Meet “Close To Home” Storyteller Lorie Burch

As a young girl, Lorie Burch feared attention and risk. Yet somehow, she’s now running for the U.S. House of Representatives! On Tuesday, December 19, come hear the moving tale of how Lorie found her voice—and bravely became the voice for many.

Lorie Burch is a Dallas attorney and candidate for U.S. Congress. Recognized both locally and nationally for her leadership and advocacy, Lorie has worked tirelessly for the LGBT community, the elderly, children with special needs, veterans, and all in-between. She, her wife Kimberly, and their two adorable girls live in Plano, where family and faith are their top priorities.

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Meet “Close To Home” Storyteller Coleman Easley

At 17, Coleman Easley triggered the alarm in his house one night and opted for the best response possible: grabbing a bat and helping his parents and police find the “intruder.” On Tuesday, December 19, Coleman takes us back to the days of sneaking out to party. 

A Dallas native, Coleman Easley is new to the local storytelling scene. His experiences have been shaped by time spent in North Texas, the Mississippi delta, Austin, and New York. Some of those experiences were sought after, others were unavoidable. He is grateful to share one such experience with the Oral Fixation audience.

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Meet “Close To Home” Storyteller Maya Modi

Maya Modi loved her job as a high school art teacher. But when a doctored video from her classroom went viral—everything changed. On Tuesday, December 19, we’ll join Maya as she relives the roller coaster ride that became her life. 

Maya Modi is an entrepreneur, artist, and dedicated animal advocate. When she is not painting in watercolor, she works with Dallas Pets Alive! to foster kittens and make the city a no-kill haven for animals. Maya shares her stories in order to educate the public on issues that are often not thought about.

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Meet “Close To Home” Storyteller Tara Humphrey

When Tara Humphrey met her future husband, life seemed magical. In the years that followed, however, both joy and pain came to visit. On Tuesday night, December 19, Tara will take us on her journey through love, children, and loss.

An instructor and writer for The Global Peel, Tara Humphrey is also a contributing writer for Elite News and a poet. With a background in anthropology & philosophy, she has produced multicultural events for over twelve years. She has studied pastry making and French cuisine in Paris, and the culinary traditions of Central America in Panama.

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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 two 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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