ABOUT US

Let's share stories, here is ours.

Our mission at DISC is to provide quality courses and a friendly learning environment. We focus on empowering people by providing the necessary tools and knowledge to help reach their goals. With our uniquely positive learning approach, participants can begin applying their new skills after just one course.

Meet The Team

Michael Driebeek van der Ven

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Founding Director & Master Storyteller

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Managing Director & Master Storyteller

Francine de Graaf

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Director & Storyteller

Michael:

I grew up in a 400 year old house. It had been an Inn, a Court of Justice, a Concert Hall and a home. It is said that Louis Napoleon stopped at the Inn once and one of his soldiers died in a fight with the locals. They buried him under a flat stone in our garden, opposite the ‘french windows’…

 

Stories were everywhere, all around me and they were gladly shared by my parents; from ancestral knights that lost their castle, to a maid that lost her foot; every life mattered and every story was worth telling.

 

After reading Law at Leiden University and graduating from The Actor’s Studio in The Hague, a friend took me to ‘A Christmas Carol’ by a man named Ashley Ramsden. It reminded me of when I was 7 years old and how I had built a stage on top of the henhouse in the back of my parents’ garden. There I had started telling simple stories to the children in the neighbourhood.

In 2013 I graduated as Master Storyteller at the International School of Storytelling in the UK and founded DISC. I connected with Terra on top of Table Mountain in South Africa and with Francine at the café around the corner from my house. I feel so blessed working with these two wonderful people.

 

www.michaeldriebeekvanderven.com

Terra:

I was born in a small town in Japan, the land filled with nature, tradition and stories.

While living in Israel, I have encountered the deep wisdom of true stories by being exposed to living Jewish culture and I broke open to the enormous possibility and the world of storytelling.

 

After obtaining BBA in Japan, I graduated School of Speech and Drama at Kibbutz Harduf, Israel, studied Chekhov Method at MTSB, Berlin, and studied storytelling for 2 years at International School of Storytelling in UK. 
I studied further at Mezrab Storytelling School, and study master under Tom Radcriffe. 

 

As a solo storyteller and workshop leader, I work internationally, my works were presented at Goetheanum, Switzerlands, Amsterdam Storytelling Festival, Israel and Japan.

Besides that, I work as the director at DISC(Dutch International Storytelling Centre) from its early stage.

 

My aim as a storyteller is to investigate how the story can transform us, and healing that comes along, to unfold the sadness and suffer in my family, culture, and my nation and sublimated them.

My storytelling style is on unheard unexpected and transformational stories, with lightness and a cheeky smile.   

 

www.norihiroterra.com

Francine:

Years ago I saw a storytelling performance, 'A Christmas Carol', by storyteller Ashley Ramsden. I was hanging on his every word. I found out, that he was the founder of The International School of Storytelling in the UK. “Wait a minute”, I thought, “there is a school where you can learn how to tell stories???”

I signed up for a beginner’s course and there my passion for storytelling was born. I took another course, and another one. I was so hungry for stories, I signed up for the full-time 3 month course, where I learned sooo much and made friends forever.

 

I love to tell traditional folktales, myths and creation stories. Those ancient stories, passed on from generation to generation, move me and touch me deeply. They might or might not be true, but those stories carry their wisdom and tell me the truth. About myself, about the people around me and the challenges in our lives today. That is why I love to relate myths to events that happened in my own life.

 

Apart from being a storyteller, I am a language teacher too. In my lessons I use stories for listening, speaking and reading. Stories are great teachers for building vocabulary and building confidence in speaking. 

 

In my daily life, stories are all around me. I tell them, read them, practice them and listen to them and their great wisdom.

www.storysparks.nl

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Hi there, my name's Connor, and I'm the newest member of the DISC team. You can find out more about me here