Arts & Entertainment
Meet Your Instructor
Lesson time 05:30 min
LeVar Burton, the star of Roots and Emmy-winning host of Reading Rainbow, invites you to discover the power of storytelling. He shares how storytelling is an integral part of humanity and why it’s a critical tool of connectivity.
[CROWD ROARS] [MUSIC PLAYING] LEVAR BURTON: We are natural-born storytellers. We've been telling stories since the dawn of civilization. We began with cave paintings. And as time passed, it blossomed into oral storytelling. That gave way to the written word, which meant we could preserve our stories. This morphed into the age of the cool fire, television and movie screens, which has now led to the digital age of storytelling, allowing us to share stories with the world at the push of a button. We all have that experience of having been read to when we were kids. And there's something really uniquely human about that lap experience, having someone who loves you focus their attention on you around a story. And the information that is transferred in that lap experience goes way beyond the content of the story. We are transmitting an inheritance. [MUSIC PLAYING] In this course, I'm going to help you identify your personal story and how to communicate that story to the world. I'm going to touch on reading aloud and public speaking. I'm going to touch on exercises that you can do to enhance your sense of relaxation, which is really important for a storyteller. I'll cover podcasting and storytelling for children, storytelling for adults. Mostly, I think it's really for anyone who has a need to communicate at any point during their lives a message, a story, or an idea. Anything that you learn here you will be able to apply to every single aspect of your life. All of the communications you have at home, at work, in play, all of it will be valuable in helping make you a more effective communicator. I'm LeVar Burton, and this is my MasterClass. [MUSIC PLAYING] Videos are the newest way of performing a very, very old art-- telling stories with music. It's really important to me to pass on that which I have acquired and accumulated as information, knowledge, wisdom, to pass it on to the next generation. [MUSIC PLAYING] My first days as an actor, I worked with heroes, legends-- Cicely Tyson, Maya Angelou, Lou Gossett. And they passed on to me the benefit of their knowledge and their experience. So it's my turn really. My first audition was for the mini series "Roots." "Roots" changed my life in every way conceivable. Not only did it launch my career, I started in this business at such a high level of storytelling, I never wanted to make a habit of dipping below that standard. It's given me every opportunity since then, every challenge that I've taken on, every success that I've had-- all of it has come as a result of that first job as Kunta Kinte. The actual telling of the story of-- of Black people in America and our period of enslavement here in this country really gave me a foundation for and a boldness to embrace equity and social justice as something that I was willing to speak out about. I think "Roots" gave me a foundation and a platform to be a social activist. And I don't take that lig...
About the Instructor
With his iconic roles in Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation and 23 years as the host of Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton has left an indelible mark on our culture. Now the Emmy, Grammy, and Peabody winner is sharing his approach to storytelling so you can connect authentically with any audience. Learn how to find intention, use your voice, and mine your experiences to be a more effective and dynamic storyteller.