Create Good Stories.


David Vanadia

Hi. My name is David Vanadia. I’m an independent freelance writer, storyteller, teacher, and artist based in Surf City, NJ.

I provide multimedia content services (writing, workshops, video, code, etc.) to individuals and organizations. I also create original projects centered around wellness and social issues, and I teach mind-body fitness classes. All of my work is informed by applied narrative design, social practice art, and an interdisciplinary approach.

I’m currently rebuilding my entire website—thus this one-page, summarized version. If you are looking for Stop Being Sweet, NYC Stories, or any of my other projects, please check back.

If you’d like to work on a project together, please get in touch.

As a grappler, a combat athlete, and especially as an instructor myself, I am profoundly impressed and appreciative of David Vanadia’s yoga class. Since coming to his classes in my Jiu-Jitsu gym, my game has improved, my body works better, and my whole life is more as I would have it be. I cannot recommend David enough. Bill Bradley Alive MMA
David worked with our faculty and Academic Director to conceptualize, register, install and customize our World Wide Web site for the China Center of Long Island University, Friends World Program. He has a keen aesthetic sense and his designs are refined and pleasing to the eye and intuitive for the user. I should also note that Mr. Vanadia is an especially apt and patient educator and possess a unique ability to explain complex server side software to the novice with even the most rudimentary understanding of web design. Justin O’Jack Long Island University

Select Clients

Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum

Center for Community Change

New Jersey Organizing Project


Working Class Acupuncture

Web International

Straight Blast Gym

RiverPlace Athletic Club

Multnomah Athletic Club

Homewoods on the Willamette

March Wellness at OHSU


John Wiley & Sons Publishing

Reader’s Digest

David’s style of teaching is informative, flexible, observant of individual needs without calling attention to a person’s limitations, disciplined in keeping us on track and on time, and thoughtful. He always combines physical and mental activities so that ideas and forms are integrated holistically. I’m confident that David could teach almost anything as well, since he has the key skills needed to move learners of any age progressively forward in achieving their goals. Karl Simon OHSU
Having participated in one of David’s sessions regarding presentation skills, I’ve come away with a new confidence in public speaking. His framework for planning presentations is a revolutionary new tool I will use for all future speaking engagements, large and small. Teija Springman Xplane


I do creative work for a variety of organizations, but I also maintain a personal artistic practice. Below is a summary of select projects.

Sound Off PDX

What do you do when the construction crew across the street wakes you up at 5 am everyday? What do you do when you find out they’ll be doing it for the next three years? This documentary demystifies the old saying “you can’t fight city hall,” and helps viewers learn how to navigate corrupt government bureaucracy.

PDX Tai Chi

I taught Tai Chi and Qigong classes in theaters, parks, retirement communities, community centers, colleges, gyms, and yoga studios in Portland, Oregon. It was a privilege to be able to introduced the art to thousands of people in the Pacific Northwest before moving back to the east coast.

My 9/11

This hour-long documentary shows what it was like to be on the streets of Manhattan on September 11, 2001. The video has been viewed over a million times on YouTube where it has been hailed as, “...the most brilliantly understated and moving coverage of 9/11,” and, “One of the best videos of the humanity of that day.” It was written about in the Oregonian and the Sandpaper, and was featured in the Des docus et des Hommes web series.

DIY Stories Storytelling Show

DIY Stories was a public, open-stage storytelling event that ran for two years in Portland, Oregon. It featured hundreds of people telling lots of great stories (including one about a psychic cat). DIY Stories was featured at the Multnomah County Library Tapestry of Tales Storytelling Festival, covered on the Destination DIY radio show on Oregon Public Broadcasting, and written about in the Oregonian.

BP Protest Ride

This 450-mile bicycle trek was taken to protest the BP Horizon Oil Spill Disaster. It attempted to inspire people away from buying “Save the Gulf” rubber bracelets and instead towards taking small sustainable actions. The project featured a micro-blog where I published research into local sustainable communities, bike culture, and how humans impact the environment with pollution and automobile traffic.

Stop Being Sweet

Stop Being Sweet helps people to go sugar-free for good. The project began as a blog, then expanded to include an ebook, live workshops, free talks, and videos. I’ve offered workshops at Whole Foods, Umpqua Bank, and Oregon Health and Science University’s March Wellness as well as being a featured guest on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud radio program.


A series of public discussions held at Place Gallery in downtown Portland, these events featured artists openly talking about about creative work, making a living as an artist, and debating the value of the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. The series helped prospective students and seasoned artists decide if a graduate degree was right for them.


In 2003, I dreamed of becoming a digital nomad before digital nomads were a thing. I gave up my New York City apartment, and sold everything I owned. Each item was documented with a story and photograph of the person who purchased my stuff.

NYC Tai Chi

New York City Tai Chi Club was an open push-hands club. Practitioners from all five boroughs came together each week in the spirit of friendship and learned from one another through applied practice. I ran the club for two years. It was hosted at the Movement Salon, and averaged 25-30 participants per session.

NYC Stories

New York City Stories is an online collection of personal stories, letters, poems, and memes collected around the time of the September 11th World Trade Center attack. It has been viewed by millions of people world-wide.

Secret Storytelling Shows

Storytelling was not popular during the dot com boom. As a spoken word storyteller, I often had to perform in venues made for poets or singer/songwriters. Inspired by busking street performers, I became one myself and circumvented the competitive New York venue approval process by performing secret storytelling shows in parks and subway stations around the city.

Six Stories Tall

A collection of stories from my early live shows, Six Stories Tall was recorded at Third Studio from the Sun in NJ. It’s available from Amazon, streaming services, or you can request a CD copy from me.

Live Storytelling

I began telling stories professionally in 1994. Since then I have performed in theaters, outdoor festivals, circus tents, camps, subway stations, living rooms, libraries, bars, and cafes in the United States and abroad. Memorable venues include the Wildwood Festival of the Arts, NYC Spoken Word Festival, Yukon International Storytelling Festival, and Tellabration in Philadelphia.

David Vanadia led a storytelling workshop at our English-language training school. His workshop was of great value to the students and it was enthusiastically attended. I think that all of the students improved their ability to tell stories in English and also freed up their imaginations and minds. I would recommend his classes not only for their value in improving foreign language skills, but also for improving general communication skills. Sarah Jane Bitter Web International
David is a great fit with the kind of culture and approach we cultivate at Recess. He is personable, fun, creative, highly experienced in his discipline, constantly learning and pushing himself. He’s a Renaissance man with enough talent to pull off his many interests and projects. Tanya Barham Recess Wellness