Meet the Cast of “Close To Home”

Don’t miss these stories told live @ Moody Performance Hall on Tuesday, December 19th.

For this holiday season, Oral Fixation is gifting our city with something wondrous: “Close To Home.” Wrapped up special and delivered with grace, this show will open your eyes, warm your heart, and tickle your funny bone. Taking the Moody Performance Hall stage on Tuesday, December 19 at 8 p.m., our seven storytellers will deliver the goods better than Amazon Prime. From fighting a war to fighting a takeover, from battling intruders to overcoming viral videos, and from finding a family to finding oneself—“Close To Home” explores and celebrates the human experience like nothing else. Storyteller profiles will be published soon. In the meantime, though, some introductions:

  • As a teenager, Julio Ginel drops out of high school and runs away to fight a war in the desert.
  • Attorney and U.S. congressional candidate Lorie Burch finds her voice, identity, and purpose.
  • When a burglar alarm wails one night, Coleman Easley, then 17, helps search for the “intruder.”
  • Writer Tara Humphrey struggles and triumphs through marriage, children, and loss.
  • When an edited video goes viral, art teacher Maya Modi’s life is turned upside down.
  • Tasked with running his family’s 100-year-old company, Greg Miller steps up to the plate.
  • Adman Jim “Wegs” Wegerbauer receives a letter, setting off a chain of events that all lead to one place—home.

‘Tis the season, so make your plans to join us in the magically beautiful Dallas Arts District and rejoice! Family in town for the holidays? This is the perfect event. $25 tickets are on sale now. Don’t miss this show!

Oral History: Jump Off A Cliff

On Friday evening, November 3, over 220 people filled every seat in Hamon Hall at the Winspear Opera House to christen Oral Fixation’s return to the Metroplex. After a year’s hiatus, we kicked off Season 6 with “Jump Off A Cliff,” a special all-women show headlined by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. From sisterly love and saving a marriage—to conquering a climbing gym and floating into faith—to standing up for oneself and taking a stand—#JumpOffACliff spanned the spectrum, sold-out, and pleased the crowd galore.

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Share Your Story: Close To Home

kləʊz / tə / həʊm

What does it mean?

– Affects you deeply and emotionally because you can strongly relate to it (Source: The Free Dictionary).

– Causes you to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed because it is likely to be true (Source: The Longman Dictionary).

– Is within close proximity to your home or dwelling (Source: The Urban Dictionary).

– Involves someone directly (Source: MacMillan Dictionary).

Example Sentences:

Because I was bullied as a kid, I teared up when my son told me he gets teased at school—it’s just so close to home (Source: The Farlex Dictionary of Idioms).

That remark about their marriage hit close to home (Source: The American Heritage Idioms Dictionary).

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world (Source: Eleanor Roosevelt).

The bombs hit close to home last night; they were only a few miles away (Source: The Urban Dictionary).

This problem hits particularly close to home for many parents (Source: The MacMillan Dictionary).

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Tereze Gruntmane

From age 18 until now, Tereze Gruntmane has learned much, including how to save a marriage and start an internationally successful clothing line. On Friday night, November 3, with a story that spans decades and embraces all emotions, Tereze will take us on her own “Jump Off A Cliff” journey.

Tereze Gruntmane came to the US from Latvia in 1996 with her husband and daughter. In addition to having two more children—each nine years apart—she is the founder/designer of ZAZA couture, a boutique children’s apparel line. Currently writing a book about being present in relationships and avoiding affairs, Tereze speaks her mind, even when unpopular.

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Rachel McEnany

When Rachel McEnany was a child, she dreamt of flying. At the same time, her waking life was often filled with fear. On Friday night, November 3, Rachel will step onto the Oral Fixation stage and take us along on her transformation from anxious little girl to fearless woman who loves jumping out of planes, a lot.

Rachel McEnany has an insatiable curiosity about the world at large. She grew up in the hills of Arkansas and would almost always rather be hiking. She loves skydiving, her puppies, and her husband, Paul, not necessarily in that order. Her credo is, “Be brave and be kind.”

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Gretchen Carlson

On July 6, 2016, longtime Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson sued Fox CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment, lighting a match that set off a wildfire now seen in the headlines daily. On November 3, Gretchen will step onto Oral Fixation stage to tell us how jumping off that cliff transformed her life.

Gretchen Carlson is one of today’s most recognized news anchors and tireless advocates for female empowerment. She is also an accomplished violinist, Stanford University grad, and former Miss America. Her decision to speak up against sexual harassment sparked an international conversation about the problem and, in doing so, revealed that every woman has a story.

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Emma Vrabel

High school is hard enough, but for 14-year-old Emma Vrabel, who has albinism, moving cross-country and starting at a new school meant self-advocating all over again. On Friday, November 3, Emma will step onto the Oral Fixation stage and bring us along with her on her odyssey of discovery.

Emma Vrabel is an avid reader, writer, listener, and performer. She first heard spoken word live about a year ago. Since then, performing and hearing spoken word stories and poetry has become one of the biggest elements of her life. Emma is a martial artist with 2 black belts. She lives in Keller and is a freshman in high school.

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Anjelica Ruiz

Searching for meaning and spiritual guidance, Anjelica Ruiz found a home in Judaism, which meant going against her mother’s wishes and abandoning the faith of her childhood. Undergoing an ancient Jewish ritual, however, she finds new strength. On November 3, Anjelica steps onto the Oral Fixation stage in “Jump Off A Cliff,” and takes us along on her spiritual quest.

A native Dallasite, Anjelica N. Ruiz jumps at any opportunity to leave the state and travel. She can often be found at Temple Emanu-El, where she works full-time and teaches on Sundays. In her free time, she is usually reading, daydreaming, or writing for her blog, The Wondering Jew.

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Dawynn Edwards

After a childhood of body shaming that included awkward P.E. and a girdle, Dawynn Edwards embraced herself and stayed active. Having already conquered tap dancing and hula hooping, she decided to raise the stakes. On November 3, she’ll take the Oral Fixation stage in “Jump Off A Cliff” and share some momentous moments from Rock Climbing 101.

Dawynn Edwards sporadically writes poetry and short stories when not maintaining the facade of a gainfully employed adult. She hopes to share her musings with a larger audience while traveling the world. Dawynn lives with her partner in Bedford, Texas, where they enjoy planning adventures and exploring local entertainment.

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