Oral History: Jump Off A Cliff

On Friday evening, November 3, over 220 people filled every seat in Hamon Hall at the Winspear Opera House to christen Oral Fixation’s return to the Metroplex. After a year’s hiatus, we kicked off Season 6 with “Jump Off A Cliff,” a special all-women show headlined by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. From sisterly love and saving a marriage—to conquering a climbing gym and floating into faith—to standing up for oneself and taking a stand—#JumpOffACliff spanned the spectrum, sold-out, and pleased the crowd galore.

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Jump Off A Cliff

Oral Fixation (An Obsession with True Life Tales) is kicking off Season 6 with “Jump Off A Cliff”! Headlining this power-packed show is former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, who sued Fox CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. Carlson’s personal story will draw from her new book, Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back, which highlights how she completely transformed her life by jumping off a cliff in her career—a transformation so impactful it inspired Oral Fixation to assemble this special show, featuring an all-female cast:

  • Mired in grief over the untimely death of her brother, Amy Pengra Button finds hope from an unlikely activity.
  • Attempting to find a new hobby, Dawynn Edwards awkwardly and hilariously braves a climbing gym.
  • Searching for connection, Anjelica Ruiz goes against the wishes of her mother and leaves Christianity.
  • Emma Vrabel—14, living with albinism, and attending a new school—discovers the power of self-advocacy.
  • After nearly two decades of stuffing her emotions, Latvian-born Tereze Gruntmane finds her voice.
  • For Rachel McEnany, when previous efforts to conquer her fear and anxiety fell short, she tried something completely different—falling to earth instead.

More info to come on all the storytellers as their profiles will be published in the coming days. In the meantime, please make plans to join us on Friday, November 3, at 8 pm in Hamon Hall in the Winspear Opera House $40 individual tickets can be purchased in person at 2403 Flora Street, by phone at 214.880.0202, or online via Ticket DFW. All tickets to “Jump Off a Cliff” include a copy of Carlson’s new book. Discounted Lexus Parking will be $10.

Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Tereze Gruntmane

From age 18 until now, Tereze Gruntmane has learned much, including how to save a marriage and start an internationally successful clothing line. On Friday night, November 3, with a story that spans decades and embraces all emotions, Tereze will take us on her own “Jump Off A Cliff” journey.

Tereze Gruntmane came to the US from Latvia in 1996 with her husband and daughter. In addition to having two more children—each nine years apart—she is the founder/designer of ZAZA couture, a boutique children’s apparel line. Currently writing a book about being present in relationships and avoiding affairs, Tereze speaks her mind, even when unpopular.

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Rachel McEnany

When Rachel McEnany was a child, she dreamt of flying. At the same time, her waking life was often filled with fear. On Friday night, November 3, Rachel will step onto the Oral Fixation stage and take us along on her transformation from anxious little girl to fearless woman who loves jumping out of planes, a lot.

Rachel McEnany has an insatiable curiosity about the world at large. She grew up in the hills of Arkansas and would almost always rather be hiking. She loves skydiving, her puppies, and her husband, Paul, not necessarily in that order. Her credo is, “Be brave and be kind.”

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Gretchen Carlson

On July 6, 2016, longtime Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson sued Fox CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment, lighting a match that set off a wildfire now seen in the headlines daily. On November 3, Gretchen will step onto Oral Fixation stage to tell us how jumping off that cliff transformed her life.

Gretchen Carlson is one of today’s most recognized news anchors and tireless advocates for female empowerment. She is also an accomplished violinist, Stanford University grad, and former Miss America. Her decision to speak up against sexual harassment sparked an international conversation about the problem and, in doing so, revealed that every woman has a story.

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Emma Vrabel

High school is hard enough, but for 14-year-old Emma Vrabel, who has albinism, moving cross-country and starting at a new school meant self-advocating all over again. On Friday, November 3, Emma will step onto the Oral Fixation stage and bring us along with her on her odyssey of discovery.

Emma Vrabel is an avid reader, writer, listener, and performer. She first heard spoken word live about a year ago. Since then, performing and hearing spoken word stories and poetry has become one of the biggest elements of her life. Emma is a martial artist with two black belts. She lives in Keller and is a freshman in high school.

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Anjelica Ruiz

Searching for meaning and spiritual guidance, Anjelica Ruiz found a home in Judaism, which meant going against her mother’s wishes and abandoning the faith of her childhood. Undergoing an ancient Jewish ritual, however, she finds new strength. On November 3, Anjelica steps onto the Oral Fixation stage in “Jump Off A Cliff,” and takes us along on her spiritual quest.

A native Dallasite, Anjelica N. Ruiz jumps at any opportunity to leave the state and travel. She can often be found at Temple Emanu-El, where she works full-time and teaches on Sundays. In her free time, she is usually reading, daydreaming, or writing for her blog, The Wondering Jew.

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Dawynn Edwards

After a childhood of body shaming that included awkward P.E. and a girdle, Dawynn Edwards embraced herself and stayed active. Having already conquered tap dancing and hula hooping, she decided to raise the stakes. On November 3, she’ll take the Oral Fixation stage in “Jump Off A Cliff” and share some momentous moments from Rock Climbing 101.

Dawynn Edwards sporadically writes poetry and short stories when not maintaining the facade of a gainfully employed adult. She hopes to share her musings with a larger audience while traveling the world. Dawynn lives with her partner in Bedford, Texas, where they enjoy planning adventures and exploring local entertainment.

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Meet “Jump Off A Cliff” Storyteller Amy Pengra Button

Dashing through an airport, Amy Pengra Button received the worst news imaginable: the untimely death of her brother, Moss. Missing his presence, she makes a bold choice in dealing with her grief. On Friday, November 3, in “Jump Off A Cliff,” Amy takes the Oral Fixation audience on that journey with her.

Amy Pengra Button’s stories have appeared in Marie Claire and the Los Angeles Times among others. After nine years with Warner Bros. in LA, she returned to Texas to be closer to family and queso. She writes for Freeman, an event experience company, and holds degrees from USC and TCU.

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Share Your Story: “Jump Off A Cliff”

dʒʌmp / ɒf / eɪ / klɪf 

What does it mean?

– jumping off a cliff as a form of sport (source: Wikipedia).

– taking a risk or leap of faith (source: The Dream Diary).

– wishing to give up or quit, feeling hopeless (source: Urban Dictionary).

– part of “go jump off a cliff,” as in “get out of here, go away” (source: Dictionarist).

Example Sentences:

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down (Source: Ray Bradbury).

If your friends jump off a cliff, are you going to jump too? (source: The Phrase Finder).

Bro, I want to die, I want to jump off a cliff! (source: Urban Dictionary)

Love meant jumping off a cliff and trusting that a certain person would be there to catch you at the bottom (Source: Jodi Picoult).

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