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Tara  Schuster

Tara Schuster

Best-Selling Author & Former VP of Talent and Development at Comedy Central


“Ahead of her time…she sees the future a little bit.” –Oscar Winner Jordan Peele

Once best known as the Executive in Charge of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning show, Key & Peele, Tara Schuster turned her struggle with chronic anxiety and depression into a best-selling book and a mission to help others. Her humorous takes on taking charge of one’s mental health—always backed by empowering action steps—have won praise from readers ranging from Wharton professor Adam Grant to Academy Award-winner, Anjelica Huston and best-selling author, Glennon Doyle. InStyle, People Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Goodreads, Buzz Feed, Goop and many others have chosen her memoir as one of the best new books of 2020. Read More >

A veteran entertainment executive, Tara was behind such shows as the Emmy Award-winning @Midnight, Lights Out with David Spade, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the launch of Key & Peele to viral superstardom. By the time she was in her late twenties, Tara had taken her place in the male-dominated world of comedy as Vice President of Talent and Development at Comedy Central. By all appearances, she had mastered being a grown-up. But beneath the veneer of success, she was a “chronically anxious, self-medicating mess” with a painful secret. No one knew that her “minimally parented” road to adulthood had been paved with depression, anxiety and shame. She finally realized that she’d hit rock bottom when she drunk-dialed her therapist.

Answering her own cry for help, Tara called upon the same talents she had used to launch hit television shows to begin a life-changing journey of self-healing and self-care. For five years, she researched how to both “be her own parent” and nurture her own wounded well-being—creating a 600-page Google Doc of her findings. She also developed a practice of simple, daily rituals that literally transformed her mind, body, relationships.

As an in-demand speaker, Tara has received invitations from the Fortune 100 and spoken to audiences ranging from Civic Nation to women’s and young professional groups. Bringing a winning combination of humor, vulnerability, and hard-won wisdom to the stage, she does more than inspire and motivate audiences to create lasting change in their lives. She provides easy-to-implement tools to take better care of one’s spirit, mental and physical health, and relationships—as both an individual and member of a workplace team. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Self-care, Vulnerability, & Real Talk

Tara Schuster’s Guide to Thank You Cards | Penguin Random House

Why Is being Nice To Yourself So Hard?

Speech Topics

The “New Old Normal”: Prioritizing Your Mental Health in a Post-COVID World

Feeling overwhelmed, or just "not yourself?" Anxious about returning to “normal” post-COVID? You’re not alone. Things like returning to the office — or simply returning to in-person interactions — can spark anxiety and dread for some. Tara Schuster comes to the rescue! Tara knows first-hand what it's like to move forward with the aftershocks of trauma, stress and chaos. Sharp-witted and disarmingly funny, she shares practical tools and relatable stories that will help you to re-ground yourself by bringing increased self care and mental wellness into your life. Tara takes you through easy-to-implement practices that have helped her readers from across the globe bring self-awareness and stability into their daily lives. With a focus on managing anxiety, finding a physical ritual to cultivate joy, and making gratitude a pillar of your emotional health, Tara’s approach  will leave you feeling renewed, energized, and ready to face the “new old normal” on your own terms.

Self-Care Bootcamp for the Pandemic and Beyond

We are living in unprecedented, unpredictable times where the stress of everyday life and work can feel overwhelming. Even under these chaotic circumstances, we can still maintain our inner peace, stability and build resiliency. In this essential and timely talk, Tara Schuster shares the keys to developing a life-changing self-care routine. Customized to fit the needs of a range of audiences, Tara helps participants find more joy and fulfillment in their life, work or studies. Read More >

Takeaways include how to: Read Less ^

  • Build self-awareness with a not-so-horrible journaling and meditation practice
  • Bring gratitude to your life (in a way that won’t make you roll your eyes)
  • Develop a sustainable exercise routine and an inspiring physical ritual
  • Implement a self-care tool for use in even the most challenging situation
  • Take stock of relationships and nurture the ones that give you strength

