Oral History: Close To Home

On Tuesday night, December 19th, some 200 people took their seats in Moody Performance Hall and soon after, collectively laughed, cried, and held their breath as this #CloseToHome crew delivered a heartfelt night of astonishing true tales.

Adman Jim “Wegs” Wegerbauer shared his moving and globetrotting tale of a long-ago triple wedding, finding a connection with his father, and discovering long-lost relatives in a small town in Austria—nearly all at once. “Sometimes,” Wegs said wisely, “you have to travel far away to get close to home.”

The audience loved Attorney Lorie Burch’s tale of transformation: from shy, fearful child to out-and-proud fighter for equal rights, underdogs, and the underrepresented. “I’m a big dreamer,” Lorie told us, “so this past May, I decided to run for United States Congress. It is the next chapter in my story of being authentic and vulnerable…of taking the risk of speaking up for others and to treat everyone with dignity, compassion, and respect.”

Artist Maya Modi captivated us all with her stunning performance and surreal tale of how a falsified video went viral, turning her life upside down. “When Fox news heard, they camped their news van in front of my parents’ house,” she shared. “A place that was meant to provide comfort felt like solitary confinement.”

Writer Tara Humphrey broke our hearts and soothed our souls with her winding, lyrical tale of love and loss. After multiple miscarriages and stillborn twins, her marriage simply couldn’t bear the weight. “The business of separation has been kind and slow,” she explained. “We don’t argue, hell we don’t even have attorneys. There aren’t words to slay people who have lost children.”

Henry S. Miller CEO and President Greg Miller’s story of how he found the strength to quash a coup and step up to the plate to carry on his family’s 100-year-old real estate business was both inspiring and impressive. “At the time, it was extremely painful,” Greg recalled. “I thought my legacy was going to be failure. Instead, it was my greatest triumph.”

With verve, grace, and wit, 17-year-old Rooha Haghar recalled fleeing Iran and coming to America to start over, due to extreme religious persecution for being Baha’i. Shortly after her arrival in Dallas, she started school and had quite the surprise: “I soon learned that High School Musical was nothing but lies,” she told us, bringing on the laughter.

Coleman Easley closed our #CloseToHome night with perfection: His wild tale of attempting to sneak out, setting off his family’s burglar alarm, and then helping hunt for the “intruder” had us all in stitches. “I bravely said, ‘I’ll check the backyard.’  As I gave some bushes a poke with a baseball bat, I slowly built myself up to go in and end this madness.  But before I could, my neighbors’ houses lit up with the lights of a police car. I was in too deep.”

Providing both life-affirming and side-splitting moments, “Close To Home” was the ideal return to our home venue—the stunning Moody Performance Hall. If you’re yearning for more #CloseToHome moments, check out the full photo gallery below. And if this show inspired you, please consider submitting for any of our future shows! Click here for more info. Our very next show is “Stick Together,” taking the stage on Valentine’s Day 2018. Any take on the #StickTogether theme is fair game. So, if you have a true tale that fits the bill, please write it up and send it our way by January 12, 2018!

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