Meet “Stick Together” Storyteller Monica Berry

Hoping for new friends, when Monica Berry moved to Big D, she tried joining a Scrabble club. On Valentine’s Day evening, come hear her hilarious #StickTogether tale of two-letter words, bingos, and pancakes. 

Monica Berry was born in upstate New York and raised in Albuquerque, NM. She attended Midwestern Big Ten schools for college and law school, but ended up in Texas. She’s an in-house lawyer who writes in her free time, believes in fairy-tale endings, and eats dessert before dinner whenever possible.

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Destination America

“Destination America” will be held at 7:30pm on Saturday 5/16 at Horchow Auditorium in the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood Street, Dallas, TX 75201. $5 self-parking is available underground in the DMA garage or park free at a meter on Ross. Tickets are $35 (public), $30 (DMA Partner), and $15 (student). Tickets can be purchased online via TicketLeap or via phone at (214) 922-1818.

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Oral Fixation is honored to present a Dallas Museum of Art organized event on Saturday May 16th at 7:30pm in Horchow Auditorium, part of the Museum’s Arts & Letters Live series, entitled “Destination America.” Every day we interact with men and women who have traveled far from home to make new lives in America. Ever wonder what it was that instigated such a major life change? Or what it was like growing up in another country? These are the types of questions that will be explored in this special edition of Dallas’s hit storytelling series Oral Fixation (An Obsession with True Life Tales), produced by Nicole Stewart. The storytellers’ journeys and voices will inspire you, surprise you, and, quite possibly, break your heart.

In partnership with the Dallas Symphony Orchestras inaugural SOLUNA International Music and Arts Festival, Stewart will collaborate in chronicling the immigrant experience with Texas-born multimedia artist Monte Laster, who has been producing socially conscious work outside Paris for the last twenty years. Thanks to Big Thought, renowned Oak Cliff acoustic youth guitar outfit La Rondalla will perform throughout the evening.

Meet Ghazwan Altaie, an Iraqi humanitarian who recently moved to Dallas after spending 10 years as a refugee in Jordan, Cecilia Lazcano who after developing anxiety in reaction to the economic crisis in Mexico City received a full scholarship to complete her Masters in Dallas, Vietnamese-born Linh Matthews who at age seven boarded a pirate ship then floated on a raft to a refugee camp in Thailand before making her home in Highland Park, Mexican-born Francisco Moreno who will share how he has confronted his identity as an American immigrant through his work as a visual artist, Basil Sideris who was forced to flee his hometown of Tripoli during WWII to forage for food in rural Greece, Burmese refugee Se Da Oo Shay who at age 19 became the central communicator between the residents of Vickery Meadows and the media and police during the Ebola crisis, and Peter Thiong, a former Lost Boy of Sudan who was forced to flee his home at age 12 and endure brutal life in a refugee camp in Kenya for a decade before making his home in Dallas. These breathtaking stories are not to be missed.

 

 

“Outside The Box” featuring April Swartz-Larson

Theme: “Outside The Box”
Storyteller: April Swartz-Larson

In the Dallas suburb of McKinney, it is definitely an outside-the-box idea to crown an openly gay student as homecoming queen. April Swartz-Larson’s coronation thrust her into the public eye, and the media has peppered her with questions about what it feels  like to be Texas’ Gay Homecoming Queen. On the Oral Fixation stage, however, April was able to tell her story in her own words for the first time.

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

Meet the Cast of “Slippery Slope”

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Happy New Year, Oral Fixation followers! Right around the time everyone was wrapping up 2014, we were ringing in the cast for the fourth show of Season 4. “Slippery Slope” is the theme for January, so let’s glide right into introductions.

  • Monic Reynoso, who was paralyzed from the chest down  in a car accident at age 19.
  • Robert Schmidt, who will share how a passion for strippers led him to adultery.
  • Amanda Rodenborg, who once carried an oppressive amount of credit card debt.
  • Jay Peeples, a U.S. solider who divulges his first time meeting the opposition in Saudi Arabia.
  • Donny Hornstein, who at one time led a life dominated by anger.
  • Peter Luby,  a self-professed “un-fun guy” who took incredible leaps of faith– literally– for love.
  • And Christine Zanjanipour, a thrill seeking gal goes on a winter adventure with her husband on a snowmobile through Yellowstone National Park during the worst storm in 40 years.

Join us on Monday, January 19, at the Wyly, or Wednesday, January 21, at Texas Theatre. Tickets are on sale now.

Plus: Meet the cast in person on January 14 at The Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff!

We can’t wait to see you there!

Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Randy E. Aguebor

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He’s flexible enough for the splits and does a pretty good Elmo impersonation. But next week you will find Randy E. Aguebor speaking only as himself in his Oral Fixation debut for the last show of 2014, “Outside the Box.”

The product of hardworking parents and an excellent education, Randy E. Aguebor is the student who’d always get in trouble for reading novels during class.  Armed with a lifelong fascination with words and a voice described as dark, smooth, melodic, and reassuring, Randy is pursuing a career as a voice actor. 

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Elliot Kaiser

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He values loyalty above all else and loves to hang out at The Goldrush Cafe. And next month you will find Elliot Kaiser on the Oral Fixation stage for “Outside the Box,” where he will share his story of the time his devotion to friendship led him to help a hoarder move a bunch of crap across an ocean. 

Born and raised in Dallas, Elliot Kaiser joined the Navy at age 18 and served his time in Yokosuka, Japan. After his discharge, Elliot earned his bachelor’s in classics from the University of Dallas through the Montgomery G.I. Bill. Today he is a freelance video production assistant and writer.

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Jen Griffin Attends the Dallas StoryCorps Launch

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It goes without saying that Oral Fixation is my go-to story telling muse in Dallas! Nothing compares. But when I’m in my car, the wonderful stories that come from the national award-winning NPR show StoryCorps can often be heard in my speakers. I’ve wondered what it would be like to be a part of a traveling show and get a behind-the-scenes view.

So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that StoryCorps was traveling to Dallas for the month of December, and I was able to attend a press conference launch this week as ambassador for Oral Fixation.

It was held outside at the ATTPAC center with the famous StoryCorps Airstream front and center. There were several speakers from KERA and StoryCorps, and the event was closed with a great band. A few of the North Texas stories that were already being recorded were Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and local multimedia artist Christopher Blay.

The more exciting part of the day for me was being able to share Oral Fixation with Emily Janssen, StoryCorps site manager. Two storytelling shows, two different platforms, yet both bringing the community together through real-life stories. The Dallas Morning News even captured my moment with Janssen.

OF and StoryCorps are being produced right across the street from each other, and we really hope to see Emily and the StoryCorps crew at our “Outside The Box” show on December 8.

The other bit of good news is that by pure luck I was able to reserve a StoryCorp interview/recording session for Friday, December 19. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Julia Cotton

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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.

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

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