The Secret to Building a Kick-Ass, Inspired Team

It’s a mistake to think of teams as external groups that we must assemble, fix, and make better. After overseeing some of the most successful shows in Hollywood, Tara Schuster knows that the secret to building a successful team begins with you. Are you the teammate that you most want to work with? Are you doing what you can to help others build upon their strengths? Do you know how to best attract team members who add value? Or the tools to deal with tense relations between team members? Championing the view that building a team is the responsibility of its membership, not just its leaders, Tara provides eye-opening insights and invaluable tools. Read More >

Subjects include: Read Less ^

  • Cultivating a better understanding of self to strengthen the team
  • Fostering long-lasting, productive relationships
  • Recognizing and understanding our individual contributions
  • Understanding how we derive our self-esteem, principles, and the impact we want to make
  • Learning tools for dealing with tense relationships and tricky group dynamics
  • Growing the team by attracting members who add value

Kicking Your “Frenemy Within” to the Curb

Get ready for a “light bulb moment” that will leave you set up for lasting change. In her most popular talk, Tara Schuster examines the “Frenemy Within,” a super critical inner assassin that is always looking to tear you down. Drawing from her best-selling book, Tara shares the tools she has learned to create an effective counterattack. Her inspirational wisdom empowers audiences to be the hero/heroines of their stories—not the victims. Read More >

During this interactive talk, participants will: Read Less ^

  • Create an inventory of limiting beliefs—then kick them to the curb
  • Build a physical map of where they derive self-esteem, what their values are, and how to be true to them in the future
  • Carry what they discover out into the real world to make concrete decisions about who we are (values and self-esteem), who we are not (our inner criticisms), who we want to become, and how we want to be remembered

Supporting Each Other as Women in the Workplace

Discussions about the challenges that women face in the workplace usually begin with the common complaints that women have. Unfortunately, they usually end in useless hand wringing and zero solutions. Not this talk. Tara Schuster begins by sharing some of the most difficult moments in a storied career that took her to the heights of the entertainment industry. Then, she invites audiences to share their own experiences. Drawing on this intimate discussion, Tara walks the group through how to tap into their power to overcome issues such as not being heard in the workplace, hiring practices that seemingly favor men, and finally, how women can support each other instead of tearing each other down. Read More >

Participants will: Read Less ^

  • Learn how to connect to their own power and help raise one another up
  • Find common ground through sharing and airing difficult experiences
  • Discover greater agency and resources of power
  • Find and enlist male allies in the fight for equity
  • Become better allies to other women

Finding Your Voice

Deemed a “veteran television executive” by Hollywood Reporter, Tara Schuster worked for years helping prestigious artists like Emmy winner Keegan-Michael Key and Oscar winner Jordan Peele clarify and amplify their voices. Drawing on her experience of developing and helping to create Emmy and Peabody Award-winning television shows, Schuster offers her hilarious insights into what can stop us from employing our most authentic voices and how we can overcome those hurdles. Using real life examples from her time in Hollywood and her experience writing her own best-selling memoir, Schuster offers funny, concrete tips and lessons on how anyone can find their most authentic voice.

Realize Your Worth and Discover Your Wings: An Essential Talk for Women

As women, we often fail to realize our worth and what we can bring to the table. Especially at work, we can be blind to our own strengths, letting fear of rejection and insecurities silence us. Yes, we all have great potential, but we too often hide behind our fears and our thoughts of not being good enough—allowing these thoughts to hinder us from becoming our best. No one knows this better than Tara Schuster. In this empowering and inspiring talk, Tara shares her own personal experiences and shows women how to not only overcome these fears, but to discover their wings. She shows how to silence our fears, tap into hidden potential, explore new opportunities and stand firm with confidence. She also evangelizes the importance of women supporting women, calling on all of us to be an uplifting source of encouragement and empowerment. By lifting ourselves and each other up, we’ll not only discover our wings—we’ll fly higher than anyone ever thought possible!