Best of Season 4 Cast Announced at Season 4 Wrap Party!

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Recapping Season 4

Our Season 4 wrap party was a very special afternoon.  50 storytellers, members and sponsors mixed and mingled among the friendly sculptures at Dallas artist Brad Oldham’s studio store on Ross downtown near the Aquarium.  Deep Eddy provided delicious cocktails and Dive Restaurant offered light bites to celebrate the past season.  From adding a second performance at Texas Theatre and the free “Meet & Greet the Cast” event in Oak Cliff to record ticket sales averaging 400 a month to great sponsors and increased donations, it was a remarkable year.  The group gathered to hear the announcement of who had been voted to favorite storytellers of Season 4. Read more

Oral History: “Destination America”

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“Destination America,” Oral Fixation’s packed collaboration with the Dallas Museum of Art’s Arts & Letters Live and SOLUNA International Art & Music Festival, was a night to remember, celebrating the amazing endurance of the human spirit through the true stories of immigrants and refugees!

To start off the evening, youth guitar ensemble La Rondalla from Oak Cliff played a lively set. Then, SOLUNA resident artist Monte Laster presented a stunning film entitled Destinations, which featured each of the storytellers interacting with a work of art from the Dallas Museum of Art that resonated with their journey.

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“Happy Camper” featuring Ken Bethea

Theme: “Happy Camper”
Storyteller: Ken Bethea

Oral Fixation’s very own rockstar, Ken Bethea, took the stage with an inspiring story about going from “the copy man” to a bona fide rock star in less than three years. In peeling back the curtain of how he formed the Old 97’s, Ken reminded the audience that, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Follow our RSS, podcasts, social media (Facebook and Twitter) streams, and our YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest stories.

“Happy Camper” featuring Melissa Smrekar

Theme: “Happy Camper”
Storyteller: Melissa Smrekar

With her signature sarcasm and sass, veteran storyteller Melissa Smrekar returned to the Oral Fixation stage with an uproarious tale of her complicated relationship with The Great Outdoors that left the audience buckling over in laughter. In telling the story of a mandatory eighth grade camping trip, Melissa revealed how she arrived at one of her life mantras: that it’s really liberating to say no to shit you hate.

Follow our RSS, podcasts, social media (Facebook and Twitter) streams, and our YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest stories.

Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Basil Sideris

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After surviving the war, Basil Sideris decided to visit America for a couple months. This week, he’ll take the Oral Fixation in “Destination America” to talk about why he decided to stay for good.

Basil Sideris is a spirited Greek from Tripoli, who moved to Dallas in 1955, where he went from cleaning tables to becoming a real estate entrepreneur in the city. Basil and his wife, Ann, are devoted residents of the Park Cities area of Dallas. They have two grown sons.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Ghazwan Altaie

Ghazwan Altaie

After receiving a death threat, Ghazwan Altaie fled his home country of Iraq. And this week, the former businessman will take the Oral Fixation stage to talk about why he decided to become a humanitarian in “Destination America.”

Ghazwan Altaie is a humanitarian from Iraq, who works with the Collateral Repair Project, a grassroots effort to bring assistance to refugees and other victims of war. After spending 10 years as a refugee in Jordan, Ghazwan arrived in the United States in January, with his wife and three young children.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Zarni White

Zarni White

Though she grew up in extreme poverty, Zarni White is one of the most humble and cheerful persons you’ll ever meet. And this month, she’ll take the Oral Fixation stage to reveal some insights about growing up in a militarized state in “Destination America.”

Zarni Tun White was born in Shan State, Burma. In 2002, she won a scholarship and later graduated from the Myanmar Institute of Theology. She immigrated to the US in 2007 and started a career as a case worker helping refugee populations in Austin and Dallas. She currently lives in McKinney.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Cecilia Lazcano

 
Cecilia Lazcano

She always dreamed of pursuing higher education. And this month, Cecilia Lazcano will take the Oral Fixation stage to talk about her assimilation into the U.S. to fulfill those dreams in “Destination America.”

Cecilia Lazcano is from Mexico City. She has a master’s degree in Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders from UT Dallas. She is works for the Center for Children and Families at UT Dallas. She loves her family and enjoys working in the community with at-risk children and their families.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Linh Matthews

Linh Matthews


Though she came from a privileged background, Ho Chi Minh’s Communist Army stripped her family of everything it had. This month, the supremely brave Linh Matthews will take the Oral Fixation stage to talk about her escape from Vietnam and a band of Thai pirates during her harrowing journey to the U.S. in “Destination America.”

Linh Matthews is a mother of two young boys. Every 10-13 years she’s lived on a different continent. She’s 100 percent Vietnamese, but considers herself super lucky to have French, American and British cultural influences. She loves to travel, dance and eat, from street food stalls to shi-shi restaurants.

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“Happy Camper” featuring Charles Scudder

Theme: “Happy Camper”
Storyteller: Charles Scudder

Dallas Morning News reporter and avid camper, Charles Scudder, introduces the audience to Goatman, the campfire monster who haunted his dreams on camping trips as a child. Years later, when Charlie was assigned to write an article about the “Lake Worth Monster,” he entered the lion’s den and came face-to-face with the real life Goatman.

Follow our RSS, podcasts, social media (Facebook and Twitter) streams, and our YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest stories.

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