Erin Barker is the artistic director of The Story Collider, an international storytelling organization that produces a popular podcast and 60 live events every year featuring true, personal stories about science, with the goal of showing that science is a vibrant part of all our lives. As a storyteller, she is the first woman to win The Moth’s GrandSLAM storytelling competition twice. She has appeared on PRX’sThe Moth Radio Hour, and one of her stories was included in The New York Times-bestselling book The Moth: 50 True Stories. She has not been officially sorted, but she considers herself a Gryffindor. Follow her on Twitter @ErinHBarker.
With his writing and acting work on the legendary, critically acclaimed sketch comedy series The State on MTV, Stella, Reno 911!, Flight of the Conchords, the beloved performance troupe Blue Man Group, and the popular comedic website JibJab, Kevin Allison has created all kinds of stories. In 2009, Kevin created RISK!, the live show and audio podcast “Where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share.” The podcast is now downloaded by nearly half a million listeners per month. Kevin is the founder and head instructor at The Story Studio, a school devoted solely to the teaching of great storytelling. “I’ve worked with bestselling authors, famous comedians, brilliant teachers, and business people from Chanel, IBM, The New York Stock Exchange, HBO, American Express, Sunglass Hut and more,” says Kevin. “It’s a thrill to see people improve dramatically in their communication skills – and in their careers and personal lives – when they’re coached on the nitty-gritty of bringing the most remarkable and emotional moments of their pasts to life again for listeners. It’s not magic, but it sure feels that way!”
Kate Greathead is a 9-time Moth Storytelling champion. Her work has been featured in the NY Times, the New Yorker, NPR’s Moth Storytelling Hour and elsewhere. She is the author of the novel, “Laura & Emma.”
Tracy is a 3-time Moth StorySLAM champion, plus a producer and host of The Story Collider and The Liar Show, two long-running NYC storytelling institutions. She works days as a writer and video editor, where her promos and shorts have appeared on NBC, Cartoon Network, and Al Jazeera America. Tracy’s voice could be heard this summer on promos for This American Life and S-Town. She won a local Emmy in 2010, but her mom still thinks it was the regular kind.
Dr. Edith Gonzalez is a native Nuyorican with four graduate degrees in various sub-fields of anthropology. She has a slight obsession with Lord of the Rings and was recently featured on the Story Collider and Risk! podcasts.
Mike Burdge is the founder and programmer for Story Screen Beacon Theater, and Editor-in-chief of storyscreenbeacon.com. He likes movies in an unhealthy way, but his success in both critiquing and exhibiting them has led to a level of outside enabling that has turned him into a monster. He also hates using fabric napkins, but understands that he simply must and tries not to make too big a deal out of it.
Nicole Ferraro has performed in storytelling shows and festivals including The Story Collider, Gather NYC, Generation Women, Sideshow Goshko, WORD, Speak Up Rise Up, The Day I Should Have, and many more; and her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Modern Loss, The Frisky, etc. Her first solo show “Why So Much Shame?” ran in the 2016 Frigid Festival, earning three awards and an extension. Nicole is also founder and host of Art, Humanity & Action: a storytelling, podcast, and workshop series that promotes involvement in community activism.
Stacey Bader Curry is a mother, spouse, real estate broker, morning dog walker, and storyteller from NYC. Stacey is a Moth Grand Slam winner and has recently appeared on PBS’s Stories From the Stage. In addition to telling stories at various venues in New York, Stacey runs a storytelling workshop for seniors at the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and might just like listening to her seniors more than anything. In her spare time she enjoys watching YouTube videos that demonstrate how to repair large household appliances.
Selena Coppock is a standup comedian, storyteller, and writer based in NYC. She has been called a “dark horse audiences never see coming” by The Village Voice and an “impressive young talent” by the New York Times. She is the creator and author of @NYTVows, the popular parody Twitter and Instagram account that lampoons the New York Times Wedding section and the host of TWO WICK MINIMUM, America’s favorite and only podcast about candles. Her writing has also been featured on Jezebel, McSweeney’s, Reductress, The Loom, xoJane, Huffington Post, TheFrisky, and she was a creative consultant to TVLand’s Younger. She was recently seen co-starring in the Amazon sitcom RED OAKS.
