Iconic actor, director and host of “Reading Rainbow’ reveals how to harness imagination and find deeper meaning in personal stories
MasterClass, the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world’s best across a wide range of subjects, today announced that award-winning actor, director and beloved host of Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton, will teach a class on the power of storytelling. Featuring his characteristic warmth and authenticity, Burton will help members unlock their ability to tell deeper and more compelling stories to communicate effectively and connect with others. Burton’s class is now available exclusively on MasterClass, where subscribers get unlimited access to all 100+ instructors with an annual membership.
“An award-winning actor, director, author, television host and one of the most beloved voices in storytelling, LeVar’s career has been defined by his ability to connect with and educate people of all backgrounds,” said David Rogier, founder and CEO of MasterClass. “In his class, he ignites member’s passion for words, empowers them to find deeper meaning in stories and enhances their communication skills to give voice to their own story.”
In his class, Burton will explore the motivation behind storytelling, sharing his approach and philosophies to empower members to activate their imaginations, rethink the way they approach communication and gain confidence as speakers. Tapping into a diverse range of formats, from acting to podcasting and more, Burton will teach members how to connect with their audience and use performance skills such as timing, tonal inflections and rhythm to become more intentional storytellers. Burton also offers his personal insights on the value and impact of storytelling, particularly as it relates to representation. He shares how diverse stories present an opportunity to empathize and connect with people and why sharing those stories makes the world a better and more true place. Pulling back the curtain on some of the experiences that defined his path, Burton shares case studies from his time in the revolutionary television mini series Roots, as well as excerpts from his children’s book, The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm. From sparking the imagination of a child through literature to presenting in a boardroom or engaging in a coffee shop conversation, Burton’s class will challenge members to rethink their approach to communication, inspiring them to confidently bring his same passion for the power of storytelling to their own lives.
“Stories are the universal language of humanity,” Burton said. “Every one of us has a personal story to share, and in my class, I want to help members find those stories from within and have the courage to share them with the world.”
Burton’s career as an educator and storyteller has been defined by his ability to use storytelling to communicate effectively. Throughout his career, the multi-hyphenate actor, director, author and television host has been recognized with some of the industry’s highest honors, including winning Emmy, Grammy and Peabody awards. Early in his career, Burton was most notably known as the indelible Kunta Kinte in the 1977 miniseries Roots. Expanding his scope of culturally significant roles, he went on to star as Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He ultimately solidified his place as a household name through PBS’ iconic educational television series, Reading Rainbow. Serving as the show’s host and executive producer for more than 20 years, Burton earned 12 Daytime Emmys and a Peabody Award. During his time on the show, he was beloved by children and adults alike for using the platform to educate, connect and communicate the power of words and imagination. Most recently, it was announced that Burton would be a guest host on Jeopardy! July 26 to 30, 2021.
Launched in 2015, MasterClass is the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world’s best. With an annual membership, subscribers get unlimited access to 100+ instructors and classes across a wide range of subjects, including Arts & Entertainment, Business, Design & Style, Sports & Gaming, Writing and more. Step into Anna Wintour’s office, Ron Finley’s garden and Neil Gaiman’s writing retreat. Get inspired by RuPaul, perfect your pitch with Shonda Rhimes and discover your inner negotiator with Chris Voss. Each class features about 20 video lessons, at an average of 10 minutes per lesson. You can learn on your own terms—in bite-size pieces or in a single binge. Cinematic visuals and close-up, hands-on demonstrations make you feel like you’re one-on-one with the instructors, while the downloadable instructor guides help reinforce your learning. Stream thousands of lessons anywhere, anytime, on mobile, tablet, desktop, Apple TV®, Android™ TV, Amazon Fire TV® and Roku® players and devices.
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.