. I know that for me, I dabbled in meditation I would say and I've had it become more a part of my life and I really, it's changed so much for me and especially before I go on and speak, you know, and not being in the rabble of, you know, everybody backstage and stuff. Like I usually am trying to like, I'm going to go away for 10 minutes and I'll be back, you know, kind of thing. And I see more and more people doing that sort of thing for sure more than ever. You know? I think there was probably a, you know, when Yoga really came into the United States, I think there was like a push around that and, but I see, you know, I have friends that teach Reiki and you know, mantras and mutras and all of that stuff. Especially, okay, I live in California. I mean, you live in Oregon. We're pretty crunchy, right? So, you know?

Tracy Talley:  West coast.

Heather Newman:  Yup, west coast. So I think there's a tendency to see that more here. But I do feel like even with like my niece and nephew that I, you know, we've talked about meditation and I think one time I was like, if you meditate for 10 minutes with me, I'll take you into town and buy you a book. And they're like, whatever, you know. And they did it with me, you know, they wiggled around but you know, and they're like, you know, kids under ten and, you know, eight. But, but I think there's something about that moment of, of namaste of, you know, and then having all the cool stuff that you know, you have with numbers and Tarot and astrology around it, that understanding. I don't know how you remember all that stuff. First of all,

Tracy Talley:  I think some people have, you know, some people learn languages, math, you know, memory retention. Some people are gifted with those things. I'm grateful that I'm one of them, but, you know, I think anybody that's, that has an ability to recognize patterns, and maybe track a certain kind of analysis. So everyone has a, everyone has special gifts and specialties. And also, right, it all comes through practice and mastery.

Heather Newman:  Right. Yeah. Yeah. Ten thousand hours, right? Is what they say.

Tracy Talley:  We can't all be the Beatles, but we can try.

Heather Newman:  That's where I got the word Maven from, was that book too that Tipping Point for sure.

Tracy Talley:  Malcolm Gladwell

Heather Newman:  He's the man. He's brilliant. Speaking of patterns, I mean that's something I think in numerology that , and it's, you know, it's something in everything where it's that pattern recognition, you know, and we talk a lot about that in technology too, you know, people who develop code and all of that stuff. And so there's that pattern recognition. I wonder, it would be interesting to know and think about somebody who's got a developer mind like that, how numerology would play with them, you know?

Tracy Talley:  Yeah. And I think, I think the biggest hurdle would be getting them to want to. Not just cast it off. So, and I'm sure there are software developers out there and , you know, computer science people that would be intrigued. But I also think that they'd want facts. And that's something that you can never really produce out of the mystical realms. So again, right, just like you said, you're going to have to be like a skeptic-believer.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, completely.

Tracy Talley:  To really come to a mystical person with technology and say, well, explain this.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely.

Tracy Talley:  That's an interesting idea too.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. And I think to me, the entering into the mystic, the higher consciousness, the higher self, that's where true creativity I think really comes from. And so if you are somebody who is building and a maker and a developer or whatever and it doesn't have to be computers, whatever. But like, even just the time, somebody was saying to me the other day that they basically, they don't work the last week of the month. Wow. And on Fridays. And I was like, how do you do that? You know? And they were like, I have to have time to be creative to get to my higher self, to have the brilliant ideas and I am unbelievably more productive. I was like, yeah, I was like, good on you. Yeah, I know. I was like, good on you. So anyway, well I'm going to, so couple things I want to ask you one more question, but um, I just wanted to tell our listeners that Tracy has offered a wonderful discount for those of you who would like to check out her numerology readings, the code and the year as well. And so it's 30 percent off is what you're giving?

Tracy Talley:  It is. Just for your listeners, Heather because you are awesome.

Heather Newman:  Thank you. That's so exciting. And we'll create the code and put the code in the.

Tracy Talley:  Yes, the code is MAVENSDOITBETTER.

Heather Newman:  Perfect.

