Greg Tavares performed in his first improv show in 1985 and never looked back. In 2000, he co-founded of Theatre 99, "Charleston’s Home For Improv Comedy.” He’s also the co-founder of  the Charleston Comedy Festival, The Have Nots comedy improv company, and the Piccolo Fringe Festival. Greg wrote the book Improv for Everyone in 2012 and has taught at improv theaters and festivals all over the country. He has a BFA in acting and an MFA in Directing, but still has nightmares that he never finished high school. 

Here, find out why he loves improv, what gives him creative inspiration, and the one improv technique we all need to know. And when you’re done reading, make sure to snag tickets to Greg’s #CMGame talk at The Alley on April 20th! 

What do you love most about what you do? Getting to play with my partners in scenes is so much fun. It’s like being a kid so I never have to grow up.

How did you get into your field of work? Did you always know you were going to be a actor (and theater owner AND author?!)?

I knew I wanted to be an actor when I was in high school. I discovered improv at a young age (around 15 or 16), but the big moment for me with improv was when I was 18 and took a workshop. It was just like the lights got turned on in my brain, and from that moment on, I just knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. 

How do you start your day? I get out of bed and take my six-year-old to kindergarten.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment. 

Professionally, I’m proud of being able to open and sustain a theatre that is dedicated to improv. I get to share improv with people in shows and classes, and make a living as an artist. Personally, my proudest moment has been becoming a father of two kids. 

What’s one improv technique everyone should know?

Saying yes to what your partner gives you. Seeing what others do as gifts, instead of something to overcome or change.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? 

The company members at Theatre 99. They all come from different walks of life, but have found improv, fallen in love with it, and chosen to become improvisers. It reminds me of why I got into this all those years ago.

What’s your go-to coffee order? Regular drip coffee at any local bakery

What is your favorite place in Charleston? The beach when I am paddling on my stand-up paddle board. 

How do you unwind or de-stress? Binge watch Netflix.

Rapid fire: 

  • morning person or night owl? Night owl
  • summer or winter? Summer
  • mountains or beach? Beach
  • pancakes or waffles? Buttermilk Blueberry pancakes
  • fiction or non-fiction? Fiction

Last minute switches call for finding more treasure in our community of creative gems. 

Pauline Sokol Nakios will be filling in and talking about her two amazing fashion brands, Lilla P and Leo & Sage, she has created and managed for the last 20 years. Hailing from Charleston, Pauline has found COURAGE to go out on her own and succeed in the cutthroat world of fashion NYC. 

Hear from her this FRIDAY, at Charleston Library Society. 

If you ask Beth Cosi to describe her work, she’ll tell you she’s an Entrepreneur, an Inspired Nerd and a Yoga Teacher. She’s the Founder of Bendy Brewski Yoga, a genius event series that brings all-levels yoga classes to local breweries around town. Through her vinyasa-meets-beer approach, Beth has created a unique place for Charlestonians to connect and unwind. So when it came time to find a speaker for “Anxiety,” we knew Beth would be the perfect choice. 

In our Q&A below, learn more about how Beth became a yogi, how she navigates stress, and why the people around her are her greatest source of inspiration. 

What do you love most about what you do? I love meeting new people and connecting with different communities. My work has opened up my life to an incredible amount of random & various people and interesting places. I delight in the fact that the thread that connects us is courage and play! And I greatly appreciate the hard work and dreams in action of the places we practice.

How did you get into your field of work? Did you always know you were going to be a yogi? On the surface, it was my relationships with 2 men that got me into my field. I was fresh from divorce with 2 young children in a town I didn’t know and I was smitten by a young man who practiced Yoga regularly. Underneath, I had forgotten who I was and I was seeking…to heal and to find connection- to the boy, the city, my Self. I am kind of nerdy (just ask my kids! ), and I really love to learn, so I decided to apply for a 4-month Yoga Teacher Training. I have always played sports and exercised. I have always been a teacher in some capacity. But I never had designs on becoming a Yoga Teacher. I had children to support! But, it emerged and developed. And I was very good at it.

How do you start your day? Let the dog out. Stretch. Make coffee. Say a prayer. (not always in that order).  

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.  Well, my most surprised moment was when Lululemon Charleston came to practice at Holy City Brewery and held up placards (they had hidden under their mats) asking me to be their Ambassador.  I was so shocked, I didn’t even answer for a minute—they had to ask twice!  But, I feel the most proud and in Flow when I get an anonymous or in-person thank you for doing what I do. It’s an incredible feeling to be of help.  

Do you have a hidden talent?  I make an amazing spaghetti gravy and i have magic powers. ;)

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? Great books, inspired Yoga teachers, but mostly the people I love. I’m blessed with amazing, talented, funny and thoughtful friends who have skills- in body work, mindfulness, artistry, entrepreneurship, words.

