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Oral History: Out From Under The Rug [Dallas]

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On Wednesday, September 21, hundreds of people packed into Dallas City Performance Hall to witness a moment in history. For the first time in Dallas, a group of men and women were set to share their own, true personal stories related to abortion. This special edition of Oral Fixation (An Obsession with True Life Tales), entitled “Out From Under The Rug,” was created, produced, and directed by Oral Fixation founder Nicole Stewart, who shared her own abortion story in the OF show, “Bun in the Oven,” and felt compelled to push the envelope even further: an entire show of stories about abortion. Her hope: humanize this hot-button topic that has been stigmatized and moralized, and in this election year, open up a space where a conversation can begin. “It is time to #SweepOutTheShame of abortion,” Nicole has said. And given the crowd that showed up for #OutFromUnderTheRug, she is far from alone in her thinking.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Emily Cortez

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Emily Cortez struggled with feelings of shame and isolation, knowing that she was not prepared to have a child. Hear her personal story in “Out From Under The Rug.”

Emily Cortez is a third generation Texan from Dallas. Her hobbies include reading, writing, playing her flute and the occasional attempt to learn new cooking recipes. Currently, she keeps busy by running an online vintage boutique called 829 Vintage and is launching a project to help Mexico fight poverty.

Fixated Facts:

What’s your favorite part about Oral Fixation? Raw, emotional performances. Every story keeps you on the edge of your seat.

What inspired you to participate in Oral Fixation? I felt like it was important to show a woman who was sure of her decision, especially because I am Catholic and Hispanic. Our traditions are a bit outdated; I want women to know there are other options and choices in their lives.

Who is your favorite cartoon character and why? Muttley from the Hannah Barbara cartoons. I think I laugh just like him (or so I have been told).

What is your favorite Dallas hangout? Wild Detectives and The Great American Hero (the best sandwich place ever).

Sneak peak: “There was an ongoing struggle within myself as to whether I should be feeling guilty or not. I felt the guilt reemerge sometimes because I realized there was no guilt anymore.”

Don’t miss Emily perform on the Oral Fixation stage in the “Out From Under The Rug” Dallas show on Wednesday, September 21st.

Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Clark Harding

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When his best friend makes the decision to end her pregnancy, Clark stays by her side and helps her through the emotions, grief, and acceptance she feels, and he tells us the touching story in “Out From Under The Rug.”

Clark Harding grew up in Homer, Alaska. He lives in LA, where he is a Visual Effects Artist for feature films and commercials.  A compulsive traveler, Clark made it to all seven continents before the age of 30 and will be returning to Antarctica this winter for the second time.

Fixated Facts:

What would you name the autobiography of your life? Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun.

What is your favorite word? Exquisite, as in, “I find fit, older gentlemen to be absolutely EXQUISITE.”

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Sigourney Weaver

Name one thing you miss about being a kid: Playing with Barbies.

Sneak peak: “…It never occurred to me that the root of the problem is an inequality of gender, a lack of understanding of said inequality, and the imposition of a male experience on to a female issue. I thought I was being supportive, but really I was just going through the motions without really considering the context of what women go through.”

Don’t miss Clark on the Oral Fixation stage on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Britt Payne

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Caught up in a brittle on-again-off-again relationship, Britt Payne learns that her pregnancy will not create the stability she longs for. Hear her emotional story in “Out From Under The Rug.”

Britt Payne is a Dallas native from a long line of Texans. She adores her husband, her hounds, and an ice-cold martini. A proud member of a cookbook club, she’ll talk grub any chance she gets. She prefers sunshine along with a rainy Sunday (a good excuse to cuddle up). 

Fixated Facts:

What inspired you to participate in Oral Fixation? This is such an important topic. I want to help move the conversation forward and hopefully help people see matters from a different perspective.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A mermaid.

What is your favorite Dallas hangout? Louie’s. That’s where I got engaged!

Name one thing you miss about being a kid: I miss the moments when time seemed to move really slowly- those long summer days. Now, time appears to be on warp speed.

Sneak peak: “Upon learning that I was pregnant, I was cautiously happy and extremely nervous. The reality of what I had done hit me like a ton of bricks. It became very real and I was flooded with so many thoughts and emotions.”

Don’t miss Britt perform on the Oral Fixation stage in the “Out From Under The Rug” Dallas show on Wednesday, September 21st.

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