Tracy Talley:  All one word and they will, if you put it in at checkout, you'll get your 30 percent and the website is themystical.life. And I hope that all of your listeners feel a desire and inspiration to come for a reading.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, I do too! Because it's totally awesome! So I guess the last question, so like I know it was with your grandmother and the tea leaves I guess what was that one moment where you dropped in, where you were like, Bam, this is what I want to do. This is the company, this is my thing.

Tracy Talley:  Um, well it's interesting. The kind of inception point is when I was given an astrology book when I was 14 by my grandmother and it, I still have it. It's a huge, thick hardbound reference book and it actually shows you how to draw your own natal chart. So, you know, all my pencils, my pens, my protractor, you know, I got a big bucket to make the perfect circle and I spent probably two days going down to the degrees to make my own birth chart. And it was a similar thing that happened with numerology and Tarot. With Tarot it was like getting my first deck. And with numerology it was, I think it all started with, there's a book called The Way of the Shaman. This is a book that's kind of required reading in mystery schools. And I started to, you know, cover that list. This kind of universal list and there are countless books on numerology and it was a similar thing where you're drawing a chart, you're drawing triangles and squares that correspond to different decades in your life. And so I got down on that and drew that and was just like, Holy Shit, this is incredible stuff! Everybody should do this. So, it all just kind of came together and I had, you know, lots of friends and kind of grassroots clients for years saying you need to make a website, you need to make a website, you need to do this. And then I did about 10 years ago and so it's been kind of up and running and growing and everything was word of mouth. I don't really advertise.

Heather Newman:  That's awesome. You're such a light and it's so cool to know you and what's cool, I don't know, there's so many cool things about you, but I just, with Tracy's knowledge and just to your nature of who you are and what you bring to the table, it's just, it's really, it's a lovely thing and I've really enjoyed it. So I just, I, I, yeah, I, I highly

Tracy Talley:  It's a reflection of you Heather.

Heather Newman:  Well, you're sweet but uh, yeah, so everybody, I'm Tracy Talley, The Mystical Life. Yeah? And

Tracy Talley:  themystical.life

Heather Newman:  themystical.life. And uh, we'll put the discount code up in the show notes as well, but it's MAVENSDOITBETTER for 30 percent off on a numerology reading. So that is super kind and thank you for that. So

Tracy Talley:  Thank you for having me on. It was lovely to be here.

Heather Newman:  Absolutely. All right everybody. That was another Mavens Do It Better podcast with our lovely guest Tracy Talley, cheers.

Tracy Talley:  Thank you.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Thank you hun.


Episode 23: Art Maven Kristen Visbal

Episode 23 of the Mavens Do It Better Podcast features Kristen Visbal, sculptor and creator of the iconic “Fearless Girl” statue. “Fearless Girl” was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors via McCann New York. The statue was originally installed on March 7, 2017, at Bowling Green in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. The statue traveled to Los Angeles for display during the Women’s March Los Angeles on January 19, 2019. 

Kristen and Heather caught up at the 2019 Women’s March Los Angeles. 

Listen in as Heather talks with Kristen about how the “Fearless Girl” statue came to be. 

Kristen Visbal | Instagram | Website

Fearless Girl facing down the bull

Fearless Girl facing down the bull


Heather Newman:  Will you tell the inspiration for it?

