Story Jam



2016

October 28, 2016 • Artifact Events

JACOBY COCHRAN was born on the Southside of Chicago, before resting his head everywhere from Chicago Heights to Englewood, Roseland to Chatam, Wicker Park and now Hyde Park (and so many more in between) If you ask his mother he hasn't stopped telling stories since he learned what sentences were. With a Masters in Communication from Syracuse he has coached thousands and hosted a ton of public speaking and story telling workshops across the country.  The kid who couldn't keep his damn mouth shut as a kid, constantly questioning authority and asking why, is now a performer in the local Chicago scene (the Moth, the Stoop, story jam) and a national record holder as the only Four-Time Collegiate Top Speaker in the Country.  


ANNALISE RAZIQ is a versatile performer. She has worked with renowned playwright Tony Kushner, and also played the back end of a dragon. A singer with the Americana band “Annalise and the Backsliders,” her warm, arresting voice is garnering attention on the Chicago music scene. She is also a writer and improviser, and used these skills to help create the show “Sisters Rising” with a group of formerly incarcerated women. Annalise is a three-time Moth Slam winner and has had a story featured on NPR's The Moth (here). She has also told stories for Risk!, This Much Is True, and the Truth or Lie Reading Series. By far, her most creative act has been raising her amazing daughter Kalila Holt. annaliseraziq.com.
NESTOR "THE BOSS" GOMEZ is a twelve-time winner of the Chicago Moth Slam and two-time winner of the Moth Grand Slam. He has also won "audience favorite" at North Side Stories and Here Chicago; and he sealed the win at the first ever Joyfest storytelling contest. Despite all his wins, Nestor will tell you that his greatest achievements are making his mother proud and wining the heart of his girlfriend, "Sweet Mel." Nestor's first ever solo show will debut in January 2017 at Fillet of Solo. For more information about Nestor, check his web site http://www.nestorgomezstoryteller.com/

MINITA GANDHI is an actress/playwright/writer who was born in Mumbai, India. Raised in the Bay Area, she is proud to call Chicago her artistic home. She's performed at The Lookingglass Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and in her acclaimed first play, MUTHALAND. Minita plays Dr. Prospere on NBC's Chicago Fire, and has appeared on Empire, NBC's Crisis, ABC's Betrayal, Fox's The Chicago Code, and as The Onion News' anchor, Nina Shankar. She is a Master Instructor for Pinnacle Performance Company, and a gifted storyteller.  Minita's website

SCOTT WHITEHAIR is as passionate about both hearing and telling stories. As a performer, he has brought his dynamic blend of vulnerability, humor, and insight to dozens of venues throughout the Chicago area, ranging from the backrooms of neighborhood taverns to the world-famous Steppenwolf Theater.  He has also appeared on NPR, WGN Radio, and in such festivals as Fillet of Solo, Printer's Row Lit Fest, and The Chicago Improv Festival. As a full-time professional teller, Scott's effortless delivery and likable stage presence have made him an in demand fixture of the Windy City's burgeoning live literature scene. Scott hosts and produces several storytelling shows throughout the city.

SARAH BUNGER grew up in one of the smallest towns imaginable outside of Dayton, Ohio (think: flashing caution light, a gas station/Subway sandwich shop, and lots and lots of cows). Since moving to the big city seven years ago, she is adjusting to the long winters and nearly complete lack of cows. She teaches English to sophomores and seniors, relishing every minute she gets to re-experience Holden Caulfield, Blanche Dubois, and Nick Carraway. (But not those boys from Lord of the Flies. Because, gross). She has told stories at Solo Theatre, Story Lab, and This Much Is True. Sarah is also producer of the Truth or Lie reading series and a two-time Moth Grand Slam Story Champion. She hopes to tell more stories in 2016 and beyond.

BILL O'CALLAGHAN 

The second youngest of nine children, plus an adopted brother, Bill was raised on the north side and north shore of Chicago.  He is a general contractor and real estate developer who, with his wife, is raising two sons.  He’s a long-suffering Sox and Bears fan who spends his spare time making inappropriate comments, playing recreational sports and coaching his sons’ teams.  

STEPHANIE ROGERS  is a singer-songwriter, bandleader, and performer who holds a degree in acting from Northwestern University. A huge fan of live lit and creative non-fiction theatre, Stephanie combines her love for music, theatre, and personal story to produce STORY JAM. She is currently pursuing a masters in Written Communications at National Louis University. For Stephanie's personal site, please visit hipchick.com.

