BOUNCE!: Stories of resilience
Thursday, July 11 7:30 - 9:30
Big Shot Piano Lounge, downtown Arlington Heights
Life is hard, crazy, unfair and surprising. And if you don't bounce, you break. This month, tellers explore resilience. Stories about staring down cancer, prejudice, glaciers, the doubters, the haters, the gatekeepers, and worst of all: That Voice in Your Head.
Content is appropriate for ages 18+. ID's will be required to purchase alcohol.
Producer and host, First Person Live
Stand-up comic & filmmaker
Diane Kastiel is the producer, director, and host of First Person Live. A writer and storyteller from Chicago, she’s a three-time winner of the National Public Radio’s Moth StorySLAM; her work has been featured on the Moth Radio Hour, its podcast, and at special events for WBEZ. Diane has told stories on stage at The Second City, the Park West, Victory Gardens and other theaters - but also in more unconventional settings, including comedy clubs, art galleries, the basement of a tattoo parlor, homeless shelters – she even did a show in the middle of the woods! Diane is an alumna of The Second City Conservatory and the University of Chicago’s Great Books program, and has an MBA from Northwestern University…just in case.
Shawn Cobbhas worn many hats over the years, working jobs ranging from forklift operator to cosmetologist, and pretty much everything in between. He finally settled in at the railroad where he has worked as a mechanic for over 13 years. Also a published Sci-Fi author, Shawn has always been passionate about writing and illustration, but it was through Toastmasters that he found his voice as a storyteller. For Shawn, to be vulnerable while operating from a place of love has proven to be the perfect counterbalance to the sometimes harsh and less forgiving conditions of the railroad. He aspires to inspire through life experiences and stories that find and exposes that common thread that binds us all.
Nancy Chovancek has recently discovered a little piece of heaven through storytelling. She was a project manager for many years, but Meniere’s disease forced her to retire and find more creative ways to spend her time. She is a published author of three books, a HearStrong champion for those who struggle with Meniere’s and hearing loss, and a budding artist, dabbling with acrylic paint and drawing stick people. Nancy also loves dogs and has four German Shepherds to prove it. She spends her days searching for the most powerful vacuum on the planet, keeping her Little Free Library from getting looted, walking all four dogs (!), and trying to keep her sarcasm from rendering her friendless. She’s married Dave, a Colonel in the U.S. army, and she loves to travel (especially to Maui!).
JulieAnn Villa spent 20 years as a chemistry teacher, telling stories to engage students in the classroom, and now is moving into health care. She is a regular Moth StorySLAMer, sharing her experience and perspective as a cancer patient, teacher, and endurance athlete. JulieAnn believes that surviving bone and rectal cancer is both the worst thing and the best thing that has ever happened to her.
Chris Traniis an American stand-up comic, storyteller, and documentary filmmaker who uses his humor to educate and entertain audiences around the world. Chris has traveled throughout North America and Europe engaging audiences with his hilarious stories, candid views and pro-immigration politics, which he turned into a documentary film, An American House. Chris is a winner of National Public Radio's Moth StorySLAM, SNUBFEST (2015), and a Moth GrandSLAM runner-up. He has had the honor to share the stage with TJ Miller, Pat McGann, Tracey Ashley, and Roy Wood Jr., Senior Correspondent for The Daily Show. Chris produces one of the best stand-up comedy shows in Chicago, creatively titled A Comedy Show. He lives the city with his puppy, creatively named Puppy.
Melissa Earley is the lead pastor at First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights. She's new to storytelling (if you don't count sermons). She also writes fiction and has a blog, “Waking Up Earley" (www.melissa-earley.com). Melissa loves to travel, though the rain on her most recent trip to Belize inspired a poem about chewing off her arm. Melissa is originally from Colorado. She loves to go hiking with her dog Mandy. She'd also take Mandy kayaking if the dog would just learn to paddle.
Steve Glickmanis a software engineer by day and a proud nerd. He's a classical music nut and once upon a time played viola in a string quartet and sang bass with the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus. Steve's stories have been featured on the Moth Radio Hourand its podcast, and he’s a favorite at storytelling shows around Chicago (and at First Person Live!). He also hosts a monthly storytelling open mic show, Do Not Submit, in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. Steve lives in Uptown with his partner Mark and their imaginary dog Ruffles.
Kevin Biolsiis a statistician who enjoys brewing beer and, every few years, attempting to learn to play the banjo. He first told stories in front of an audience in 2016 and found it to be more exhilarating than any drugs he’s ever taken, although to be honest, those have almost exclusively been analgesics and anti-inflammatories. He has performed two one-person shows, and, in addition to First Person Live, has told stories at The Moth, Story Lab, Do Not Submit, and Serving the Sentence.