A True Obsession by Lauri Valerio, Lakewood Advocate
This article is 5 of 18 in the 01.2013 issue.
Nicole Stewart admits she is obsessed with stories. The neighborhood resident began by telling fictional stories. In her first professional acting gig, she played the Ghost of Christmas Past at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre. The ghost hasn’t entirely left her, though she now focuses on her own stories of the past. While pursuing an acting career in Los Angeles for six years, Stewart began exploring the personal storytelling niche. Stewart says her first experience telling real-life tales in front of a crowd helped her better understand herself. “I got to experience for myself how healing it can be to reframe your life as a narrative,” she says. When she returned to Dallas in 2011, she created the now-monthly show “Oral Fixation: An Obsession with True Life Tales.” The show’s first five performances at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary sold all 125 seats. Each show has a theme, such as “cloud nine” or “playing the field.” Stewart reads story submissions relating to the topic and selects seven individuals to perform. “The reason why I want seven unique points of view and takes on the theme is because ultimately I want the show to be representative of the voice of Dallas, of what’s going on in the people of Dallas,” Stewart says. A desire for a sense of community and understanding is also behind the show’s title, “Oral Fixation.” “It has to do with that rabid curiosity that I have to get to know what’s underneath someone’s skin and what their experience is, and I think that comes from my own desire to feel less alone as a human being,” Stewart says. “I feel like the more we can understand each other, the more we can connect, the less alone we all feel.”
Submit your story for consideration in “Oral Fixation” at oralfixationshow.com.