August 27th, 2016 • Wilmette Theatre

LINDSAY EANET works at a nonprofit by day and writes, edits and discreetly commandeers the jukebox at Farragut's by night. She has performed at Essay Fiesta, Is This A Thing, You're Being Ridiculous and the 1999 JCC Camp Chi Talent Show. She is excited to make her debut at Story Jam. 

CHRIS TRANI is a storyteller, stand-up comedian, and documentary filmmaker. His film, “An American House," focuses on the journey of migrants to America and their stay at a halfway home in Texas. Chris has traveled the U.S. and Europe to present his stand-up comedy, movie, and humorous stories. Chris is a MOTH Winner and recently won the storytelling category for SNUBFEST 2015. His story will be featured on Audible.com and he will appear as a guest on “It’s All True” to discuss comedy, his career and more. Chances are Chris will not be running when you read this. He hates running.

NESTOR "THE BOSS" GOMEZ is a nine-time winner of the Chicago Moth Slam; two-time winner of the Milwaukee Moth Slam; winner of the March 2015 Chicago Moth Grand Slam; and winner of the August 2016 Chicago Moth Grand Slam. Nestor also won "Audience Favorite" at Story Club North Side and he won the first ever Joyfest Chicago Story Slam. In spite of all his wins, Nestor will tell you that his greatest accomplishment is making his mother proud and winning the heart of his girlfriend, "Sweet Mel." You can find more information about Nestor at http://www.nestorgomezstoryteller.com/.

ELIZABETH GOMEZ is a Chicago-based comedian, storyteller, writer, and experienced napper. She is a founder of the Windy City Rollers, Chicago's premiere all female roller derby league; a founding writer atDrinkers with Writing Problems; and has appeared on WGN Radio, WBEZ, Vocalo, and TouchVision. She has performed at The Laugh Factory, Drop Comedy Club,the Kates, This Much is True, Beast Women Rising, and many other showcases and storytelling events throughout the city. A Story on her blog, was labeled "Freshly Pressed" for My Life as an English to Engrish Translator.

ANNALISE RAZIQ is a versatile performer. She has worked with renowned playwright Tony Kushner, and also played the back end of a dragon. A singer with the Americana band “Annalise and the Backsliders,” her warm and arresting voice is garnering attention on the Chicago music scene. She is also a writer and improviser, and used these skills to help create the show “Sisters Rising” with a group of formerly incarcerated women. Annalise is a three-time Moth Story Slam winner and has had a story featured on public radio’s The Moth Radio Hour (also available on the podcast), and has also told stories for Risk!, This Much Is True, and the Truth or Lie Reading Series. But by far, her most creative act has been raising her amazing daughter Kalila Holt. If you want to know more, check out annaliseraziq.com.

DAVID BARISH is a harmonica player who has long been troubled by the fact  that he wanted to make up new lyrics and sing  the songs while he was supposed to be playing his instrument. Finding it difficult to sing and play at the same time he has been telling stories while keeping the harmonica in his pocket. David has been featured on stages across the Chicago area over the past few years including Story Sessions, That's All She Wrote, Essay Fiesta, Homewood Stories, Is this a Thing?, Story Club and others. He has one of those cheesy little Write Club cups on a shelf somewhere. David is thrilled to tell his story and listen to all the great tunes created by Stephanie and the gang.

JACOBY COCHRAN was born on the Southside of Chicago, resting his head everywhere from Chicago Heights to Englewood, Roseland to Chatam, Wicker Park and now Hyde Park (and so many more in between). If you ask his mother he hasn't stopped telling stories since he learned what sentences were. With a Masters in Communication from Syracuse he has coached thousands and hosted a ton of public speaking and story telling workshops across the country. The kid who couldn't keep his damn mouth shut as a kid, constantly questioning authority and asking why, is now a performer in the local Chicago scene (the Moth, the Stoop, Story Jam) and a national record holder as the only Four-Time Collegiate Top Speaker in the Country.

TIM MURTAUGH is a Wilmette-based teacher, voice talent, emcee, husband & father. He hosted the McKenzie Variety Show from 2007 to 2013 and is the emcee for the Wilmette District 39 Educational Foundation Annual Fashion Show. He is currently prepping his lesson plans for the 2016-2017 school year, so he can't write any more about himself.

STEPHANIE ROGERS is a singer, bandleader, actor, and songwriter who holds a degree in acting from Northwestern University. She was inspired to create STORY JAM when she took a solo show writing class at Chicago Dramatists. A huge fan of NPR's The Moth and creative non-fiction theatre, Stephanie combines her love for music, theatre, and personal story to produce STORY JAM. She is currently pursuing a masters in Written Communications at National Louis. For Stephanie personal site, please visit hipchick.com.