Jim O’Grady is a reporter and host for WNYC, New York Public Radio. He once told a story about fake mobsters on This American Life, and is a Moth GrandSLAM storytelling champ.
Matthew Dicks is an award-winning elementary school teacher and the internationally bestselling author of Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Something Missing, Unexpectedly, Milo, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, and Storyworthy: Engage Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling. He’s also the humor columnist for Seasons magazine and an advice columnist with Slate magazine.
Matthew is a 41-time Moth StorySLAM and 6-time Moth GrandSLAM champion and the founder and Artistic Director of Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling organization. In addition to performing, he teaching storytelling and communication around the world.
He is also a wedding DJ, playwright, minister, stand-up comic, life coach, and Lord of Sealand. Matt loves ice cream cake, golf, tickling his children, staring at his wife, and not sleeping.
Robin Gelfenbienis the self-proclaimed Ambassador of Fun and an NYC-based storyteller, writer and comedian. She’s a two-time Moth Story SLAM winner who has performed on PBS, RISK!, Mortified and countless other shows. She’s also shared the stage with Hannah Gadsby, Trevor Noah and more.
Robin is the Creator and Host of the storytelling series and podcast, “Yum’s the Word,” that features her homemade ice cream cakes. The show has been named a New York Times and Time Out New York Critic’s Pick. Guests have included Tim Gunn, Jason Biggs, Joy Behar and stars from “Orange is the New Black.”
New York Magazine called her solo show, “My Salvation Has a First Name: A Wienermobile Journey,” “the highlight of the Fringe” and Time Out New York gave it 4 stars.
She’s performed her original comedy songs at The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and on Sirius Radio. She’s also been featured in Marie Claire magazine and she starred in a commercial directed by Spike Lee.
www.robingelfenbien.com | @robingelfenbien | @yumsthewordshow
Jeff Simmermon is a standup comic living in Brooklyn, NY. His album ‘And I Am Not Lying’ was released in spring of 2017 at #1 on the iTunes comedy charts. He’s appeared on The Moth podcast several times, ‘This American Life,’ won multiple Moth StorySLAMS, and in written form on The Paris Review Daily. He also teaches storytelling classes in addition to running a variety show at the UCB Theatre that combines standup, storytelling, burlesque and sideshow.
Donna Minkowitz has written for The Nation, The New York Times Book Review, and Slate. She is the author of the memoirs Growing Up Golem and Ferocious Romance: What My Encounters with the Right Taught Me About Sex, God, and Fury. She teaches memoir writing in Beacon.
Donna performed in our March 23, 2019 show
Martin spends most of the year touring his nine different solo shows to festivals across the US, Canada, Australia, & the UK. For more on that, check out MartinDockery.com. Also, he would like to note that he owes a lot to a lot of people, but none moreso than to one of the other storytellers on this bill, without whom he literally wouldn’t be here.
Mark Pagán is an award-winning film and podcast producer, writer, and educator. His work and performances have been shown at festivals and shows worldwide including Slamdance Film Festival, Arizona International Film Festival, Panoply’s Family Ghosts, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, Charleston Comedy Festival, RISK!, The Moth, and Story Collider. Mark is also the host and producer the award-winning podcast, Other Men Need Help.
Tracey is the founder and host of “Now You’re Talking!” Long Island’s acclaimed live storytelling show. Her personal true stories have appeared on the Moth Radio Hour on NPR, and the Story Collider and Risk! Podcasts. In her spare time she teaches storytelling to individuals and organizations and sits on the board of the National Storytelling Network.