What’s your go-to coffee order?  Island Joe’s Shark Bite, black. 

What is your favorite place in Charleston? My home. 

How do you unwind or de-stress? Through my breath. I notice the length of my exhale and then, i turn my attention to my body and listen or let go.  

Rapid fire:

  • morning person or night owl?  I’m a reformed night owl (all those years of F&B!) ..but i’ve always loved the morning
  • summer or winter? Summer for sure
  • mountains or beach? beach…i love a long view!
  • pancakes or waffles? pancakes 
  • fiction or non-fiction? both, equally

Named two of Charleston’s 50 Most Progressive in 2016, Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reaves are the dynamic duo known as the Cocktail Bandits. The two met at the College of Charleston, and now, with their booming hospitality business and self-titled Cocktail Bandits blog, promote female empowerment through advocacy for the food and beverage community from a feminine, urban perspective. 

They’ve been long-time CreativeMornings Charleston attendees, so we’re thrilled to have them take the stage for this month’s talk on Context. Grab a libation (whether coffee or a mimosa…) and get a sneak peek at what goes on in the wonderful world of the Cocktail Bandits here: 


What do you love most about what you do? Working with new people.

How did you get into your field of work? We saw the growth of bars and restaurants in Charleston and wanted to be apart of the booming tourism industry. Did you always know you were going to be a blogger? No, we were asked by one of our followers to start a blog.

How do you start your day? We both like to perform mental exercises in the morning, workout, refuel, and then start work. 

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.  Successful collaborations with other liked minded creatives; local and international. It was incredible to have two of our cocktails featured in ESSENCE magazine, and we also had the opportunity to work with Andrew Zimmern of the Food Network show ‘Bizarre Food.’


Do you have a hidden talent? Taneka plays instruments. Johnny is a seamstress.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? Taneka is inspired by other creatives. Johnny is inspired by high-end luxury brands.

What’s your go-to coffee order? Taneka - non-caffeinated latte, Johnny - Americano with brown sugar and almond milk.

What is your favorite place in Charleston? Taneka loves Hampton Park. Johnny - any Charleston marsh


How do you unwind or de-stress? Taneka de-stresses with bike riding and/or dancing, and Johnny unwinds with gardening. 

Rapid fire: 

  • Morning people or night owls? Night owls
  • Summer or winter? Summer
  • Mountains or beach? Beaches
  • Pancakes or waffles? Waffles
  • Fiction or non-fiction? Non-fiction

Learn more about the Cocktail Bandits and their journey in the hospitality business on December 15, 8:00am at Charleston Distilling Co.! 

You’ve probably seen J. Stark’s handmade bags on shoulders and in shop windows around downtown Charleston. Our November speaker, Erik Holmberg, founded the company in 2014 and has recently expanded the line of leather goods and everyday carry products into a brick-and-mortar retail space and workshop on Coming Street. But beyond its day-to-day function, Erik and his partner Jess are using the shop as a place to build community, drive creative conversations, and support other local and American made brands. 

In our Q&A below, learn more about why Erik launched J. Stark, what inspires him, and where this Morning Person gets his coffee fix. 

What do you love most about what you do? 

Everything! Mostly the ability to wake up every day and make something with my hands and put it out into the world.

How did you get into your field of work? Did you always know you were going to be a maker?
I wanted desperately to leave the world of cubicles and sitting behind a computer screen all day. I started working with leather and sewing and I found it and it found me.

How do you start your day?
Alternating days between heading to Exemplar Fitness to work out and walking the dog around Avondale.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.
My proudest moments are when we’re able to create a new job that didn’t exist before and when my friends have successes in chasing their dreams.

Do you have a hidden talent? I’m a really good listener.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration?
I’m inspired by shoe design, colors, and vintage military gear.

What’s your go-to coffee order?
Black Tap coffee, black.

What is your favorite place in Charleston?
The J. Stark shop!

How do you unwind or destress? Walk on the beach with my dog and my lady. Listen to jazz.

Rapid fire:

  • Morning person or night owl? Morning Person
  • Summer or winter? Summer
  • Mountains or beach? Tough Call – Beach
  • Pancakes or waffles? Chocolate Pancakes
  • Fiction or non-fiction? Non-Fiction (Biography)

Wednesday, November 8   |   6 - 8p

Happy Hour at Edmund’s Oast Brewing

+ Benefit Night

Just can’t wait until November 17th to get your CreativeMornings kick?
CreativeMornings Charleston and Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. are teaming up to bring even more opportunities to connect with creatives in Charleston!  Join us THIS Wednesday from 6-8pm for a Charity Happy Hour at Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. They’re graciously donating 25% of the proceeds from THE ENTIRE DAY to support #CMCHS. In addition to delicious brews & food, we’ve cooked up some fun games to make Wednesday the new Friday. ENJOY:
-Cornhole Competition: Up to 8 people can compete to win prizes! Competitors earn automatic spots on the list for this month’s talk. REPLY to this email to enter the competition, or slide into our DM’s
-Lumos Booth Movember Contest: Slap on a fake ‘stache (or grow your own…), snap a gif, and win Mo’ prizes
-Live Music
-Oh, and BEERPS: proceeds benefit CMCHS all day (11am-10pm), so why not spend the whole day at EO? As always, everyone is creative and everyone is welcome, so please invite a friend, a neighbor, a coworker, etc. The more the merrier…High fives!

