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Self Help: In which we (try to) improve ourselves

Friday, Sept. 17  6:00 - 8:00

First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights

We’re all in hot pursuit of perfection, but really, where does it get us? Are we any richer, thinner, wiser, happier? This month, stories about efforts to manage anger, get in shape, cheer up, build our brain, find peace, and the toughest one of all: self-acceptance. 

Show is appropriate for ages 18+ unless accompanied by an adult. Grounds open at 5 p.m. BYO chair, food & drink - no alcohol please. In the case of inclement weather, the show will move indoors and follow all CDC guidelines.

Don Hall
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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, NPR’s Chicago affiliate. Diane has told stories on stage at The Second City, the Park West, Victory Gardens and other theaters as well as comedy clubs, art galleries, the basement of a tattoo parlor - she even did a show in the middle of the woods! Since launching First Person Live, Diane works with libraries, community centers and homeless shelters to bring storytelling to a wider audience, and leads regular storytelling workshops at Northwestern University. Diane is an alumna of The Second City Conservatory and the University of Chicago’s Great Books program. She also has an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management…just in case. 

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Hammed Bashir, MD is a rheumatologist with a keen interest in inflammatory autoimmune conditions. He is also a proud immigrant to the United States with roots in Pakistan and the Middle East. Since moving here, Hammed has become seriously interested in transculturalism, diversity, and finding common ground with people from all walks of life. He is also a music creator, songwriter and accidental singer, and works with Chicago' s 10MGMT modeling agency for acting and talent work (when he has time!). Above all, Hammed loves to travel and tries to go on unique adventures as often as he can. He makes awesome Pakistani food and chai, and his favorite snack is the Persian cucumber – sweet, crunchy and healthy!

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Kristin Mesikapp is a former elementary school teacher, she now works behind the scenes setting up online classes for a university. In 2018, she started running to counteract the effects of sitting at a computer all day. When not working or running, Kristin can be found knitting, watching reality TV, or singing while playing basic chords on guitar. She lives in Chicago with her daughter.  

Tim Schreiber_Feb2019

Tim Schreiber has been a meat clerk, pizza driver, busboy, library assistant, columnist, reporter, student, teacher, reference librarian, and landlord - but he’s given all of that up (for the time being) to stay home with his two young children. Although he has been writing and telling stories all his life, Tim just recently caught the bug of storytelling in front of a live audience, competing in Moth StorySLAMs and appearing regularly at First Person Live.

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Adam Bottner is a former litigator and current director of business development for a legal technology company. Born in New York, lived in Pittsburgh, and raised in unincorporated Des Plaines (“the third city”), Adam is a frequent Moth StorySLAM teller and recent winner. He’s also a graduate of the Second City training center and has written multiple screenplays, including his most recent, "Searching for Frenchy Fuqua.” Adam is the father of two amazing sons and the former owner of Freddy, an eyelash-crested gecko, whom he misses very much.

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Steve Glickman has been telling stories at weddings and funerals his whole life to wide critical acclaim. He is the co-host of a monthly open-mic storytelling event in Chicago, and regularly performs at storytelling shows around the city. Steve is a software engineer by day and a proud nerd. He loves classical music and can often be seen air-conducting whatever symphony or opera is playing on his iPod or in his head. Steve lives in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago with his partner Mark and their imaginary dog Ruffles.

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Kevin Biolsi is a statistician by trade, but he found that really didn’t get the kind of laughs he was hoping for. He started telling stories in front of live audiences in 2016 and found it to be more exhilarating than any drugs he’s ever taken - though to be honest, those have almost exclusively been analgesics and anti-inflammatories. For fun, Kevin brews beer. For even more fun, he drinks that beer. Despite an impressive inability to dance, Kevin is a longtime member of the board of directors of the Evanston Dance Ensemble. Kevin is a regular at First Person Live and tells stories at the Moth and other shows around Chicago. 

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Paul Teodo is a retired healthcare executive. Born and raised on Chicago's south side, he’s been telling stories in real life for 67 years and on stage for the past eight. Paul is a five-time Moth StorySLAM winner and a Moth GrandSLAM Champion, invited to perform in New York at the prestigious Moth Ball and featured on CBS Sunday Morning. His novels, "Pastaman," and “Call Me Z” are available on Amazon. Paul raised two great sons as a single dad and is a lifelong dog lover.

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