my own fairytale

“A fost odata…”.

 That’s how “once upon a time” sounds in Romanian.I was born in Romania and as a young girl I grew up in the communism of the 80s. For as long as I can remember I have been deeply connected with stories and their magical world. As a child I would beg my grand mother for one more story about her childhood, I would listen endlessly to stories on records and on my library pass I got storybooks from all corners of the world. I was an inquisitive tomboy, but I kept a close eye on everything, paying attention to details and moods.

When I was 13 I moved with my parents to the Netherlands. I learned my first words of Dutch from easy children’s books and a year later I was in high school, among very articulate teenagers who had an opinion about everything. Now that the world around me was open and free, I retreated into myself. In the breaks I sat in the library reading stories, books and magazines. I dived into (Dutch) litterature, medieval legends and mythology. All those stories helped me make sense of my new surroundings and shape my new reality.

“…The point of no return…”


I studied languages, anthropology and folk culture. After that I started working as a communications officer, I met my husband, we welcomed our daughter and life was good. Until the black hole I fell into when our son was stillborn. The pain and desperation was indescribable. The mourning period that followed made me realize that I wanted to make other choices. I became a life coach and helping other regain their mental and emotional health was rewarding.

I noticed that coaching people is about their stories. One day I went to a TedX and I was absolutely mesmerised hearing a storyteller tell a personal, yet magical story. His opening scene transported me to another world I could almost see, feel and smell. I felt so connected and alive. That was the moment that I knew had to do something with storytelling. 

““…happily ever after”. So far…

I started tipping my toes in the wonderful world of storytelling. I followed workshops, I started crafting my stories and I feelt the rush of performing. In 2018 I initiated and started hosting “Tell me more” storytelling evenings in Leiden to challange myself and gain more experience. For me, 2019 was the year in which I embraced myself as a storyteller. I trained as a professional storyteller at Mezrab Storytrelling School in Amsterdam and one of my teachers was that storyteller I saw on stage that important day. Immediately after graduation I made my debut at the Delft Fringe Festival with my own personal performance “The girl and the revolution”.

With my first name Oriana and the love for stories I choose stOriana as my alterego. Nowadays I combine what I like best with each other. I have turned my love for tales, books and writing into storytelling, online and on stage. And as a coach and trainer stOriana coaching I help people and organizations discover and  be the hero of their stories. Because stories connect, inspire and transform.


In short

I studied at the UvA and I have a MA in folk culture. I have a specialization as a multicultural coach at the ACC and I have completed a training as a professional storyteller at the Mezrab Storytelling School in Amsterdam.

Since 2018 trainer at The International Coaching and Counselling Institute in Den Haag.

Initiator and host of Tell Me More storytelling evening in Leiden, 2018-2020.