“Old School,” Featuring Renée Rossi

Theme: “Old School”
Storyteller: Renée Rossi

Renée shares the inspiring things she learned growing up in Detroit as a homicide detective’s daughter during the worst economic and desegregation times — and how she fought to become an ear, nose, and throat doctor.

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“Old School,” Featuring George Palmer

Theme: “Old School”
Storyteller: George Palmer

George’s mother liked to say “Manners make a man.” Follow him through his story of how his difficult relationship with his mother affected him as a father and husband — and how he came to understand just what his mother meant.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Julia Cotton


She loves that smell right before it rains (you know the one), Dory from Finding Nemo, and the television show Community. And we love that this comedy queen makes her Oral Fixation debut next month for our show themed “Outside the Box.” 

Julia E. Cotton was born in Houston but has lived most of her life in DFW.  She graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in radio, television, and film. She currently performs improv and sketch comedy at Dallas Comedy House.  She hopes to inspire her two kids as much as they inspire her.

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“Old School,” Featuring Jillian Rickard

Theme: “Old School”
Storyteller: Jillian Rickard

Growing up with a father who was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps meant Jillian’s family moved a lot. Here she shares the valuable lessons she learned as a girl who once moved from Washington, D.C., to Warsaw, Poland, only to move again a few years later.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: April Swartz-Larson


People tell her she reminds them of Ellen Degeneres. Is it because she has killer dance moves or because she has piercing blue eyes? Or maybe it’s just because she’s funny? You be the judge when April Swartz-Larson takes the Oral Fixation stage for “Outside the Box” next month. 

April Swartz-Larson is a conformist by day at McKinney High School (but just to get into a good college to radically change the world) and a punk rebel by night. She likes loud Bob Dylan, The Rachel Maddow Show, pleather jackets, and passionate political ranting with fellow teenage iconoclasts.

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“Old School,” Featuring Darek Tatum

Theme: “Old School”
Storyteller: Darek Tatum

Funny man Darek Tatum shares his journey of becoming an improv comic while overcoming severe shyness and following the Lord’s path for him. Realizing he needs a little “excitement with his Jesus,” he turns his story into one big laugh.

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

“Slippery Slope”

\’sli-p(ə-)rē\ \’slōp\


What does it mean?

– In logic and critical thinking, a slippery slope is a logical device, but it is usually known under its fallacious form, in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another … A slippery slope argument states that a relatively small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant effect, much like an object given a small push over the edge of a slope sliding all the way to the bottom. (source: Wikipedia)

– a process or series of events that is hard to stop or control once it has begun and that usually leads to worse or more difficult things (source: Merriam-Webster)

- also known as “the camel’s nose” (source: The Nizkor Project)

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Meet the Cast of “Outside the Box”


No, the dust hasn’t settled from “Train Wreck,” but the third show of Season 4 is already underway. That’s how we sometimes do things around here: outside the box. And that’s our theme for December. We had lots of submissions for the show, and we’re happy to announce this diverse group of innovative thinkers.

  • Randy Aguebor describes ditching his more traditional career to pursue a lifelong dream of being a voice actor.
  • Jenny Block shares what happened when she and her husband decided to explore open marriage after a three-way sexual encounter.
  • Maureen Brice Bordelon explains the different hats she wears as a mother when her third child is diagnosed as autistic.
  • Julia Cotton talks about being a band nerd who wants to earn the attention of the high school football star.
  • Elliot Kaiser remembers the time he agreed to pack up the apartment of a friend in Japan, only to discover that friend was a hoarder.
  • April Swartz-Larson celebrates her experience as a lesbian high schooler who is voted homecoming queen.
  • And Ernest McMillan sets his story in 1969, when he was dodging the draft and becoming a black power fugitive in West Africa.

This fresh crop of storytellers spans the spectrum of ages, races, and life experiences. We think it will be one of our more fun shows yet. So join us on Monday, December 8, at the Wyly, or Wednesday, December 10, at The Texas Theatre. Tickets are on sale now.

Get out of your box and join us.

Oral History: “Train Wreck”

OralFixation_TrainWreck_Wyly 2

For the second show of Season 4, seven Dallasites took the Oral Fixation stage to bare their souls and invite the audience into the times in their lives that were as messy and unsettled as a train wreck. Their performances, however, were anything but. In fact, that first night at the Wyly was a dazzling display of heart and bravery.

OralFixation_TrainWreck_Wyly 19

The second night, at The Texas Theatre, was no less than that. The wild ride of emotions was certainly well-worth the trip. We laughed. We cried. We felt compassion and empathy. We are thankful to a cast who dared to share and reminded us that life goes on even after it goes off the rails.

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