About the Charisma Club
Dr Henry Powell is a trained actor, a mime artist, and comedian but you might be surprised at the journey he has taken to start the Charisma Club.
A curious mind
From a young age, Henry was fascinated by people’s stories. For him these stories are at the heart of social relations. More importantly he knew that good stories were always memorable.
His natural curiosity meant that he often moved between groups, making his social boundaries quite indistinct. This independence was liberating, allowing him to meet many different personalities and to experience all sorts of unpredictable social situations. However, not ‘belonging’ to a single group made him an outsider, which sometimes concerned him.
A rocky road
While Henry has now completed his PhD focussing on how to be resilient, at school he wasn’t a shining star. In fact, scholarship wasn’t high on his agenda.
Receiving a diagnosis of moderate dyslexia when he was 10 years old meant that his learning no longer took place in mainstream classes, making him even more of an outsider. Shocked by the sudden death of his stepfather when he was just 13 years old, both school and home life changed dramatically. However, he and his two siblings gave each other emotional support to keep moving forward. Tragically his brother took his life at the age of just 17 leading to a long period of depression and anxiety for Henry.
Despite his personal and academic challenges, Henry headed to university to take a foundation degree in engineering, but his interest in literature soon led him to transfer his studies to Drama and English at Kingston University London.
He discovered he excelled in physical performance, comedy, and mime, and graduated with a first-class degree. He performed in professional stage productions and played the London comedy circuit for over two years exploring stand-up comedy and clowning. However, Henry continued to struggle with uncertainty and self-doubt. He became interested in the role of physical performance and went on to study for a master’s degree in performance and philosophy at the University of Winchester. He completed this with distinction before moving on to a PhD where he explored how people recover and learn from failure. He also taught drama and lectured in contemporary politics at Kingston University as an associate lecturer.
Now Henry’s experiences have come together at the Charisma Club. On his personal journey to date he has learnt a lot about losing and building confidence. Through his talent for physical performance he also understands how powerful it can be as a tool for communication. At the Club Henry shares what he knows in interesting and enjoyable formats that will liberate and empower members to become better communicators.