After a little break for a month, Free Speech was back for September and ready to rumble. Fate stepped in for the evening as we heard 6 stories from some seriously phenomenal folks. Is it kismet, or coincidence? Karma, or divine intervention? We got to hear a little bit from all sides.
The audience listened (with GET IT, GIRL wine in hand) as our storytellers took to the mic to spit some truth. Sit back, relax, and enjoy these kindred stories of KISMET.
**** CONTENT WARNING: Several of these stories touch on aspects of suicide and death.
1. MIN SHEPHERD: “SEOUL SEARCHING”
Min is a new Portland resident and has hit the ground running in finding inspiration through the sharing of experiences. A supreme advocate of social justice and pocket compliments, her interests lie in establishing equity through public health, education, and a sustainable food system. Her love language is acts of service and she’ll cook you dinner if you’re nice. She shares a story of someone else’s choice dictating your fate…and how the discovery of such can be at once devastating and freeing.
2. MCKINLEY HUGHES: “COINCIDENCE”
McKinley Hughes is a female identifying actor, teacher, and singer. She hails from Virginia where she earned a BFA in musical theatre with a second concentration in goofing off. She has been spending the last year in Portland creating, performing, and learning how to take up space without apologizing for it. She hopes that her work as an actress and human empowers other women to do the same. She shares about eerie coincidences, which have brought about the loved ones who surround her today, as well as shedding light on her own experience with mental illness.
3. ERIKA ELLIS: “UNTITLED”
Former model. Retired showgirl. Wifey & hella cool mom of two. Mad Woman in advertising.Vessel of hidden talents. Spreader of love & posivibes. Erika shares about finding out familial truths, and feeling an abundance of familial love.
4. JESSE COURTNEY “CONTROL OR KISMET”
Jess is an author who coaches other writers to bring their creative vision to life. In elementary school she was the first and only girl to play in the advanced baseball league. She has a 16 pound cat named Hot Sauce. Her story asks us how you decide what is in your control and what is pre-determined?
5. CHLOE ALEXANDRA: “FALL TO FATE”
Chloe is a sports and fitness model, children’s book author, and bikini athlete. She’s a netflix binge watcher and a firm believer that a nap a day keeps the xanax away. Her story is about the journey some of us have to take to get to where we are meant to be.
6. MARU SERRICCHIO: “BABY BROTHER”
Maru was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and grew up in Mexico City. She came to the United States at age 16 and has moved around a few states since. She has an amazing family- they’re all extremely enmeshed AND talk at least once a day. Maru is a part time therapist, primarily couples therapy, and she also teaches psychology at PCC. She loves learning, teaching, and learning some more! For fun- she’s usually climbing things or finding adventures to engage in. Maru talks about an unfortunate loss, and the funny way fate can step in to keep you going and supply timely guidance.
— stay tuned for our next round of Free Speech in October where we will hear stories on the theme WE ARE THE WEIRDOS, MISTER