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Not only is Liza Vann a gifted actress, able to hold an entire audience spellbound with her funny, touching, tender/tough show ‘Top of the Bottom Half’, she is also a consummate communicator.


Not only is Liza Vann a gifted actress, able to hold an entire audience spellbound with her funny, touching, tender/tough show ‘Top of the Bottom Half’, she is also a consummate communicator.

Keynote Synopsis

Good Decision-Making

(It’s Not Just For Breakfast Anymore)

While breast cancer is the backdrop for this keynote, it is the approach to the disease — not the disease itself — which takes the lead. But with a twist. Rather than discuss the myriad ways each of us can choose to handle the critical moment, this presentation pinpoints what stops most women in their tracks and keeps them from being their own best advocates. It delivers a universal message by turning cancer into the next bump in the road. It gives answers, creates a roadmap, and makes cancer doable, because life is doable.

What Clients Have to Say…

April 26, 2018

Liza Vann and her ‘Top of the Bottom Half’ show are nothing short of SENSATIONAL! Her performance is — at the same time — touching, humorous, heartfelt and thought-provoking! She hooks the audience the moment she walks onto the stage and keeps them drawn in to her family and her world for the entire show, leaving you wanting — and begging for — more (which is the best way to leave an audience!).


Her brand of hilarity in her family rankings rings true to those of us with big families … and those with small families will be jealous of what they are missing! Her tales from the household are outrageous, entertaining and enlightening. Her insights as a cancer survivor are moving, inspirational and hopeful — something we so desperately need in this time. I can’t recommend Liza and her show highly enough! Your audiences will love it and those who need to hear her message will be grateful for it! Bravo and bouquets of thanks for this incredible theatrical experience!.

Patrick Schweiss
Executive Director
Sedona International Film Festival and Mary D. Fisher Theatre

November 14, 2011

Dear Liza,

Thank you for making our Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon such a meaningful event for all of the 240 people in attendance. Your remarks to our gathering of supporters and early detection advocates were wonderful. I have had numerous follow-up conversations with attendees who were so enriched by your speech. Thank you so much for reaching our audience with your thoughtful remarks.


My hope is that our annual luncheon will help save lives through the early detection of breast cancer. That hope could be carried out by someone who attended the luncheon and uses the early detection information to encourage a friend to be screened, or it could be through the funds raised that day which support our free mammography screening for women without health insurance. Your involvement in our Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon touched the lives of women and their families in Central Virginia and beyond. I am most appreciative of your support.

I hope you will return to Richmond very soon.


Ellen Shaw de Paredes, M.D., FACR
Founder & Director

Liza Vann may be a petite lady, but she had a big message to convey to the 300 participants at the Winchester Medical Center Foundation 2009 3rd Annual Pink Ribbon Luncheon held at the beautiful Shenandoah Valley Golf Club in Front Royal, Virginia.


Every person in the room was focused on the vibrant and spunky speaker at the podium who was sharing her experience discovering and dealing with breast cancer. Her main statement to the audience: when you find out you have breast cancer “do nothing”. Silence crept through the room. Then Liza continued to explain that one needs to think and ask lots of questions before reacting. This she discovered to be a very important lesson for her. She also brought lots of laughter to the audience when reciting stories about growing up with 11 siblings. Could you imagine?

Liza was a great speaker and a very gracious lady. We all totally enjoyed her presence. Originally scheduled for our luncheon the prior year, she had a pressing engagement arise and had to bow out. She felt so bad about having to miss that year that she went ahead and scheduled to be at our next event a year in advance! I would definitely invite Liza to come back to our Pink Ribbon Luncheon.

Debbie Talley, MBA
Director of Development, Donor Relations Valley Health

December 19, 2005

Dearest Liza,

Please accept our warmest and sincerest thanks to you for your repeat, fabulous performance of The Top of the Bottom Half on October 20, 2005. Our audience members, many of them dealing with cancer, were moved and challenged to look at things from a new perspective.


Our audience members, many of them dealing with cancer, were moved and challenged to look at things from a new perspective. Staff members from the Friends of the Cancer Center and the medical professionals on our panel were pleased with the event and look forward to a continued partnership with Cape Fear Regional Theatre in the fight against breast cancer.

Your generosity in making yourself available to speak with audience members one on one and in small groups after the show was so valuable. Many waiting so expectantly to tell you their story or ask your advice and it was obvious that your words were a meaningful gift to each one.

