Statement of Purpose
I am Leah Raidt (she/they), a Chicago-based creative leader (actor-director-teacher-producer) and trauma-informed meditation teacher.
My work uplifts and advances LGBTQ+ artists and narratives, and aims to guide us out of a solitary headspace and into an embodied journey together.
As a cis, able-bodied, queer, white person who can weave through nearly all places and spaces with high privilege and blinding ease: It is my responsibility to transform personal and collective challenges and traumas into opportunities that disrupt broken systems, build resilience, and expand our capacity for bravery and joy. Meeting this responsibility is at the heart of my intention and evolution as an artist, filmmaker, and spiritual seeker.
My professional work began as an actor in Chicago, where I trained at The Theatre School at DePaul University and The School at Steppenwolf. Like many freelance artists forging a career for themselves, I found myself in an unsustainable cycle of burn out. I was supplementing income through various teaching and mentorship positions, which allowed me to invest in and support others, but I lacked the skills and tools to invest in and support myself.
This realization led me to the world of personal development, yogic philosophies, mindfulness, and Vedic Meditation, a twice daily non-dualist mantra meditation practice from India, which I have practiced since 2017. I was initiated into the Shankaracharya lineage of meditation teachers in Fall of 2021 by Mark Price of Alchemy Collective, after 17 months of rigorous studies including over 600 hours of advanced meditation practice.
As an actor, director and producer: I uplift and amplify queer, feminist perspectives in my work— not to preach to the choir of fellow young(ish), liberal folx— but to spark new insights and questions from an intergenerational audience who may have nothing in common besides a desire to better themselves for the benefit of their community. Like a great sports coach, my creative approach is physical and intentional. I champion the pursuit of fun, and will to risk failure for growth. I utilize Brave Space tools to build a foundation of trust and accountability with clients and teams.
I hold a certificate of completion from The Integrated Somatic and Trauma Therapies Program with The Embody Lab, and approach all teaching and facilitation from a trauma-informed lens. Through committed practice, I let go of the "starving, struggling artist” narrative, and step into my responsibility as a "whole, empowered artist."