RISK! Podcast
  • Episode:#515
  • Date:January 27, 2014
  • Run Time:42:19
  • Download: MP3

Fighting Back

Ellie Jackson and Liz Stewart tell stories about facing traumas of their pasts and moving on.

Song: RISK! Theme by Wormburner and John Sondericker

Song: Sote Sote Adhi Raat by The Bombay Royale

Radio Story: I Can See Clearly Now by Ellie Jackson

Song: The Curse by Agnes Obel

Live Story: The Freak Shall Inherit the Earth by Liz Stewart

Song: War Zone by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.


  1. Could you please never ever ever ever ever EVER again use a story where the teller is chewing gum? The smacking and popping during Liz Stewart’s story was distracting and obnoxious, and you can’t tune that out with earbuds in. Good story, but between the saliva sounds and how disjointed it was (a forgiveable issue when telling such an intense story live) it should have been reworked & re-recorded.

  2. Amazing stories and amazingly strong people for sharing them. As for the gum…I didn’t mind a bit! We all have our little quirks and distractions that come out when we’re emotional and I think it only added to the feeling of the story.

  3. Great stories..but I got agree with JJ…please get your story tellers to spit their gum out. Otherwise why not have them eating a ham sandwich while telling stories. 😛

  4. Very heart breaking stories to hear. To know that people go through this, more then we know. My support and thoughts go out to all those dealing with this in their lives.

    Side note: The Gum..holy cow..the gum chewing. Not a great combination :S

  5. It’s already been stated – the gum chewing ruined that story. I will never know that woman’s story because I had to stop listening.

  6. Christ, I hate gum. Singapore, you got that one right.

    Also, I’ve noticed a few storytellers (Liz being one of them) will, (in my opinion) fake a quiver in their voice/hint at breaking down at points in their story for effect. I of course can’t prove the affectations aren’t genuine, but my gut sure says they aren’t.

  7. This woman has the guts to pour her heart out and revisit such an obviously painful time in her life and all you can focus on is her chewing gum? Seriously?

  8. Thanks so much, Kathy and Sarah! I’m glad you two get it!

  9. I was at the live recording of Liz’s story. It was heartfelt, genuine and inspiring. It takes true courage to open up about childhood trauma, to put your heart and your emotions on the line in front of the world. Not so much to pick someone apart on a message board. That’s kinda petty and shitty. Anyways, Risk is awesome, and Ellie Jackson and Liz Stewart are two brave and funny ladies.

  10. Both very brave and honest stories. I don’t like guys named Dave or Crest tooth paste anymore. Liz is a good vision. Look it up! She deserves an Oscar, a Jergen’s Lotion call back, and to be president. That shit wasn’t fake but what do I know because I was crying. Very funny and heartfelt.

  11. Two painfully personal stories and the first comment is about gum chewing?! Alright, I get that many of these story tellers have theater/acting chops, but to have the gall to question the sincerity in their voice and they reopen deep wounds and dismiss them as some sort of affect or “crocodile quivers” is… I don’t even think I have words for that. Then again, I guess we’re all entitled to our own opinions …no matter how ass-clownish they may be!

  12. Sorry if I hurt your feelings Vladimyr, but a good part of these stories involve craft, and the ‘insert here is when I cry’ bit just fell flat for me.

    The wounds may be genuine but the poorly executed affectation pulled me out of the story.

    And yep, that gum shit is too much. Look it up; some people have a innate sensitivity to sounds like that. Myself being one of them. Finger nails on a chalkboard.

  13. Thank you, Vladimyr! Suck a chode, Bump. I had never told that story before and you have the nerve to criticize my gum chewing? Do you hang outside women’s shelters and criticize their fashion choices, too? You’re a fucking peach, man. Never breed or be around anyone. Maybe your heart could take a sensitivity lesson from your ears.

  14. Thin skin much Liz?

  15. Douchebag much?

  16. You know Liz… I sincerely apologize for offending you. It takes guts to get up there and tell a story, painful or not.

    That said, I just didn’t dig it. Between my two previously stated points, the story fell flat. I guess maybe I’m spoiled by the so many excellent stories I’ve heard on risk.

    …And come on “I had never told that story before and you have the nerve to criticize my gum chewing?”, etc.