Enclosed is a copy of a newspaper photo where we presented $1,500 to Friends of the Cancer Center. Your courage to share your story and to give of your time made this possible and we are ever grateful.

Warmest regards,

Laurie Cherry
Managing Director

November 15, 2004

Dear Ms. Vann,

Bo Thorp and the staff at Cape Fear Regional Theatre extend our greatest appreciation to you for your presentaton of The Top of the Bottom Half for our breast cancer charitable event. By sharing your experience with breast cancer, you encouraged those in the audience to face the problem head on, to ask questions and to come to an intelligent and informed decision — whether as one facing the diagnosis, or a family member or friend to help with support during the process.


Your program was excellent and certainly prepared our audience for the follow-up panel discussion. We are grateful that you joined the panel at the end of the program and that the audience not only could ask questions of you and the other survivor, but could hear from the medical community as well. This evening allowed us to involve so many from the entire medical community in Fayetteville, including the physicians from A Woman’s Place, a local surgeon, a Cancer Center oncologist and a Womack Army Medical Center radiologist. This panel truly gave a full perspective of the steps each person should take when confronted with this disease.

We also appreciate your help in contacting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Once you gave us the contact information, we were able to invite representatives from the Raleigh chapter. As you know, two of their board members joined us for the evening and graciously set up a display in the lobby. We had decided that all ticket proceeds would be given to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and we are pleased to let you know that we were able to donate $1,000.00.

Again, thank you for all you did to make this evening a success and to, hopefully, establish this as an annual event.


Jackie Bradley
General Manager

April 27, 2004

Dear Liza:

Thanks so much for speaking at our Sixth Annual Friends of Women’s Studies luncheon. Your presentation was great and we have received many positive comments about it. As you know, this luncheon allows us to raise money to fund our Women’s History Month lecture series as well as aspects of our annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science conference for middle school girls. We were able to raise enough money to host both for another year!


Our audience appreciated your candor and your humor. It is a rare person who can deliver a talk about a serious issue without depressing the audience. You [Liza] managed to impart valuable information, spur audience members to action, and leave us all feeling empowered. Thank you.

It was enjoyable to meet you and talk about your family, life (and cancer) experiences. I am so glad that Vicki brought you to our attention.

Thanks again for helping make the Friends of Women’s Studies luncheon a success.


Beth Anne Shelton

November 6, 2002

Dear Liza,

Thank you so much for appearing as the featured speaker at the Sisko Foundation’s Raise A Racquet Against Breast Cancer annual Gala in Raleigh, NC on October 26, 2002. Your performance was heartwarming and intense. You managed to inject humor and drama into a serious and frightening subject. From the time you took the microphone, your performance essentially demystified a disease that has terrorized so many women, many of them sitting in the audience.


We have heard nothing but accolades and congratulations from the Gala attendees, which consisted of, among others, physicians, survivors and tennis personalities. When Tracy Austin approached the lectern requesting to speak, her voice choked with emotion, she was clearly moved. It was an evening not many of us will soon forget.

Good luck to you with your career, and continued good health. If there is ever anything we can do for you, please do not hesitate to ask.

Susan Barry
Vice President General Counsel

April 8, 2002

Not only is Liza Vann a gifted actress, able to hold an entire audience spellbound with her funny, touching, tender/tough show “The Top of the Bottom Half,” she is also a consummate communicator, able to drop onto a college campus, hit the deck running, and leave, in the wake of her three-day residency, ripples of insight, enthusiasm, and understanding — not to mention a sea of adoring student fans.


Liza’s people-skills facilitate connections, linking her message to her listeners and exanding that message into universal truths about self-empowerment. The students at UWMC found, through Liza’s classroom visits to various departments, important models to emulate: they watched in awe as her skills in public-speaking, research, creative thinking, public advocacy, and decision making unfolded. And when she appeared before them for the theatre performance at the end of her stay, in her “accomplished actress” persona, they already felt they were celebrating the talents of a dear friend. Liza can do anything — everything — and does it with such energy, commitment, and élan that I urge every presenter or arts coordinator to contact this one-woman force of nature without delay and tailor the most wonderful, fascinating, and multi-faceted residency imaginable.

Jean Greenwood
Lecture and Fine Arts Coordinator

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