In 1998 famed storyteller Martin Dockery suggested to his mother, Mel, that she try storytelling and since then she has attempted to follow in his storied footsteps. She is a multiple Moth Story Slam winner and can be heard on The Moth Radio Hour. She has also appeared at multiple venues in and around New York and is an instructor of storytelling for Kevin Allison’s Story Studio. Tonight you have a chance to hear her along with her son and judge for yourselves her footstep following attempts.
JiJi Lee is a comedy writer and performer in NYC. Her humor writing has been published in Reductress, McSweeney’s, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. As a performer, she does stand up and storytelling all around the city and has also performed at The Kennedy Center.
Gabriel Pages is an Argentine born actor, writer, director and visual artist.
He was a student of NYU Tisch’s Film and Television and Dramatic Writing programs and sketch writing at The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre.
In 2018 he created and co-starred in the mockumentary news-magazine short The Full Glass: Marriage 2.0, which won best comedy at the Los Angeles Television Script and Film Festival. In 2019, Gabe created the animated web-series All My Presidents, providing the voices for all the characters. He’s currently an improviser at Serious. Comedy Theatre.
Gabe’s also had a prolific career as a storyboard/concept/VFX artist in the advertising and film industries but he finds writing about that stuff to be really boring. You can see that work here.
He lives in Beacon, New York.
Christian Finnegan is perhaps best known as one of the original panelists on VH1’s “Best Week Ever” and as Chad, the only white roommate in “Chappelle’s Show’s” infamous “Mad Real World” sketch. He played Martin on the popular syndicated sitcom “Are We There Yet?” and politics junkies will recognize Christian from his many appearances on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann”.
Most recently, Christian was the creator and co-host of A&E’s “Black & White”, which examined current events and social trends through the lens of Race. He can also be heard filling in as a regular guest host on “Standup with Pete Dominick” on SiriusXM Insight.
Over the years, Christian has been a fixture on Comedy Central, having starred in his own one hour stand up special “Au Contraire”, as well as ’Comedy Central Presents”, “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” and countless network interstitials. He’s also appeared on “Conan”, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”, “Good Afternoon America” and “The Today Show”.
Christian’s three comedy albums/specials (“Two For Flinching”, “Au Contraire!” and “The Fun Part”) are available on iTunes and Amazon and his standup is in regular rotation on all major streaming services. His fourth album, “60% Joking” is set for release in June 2019.
When not on tour, Christian Finnegan lives in Astoria, Queens with his wife, author Kambri Crews, and their their faithful pooches, Griswold and Chief Billy Bowlegs.
Kambri Crews once lived with her deaf parents in a tin shed in Montgomery, Texas. She now owns and operates the performance venue Q.E.D. in Astoria, Queens. Kambri is also a renowned storyteller and the author of the critically acclaimed and New York Times best selling memoir Burn Down the Ground (Random House). She has performed on The Moth (MainStage & radio), Women of Letters, Risk! and Mortified.
In 2014, Kambri opened QED, a performance venue meets community and learning center. With over 100 events per month ranging from comedy, storytelling and music to classes like embroidery, cartooning and writing, there is something for everyone. Since its opening, QED has been featured on The Jim Gaffigan Show, NY1, The New York and LA Times and countless other media outlets. Performers have included the super famous like Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Janeane Garofalo, to the first-time performer and everyone in between.
Also a public speaker, Kambri has given speeches for Girls, Inc., University of Texas, Texas Book Festival, University of Oregon, SXSW (South by Southwest), DeafHope, and many other schools, colleges, book festivals, and events.
As a storyteller, she has appeared on critically acclaimed shows including Risk!, The Moth and Mortified. She has appeared at Upright Citizen’s Brigate Theatre (UCB), Gotham Comedy Club, 92YTribeca, Comix Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy Club, The People’s Improv Theater, The Bitter End, Ochi’s Lounge, PS-NBC and the illustrious KGB Bar. Check out her calendar for upcoming dates.
Brad Lawrence is a storyteller, solo show performer and teacher who has performed to sold out crowds around the United States and in the UK. He got his start as a storytelling teacher conducting workshops at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He then went on to become a story coach for the RISK! podcast and live shows and an instructor for The Story Studio. As a storyteller, Brad was the first person to win back-to-back Moth GrandSLAMs, which led to him becoming a host of the Moth and a regular on Moth Mainstages around the United States. He has co-produced and performed in storytelling, solo, and variety shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, South By Southwest Interactive, and in conjunction with WBUR, USA Television Network, Casper Mattress, and Grant’s Whiskey. He has taught Storytelling for Business and Corporate Professionals and lead workshops for Fortune 500 companies in the US and in Europe. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s.
Cyndi Freeman is a two-time NY Fringe Festival award winning solo performer. Her solo shows have been presented in Boston, Amsterdam, Ireland, The UK, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Edmonton Fringe Festival and The Frigid Festival in NYC. Ms. Freeman is a recipient of a grand prize playwriting fellowship award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Other performing credits include HBO, Showtime and The Colbert Report on Comedy Central and storytelling shows The Moth and RISK! Ms. Freeman is also a lead instructor with The Moth Community program, The Story Studio and is a coach for the RISK! Podcast.
Brooklyn, NY based musical duo Charming Disaster was formed in 2012 by singer/songwriters Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris. Inspired by the gothic humor of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, the noir storytelling of Raymond Chandler, the murder ballads of the Americana tradition, and the dramatic flair of the cabaret, they write songs that tell stories, combining vocal harmonies and clever lyrics with ukulele, guitar, and virtuosic foot percussion to explore dark narratives and characters with a playful sensibility. In their critically acclaimed albums Love, Crime & Other Trouble (2015) and Cautionary Tales (2017), they have explored themes like love, death, crime, ancient mythology, and the paranormal. Their song “Ghost Story” was featured on the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and they have toured around the United States, playing bars, clubs, museums, and the occasional historic cemetery. Their third album, SPELLS + RITUALS, releases on June 7, 2019.
Angel Yau is a comedian, storyteller and filmmaker from Queens, New York. She is a 2018 NBC/UCBT Diversity Scholar finalist. She started her comedy career (unintentionally) when she ran for her high school election. She has been featured on Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Special- her first Netflix thing and the Funny or Die short film, Soojung Dreams of Fiji- her first Amazon thing! She is proudly part of the first ever all Asian, all female, musical sketch group, AzN PoP! She was on Maude and Digital teams at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. She has told stories on the Risk!, Mortified, Story Collide and Now in Color podcasts. She hosts a monthly presentation and storytelling show called “On This Day…” at Caveat. She founded An Asian American Film Thing where Asian- Americans can screen their works in progress without any judgement. Lastly, she makes stop-motion animations where she explores her childhood in solitude, rejection and alienation.
John Blesso is the author of Sharehouse Confidential and the soon-to-be-released memoir, Fear of A Shark Planet. He lives in Beacon and is the host of “Adult Stories,” a popular storytelling series at the wonderful Oak Vino wine bar.
Gastor Almonte is a stand-up comedian and storyteller from Brooklyn, NY. He’s appeared on Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, Risk! podcast and the Story Collider Podcast. Timeout magazine named him one of your “New Comedy Obsessions.”
He’s been featured on the New York Comedy Festival, The People’s Impov Theater’s SoloCom and Cinderblock Comedy Festival. His new album, Immigrant Made, was released in April 2019
Gastor performed at The Artichoke on March 223, 2019
Sandi Marx has been telling stories all over the country for the past five years. A seven time Moth Slam Champ, she was also featured in PBS “Stories From the Stage”, “Women of Letters”, Risk and countless other shows. She also was featured at the Women’s Comedy Festival in Boston and on dozens of podcasts including Risk, Story Collider, HotMic with Dan Savage and more. Sandi is also the subject of a short documentary, “The Fableist“ tentatively scheduled for a 2019 release.
