Life tales take on Uptown by Parminder Deo, The Daily Campus
By Parminder Deo
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 00:04
Picture this: a darkly lit theater filled with a crowd held at every word of an unknown person, a spotlight shining down on them on a stool with only a music stand in tow.
Dallas now offers a venue for residents to let loose their personal stories and provides an outlet to express their creative selves. Called the Oral Fixation (An Obsession with True Life Tales), Dallasites can experience first-hand the community-building activity of storytelling.
The hour-long evening event features seven Dallas residents reading personal, real stories about themselves and their experiences that revolve around a particular theme.
The brains behind the Oral Fixation operation is former actress, professional writer, and Pilates coach Nicole Stewart.
“I was an actress in LA for six years before moving back to my hometown of Dallas. It was there that I started writing about my own life. I stumbled into a vibrant storytelling community and enjoyed several opportunities to read my work onstage,” Stewart said. “So when I moved back to Dallas, I made it my mission to create a unique storytelling institution where I could share this form of expression with the community where I grew up.”
Dallas residents enter their stories to Stewart who handpicks seven compelling story submissions. Meeting with each of the writers Stewart discusses their story encouraging them to bring out the points that relate best with theme of the show.
Many of the writers have never performed in front of an audience and they are given the tools to do just that.
“It often takes two from that point to get to what they actually read the night of the show,” Stewart said. “We do physical and vocal warm-ups and I give them tips as to how to best engage the audience.”
Audience members experience the story of a stranger. Their highs and lows, and ultimately come to the conclusion that we all have our unique stories to tell.
SMU has recognized Stewart’s talents and is bringing her right to the community. Stewart will be teaching as class titled Storytelling for the Stage through the CAPE Writing Program in June. The course is a part of a noncredit creative writing program built and guided by published authors.
“I see Oral Fixation as a community building event that offers a venue for Dallas citizens to express their creative selves and have their authentic voices heard. It is a place for us all to come together to celebrate the wild ride of being human,” Stewart said.
The next show, “Cooking with Gas” will be performed on May 15 at the MAC in Uptown. For more information on ticketing and future events check out www.oralfixationshow.com.
Currently, the show is accepting submissions for the final performance of the season titled Cooking with Gas. Stories must be true and personal and 1500 words in length and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.