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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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Amy Pengra Button

Dashing through an airport, Amy Pengra Button received the worst news imaginable: the untimely death of her brother, Moss. Missing his presence, she makes a bold choice in dealing with her grief. On Friday, November 3, in “Jump Off A Cliff,” Amy takes the Oral Fixation audience on that journey with her.

Amy Pengra Button’s stories have appeared in Marie Claire and the Los Angeles Times among others. After nine years with Warner Bros. in LA, she returned to Texas to be closer to family and queso. She writes for Freeman, an event experience company, and holds degrees from USC and TCU.

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Introducing Shiloh Venable, “Out From Under The Rug” storyteller

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Shiloh’s life has changed immensely since she was a college student. She came out of the closet to her family and friends, and now she is sharing her abortion story live, when the Austin “Out From Under The Rug” cast takes the Zach Theatre stage.

Shiloh Venable is a native Texan, a feminist, an Aggie, and an amateur healthy eater. She loves her finacée and her pups, and can’t get enough of improv comedy or road trips. If you can’t find her in her kitchen, look for your nearest soapbox, and there she’ll be.

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Introducing Mayela Gutknecht, “Out From Under The Rug” storyteller

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After having two abortions, each at a different stage of her life, Mayela reflects on her life and her choices. Hear her brave story in “Out From Under The Rug.”

Mayela Gutknect has a Master’s degree in Advanced Public Health Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Beloit College, Wisconsin. As a Public Health Nurse in San Francisco, she home visits with pregnant women and mothers with newborns to promote safety, bonding, and breastfeeding.

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Introducing Elise Bilodeau, “Out From Under The Rug” storyteller

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When she was 16, Elise Bilodeau had no idea what her future would look like. Later this month, she’ll take the Oral Fixation stage in “Out From Under The Rug” to share her story of how an experience she had as a teenager changed her life.

Elise Bilodeau is a transient liberal, who mistakenly made Dallas home. She works at an abortion clinic and volunteers with TEA Fund and DARCC. Her favorite acquisitions while living in the South include an affliction for cheese fries, a dog named Boo, tattoos, and an appreciation for “family” near and far.

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