We had the pleasure to sit with this incredible, local, entrepreneur on the go and grill him about what makes him tick. Juggling projects and launching Holy Spokes bike sharing program keeps a guy like Sean quite busy. Here’s what he had to say.

CM: What do you love most about what you do?
S: Our team for sure!  I have the privilege to work with a group that truly cares about what we are building and that energy is contagious

CM: How did you get into your field of work?
S: Did you always know you were going to be an entrepreneur? I was raised by two amazing entrepreneurs, even though they didn’t call themselves that back then.  As a result, I had a passion for creating at a very young age.

CM: How do you start your day?
S: I shoot to wake up by 5:30am and work out 6-7am.  And A LOT of coffee!

CM: Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.
S: Personally: Birth of my two boys / Professionally: Dec 9th when we completed our mergerCM: Do you have a hidden talent?
S: I can make a mean breakfast and have one solid go to magic trick

CM: Who or what gives you creative inspiration?
S: My wife Jacklyn.  She is insanely creative, but the conversations we have about ideas at a very early stage are what have led to the best ideas I have had.CM: What’s your go-to coffee order?
S: Giant Cold Brew w a splash of creamCM: What is your favorite place in Charleston?
S: The Battery: Every time I walk or ride a Holy Spokes Bike past it, I’m blown away.CM: How do you unwind or destress?
S: Hanging out with my wife and two boys is the best destress.  I wouldn’t use the word relaxing, but a ton of fun.CM: Rapid fire: morning person or night owl?
S: Strangely, both.
summer or winter?
S: Winter
mountains or beach?
S: Beach
pancakes or waffles?
S: Waffles
fiction or non-fiction?
S: I would love to lie and say I’m this huge reader, but that isn’t the case.  When I do, non-fiction.

Our September CreativeMornings Charleston speaker Leah M. Suárez is a musician and arts entrepreneur whose primary instrument is her velvet rich voice. (Seriously, wait ‘til you hear her sing). 

Leah is a fiercely passionate individual artist inspired by collaborative energy; we couldn’t have asked for a better person to speak about “Compassion.” Her light and energy is contagious and she’s known for bringing people together through the power of music. 

In our Q&A below, get a sneak peek at what makes Leah tick, how she finds her creative inspiration, and why music and Mexico are the fuel to her fire. 


What do you love most about what you do?

Finding and creating connection between energies and bearing witness to the experiences of current time and space. It’s magical and inspiring. 

How did you get into your field of work? Did you always know you were going to be a musician? 

It chose me. I always sang as a child, imagining myself in musical roles - hairbrush in hand - as Maria, but more so as Anita, in West Side Story or Aldonza/Dulcinea in Man of La Mancha. My most formal training was in middle school band, which lead to life-changing experiences and success in the low brass section on euphonium. I finished my college career at the College of Charleston, finding my voice in jazz. I then chose to re-connect and re-commit to my hometown city by the sea, guided by the music and the people who make it - past, present and future.  

Life handed me some pretty tough lemons in my formative years and throughout some challenging adult years. Music was my lemonade. And the reason I’m still here. I’m just a vessel.


How do you start your day?

Literally saying “thank you for today.” My morning time is sacred and my routine ritualistic. Before anything, I’ll make my bed. A necessary tick. Afterwards, it’s a combination of incense or copal, lemon water with herbs, and a healthy dose of meditation, affirmation and prayer - mostly in silence - followed by a warm-up for my body and particularly my voice. Then, usually off for a run, walk, yoga or anywhere else I can meditate in movement. The best days begin by greeting the sun.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment. 

Embracing my Mexican heritage, claiming my Mexican citizenship, and awakening my inner chingona. August 2014, I returned to mi México for the first time in 28 years. I was 5 years old the last time I stepped foot in a country that was also my America, though one that equally made it more challenging to be in this America. My grandfather, whom I had never had the pleasure of meeting before his untimely death, visited me consistently in my dreams for years. He convinced me that something was awaiting my arrival, there, in México. I knew he was right. Two and a half years later, on the same day #45 would issue his executive order for a certain wall, I would walk into México as a proud, soul-filled, teary-eyed mexicana, no longer an extranjera (foreigner). What was awaiting me there on the other side was more than any piece of paper, more than any birth certificate, more than a government-issued identification card telling me I belonged, more than the ink of approval from a coveted rubber stamp, more than a different line at the airport, and more than another passport. It had been the discovery of my truest self, my purpose, my definition of home, and what remains to be my ever-unfolding, beautiful journey. Mi camino lindo. 