April 9th, 2016 • Wilmette Theatre

SCOTT WHITEHAIR is as passionate about both hearing and telling stories. As a performer, he has brought his dynamic blend of vulnerability, humor, and insight to dozens of venues throughout the Chicago area, ranging from the backrooms of neighborhood taverns to the world-famous Steppenwolf Theater.  He has also appeared on NPR, WGN Radio, and in such festivals as Fillet of Solo, Printer's Row Lit Fest, and The Chicago Improv Festival. As a full-time professional teller, Scott's effortless delivery and likable stage presence have made him an in demand fixture of the Windy City's burgeoning live literature scene. Scott hosts several storytelling shows throughout the city and is a Second City alumnus.

JASMIN CARDENAS As writer and performer, Jasmine has produced and toured her one woman show, Niña Buena. A professional SAG actress, Jasmin is an ensemble member with Urban Theater Company and has worked with (among others): The Goodman Theater; Victory Gardens; Lookingglass Theater; Adventure Stage Chicago; Teatro Luna and Collaboraction. Jasmin is a bilingual storyteller, and a Cuentos Aquiteller at The Chicago Public Library. This year, she was awarded the Race Bridges Storytelling Fellowship, a national award. Jasmin is a member of the Chicago Storytelling Guild and a board member of the Pedogogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, a non-profit organization that promotes critical thinking and social justice

DIANE KASTIEL is a writer and storyteller from Chicago. She’s a three-time Moth StorySLAM winner whose work has been featured on NPR’s Moth Radio Hour, its podcast, and on stage at WBEZ’s inaugural New Year’s Eve party. Diane has told stories at the Park West, Second City, Victory Gardens, Mayne Stage and Lifeline theaters. She’s also told stories in bars, at art shows, around campfires, in women’s shelters, and in the basement of a tattoo parlor. Diane has been a featured storyteller with Story Sessions, You’re Being Ridiculous, Story Club, This Much is True, and Louder than a Mom. She’s thrilled to be back at the ‘Mette with Story Jam!

MAC MACDEVITT is deep into exploring the wonders of the Windy City since moving from a small town in the Adirondack Mountains of New York two years ago. He has become an urban bike warrior who fixes and ships bikes with the volunteer crew at Working Bikes in Pilsen. He is deeply in love with the storytelling community in Chicago, and has told at Story Lab, TenX9, Sunday Morning Stories, Homewood Stories and a bunch of Do Not Submit’s all over the city. Mac has studied storytelling with Scott Whitehair, with whom he shares the bill tonight. 

 LINDSAY EANET works at a nonprofit by day and writes, edits and discreetly commandeers the jukebox at Farragut's by night. She has performed at Essay Fiesta, Is This A Thing, You're Being Ridiculous and the 1999 JCC Camp Chi Talent Show. She is excited to make her debut at Story Jam. 

NESTOR "The Boss" GOMEZ was born in Guatemala and has called Chicago his home for 25 years. He is a salsa dancer, self taught poet, t-shirt designer (who works during the day at S&C Electric), and he drives Uber and Lyft on weekends. As a child, Nestor used to stutter; he began telling stories to overcome his fear of speaking publicly. Nestor has won or placed at many Moth Slams in Chicago and the midswest. He also hosts Do Not Submit on Pilsen and is an active member of the Stoop Collective.
By day, JULIE SALTZMAN is the director of content development at a trading education firm. By night, she is a haphazard parent to her 15,13 and 11 year old boys. By choice, she performs with 2nd Story, plays ice hockey and does crossfit. The last two activities both her body and her mother believe to be poor choices for a middle age woman.
JILL HOWE has turned story love into a super power. She organizes fellow writers in sharing their latest work at her monthly workshop, Friends with Words, while co-producing Story Sessions, a monthly event hosted by Deanna Moffit. Jill has shared her nitty-gritty at Mortified, Reading Under the Influence, Story Lab, Chicago Solo Theatre, Ignite Chicago, Essay Fiesta, Story Club Bridgeport and many more. Most of all, she can’t wait to hear your story. Join in the story fun at www.storysessionschicago.com

TORI SZEKERES leads a double life: by day, she's a housewife in the Northwest Suburbs. By night, she tells stories around Chicagoland at monthly shows like The Stoop, Miss Spoken and Serving the Sentence. She thanks you for being interested in what she has to say.

