RISK! Podcast
  • Episode:#710
  • Date:December 07, 2015
  • Run Time:1:36:36
  • Download: MP3

Live From Milwaukee!

Jeffrey Barsoum, Jacob Bach, Jess Leonard and Alecia Alstaetter tell stories of traumas and triumphs at our first live show in Milwaukee.

Song: RISK! Theme by Wormburner and John Sondericker

Song: Cleopatra in New York by Nickodemus

Live Story: That New Ship Smell by Alecia Alstaetter

Live Story: Turning the Tables by Kevin Allison

Live Story: Coming to Terms by Jess Leonard

Live Story: In a Heartbeat by Jacob Bach

Live Story: The Switch by Jeffrey Barsoum

Song: Dodged a Bullet by Greg Laswell

Buy the RISK! book now wherever books are sold, or at TheRISKbook.com. The RISK! book features 37 of the best stories that have been on the RISK! podcast and brand new stories as well. RISK! book storytellers include Kevin Allison, Michael Ian Black, Marc Maron, TS Madison, Aisha Tyler, Jesse Thorn, Dan Savage, Paul F. Tompkins, Mollena Williams-Haas, Ray Christian and more! Learn more at TheRISKbook.com.


  1. This was a great episode. Music and Stories went so well together. Thank you.

  2. Fantastic Episode! Thank you!

  3. I was deeply affected by Jess Leonard’s story. I had a significant dream the night I listened to it which I know was stimulated by her story. The dream was about being trapped, which I won’t go into, I just know the grief is still unconscious, deep within me. Abuse has many faces, nuances and effects on people and can be subtle. I had a similar experience in my youth and in a long marriage. I have come to realize with a lot of inner work that the significant other’s pain sometimes gets projected in hurtful and abusive ways. I, like Jess, now realize I did nothing wrong. Since my divorce I am now with a wonder partner and now know what a “normal” loving sex life can be. Thank you, Jess, for being courageous enough to share your story. I love RISK! and can see how telling your truth/story and being witnessed is not only healing and growth-producing for the storyteller but for others. Thank you RISK!. Perhaps someday I can be courageous too.

  4. Barsoum’s story really twisted the knife in me. Hope healing comes.

  5. Barsoum’s story blew me out of the water when he mentioned the “switch”. I also have the same issue and don’t know how to turn it off. I understand it’s a defense mechanism. But the remorse and regret it creates is deafening at times. I was raised/programmed, like many others, that showing emotion is weakness and showing weakness can cause you harm. The brave story tellers reminded why I enjoy Risk so much. Your stories allow me to feel these emotions without repercussions and the stories like Barsoum’s remind me of the times when I wouldn’t let my self feel at all. I just need to work up the courage to go to the live show in Salt Lake City. Thank you all for you work and your lives.

  6. Jess, your story really spoke to me. I was in an extremely similar situation around the same age, and I’m still struggling to accept that it wasn’t my fault years later. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone.

  7. Wonderful episode. The catch 22 with relationships is, the only way to find out what’s good for you is to experience the things that are bad. You can never really forget the bad things, especially when violence is involved. However you move on and shape a better future with that in mind, good luck Jess Leonard with your new relationship and a much brighter future.

  8. Jess’s story hit me like a slap in the face. Our histories feel eerily similar. I listen at work, and when she mentioned the phrase “coercive rape,” out of nowhere, I teared up. It struck me so hard. I’m getting ready to turn 35, and I think I’m in the beginning stages of an existential crisis. Finally, I think I’m ready to face these demons, and leave the past behind me. I’ve met a great guy, and he deserves the best version of me, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *