Archy Jamjun is a storyteller and writer from Chicago. Since winning The Chicago's Biggest Liar Contest in 2014 and the Chicago Moth GrandSLAM in 2015, he has enjoyed telling stories all over the city and is excited to be out in the ‘burbs because he is originally a suburbanite himself. Archy is currently working on a collection of short stories and his MFA in Creative Writing at Roosevelt University.
David Deal is a husband, father, and a writer who lives in a house of artists. He blogs regularly about music and technology and contributes articles to publications such as Fast Company and Hypebot. Throughout his career he has edited books on rock and roll and helped musicians such as Jermaine Dupri build their professional brands. He currently acts as a marketing consultant for a number of businesses. During summer weekends, he is a member of the cast of the Bristol Renaissance Faire.
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 works have 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.
Nestor Gomez was born in Guatemala and moved to Chicago in the mid ‘80s. He told his first story at a Moth StorySLAM as a way to get over stuttering. He won the slam that night and has not stopped telling stories since.
Nestor currently holds the record for most Chicago Moth StorySLAM wins. But if you ask him, he will say his greatest achievements are making his mother proud and winning the heart of his girlfriend, Sweet Mel.
Chris Trani is 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 most popular stand-up comedy shows in Chicago, creatively titled A Comedy Show. He lives the city with his puppy, creatively named Puppy.
Ada Cheng is a professor-turned-storyteller. A tenured professor in sociology at DePaul University for 15 years, Ada left to pursue theater and performance full time in 2016. Since then, she has won story competitions, been a featured presenter at the National Storytelling Conference, and was a runner-up at Chicago’s famous Bughouse Square Debates.
She debuted her solo show, Not Quite: Asian American by Law, Asian Woman by Desire, with SOLO Chicago Festival. She will be doing her solo show on Thursdays in June at The Public House Theater. She will be bringing her solo show to 2017 National Storytelling Network’s Capital Fringe Festival in July, and to the Minnesota Fringe Festival and Boulder International Fringe Festival in August.
In her free time, Ada In her free time, she loves to sleep (with or without cats) and cuddle with cats (sleeping or not).
John Hahm is happy and proud to have taught English at Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago since its founding in 1999. While there, he also coached the Academic Decathlon team and led educational tours to Europe over the spring breaks. This past June he retired to devote his time to writing, storytelling, and tango!
Stephanie Douglass is a performer, writer, trainer and farmer! She’s grateful to serve as the Farm Enterprise Director at Growing Home, growing organic vegetables and training Chicagoan with barriers to employment for placement in permanent jobs. She is also a co-founder of Cyahafi (Cha-HA-fi) Blooms, a resource training collective in southwestern Uganda.
Stephanie also hosts Story Club North Side, a storytelling show in Chicago, and cohosts a storytelling open mic at Kusanya Cafe in the Englewood neighborhood. Stephanie is a Moth GrandSLAM Champion, and was the head writer for Outdoor Life Network's "Outside Magazine's Ultimate Top Ten.”