STEPHANIE ROGERS is a singer, bandleader, and songwriter who holds a degree in acting from Northwestern University. She was inspired to create STORY JAM after taking a solo show class at Chicago Dramatists, and hitting the live lit scene. A huge fan of "The Moth" and creative non-fiction theatre, Stephanie combines her love for music, theatre, and personal story to produce STORY JAM. She is currently pursuing a masters in Written Communications at National Louis University. More: hipchick.com.

March 12th, 2016 • Wilmette Theatre
 

KELLY LEONARD (President & CEO, Kelly Leonard Productions/Creative Advisor, The Second City) has worked at The Second City for nearly three decades in various creative and leadership positions. He has produced shows with such notable talent as: Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Keegan Michael Key and Steve Carell. He has created shows with Lyric Opera Chicago, The Kennedy Center, Hubbard Street Dance, La Jolla Playhouse and The Actors Theatre in Louisville. He has made deals and led collaborations with Norwegian Cruise Line, Yoshimoto Kogyo of Japan, The Chicago Tribune and Universal Studios. His book, Yes, And: Lessons From The Second City, was published by HarperCollins in 2015 to critical acclaim. Writing in Vanity Fair, author Michael Lewis wrote, “Yes, And is an excellent guide to the lessons that have bubbled up in Second City’s improv workshops.” Mr. Leonard speaks frequently on the power of improvisation to transform business and personal life and was a recent guest at The Aspen Ideas Festival, Chicago Ideas Week, The Wharton School of Business and TEDxBroadway 2016. 
MELISSA PERRIN is a co-host of Do Not Submit Evanston, an open mic storytelling night in the Snug at the Celtic Knot. She has told stories at the Laugh Factory, Do Not Submit and Storylab. An ardent teacher, Melissa illustrates through stories and narration while giving seminars, at retreats and on stage. She believes the stories we tell about ourselves can define who we are, for better or for worse. Altering that story can be a powerful tool in living a full life. Melissa is a native of the North Shore. She secretly wishes she had been born and raised in Phoenix Arizona so that she could introduce herself as a Native Phoenician.  [She just likes how that sounds.] 
PAUL TRAYNOR is a STORY JAM fave. He most recently appeared in the comedy “The Art of Motivation” at Stage 773 in Chicago, and in his own web series entitled "Turner." As a corporate speaker, he’s done presentations for dozens of Fortune 500 companies throughout North America and Europe. As a filmmaker, he's produced videos for hospitals, law firms, churches and non-profits. Paul wrote & directed the feature film "Witches' Night," and is currently working on several original projects. He lives in Wilmette with his beautiful wife, Lindley, and his five above-average children.

RYAN ROBERT PATTERSON is a Detroit native calling Chicago home for the past 21 years. Ok, he’s from just outside of Detroit. Ask him, he’ll show you on his hand. Having stepped away from acting for a decade, he was last seen on stage playing Schroeder in a very long run of "You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown," and in educational children’s theatre throughout the Chicagoland area. So, if you were ten a decade ago he probably taught you about arachnids or neutrons or subject verb conjugation at some point. He accepts your thanks and you are welcome. A Northwestern alum with a degree in writing, Ryan is stepping back into the performing game and is thrilled to hear himself talk out loud in front of an audience and more thrilled the audience is you.

MARGARET GHIELMETTI currently lives in Singapore. Before that, she lived in Egypt, Thailand, Italy, Paris and New York. Her adventures (and misadventures!) abroad often inspire her traveler's tales. Originally from Evanston, Margaret loves to spend time with her 92-year old dad; she credits him with her love for both stories and improv (when they read bedtime stories together, when she was a pup, he took on the role of Beauty–so she could be The Beast!). Margaret’s grateful to have won a Moth Story Slam last month…to get to share her stories in Chicago and in Singapore…and to hear others’ stories wherever she goes.

DIANE KASTIEL is a writer and storyteller from Chicago. She’s a three-time Moth StorySLAM winner whose work has been featured on NPR’s Moth Radio Hour, its podcast, and on stage at WBEZ’s inaugural New Year’s Eve party. Diane has told stories at the Park West, Second City, Victory Gardens, Mayne Stage and Lifeline theaters. She’s also told stories in bars, at art shows, around campfires, in women’s shelters, and in the basement of a tattoo parlor. Diane has been a featured storyteller with Story Sessions, You’re Being Ridiculous, Story Club, This Much is True, and Louder than a Mom. She is thrilled to make her debut with Story Jam at the Wilmette Theater.

