About Jamie Brickhouse — Including Praise for His Speaking & Book Club Presentations
JAMIE BRICKHOUSE, is a writer and performer. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir of Booze Sex and My Mother, published by St. Martin's Press in hardcover, e-book, trade paperback, and by Macmillan Audio as an audio book narrated by Brickhouse. It’s “Required Reading” in Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir; an Amazon “Best Book of May 2015;” a Book Chase “2015 Nonfiction Top 10;” and Wally Lamb declared, “Move over, Augusten Burroughs. You’ve got company.” It received stellar reviews from publications such as Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, Interview, and The Washington Post. Brickhouse has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Salon, Out, Amtrak's Arrive, Lambda Literary Review, Publishers Weekly, Shelf Awareness, Australia’s The Daily Life, The Fix.com, the Latin American travel magazine Travesía, Addiction/Recovery eBulletin, and is a guest blogger for The Huffington Post and POZ.
Brickhouse, a comedic storyteller, performs a solo show based on Dangerous When Wet and directed by Obie-winning David Drake. Off-off-Broadway, it won an "Audience Choice Award" at the 2017 FRIGID Theater Festival in New York out of 30 shows, was featured in the New York Post’s “Page Six” gossip column, and was named a “Best Bet” in Theater is Easy. It received rave reviews from NY Theater Guide (“It’s a mighty piece masquerading as a small one-man show”), Theater is Easy (“an emotionally packed show where there is never a dull moment”), and Hi! Drama (“intelligent, literate and rib-tickling funny”).
He is a three-time StorySLAM champion of The Moth, the acclaimed, not-for-profit worldwide organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, a Literary Death Match champion, and has performed at live storytelling shows throughout New York, including Kevin Allison's acclaimed Risk! He has also performed stand-up comedy and recorded voice-overs for the legendary cartoon TV show Beavis and Butthead.
As a keynote speaker, Brickhouse covers a range of topics from alcoholism / addiction / recovery, suicide prevention from the perspective of an SAS (suicide attempt survivor), the art and craft of memoir writing, overcoming HIV stigma, dementia (specifically Lewy body dementia), storytelling (as performer and instructor), book marketing and publicity, and GLBTQ issues. He has spoken/taught at the New York State Suicide Prevention Conference, Alzheimer’s Association (NYC Chapter), Columbia Publishing Course (17 years), BookCon/BookExpo, San Miguel Writers’ Conference (upcoming), HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction, Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference, the Northern California Writers’ StoryTellers Conference & Expo, Atlanta Writers’ Club, and the New England Independent Booksellers Association. He is on the board of the Lewy Body Dementia Resource Center, an advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and guest blogger for POZ magazine.
Brickhouse has also presented at writing festivals, literary arts groups, and conferences such as the Texas Book Festival, the Atlanta Journal Constitution Decatur Book Festival, Southampton Arts Center, Baltimore Book Festival, San Antonio Book Festival, Woodstock Writers Festival, the Secret City, Spoken Interludes, and several book clubs. Brickhouse is available to speak to book clubs in person, when possible, and via Skype or speaker phone. See contact page for a discussion guide. See below for praise for Jamie's presentations and book club appearances.
Brickhouse spent over two decades in the publishing industry, most recently at two major houses as head of their publicity and lecture divisions. He is founder and CEO of redBrick Agency, a lecture bureau for authors. A native of Beaumont, Texas, he is a graduate of Trinity University (San Antonio) and the Radcliffe Publishing Course (now the Columbia Publishing Course). Brickhouse lives in New York City with his common-law husband Michael. He is at work on his next book, I Favor My Daddy, a memoir about his father Earl.
PRAISE FOR JAMIE'S PRESENTATIONS
“Jamie Brickhouse has lived an amazing life – in and out of publishing – and he provides audiences with a vivid and insightful talk that will be sure to provoke and inspire.”
—Shaye Areheart, Director of the Columbia Publishing Course
“Jamie Brickhouse spoke at our Young Presidents Organization international forum…and received across the board ‘tens.’ Jamie captivates with his stories and wit, educates with his insight into culture and publishing, and unites with his thought provoking workshop. A highly recommended speaker. One of our great storytellers.”
—David Ellis, GemCap Solutions, YPO Member
“The subject of suicide is an uncomfortable subject for us all. With courageous honesty and gentle wit, Jamie Brickhouse tells his story. His is a story of struggle but most of all resilience and strength—strength in staring down the weighty shame attached to an attempted suicide; and strength in his call to action for us all to do better for the many that find themselves alone and in similar straits.”
—Dr. Jay Carruthers, Medical Director, Bureau of Psychiatric Services
Director, Suicide Prevention Office NYS Office of Mental Health
“Jamie Brickhouse was our closing keynote speaker at a reception for several hundred writers, agents, and editors. He was so engaging that even the bartenders listened with rapt attention. When he finished, the line for Jamie to sign books stretched across the room, and people kept stopping me to say how wonderful he was, using words like ‘hilarious’ and ‘exceptional.’ We could not have asked for a better speaker.”
—Becka Oliver, Executive Director, Writers' League of Texas
“Jamie Brickhouse was exceptional. I enjoyed this keynote reception the most.”
“Jamie was phenomenal!"
“Jamie provided a phenomenal chance to wind down for the day, both funny and moving."
