What we do
Rasa is the clean slate in Tabula Rasa. It's also a Sanskrit word meaning "essence, flavor, or sentiment, in particular the characteristic quality of music, literature, and drama." Even better, it is defined as "the primary feeling that is evoked in the person that views, reads or hears a work of art." It means, literally "juice" -- and to us it seems there is no more important story to boil down to its essence than one told as a matter of life, death, justice, and recompense.
Our agency came about from an alchemy of expertise and necessity. We are a pair of professional live storytellers and published wordsmiths. Mary Adkins, Yale-educated lawyer (re-)turned professional writer, has advised a number of clients and now works in a pro bono capacity with youthful offenders seeking allocution. It became clear that while the legal profession often attracts great storytellers, even the best schools and the best firms fail to continue to develop storytelling and delivery chops. There is too much else to learn and do, and as often happens in many fields story happens last.
Yet story is the first thing a listener can grab hold of, and the final thing she remembers. The feeling of the story -- the emotions it evoked, how authentic it seemed -- last long after the listener must revisit details of the plot or request the facts on record. Raw talent has never been enough for a writer, a performer, or a lawyer to tell their tales to perfection. In matters as dependent on narrative and delivery as matters of law, we offer advisors, curricula, and helping hands -- whichever is most useful to your work.
Mary Adkins is a graduate of Yale Law School with a background in writing and storytelling. She teaches storytelling workshops for The Moth and launched the live storytelling series Live Law as part of the public radio project Life of the Law, supported by the National Science Foundation. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate and other publications, and her play The 49 Project received the Outstanding Playwriting Award in the 2009 NYC Fringe Festival. She is also a novelist represented by Claire Anderson-Wheeler at Regal Hoffman & Associates.
Julie Polk is a writer, teacher and performer with extensive experience in the corporate, non-profit and academic arenas. As a senior writer at global brand firm Siegel+Gale, she designed messaging platforms and taught writing workshops in the US and Europe for clients including American Express, HP, Aetna, Motorola, Verizon, Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, and the Wharton School of Business. She teaches storytelling for The Moth, is an adjunct professor of acting and playwriting at Manhattan College, and is a regular teaching artist at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She trained as a classical actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School.