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Picture a 17 year old , first generation Filipino , 90’s hip hop and R&B listening, baggy clothes wearing , desperate for attention - and open to inspiration. Me.


That kid would stay up long past bed time and watch Steve Harvey host a variety show called Showtime at the Apollo.

If you were not up to par as a performer the audience would boo you off stage and a tap dancer called the sandman would grab a broom to shuffle and sweep you into national embarrassment.


One night a poet came on the show to perform a spoken word piece-

If you don’t know what spoken word is, think of what happens when poetry, Acapella hip hop & theater had baby. 


I had never seen anything like it! A normally rowdy, intense crowd at the most cut-throat talent show in history was speechless. He was left with a standing ovation and went on to win the season .


I wrote my first poem that night, and my story has taken me across the nation -- sharing spoken word, through competitions, TV and radio.

My passion for storytelling has put me in rooms of writers collaborating on music, brought into prisons, group homes, school’s and any place with a stage, a mic, or just ears willing to listen or learn.


There has not been a more compelling force in my life than storytelling. I cannot wait to hear yours, and learn how we can share it in a way that honors you and your desired audience!


4 Stories - Brian Oliva
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