    If you’re going to put yourself out there, be prepared for critique. Responding with vitriol doesn’t do your case much good. Besides, maybe I’d enjoy a good chode suck.

  17. Thank you for your apology, Bump. I would not have responded had it not been for your multiple vitriolic comments. I let the first one slide, as everyone is entitled to their opinion, however incorrect it may be. I am grateful that I did tell my story, even with the gum chewing complaints, because I have been contacted by many listeners who shared similar experiences. Now they know that they are not alone. That is the greatest gift any performer can receive. I am glad I put myself out there, because it has meant healing for me as well as a catharsis for some listeners. You have to know that when you put yourself out there, even if it is from the safety of being behind your computer, you will receive critiques as well. I hope that one day you will be able to recognize genuine emotion and not feel the need to trivialize it.

  18. I think we have different ideas as to what is vitriolic. I commented twice (once in response to Vlad) and attacked you personally in neither one. If anyone responded vitriolicaly, it was you. Furthermore, I’m quite capable of recognizing/appreciating/feeling genuine emotion. I made no aspersions regarding how you feel/felt/experienced. It is your craft I found lacking.

  19. Pearls before swine… Good luck.

  20. Do you believe your piece to be beyond reproach? That I am merely incapable of appreciating your work? Could you appear more entitled? I make my livelihood as a creative, and work with critique (giving and receiving) every day. I was where you may very well be, at a point my career, not so long ago. Crit put my shorts in a serious knot. However, when I moved beyond that point, the quality of my work/life exponentiated. I wish you the best in perhaps glimpsing a similar perspective.

  21. Thank you for your input. I shall treasure it always.

  22. You sound like a backhanded Hallmark card. Way to deflect, Liz.

  23. It didn’t post my emoticons. I really wanted you to see them. They were little kissy faces.

  24. Oh, I saw them… I saw them. Goodnight.

  25. I wrote a response earlier today, but somehow it went missing. I thought you did an incredible job, Liz. Didn’t notice the gum chewing a bit and I’m picky about podcasts. You spoke bravely and with wit. I was impressed by your compassion towards yourself. Keep talking, keep telling! Speak to and for the oddballs. There are, as you so rightly pointed out, tons of us. It’s always nice to tell the little oddballs, particularly little ones, that they’ll make it out alive.

  26. Thank you so much, Melissa! I’m sending you a cyberhug right now!

  27. For what it’s worth, I think the snarkiness above may stem from some unintentional sexism. You tremble, both in your voice and in your actions within the story, but you show strength and resilience; you don’t crumble in the telling. I think we women are expected to dissolve and recover, not to be steely. While I know you weren’t always steely in life (who could be?), you beautifully are in the story. And thank you for the power of your (true! true! true!) assertion that not one of us deserves to be hurt by those who are supposed to love and protect us.

  28. Thank YOU, Melissa. I had suspicions that was part of it. If you are ever in LA, we have to grab a cup of coffee. You are a woman after my own heart.

  29. Liz, a story well told. I wouldn’t even address anyone who doesn’t get where you’re coming from. Whoever is criticizing your technique is lacking in empathy…and they don’t need a response. More importantly I wanted to say thanks for taking a risk on this one. the fact that you express little resentment in this telling is evidence of your strength as a human being. More power to you.

  30. I just wanna say that my English is awful. But also I am real late to this post and that I liked the gum and the deliverance. I have spent most of my life asking people about them self’s and have heard a few real strong stories before. I know pretty well the sounds of some one not wanting to go there. The sounds of trying to keep a story light that is impossible to do. Liz your story is a strong story that is hard to say outloud and I am happy that you did. And enjoyed the delivery. Hope that you will ignore trolls in the future. (do you notice folks how a troll will always say that he is working in that profession when called out)

  31. I loved Liz’s story. Parental violence is so normalized, and when you grow up around it it’s hard not to feel responsible for what was done to you. Hearing these kinds of stories really helps me come to terms with the fact that I was abused by both my parents, and was the only one to resist for the longest time. It helps me realize how strong I was, when I was so so young. And it makes you more powerful, and wiser in later years. Thanks Liz

  32. I’m floored by Ellie’s courage in sharing her story. It is so incredibly hard to call out campus assaults, and acknowledge the deep scars they leave, years after the fact. She is a truly brave soul.

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