Every month, Testify brings five different storytellers to the stage to share their stories.
Meet the storytellers for Testify’s June 2021 show, Assimilation
Ben G. Bazán
Ben G Bazán (he/him/el) is a 6th generation Tejano and proud descendant of the Lipán Apache Band of Texas. Hijo de Gonzalo y Diana Bazán. Hermano de Andrew Lee y Kristina Dee. El es papá de Mister Beauregard the Great y Señor Duncan la Espuela. During the daytime you can find him at Acton Academy where he serves as the Middle School Guide, Athletics Director, and Head Basketball Coach. He co-founded Starr Community Theatre with his dad and is focused on becoming the Michael Jordan of Latino/a Theatre for Young Audiences. ¡Ándale, Échale Ganas!
Ladi is an artist, improviser, award-winning storyteller, and animal lover. He has taken part in storytelling events for Testify, I’m from Driftwood, Drinking with the Saints, and the Moth, where he won with a story about sympathetic nausea and what it teaches us about love and connection. Ladi is also an award-winning public speaker with Toastmasters International. He is a native Texan who currently resides in Austin with his partner and two elderly cats who hate each other.
Conor Mac is an award-winning investigative print journalist who transitioned to television writing, producing and directing. His TV shows have won multiple awards – British Academies, Royal Television Society etc. but his wife only displays the bronze ones – the rest she says “will look good in your office.” In 2019 he wrote and performed three one man shows – “If You’re Irish, Come into the Parlor”, “Liberty or Death,” “Texas Independence!” which were performed at Bastrop Opera House and “Eagle and Harp, John Riley and the San Patricios” which was performed in San Miguel de Allende during the arts festival. Conor switched to full time writing at the beginning of 2020. His first novel, Bullets In The Water is a thriller set in Texas, is being shopped to agents. He is working on his second thriller with the working title Tip The Scales. Conor and Kay divide their time between homes in Austin and Portumna, County Galway. When he’s not writing he races sports cars at a track in San Marcos and at Mondello Park in Ireland.
‘Writing is the closest thing to prayer I can muster and storytelling is the way I seek communion with others — to objectify my experience so that I am able to see it from the view of the hawk that swoops effortlessly above me as I write this; from the bird’s eye view of someone recovering, in the process of reinvention— someone whole and capable of loving something and someone into existence.’ Christine Glenn is a writer and spoken word artist living in the beautiful hill country of Texas with her husband, David, and two French Bulldogs, Chick Pea and Milo, otherwise known as ‘the Hooligans’. She is working on a poetry collection, called ‘Crypto Termas’ that will live exclusively on the blockchain as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT’s).
Shana is a wife, mother, and non-native Austinite. Of course. She believes in whiskey, bad decision-making, and the power of story telling to catalyze change. If you enjoy her story tonight and desire more of Shana’s stories, she has a couple of memoirs (and a variety of fiction) available for the Amazon Kindle under her pen name Shana Hammaker.