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Grace Cleaves

Improv training + respect + sassiness + brilliant business acumen = Training for doctors who need "behavioral adjustments"

Job Improv Actor, Networking Queen and Doc Trainer / First Fridays at CTN5, Congress St., beside MECA

Lives In Deering neighborhood

Who knew that a girl from Downeast Maine - where digging worms, logging and mortician training were the family skills - could make it in the "big city?" After years of professional advancement in marketing, communications and ecommerce, I've moved over to the other side, an entrepreneurial endeavor that marries skill, values, laughter and financial reward.

Well, I still have my day job, but my years of study with Second City Chicago and New York, BostonImprov, Laughingstock Comedy Co. and others are proving a wonderful foundation for a business created over 2 years ago. Partner Kym Dakin and I use improvisation and other training skills now at, where we teach physicians who have been identified as poor communicators to change their behaviors. Or we may work with them to help them be better presenters and leaders. Or we may shadow them at work in order to see them in action, making suggestions about improvements or changes they could make in order to be more effective with patients, peers or administrators. 

It's a specialty that only exisits in a few spots in the country and in fact, most of our work draws out of state physicians. 

There are SO many ways to make a living in Portland, ME. Please think about joining us. We need more creatives!

Why did you choose Portland? It was the best prospect in the state for locating a job after college, and I knew that I wanted to stay in Maine.

Who are Portlanders you admire and why? Mike Miles, Director of HR for the City of Portland. An excellent networker, a stalwart and inspiring mover and shaker in support of racial equality and social justice, and an excellent leader of 1400 employees. Ok, Ok, I'm married to him. So sue me. Adria Moynihan, painter and painting instructor,, at Running with Scissors. Also has an Etsy site through which she sells vintage goods. Just received art-in-business grant from Creative Portland. OK, OK, she's my daughter. Whaddaya want from me? Adam Burk, Head Entrepreneur at the Treehouse Institute and TedX Dirigo. Adam's the smartest next generation geekhead I know. Plus he has the added advantage of being kind and generous. (Oh and handsome. Am I allowed to say that?) Adam is not related to me in any way, but if he wants to be adopted, I would not be averse to having a son.

What do you like to do with out-of-towners? Eat. I am a foodaholic ("foodie" is so overused) and there are so many places in Portland to get my fix. I take them to neighborhood places like Veranda Noodle, The Rosemonts, Scratch Bakery, Holy Donut, the Blue Spoon, and Silly's. We also go sit under the Casco Bay bridge and ride the elevator to the Top of the East (or whatever the Westin will call it next). For a special challenge, we will try to find a parking spot at Trader Joe's.

Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? The park on North Street that looks out over Back Bay.

What's the most surprising thing about this city? You won't find all that many Republicans.

What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? It's a toss-up between a dark chocolate with salt donut at Holy Donut and a lavendar shortbread with salt at Scratch Bakery. Notice the sugar/salt theme.

What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? The Portland Observatory on Munjoy Hill. I have lived in Portland many (many) years and have never set foot in it.

Describe your perfect night—and the following morning—in Portland. Dinner with friends at our house, serving some sexy scallop dish, some incredibly decadent chocolate thingy for dessert, playing Cards Against Humanity, and going to bed with my awesomely fantabulous husband. (Oh the friends have left by now.) La la la la la. In the morning, we go to Silly's or the Good Egg for breakfast. He would go to Hot Suppa, but this is my profile.

Do you have a serendipity spot? Where do you always bump into good people? Whole Foods, Space Gallery, Local Sprouts, Coffee By Design on India St.

Other Portlanders

Eliza Jane Curtis

I work with colors and shapes, patterns, paper and scissors, odds and ends.

Kristine England

Writer, Newcomer,Convert

Peter Weed

I help tell good stories with words and pictures.

Mike Gorman

Local Illustrator and Painter

Toni Jo Coppa

I make psychologically dark sculptures and paintings, and find great joy in doing so.

Alice Kornhauser

I inform, inspire and influence in support of my community, with a special soft spot for the arts.

Gretchen Powers

I preserve moments.

Erica Hatch

I make sure your business gets found and you have the best communication tools available to promote your brand.

Nate Towne

I grok words and chocolate. Frosting is my medium.