Do you have a hidden talent? 

I’m a left-footed soccer player. I bend all the balls.

Who or what gives you creative inspiration? 

Everything and everyone. I remind myself: “Breathe where you are. Eat where you are. Love where you are. Sing where you are.” It helps me stay present and to drink in all the inspiration that this very moment has to offer.

What’s your go-to coffee order? Americano. Black. Neat.

What is your favorite place in Charleston? Sullivan’s Island

How do you unwind or destress?

Listening to/making music. Running the Cooper River Bridge (because I still can’t get used to saying Ravenel) sans music. Riding my bicycle. Immersing myself in nature, wherever I can feel exceptionally small. Sailing with my crew mates aboard Alliance. Swimming in the ocean. Particularly under moonlight. Acupuncture. Writing.


Rapid Fire Round: 

  1. morning person or night owl? Both. Don’t do the math.
  2. summer or winter? Summer
  3. mountains or beach? Beach
  4. pancakes or waffles? Waffles. With chicken, of course.
  5. fiction or non-fiction? Non

Mark your calendars for Friday, September 22nd for Leah’s CreativeMornings Charleston talk. She’s speaking on “Compassion” and it’s sure to move, motivate, and inspire. 

Our #CMEquality speaker Adam Gorlitsky might be one of the most inspiring people we’ve ever met. At the age of 19, Adam was in a tragic car accident that left him paralyzed from the belly button down. But instead of giving up, he’s finding a way to give back. Through his organization I GOT LEGS, Adam is working to empower others in his situation and prove that walking should be a right, not a privilege. 

Get to know the man behind the exoskeleton in our Speaker Q&A: 

What do you love most about what you do? 

What I love most about what I do is that I get to incorporate all my passions into I Got Legs. At my core, I’m an athlete, filmmaker/storyteller, and social entrepreneur.  Having those three things be at the core of I Got Legs as well is a pretty special thing that not many people get to experience.

Did you always know you were going to start your own organization?

I grew up in a creative, and entrepreneurial household, so creating my own organization and blazing my own trail in life is the only way I know how to operate. It’s in my DNA.

How do you start your day? I start my day with an omelette, a shower, emails, Facebook, Instagram, more emails.

Tell us about your proudest moment or accomplishment.

I have two moments that stand out. The first one is when ReWalk (the exoskeleton manufacturer) flew down on the 10-year-anniversary of my car accident (December 30, 2015) and presented me my own exoskeleton aka The Betty Carlton. That day was the culmination of hundreds of hours selling I Got Legs T-shirts, and creating social media content that promoted my GoFund Me Campaign. 

The other moment has to be April 2, 2016 when I crossed the finish line of the Cooper River Bridge Run using my robotic exoskeleton. The 6.2 miles race took me almost 7 hours and exactly 17,932 steps to complete. Physically, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It was my first race using my exoskeleton. I Got Legs wouldn’t be here without those two moments. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.

Do you have a hidden talent? Hmm…hidden talents…I can do a mean wheelie in my wheelchair ;)

Who or what gives you creative inspiration?

I’ll start with the who…anyone that has an original voice and isn’t afraid to express it in their work. I’ve been watching a lot of Gary Vaynerchuck and Mark Cuban videos lately. Now for the what…honestly, anything can inspire me, but what tends to ultimately inspire me the most is the experience something gives me. Everything I do with I Got Legs–whether it’s a speech, our ReEnabled Race and Step Tour Programs, social media, the website, t-shirts, etc–I always start with the experience I want people to have and then work backwards from there. That experience can be inspired from pretty much anything in my life. And when all else fails, I just think about the Betty Carlton. She’s the love of my life ;)  

What’s your go-to coffee order? Straight black, iced, with a touch of cream.

What is your favorite place in Charleston?

The top of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge with my Batec Mobility Handcycle Attachment

How do you unwind or destress?

A long drive in my car, a bike ride, walking in my exoskeleton, a good workout at Orangetheory.  

Rapid Fire:

  1. morning person or night owl? Night owl
  2. summer or winter? Summer
  3. mountains or beach? Beach
  4. pancakes or waffles? Red Velvet Pancackes from IHOP
  5. fiction or non-fiction? Non-Fiction

Join us on Friday, July 21st at the American Theater to hear straight from Adam himself!