Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Amanda Rodenborg


Love is a powerful thing.  It can even overcome conversion therapy.   Let’s learn more about a brave gal who listened to her heart and got “The Whole Enchilada.”

Amanda Rodenborg moved to Texas thirteen years ago after growing up in the Midwest. She is an enthusiastic, if not very accomplished, runner. A sometimes poet and craft beer aficionado, she shares a home in Dallas with her wife, Heather, and Libby the wundermutt.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Blake Friis

OF-DucksInARow-hi_43 Blake Friis

This story highlights a profound truth: sometimes sibling relationships are tough.  It’s all in how you deal with it.  Let’s meet this big brother!

Blake Friis, if not for the lure of khakis and fluorescent lighting, may have become a fourth-generation farmer in rural Iowa, where he grew up doing the kind of chores that inspire young men to pursue lives of khakis and fluorescent lighting.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Melissa Smrekar

oral_fixation_elephant (Melissa Smrekar)

It’s kind of easy to make fun of Fat Camp.  But what if you’re the counselor?  Before we hear this wacky true tale, let’s get to know this sassy storyteller.

Melissa is a fourth generation Dallasite with an affection for soufflés, sundresses, birthdays and books. Melissa currently works as the director of communications for a local nonprofit and spends her free time working on a collection of short stories and plotting the next stamp in her passport.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Drew Weininger


Some stories keep you on the edge of your seat.  This haunting tale of a teenage prank gone wrong is gonna make you want to know more about this guy.

At the heart of Drew Weininger is a passion to reach out and connect with others. Born in rural Ohio, he is the son of two teachers and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  Creative by nature, Drew spends his time writing, sketching, and fulfilling his passion in numerous ways.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Allison Hatfield

OF_PlayingTheField Allison Hatfield

Buckle your seatbelts for a wild ride through a naked sketch party.  But first let’s get to know the woman with her clothes on. 

Allison Hatfield is a freelance writer and editor living in Uptown.  She prefers Dallas to NYC, cake to pie, and dogs to cats.  She is an English language aficionado and world champion sleeper.  Despite poor high school attendance and excessive college drinking, she has been fired only once and never spent a day in rehab.
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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Jamie Laughlin


You may not think a first date could weirder than the classic Cameron Diaz/Ben Stiller matchup in “There’s Something About Mary.”  You would be wrong.  Now let’s meet the gal who makes puking on the first date cool.

Jamie Laughlin bosses words around professionally, both as an advertising copywriter and as a contributing author for the Dallas Observer.She’s a beekeeper, organic gardener and a hoarder of snacks. Jamie’s currently at work on early draft of “Opossum!” a rock opera starring her dog, Nacho.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Byron Sanders

BYron-Sanders_Bun in the oven

Prepare to be on an adventure as a Dad tells his story of when his wife struggled for her life as she delivered their second child prematurely. But first, let’s get to know Byron.

Byron Sanders serves as the Executive Director of the Dallas Education Foundation, a charitable non-profit that benefits Dallas ISD.  He also serves various leadership and education roles throughout the city.  His goal: engage with pursuits that improve others’ access to a quality and fulfilling life, wherever that may lead.
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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Belma Islamovic


Belma Islamovic, lover of the smell of fresh air & flowers, will make her debut on the Oral Fixation stage in “Lost in Translation” Friday night!

Belma Islamovic was born in Mostar, Bosnia in 1974 and has two younger sisters.  Her formal education was paused in her junior year of high school by the civil war in her nation.  At age 18, she became a Medivac’d refugee in Abilene, Texas.  She now lives with her mother and father in Richardson. 

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Marisela Jimenez


Marisela Jimenez hits the Oral Fixation stage for the first time in “Lost in Translation” at the DMA on June 20th!

Marisela Jimenez was born in Guanajuato, Mexico.  She migrated to Rockford, IL in 1992 but has lived in different US cities.  In August 2013, she relocated to Texas.  Marisela is a businesswoman and current doctoral candidate for the degree of Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership. 

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