On hiatus for the last 11 years from acting, LINDA MONTGOMERY was thrilled to find the Live Lit Community here in Chicago. After seeing Arlene Malinowski’s show “Speak Easy, Speak Hard," she caught the bug and jumped into writing and storytelling, and has been having a balls-out great time ever since! Linda is currently working on a compilation of stories that depict her L.A. dating experiences.

STEPHANIE ROGERS is a singer, bandleader, and songwriter who holds a degree in acting from Northwestern University. She was inspired to create STORY JAM after taking a solo show class at Chicago Dramatists, and hitting the live lit scene. A huge fan of "The Moth" and creative non-fiction theatre, Stephanie combines her love for music, theatre, and personal story to produce STORY JAM. She is currently pursuing a masters in Written Communications at National Louis University. More: hipchick.com.

January 23rd, 2016 • Wilmette Theatre

ELIZABETH GOMEZ is a Chicago-based comedian, storyteller, writer, and experienced napper. She is a founder of the Windy City Rollers, Chicago's premiere all female roller derby league; a founding writer atDrinkers with Writing Problems; and has appeared on WGN Radio, WBEZ, Vocalo, and TouchVision. She has performed at The Laugh Factory, Drop Comedy Club,the Kates, This Much is True, Beast Women Rising, and many other showcases and storytelling events throughout the city. A Story on her blog, was labeled "Freshly Pressed" for My Life as an English to Engrish Translator.

CHRIS TRANI is a storyteller, stand-up comedian, and documentary filmmaker. His film, “An American House”, focuses on the journey of migrants to America and their stay at a halfway home in Texas. Chris has traveled the U.S. and Europe to present his stand-up comedy, movie, and humorous stories. Chris is a MOTH Winner and recently won the storytelling category for SNUBFEST 2015. His story will be featured on Audible.com and he will appear as a guest on “It’s All True” to discuss comedy, his career and more. Chances are Chris will not be running when you read this. He hates running.

LYNNE JORDAN  returns to the STORY JAM stage for the third time. An entertainer who is both profound and hilarious, Lynne is currently developing her much-awaited SOLO SHOW, comprised of personal stories and songs. A Northwestern University grad, Lynne has been one of Chicago's best-known singing divas for many years. Her event band plays clubs as well as private parties, and she has performed to sold-out crowds on stages throughout the US and Europe. 

KEVIN D’AMBROSIO is a motivational speaker, storyteller, and stand-up comedian. Originally from Peabody, MA, he moved to Chicago near the turn of the century to follow artistic interests at iO Chicago, Annoyance Productions, and The Artistic Home. Shortly thereafter he helped establish the Piven Empowerment Enrichment Program for adults with developmental disabilities at the Piven Theatre in Evanston. As a storyteller Kevin has performed at Here, Chicago, The Stoop, This Much Is True, Homewood Stories, Tenx9, Do Not Submit, and The Moth. He is a co-host and co-producer of  Second City Training Center’s storytelling show "Sunday Morning Stories," and was a featured at The Moth GrandSLAM this past summer. Find out more info about his pursuits at www.kevindambrosio.com and @dambro101.
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CAROL MOSS is a local singer, actor and psychotherapist. She is thrilled to be back on the Wilmette Theatre stage, having performed here as a Sparkle Sister and in the "Secret Lives of Mom's" for five years. She is a veteran of stage and screen, and appeared in over 50 commercials and 70 industrial films. Currently, she is on the speaker's bureau for Abbvie and does motivational speaking as well as seeing private clients. www.carolmoss.com

NESTOR "The Boss" GOMEZ was born in Guatemala and has called Chicago his home for 25 years. He is a salsa dancer, self taught poet, t-shirt designer (who works during the day at S&C Electric), and he drives Uber and Lyft on weekends. As a child, Nestor used to have a speech impediment: he stuttered. A little over a year ago, he participated in his first Moth Slam as a goal to get over his fear of public speaking, and placed second on the July 2015 Grand Slam. Nestor hosts Do Not Submit on Pilsen and is an active member of the Stoop Collective.

STEPHANIE ROGERS is a singer, bandleader, and songwriter who holds a degree in acting from Northwestern University. She was inspired to create STORY JAM after taking a solo show class at Chicago Dramatists, and hitting the live lit scene. A huge fan of "The Moth" and creative non-fiction theatre, Stephanie combines her love for music, theatre, and personal story to produce STORY JAM. She is currently pursuing a masters in Written Communications at National Louis University. More information can be found at: hipchick.com.