By Monica Hinman I have a friend who has cornered the market on stories. Stuff just happens to her. When we get together, I can count on being regaled with all the details from her latest adventure. She finds a briefcase lying in the street or runs into someone from elementary school while on vacation in another city; these unlikely events become stories that can last for hours. "I love the details, don't leave out anything," I beg. This stuff would never happen to me. But what if it does and I just don't notice?
Storytellers notice. Oral Fixation's founder, and storyteller in her own right, Nicole Stewart has been encouraging people to notice their stories and share them with others in the Dallas community for the past three years. Last night at the Wyly theater to kick off season four, we were treated to the Best of Season Three, which consisted of seven stories voted by fans to be their favorites of last season; each presented by the story's real life main-character.
The storytellers were a diverse group, representing a cross-section of Dallas, all ages, genders, races and sexual orientations, and while typically the hour-long evening of stories is based on an idiom pre-selected by the Oral Fixation's curator, Nicole, last nights best of show was unrelated to any particular theme. While the stories were as diverse as their presenters, what united the evening was the ability of each storyteller to express how their lives were shaped by the experiences related in their story.
The show began with a gripping tale of a high-risk pregnancy and ended with a touching story of a young woman's struggle to come to terms with her sexuality. In between, there are school boy pranks gone bad, nude sketch parties, a summer trip to a 'fat camp', grudges toward siblings, as well as a hilarious recounting of what happens when too much tequila is mixed with a slurpee and strobe lights.
Every story showcased the writing ability of its author and gave the audience an insight into their world. The Oral Fixation formula is about 1,200 words that Stewart helps the writers chip away at until this glimpse into the circumstances that shaped their lives has been edited down to the heart of the story. Often, the writer's experience emerge as metaphors or connections to the audience that are universal and engaging.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll sigh in agreement and you will certainly be left wanting more. Season four will undoubtably continue this tradition. It officially kicks off Monday, October 13 with the theme, "Go with the Flow". If you have stories, submissions are being accepted at oralfixationshow.com.
Best of Season Three has a repeat performance at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Addison. Tickets are $25.
This season's line-up: "Go With The Flow": Monday, October 13th "Train Wreck": Monday, November 3rd "Outside The Box": Monday, December 8th "Slippery Slope": Monday, January 19th "Two Peas In A Pod": Monday, February 9th "Writing On The Wall": Monday, March 16th "Happy Camper": Monday, April 20th