Sandi performed at both our January 12 and March 23, 2019 shows
Danny Artese is the creator and host of The Day I Should Have, a limited-engagement storytelling series in NYC beginning its second season this month. He has also appeared on Risk! and is a Moth GrandSLAM winner. Instead of following him on Instagram or Whoosywhatsie, say hello if you run into him.
Danny performed at our March 23, 2019 show
Bridget O’Neill; a storyteller, comedian, and essayist has been featured in numerous shows and podcasts including; The Moth, Risk, How I Learned, Yum’s the Word, The Soundtrack Series, and many others. Her essays have been published in Slice Magazine, The Southampton Review, and Acorn & Iris. She is a podcast fellow recipient under Kathie Russo, Producer of Here’s the Thing and will release her own podcast, Keepin’ it Real with Bridget O’Neill in May 2019. She will most likely to ask you to be a guest on her show. Lastly, she is to be completing her master’s in creative writing this May but is not even halfway through her manuscript. Gulp.
Bridget performed at our March 23, 2019 show
Adam Selbst is a writer and graphic designer from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He hosts the monthly Big Irv’s Storytelling Roadshow and has been performing around NYC for the last 8 years. Adam lives in a bodega art collective with 64 other people and in his spare time he enjoys being slowly poisoned by an ancient, weird mold in his shower and throwing dinner parties.
In addition to being the designer of some of our awesome flyers, Adam performed at our March 23, 2019 show
Ivy Eisenberg is an award-winning humor writer, storyteller and comedian. She’s been telling stories in various venues throughout the Greater NYC area and in Washington, DC since 2010. She emcees and co-produces the popular monthly storytelling and pie-bake-off series “Pros(e) of Pie” north of NYC. In 2017, Ivy performed her solo show “Loud, Large and Funny,” a tale about finding her way out of the depths of despair after being sucker-punched, in her late 50s, with a surprise layoff from a corporate job. She is working on a new solo show called “No Chicken.”
Ivy performed at our March 23, 2019 show
Mike Cho is a writer, performer, photographer, and occasional musician living in lower Manhattan. He has appeared on Risk! (Caveat), Taboo Tales (The PIT), and This Alien Nation (Joe’s Pub). Please follow his cat on instagram (@mintmintmintstagram).
Susan Kent is a Deep South refugee who now writes and tells stories in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared on The Moth Radio Hour, RISK!, and Snap Judgment.
Micaela Blei, PhD is a storyteller, story coach and consultant based in NYC. She’s a two-time Moth GrandSLAM Champion, former Director of Education at The Moth and taught 3rd grade for 8 years. Her solo storytelling show, “The Secret Life of Your Third Grade Teacher,” was a sold-out FringeFAVE at the 2016 NYC Fringe. It’s returning to stages nationwide in 2019. Find out more at micaelablei.com!
Richard Cardillo is a lifelong resident of the Lower East Side in Manhattan and has been an educator for over three decades. He still considers himself more of a learner than a teacher….but always a storyteller! Rich is a six-time Moth StorySLAM winner. He’s performed at, Yum’s The Word, Pros(e) Of Pie, Story Collider, The Liars Show, RISK!, and was recently featured on The best of RISK! #12 Podcast. Rich was recently featured in the PBS Series: “Stories From the Stage”. This summer, he debuted his solo show “Invisibility” to sold out audiences at The Tank. Rich is a passionate activist (recently garnering his first civil disobedience arrest in support of immigrant rights while inside Trump Tower!). His playground voice has transitioned nicely to become his protest voice!
Vanessa Golenia is a writer and storyteller living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in Long Reads, RISK!, The Moth, and Taboo Tales.
Vanessa performed at our January 12, 2019 show.
Drew Prochaska is a two-time Moth StorySlam winner, who has been featured on the “RISK!”, “Story Collider”, and “Yum’s the Word” podcasts. He is the host of “The Artichoke” storytelling series at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon, NY