Storytelling for adults is hot-hot-hot in Chicago, with shows like The Moth packing houses nightly. First Person Live brings this unique form of entertainment, self-expression and community building to the suburbs in a show featuring the best of Chicago talent as well as local folks. Hosted by 3-time Moth StorySLAM winner Diane Kastiel, this is real people telling real stories from their lives – a new group of tellers and a different theme each month. More at www.firstpersonlive.com.
We all have a dark side: Our “evil twin.” The devil on our shoulder. That naughty inner child that makes us so interesting. And this month, tellers fess up to it: Stories about fistfights in parking lots, crashing funerals, shoplifting ducks, mowing down sheep, defiling Easter bonnets, and absconding into the night with someone else’s pants. This month, we are the danger!
Nancy Burkholder has one foot in the arts and the other in the madcap world of marketing. A marketing research consultant and part of the creative team behind the long-running show Late Nite Catechism, she understands the importance of following your artistic dreams while having a sensible fallback plan. Her stint in the record business put her pop music fixation to good use in a pre-Google world and provides some pretty interesting stories. As a kid she saw the Beatles live and has the $2.50 ticket-stub to prove it!
Jimmy Carrane is the host of the popular podcast Improv Nerd and former host of Studio 312 on WBEZ. He has performed numerous one-man shows including “Living In A Dwarf’s House” at The Second City and “I am 27, I still live at home and sell office supplies,” at the Annoyance Theater. He has been teaching and performing improv in Chicago for more than 25 years and also offers private coaching. For more about Jimmy, visit his website at jimmycarrane.com.
Jaime de Leon is the son of Mexican immigrants and grew up in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. After graduating from Northern Illinois University, Jaime worked in leadership and community development for non-profit organizations before dipping his toe into stand-up comedy eight years ago. Jaime now works for Cook County government, has three children and a beautiful partner, and does stand-up comedy and storytelling around Chicago.
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 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 has worked with libraries, businesses, community centers and homeless shelters to bring storytelling to a wider audience. 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 University…just in case.
Ken Kaye is a retired psychologist, author of the parenting book Family Rules and a short story collection, Birds of Evanston. In retirement he’s writing plays, trying to win a Moth StorySLAM, and making America great again by teaching English to immigrants. Ken lives in Evanston with his wife, Janice.
Anne Purky studied film and writing at Northwestern University and the School of the Art Institute, and regularly performs at storytelling shows in Chicago. She’s also a renegade mom of an astonishing, differently abled daughter. Active in politics and disability rights, she also advocates for the homeless with PADS in Waukegan and Zion. Anne’s been shaking up the storytelling scene by talking about the dark side of a privileged upbringing, stirring up trouble on the North Shore with raucous glee.
Bridget Schank worked as a community organizer and lobbyist before deciding to stay home full time after her infant son’s liver transplant. (He’s now eight and doing fine!). Bridget is deeply committed to community service, serving on the board of Teen-Parent Connection and Arlington Cares, running Service Club at her children’s elementary school, and coaching her daughter’s basketball team. Bridget played women’s football for Notre Dame, loves to travel but hates to pack, and bakes a mean strawberry-rhubarb pie. Her husband Tim warns people about her sixth sense, which often borders on witchcraft. Bridget lives in Arlington Heights with Tim, their two children, and an aggressively affectionate golden retriever named Corby.
Paul Teodo is a retired healthcare executive. Born and raised on Chicago’s south side, he’s been telling stories in real life for 65 years and on stage for the past six. 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. Paul’s first novel, “Pastaman,” is available on Amazon and he is working on a second one. Paul raised two great sons as a single dad and is a lifelong dog lover.