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.

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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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Joel Page

Joel Page
Joel Page

Local lawyer and writer, Joel Page, will return to the Oral Fixation stage for “Ducks in a Row.”

Joel Page lives in Dallas with his wife of 6 years, their cats Woodward and Bernstein, and their dog John Quincy Adams. He works as a lawyer for the public defender, and writes fiction when he isn’t working. You could read his latest published story in the Spring 2014 issue of Word Machine Magazine.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Amanda Woodard


Avid reader and writer, Amanda Woodard, will make her debut on the Oral Fixation stage for “Ducks in a Row.”

Amanda Woodard is a junior at University of North Texas. When she isn’t studying, she writes her first novel, quickly loses interest in books which are not life-changing, and points out unintentional puns. Amanda lives in the Dallas Arts District with her partner, Courtney, and their giant mystery dog, Hiro.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Valerie Grimes


Businesswoman and rainstorm lover, Valerie Grimes, will make her debut on the Oral Fixation stage for “Ducks in a Row.”

Valerie Grimes was born in Dallas and now lives in Irving but is ready to sell her house and move to Oak Cliff. She has a grown daughter, son and two grandchildren. She loves physically challenging activities. For the past 25 years she has owned and operated two businesses.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Blake Friis


Blake Friis, lover of walks around White Rock Lake, will make his debut on the Oral Fixation stage for “Ducks in a Row.”

Blake Friis, if not for the lure of khakis and fluorescent lighting, may have become a fourth-generation farmer in rural Iowa, where he grew up doing the kind of chores that inspire young men to pursue lives of khakis and fluorescent lighting.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Lisa Johnson Mitchell


Writer Lisa Johnson Mitchell will make her debut on the Oral Fixation stage for “Ducks in a Row.”

Lisa Johnson Mitchell, a Dallas native and SMU grad, spent the 80s writing ad copy on Madison Avenue. She then spent the 90s travelling to LA writing and producing TV spots. She co-directed the film, “His Name is Bob,” about Deep Ellum icon, Bob Crawford.

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Oral History: “Elephant in the Room”

Oral Fixation continued Season 3 with another incredible, sold-out show in Hamon Hall! 


In case you missed out, here is a recap of the evening: 

Firstly, this show was a special one because for the first time in Oral Fixation history we had EIGHT storytellers! The story-hungry audience lined up in the Winspear Lobby to sip wine, socialize and wait for the show to begin.


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