The adorably quirky Xuan Nguyen charmed the audience with her tale of growing up as a Vietnamese-American who longed for the normalcy of Lunchables and summer camp. When the self-described “weird kid” fulfilled her dream by attending a Vietnamese Catholic camp, though, it wasn’t everything she hoped it would be.
The compassionate Ryan Gifford-Robinson delivers an impactful story of working at a camp for disabled youth, an experience that profoundly impacted his view of the world. Through his connection with the boys, Ryan reminds us that some people’s dreams are as simple as getting to pee in the woods.
After entering the stage to the song “I Want Candy,” the incomparable Candy Evans charmed the audience with how, after putting family first for many years, she finally harvested her passion for writing by creating the first real estate blog in Dallas, Candy’s Dirt.
Oral Fixation’s creator, Nicole Stewart, is no stranger to the stage herself. Next week, she’ll close out the show’s fourth season with a powerful story about the cry for help that helped her overcome an eating disorder in “Happy Camper.”
Nicole Stewart is the creator of Oral Fixation. She spoke at TEDxSMU about the power of sharing your story. Her writing has been featured on The Huffington Post, Modern Loss, and Upworthy. She couldn’t do any of this without her supportive husband Anton, dog Ellie and amazing community of friends.
Using the most quirky and eloquent details, the adorable Haven Abedin pays homage to her beloved mother, who overcame incredible odds to beat cancer, only to sustain a terrible injury during a family vacation. Through recalling the little acts of kindness that strangers showed Haven and her family during this time of need, she found comfort and peace amid great heartache.
Oral Fixation’s assistant director, Melissa Smrekar, is a humorist, Oral Fixation vet and lover of performing. This month, she’ll give a hilarious account of her most memorable childhood camping trips in “Happy Camper.”
Melissa is a fourth generation Dallasite, who works as a fundraiser by day and moonlights as a writer, editor and improviser by night. Oral Fixation’s assistant director, Melissa loves sundresses, souffles, birthdays and books, and is currently writing a collection of comedic essays. She has been feeling feelings since 1986.
The lovable and kind Phillip Morales invites the audience back to his elementary school days for an after-school fight on the playground. In writing about his actions during a subsequent visit to the principal’s office, Phillip discovered his life’s passion and how his hand wrapped around a pencil will always be mightier than a fist.
He’s a writer by trade, but even Charles Scudder couldn’t dream up a story like the Goatman that terrorized North Texas residents in the summer of ’69. This month, he’ll take the Oral Fixation stage to talk about finally meeting the “creature” that haunted his youth in “Happy Camper.”
Charles Scudder is a reporter and editor at The Dallas Morning News. He grew up in Colleyville, Texas, and graduated from the Indiana University School of Journalism in 2014. He has won writing awards from the Indiana Collegiate Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, & the Hearst National Writing Championship.