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STORYTELLERS: June

Matt Jones

Matt Jones is a former high school history teacher and football coach. Now he’s an at-home dad of four, PTA president, and Cub Scout Pack leader. Matt has loved entertaining the crowd at First Person Live’s open mic and is excited to debut as a featured performer this month. Originally from Virginia, Matt grew up in a house with four brothers where everything was a competition – including telling stories. So, time well spent. 

Susan Haarmon

Susan Haarman has worked with college students for ten years and can show you the gray streak in her hair to prove it. She's also been a knife saleswoman, a camp counselor, a hospital chaplain, a waitress, a designated driver for hire, a Jesuit volunteer, and a lifeguard. She currently works at Loyola University Chicago, has a Masters of Divinity, and tends to confuse people when they realize how much she swears and loves NPR and pop culture. She also loves telling stories, but thinks it’s more important for you to tell your story - so is thrilled to help First Person Live build a storytelling community in a suburbs.

Rosanna Stevens

Rosanna Stevens is a writer, researcher and musician who lives in Canberra, Australia. She has appeared at literary festivals around Australia and interned at McSweeney's. Currently, half her life is spent researching a book on how we think about menstrual culture, half is spent studying for a PhD on colonization at Australian National University, and half is spent enjoying slivers of the everyday: cake, thinking about climate change, laughing with her sisters - the usual culprits. (Yes, that's three halves, but who's counting?) You can find Rosie’s work at Second City online, and in The Toast, The Lifted Brow, The Believer, and The Reductress. (Image credit: Adam Thomas for Red Magpie)

Drew Love

Drew Love is a stop-motion animator and a documentary filmmaker on a journey to perfect his craft as a storyteller. He's also the proud father of four, married to the most beautiful woman in the world for 20 years. Drew grew up like a gypsy soul -

in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Puerto Rico - and now calls Chicago home.

PJ Malin

Pastor PJ Malin went to Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, intending to study aviation and play volleyball. But God had other plans, leading him to become involved in campus ministry and mission trips. He is now Pastor of Family Life at Good Shepard Church in Naperville, providing leadership for several ministries within the church, including the welcome ministry, small group ministry, and marriage ministry.

 

PJ also is a musician, composing original songs for Good Shepherd. He has served as lead chaplain with the Naperville Police Department since 2013, providing pastoral care and support to the police as well as the community. 

Paul Teolo

Paul Teodo is a retired healthcare executive and is about to publish his first novel, Pastaman. Born and raised on Chicago's south side, Paul has been telling stories in real life for the past 65 years and on stage for the past six years. He’s a Moth Grand Slam Champion who’s been invited to perform in New York at the prestigious Moth Ball and featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Paul is a single dad with two great sons and a lifelong dog lover.

 

Diane Kastiel

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 and 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 Second City, the Park West, Victory Gardens and other theaters - but also in more unconventional settings, including 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. 

David Fink

David Fink is a founder and co-owner of The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan, producing live entertainment including a number of storytelling shows. He also curates OUTspoken!, a monthly LGBTQ storytelling show in Chicago. David loves live performance and attends more than his fair share of plays, concerts, dance, comedy, and experimental shows, especially if a friend is involved.

David has been told he’s the worst cook on the planet, and hates the gym but goes regularly because his doctor makes him. His favorite activity is introducing people he knows to other people he knows, hoping some good will come of it.

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