Event Date: September 14, 2015

Location: The Bananaland

If you're going to divulge your most awkward, mortifying moments to a room full of strangers, you might as well have a stunning backdrop. This fourth HOTC we met one street up from B:Hive, climbed two flights of rickety stairs, and congregated amongst the huge, beautiful space that is The Bananaland. Weekdays you'll find the crazy, talented trio of Marcella, Jordan, and Laurie plugging away within their successful creative firm, but this night they converted their office to a story corner. Little did any of use know just what the night was to hold...

We've all been there. That one mortifying moment that you will never forget as long as you live. It can range from a bad hair cut to a wardrobe malfunction to fumbling in front of your dreamy, too-good-to-be-true crush. 

No one can deny these moments. They shape us. They burn us. They make us first sob from embarrassment and, hopefully, later cry from laughter. 

The best therapy for such horrifying experiences is sharing: Getting it out in the open and knowing others can related. So that's just what we did. We invited five fabulous and brave individuals to share their own stories from the awkward years. 

In turn, we all laughed, got teary, and held our sides as they hurt from the constant giggles. 

To wrap up the evening, we had the talented WPKN DJs Michelle and Justin of Surf Party Apocalypse spin the tunes for us to dance off all awkward and uncomfortable feelings.

Thanks to our talented friends for documenting the night: Catherine Conroy Photography and MOJALVO filming. 

Meet our storytellers and watch their stories.

Callie Gale Heilmann is the 3rd generation to be born and raised in Hartford, CT. She, Niels (her husband) and 2 boys - Quincy and Levon - moved to Bridgeport from New York City on a whim in July 2013 to be closer to family and to be a part of an urban community. Callie received an MA from NYU in Costume Studies and an MS from Hunter College in Education. Currently, she is a partner at Hartford Prints!, an urban goods retail brand she owns with her sister. Callie enjoys live music, crawfish boils, and design for the greater good.

Watch Callie's story here.

Meg Dalton was born in Bridgeport and, though technically lived in Shelton, spent most of her childhood tending to her great grandmother's fig trees in the Park City. By day, she is a freelance journalist and associate editor of MediaShift.org where she covers crowdfunding, virtual reality, podcasts, and all things digital media and technology. By night, she fiddles around on the mandolin, explores her surroundings by foot or bike, and gets (figuratively) lost in nature. She's also working on a dinosaur hip hop album. 

Watch Meg's story here.

Matthew Sulzicki was born in Stratford. A year ago he join the B:Hive and, thus spends his work days here in downtown Bridgeport. He works for a large healthcare company, in which he helps sick patients get the therapies they need through healthcare data analysis. His wife is Pam, his puppy is Emma, and together the three of them like to work on their new house and going on hikes and explorations. And, apparently, he know the best way to get free chocolate milk…

Watch Matthew's story here.

Arielle Polites was born at Yale New Haven Hospital with her twin sister Britney. She is an Aries. She moved to Bridgeport in fall of 2014 after traveling the globe teaching English, volunteering and training in Yoga to take on her current role as Program Coordinator for the non-profit buildOn at Central High School. She currently lives in Black Rock and spends her free time teaching and practicing yoga, cooking delicious healthy meals, and taking walks in nature. 

Watch Arielle's story here.

Maddie Rhodes was born in Mt Kisco, NY. A Craigslist ad brought her to Bridgeport in 2008… she CLAIMS is wasn’t a personal ad. She’s the founder and creative genius of OhMyGemini and Monarch Workshop, which she pursues any time she’s not being bossed around by her almost 1 year son Beau. He hubby is Jordan, who’s office we’re all sitting in right here. Her current hobbies include changing dirty diapers and attempting to fit in reading time when she can… so basically, just dirty diapers. When she was little she insisted on peeing off bridges just like her big brother. 

Watch Maddie's story here.

Join us for our next event on Monday, October 5 at B:Hive Bridgeport.