Our Eyes are Fixed on Jim Smith

Storyteller, Managing Director of a Dallas CPA Firm,

Lover of Mountain Streams and Summer Vacation

Jim Smith is not foreign to the Oral Fixation stage. He performed in “Cooking With Gas” in May and recently in “Best of Season 1.”

He was born and raised in Dallas.  He graduated from Highland Park High School and from SMU with a BBA in accounting and economics.  He has been married forty-one years, has three adult daughters, all married, and four grandchildren. If he was writing his autobiography, he would name it, “Stumbling to Eternity.”

Jim frequents The Library Bar (both of them) and would really like to share a cigar, a brandy, and some conversation with Samuel Clemens.

In Jim’s opinion:

The Best Thing About Childhood is summer vacation = three months of holiday.

The Best Cartoon = Bugs Bunny because he was clever, insolent and a free spirit.

Be sure to catch Jim telling his story at our first show of the season: Baby Steps!

Our Eyes are Fixed On: Whitney Presley

Storyteller, Writer, Occasional Mascot, Lover of Tex-Mex and No Stranger to Oral Fixation

Whitney Presley performed her hilarious romp in a Latvian amusement park in “Have a Field Day” and “The Best of Season 1” last season and we are so glad to have her back!

She works in non-profit digital communications and occasionally tweets (@wpresley). She has, in previous careers, been a writer, graphic designer, actress and the mascot for two different fast food joints. She admits that smart choices elude her on a consistent basis, but she rarely regrets those choices.

She’d love to meet Leonardo Da Vinci and she is not a fan of cartoons, as they give her the “heebie-jeebies.”

If she were writing her autobiography, she would call it, “Just Short of Broadway.”

When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Whitney answered that she used to want to be a janitor “because they had the keys to everything.”

Whitney can often be spotted enjoying  Tex-Mex at the Blue Goose.

In Whitney’s opinion:

Best Books of the Last Decade– 
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
 by Michael Chabon

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

Thing Missed Most About Childhood–

Being able to eat as much ice cream as she wants without gaining any weight.

Be sure to catch Whitney gracing the Oral Fixation Stage again at our first show of the season: Baby Steps!

Our Eyes are Fixed on: John Gorman

Storyteller, Lover of Bugs Bunny and Cultural Anthropology

Born and raised in the bumpy part of CO that was once part of The Republic of Texas, and having lost a bet on the subject, he is resigned to being native-ish.  John misses the carefree days of aimless adventuring of his childhood. He enjoys getting outdoors, spending time with his wonderful family, eating and cooking delicious food, and savoring the company of his great friends.

If writing his own autobiography, he’d title it, “The Lemonade Stand.”
John can be spotted at Goodfriend with friends, Times Ten Cellars with his wife and at the Dallas Arboretum with anyone who wants to go!

John’s Most Embarrassing Mistake:

“Perhaps failing to close my fly before an executive meeting. This was called out by a female exec, with subsequent hilarity when I lost a pen during the same meeting and was tempted to ask whether she had, ‘seen my bic.'”

In John’s opinion:

Best Book of the Last Decade– The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

Person He’d Like to Meet– “Jesus, because I think our culture paints a picture of him that is often inaccurate, and I would like to know the truth.  I suspect he was a lot like Ghandi or MLK.  Failing that, I’d like to meet my great-great-great grandchild.”

Be sure to catch John telling his juicy story at our first show of the season: Baby Steps!

Our Eyes are Fixed on: Catherine Cuellar

Storyteller, lover of live music, the sounds of flowing water and Club Dada

In recent years, she has sung at Carnegie Hall; reported from Dallas County jail and a Texas prison; judged Candy, Chocolate, Biscuits and Cobbler at the State Fair of Texas; had her passport stamped on five continents; left her wedding via pedicab; and met two Nobel Peace Prize winners.

When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Catherine answered “healthy and happy.”

She can often be spotted at Lee Harvey’s, the Kessler or the NYLO Rooftop Soda Bar. Read more

Our Eyes are Fixed On: Debbie Vaughn

Meet Debbie:

Acupuncturist and herbalist from Austin soon to grace the OF stage

When she is not putting needles in strangers for money, she is holding down the fort at home with her husband, Justin and their two boys Jake and Kai who are 6 and 4 years old.  She enjoys yoga and drinking Mexican martinis.

The title of her autobiography (if she had one, that is) would be “Shaman in Suburbia.”

Debbie lives for the sound of giant wind chimes on a breezy day and would like to meet Ghandi.

Speaking from past experience, she recommends not forgetting to take a picture meant for your midwife off the picture rotation on your computer before your mother-in-law comes to town.

Also, Debbie really misses being a kid, if for no other reason than her love for the sleepover parties.

See her read her story in Baby Steps!

Our Eyes are Fixed on: David Hopkins

Each month, we will feature a few of our storytellers here on the blog. We will give you a little background info that you won’t find on the back of your program.

SO, meet David Hopkins:

Regular Contributor to D Magazine, Comicbook Writer and Occasional Wrestler of Mountain Lions

David Hopkins is a well known guy in and around Dallas. He frequently writes for D Magazine, Quick and Smart Pop and he has written a few comic books and graphic novels!

He loves the sound of shoes squeaking on a hardwood floor and he would really like to meet Mark Twain.

David can often be spotted at Half-Price Books and is noted as loving Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

He’d also like you all to know that he once got his head stuck in a chair at a restaurant, when he was a kid.

See him read his story in Baby Steps!

Our Current Fix: Sarah Hepola Interviewing Cheryl Strayed

Sarah Hepola is hosting an onstage conversation with New York Times Best Selling Author, Cheryl Strayed!

Sarah Hepola, a beloved Oral Fixation storyteller, will lead a conversation with  writer Cheryl Strayed at the Hyatt Regency on Wednesday evening to benefit the Dallas Public Library.

Cheryl Strayed is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller Wild, the novel Torch, and the New York Times bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection of her “Dear Sugar” advice columns for TheRumpus.net.

One of Sarah’s favorite pieces of Tiny Beautiful Things can be read here.

The benefit dinner is this Wednesday, October 24th and it’s a little pricey as it is a benefit dinner, people. But, the library is offering a non-dinner option for $50. So, if you want to see Sarah (one of Dallas’ best writers) chat with the beautifully wise Cheryl Strayed, then GO!  For more info, email friends@dallaslibrary.org or call (214) 670-1458.

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