“I remember my mother reading books to me and totally believing them, as if all the talking animals and magical fairies were real.” She taught William how to make fairy houses from packing pine needles and then carefully . At bedtime he was sure the fairies had swooped into the houses he made that day, to sleep. As he grew older, and as children do, William lost the belief in magical fairies hiding in the woods. Years later, his mother took him to the theater, and something magical happened. William was yelling with the rest of the class as loudly as he could, “His name is Rumplestiltskin!” He sat in the audience and was transported into another world. Witnessing the power of make-believe once more, he realized that magic comes alive in the sacred space of the theater. And so began a life of creating experiences that transform and move people.
William brings his years of experience as an Executive Coach, Facilitator, Theater Director to create memorable and impactful experiences for Fortune 500 executives and teams. He crafts messages that are relevant and sticky and unlocks collaboration, creativity, and the power of story. William has coached and trained executives at: The Singapore Stock Exchange, American Express, Siemens, Black Rock, Boehringer Ingelheim, Kaiser Permanente, Salesforce, and Google, among others.
William is a Coach and Instructor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has guest lectured at the London School of Business & Finance, The University of Texas, University of Tokyo, and The Arnhem Business School in the Netherlands, and has run creativity and innovation workshops in Stanford’s d.school. In addition, William has presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He also holds a degree in Fine Arts in Acting from Boston University.
William’s ability to engage and connect with his audience, paired with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior and adult learning, creates an elevated and impactful development experience. He blends business savvy with an inspired creative perspective that gets better business results and stronger levels of engagement. William teaches executives how to bring more of their authentic selves to their work, increasing their own influence and enrollment.
William founded the award-winning theater company Fratelli Bologna, writing, producing and performing original comedies in North America. He also co-founded award-winning BATS Improv and BATS School of Improv. For the past decade, William’s focus has been on bringing the skills of theater into business to promote richer conversations, as a business coach, communications consultant, and master facilitator. His work has ranged from teaching executive presence in Singapore, to teaching power and communication to MBA students, to instructing police detectives and officers on body language and facial recognition.
William has taught theater and improv around the world, from training performers at Disneyland to professional clowns and aerialists at the SF Circus Center. He has been in several feature films including Hemingway & Gellhorn and Twisted with Samuel L. Jackson and Ashley Judd, and was a regular in a television series, Fortune Dane with Carl Weathers. As a Director, William has won awards at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. His book, The Playbook: Improv Games for Performers, is used by teachers and performers around the world.
William is a mask-maker, performer, and teacher. William has over 3,000 different jokers (playing cards) in his collection.
It’s William’s firm belief that there’s a beautiful part of human beings to be uncovered or released - a playful, creative spirit that’s waiting to come out. And when it does, we can fearlessly be our best selves, fully engaged and connected with others.