Kristen Visbal:  So, it wasn't my idea. A friend of mine, Marta, she calls me up and she's like, you know we have this client that worked with this little girl. They want you to make a little girl sculpture. And I'm like, you know, I'm kinda done making children's sculptures, right? No, no, no. You need to do this for your, your career. As an apprentice in New Jersey I was making children's works at the foundry when I was studying lost wax casting. So I said, alright, have this guy call me. He sends me a compiled image off the net of a charging bull and this little girl. She's got braids, a little dress and sandals on and I burst out laughing and he's like, she's like facing down the bull, you know, a little tiny girl. And he's like, can you make that by the end of December and it's November 30 or something. And I said, okay, I can. And I'm thinking now I find out he's going to go to Wall Street, right? So, I meet the girls who conceived of the idea at McCann New York and it's, the advertising industry is predominantly a male Caucasian industry and they felt like they were not really being heard. Their ideas and there is Charging Bull sitting there for 29 years who's supposed to be the strength of the American people, the strength of the financial market, but that over time had become representative of the old boys club on Wallstreet and women not being promoted, not getting the salaries that they deserved. Right? Equal pay for equal work. So, uh, we wanted to place the work in celebration of International Women's Day, but we were only going to put her there for four days. So we started this committee process on the phone where we were brainstorming and we wanted a child that looked like today's child. So we put high tops on her in the simplified draws. And I did like 11 sketches, all these different hairstyles. And we landed on a ponytail because that can be a professional style for an adult woman. And we wanted a child that was really strong. So I actually referenced the wonder woman pose and we wanted a child so that we would be making a statement about the future of business with women in it. Women's future in business. Right. That was the whole point. Then we spent a lot of time on the fact that we did not, when I first had my model, I said, come on Ellie, imagine being strong in front of a great big bull and she makes this pout, right, kind of belligerent. And so we're, you know, as a committee we're like, no, no, no, no, no. We don't want the anger. We just want strength. So I toned it down. If you look at “Fearless Girl”, she's strong, not belligerent. She knows who she is. She's not worried about the size of that big bull or the old boys club or the traditional business world. She is ready to take it on and you know, she's clever. She's smart. She can do it. So what happened was, you know, we were celebrating women celebrating International Women's Day, telling little girls that they could do and be anything that they wanted to be. But then State Street Global Advisors makes public, all these six or seven years of gender diversity studies and you have to read the studies. So over and over and over, all these different companies are saying the same thing. Hey, there are more profitable decisions. There are better decisions. They're creating a better environment, men and women together. Companies are less litigious when women are involved.

Heather Newman:  Have you read any of that?

Kristen Visbal:  Just go in and say gender diversity studies.

Zoe Nicholson:  There's a great book by Carolyn Maloney, who's as you know in congress. and she wrote a book Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, and she has study after study in there that when women run things, everything changes the agenda changes. It's about growth and education and welfare and goodness and camaraderie and agreement and letting good ideas surface.

Heather Newman:  So, these studies came out,

Kristen Visbal:  Right. I met Carolyn by the way. Very nice. And she invited me come and speak.

Zoe Nicholson:  She's from New York. She was photographed with the girl wasn't she?

Kristen Visbal:  Yes. Absolutely. So the studies came out and you know, someone I just spoke to said, well, you know, people just don't read enough. We as women, we are obligated to go out there,, and men and read these studies. In fact, I'm always speaking to women, I really need to be speaking to men because studies show that we're this perfect balance. We're not the same. The brainscape studies shows that there's 100 differences between men and women in stressful situations. In Problem solving. And we need, each other We're better together. And For the future of our global society, we have to get over any anger and division and start pulling together and start sending a new message and re-socializing our public to understand the benefits of diversity and the, we need to be looking for the best person for the job. It has nothing to do with gender or color or anything else.

Heather Newman:And I think, you know, I was watching a Netflix series and they had a, uh, they're having all these revolutionaries telling their stories and it seems, you know, I was a theater major. Art is part of our revolution and our rebellion and all of those things and I love that you did this amazing project. It was so great to see her here at the Women's March LA today. Tell everybody your full name and all of that.

Kristen Visbal:  I'm Kristen Visbal, creator of “Fearless Girl”. I want you all to know that the idea was conceived by a lot of people. We had a committee of like 30 people, different cultural backgrounds, different colors, different genders, and we all pulled together and we made it happen. I'm the only one who made the clay, but we envisioned this together. Right. And that's the whole point of “Fearless Girl”. Collaboration is better. So lose the anger. Pool together, teach the diversity message. Teach it and we will achieve the equality.

Heather Newman:  Absolutely. Hey, do you have a next project coming up?

Kristen Visbal:  You know, I have a, there is something brewing for New York, but I don't, I mean I really want to write a children's book. That's what I want to do. That teaches some of these messages about diversity.

Heather Newman:  Thank you so much. Lovely to meet you. What a pleasure.

Kristen Visbal:  Thank you.