—Audience Raves for Writers’ League of Texas Conference keynote speech
“Jamie Brickhouse’s presentation at the LBGTQ AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) conference was one of the most touching talks I have ever heard. He shared his lived experience with humor and grace about how his struggles with alcoholism led him to suicidal behavior. It was inspiring, real, and there was not a dry eye in that room full of survivors like myself and other clinicians. He shed light on the taboo subject of suicide and gave us all deep insight into and understanding of the plight of a suicide attempt survivor. There were tears, hugs, and even laughter.”
—Judy Battista, Survivor of suicide loss, board member, AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)
“Jamie's presentation was amazing. He is a natural born storyteller and performer. He mesmerized his audience, including me, which you need to understand, is up to its eyeballs with stories about people with dementia. I, for one, was laughing and crying and everyone around me was too. I highly recommend Jamie as a speaker and Dangerous When Wet for anyone struggling with addiction and/or close to a person struggling with dementia.”
—Wendy J. Panken, LCSW Psychotherapist and former Manager of the Support Group Program NYC Chapter, Alzheimer's Association
“Jamie's reading was entertaining and brought much laughter and applause to the room; he brought his memoir to life in such an animated, relatable way. It was truly a joy to hear him read. As part of our diverse debut author's panel, he offered advice not just from the perspective of a published memoirist, but as someone who spent decades in publishing. Jamie is an asset to the literary community—in his writing, in his readings, through his wisdom, and, my favorite part, his personal interactions with attendees. Jamie is just a pleasure to be around.”
—Donna Talarico, Director, HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers
“Jamie’s sold-out memoir workshop received the highest possible scores from participants with comments like ‘excellent;’ ‘time flew by, give me more;’ ‘great workshop, well-organized and useful;’ ‘best workshop yet.’ Jamie was easy to work with, and delivered a superb workshop. He also starred in our Storytelling Fest with a captivating story, presented with great skill and talent.”
—Susan Page, Director, San Miguel Writers’ Conference
“Participants appreciated Jamie Brickhouse’s workshop at the annual Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference, not just because of the valuable information he provided, but also because of his genuine warmth and down-to-earth sincerity in discussing the challenges and rewards of memoir writing.”
—Lee Gutkind, editor, Creative Nonfiction; director Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference
“Jamie Brickhouse gave a presentation on book publicity at our writers’ conference. He delivered essential and up-to-date information, tips and best practices, and anecdotes to illustrate the info. He even tailored the information to the presentation to the particular genres and needs of the attendees, not an easy task in a room full of people. He was funny, honest, and professional.”
—Michael Noll, Program Director, Writers' League of Texas
“Brickhouse is a comedic storyteller who is quite entertaining. . . His [‘I Remember’ memoir workshop] prompts [at the Creative Nonfiction Magazine Writers’ Conference] were simple but productive.”
—Mesa Journal (student news site for University of Texas Permian Basin)
“Jamie Brickhouse is a marvelous guest speaker. When he appeared at the Atlanta Writers' Club, the audience was totally rapt not only by his conversational and witty style, but also thought-provoking commentary on writing and his life journey. A very enlightening and entertaining experience.”
—Michael K. Brown, President, Atlanta Writers' Club
“When the New Atlantic and New England Independent Booksellers Associations were looking for a keynote speaker for our retreat on successful bookstore events we looked no further than Jamie Brickhouse. Over our years in bookselling and publishing we had heard what a dynamo Jamie was. When it turned out that the publication of his memoir, Dangerous When Wet, coincided with our retreat, we knew we'd struck gold. Jamie was fabulous! On time! Prepared! He knew his audience! He imparted a mother lode of useful information wrapped in quick wit, real smarts, great anecdotes and a blazer that was the envy of every man and woman in the room! We loved Jamie and you will too.”
—Steve Fischer, Executive Director, NEIBA (New England Independent Booksellers Association)
“Jamie spoke to a crowd at BookCon during the very last hour of Book Expo weekend. Tough audience! But he captivated them with stories and lifted the energy in the room. He'd be a great speaker in any situation.”
—Martin Quinn, BookCon
“Jamie Brickhouse is a very exciting presenter. At our Northern California Writers’ StoryTellers Expo, Jamie was full of important knowledge about the publishing industry and gave an incredibly insightful and helpful speech that had our attendees raving about him. Jamie made the attendees laugh (and sigh) as he described the ups and downs of working with traditional publishers. He unanimously received high marks from both the attendees and the staff. We will definitely be asking Jamie to return next year, as he was a true Southern gentleman throughout the entire Expo and couldn’t have been a better presenter.”
—Anne Jordan, President Northern California Writers & Director, StoryTellers Expo
“To hear Jamie Brickhouse read from and discuss Dangerous When Wet is to be invited into a funhouse of memory. His outsized reflections make you laugh and shudder and laugh some more. You find afterward that his strange recollections linger, and you realize then the truth of it; how he and Mama Jean have changed and enlarged your idea of what it means to love. My students who attended Jamie’s panel discussion all raved about it and how refreshing it is to get a male perspective on memoir. I agree.”
—Donna Johnson, author of Holy Ghost Girl & moderator, Texas Book Festival
“Jamie Brickhouse is a live-wire of wit and compassion. He brought such a relaxed yet urgent insight to our ‘Recovery Panel,’ and it was the talk of the town for weeks. We’re already figuring out ways to bring him back to Woodstock Bookfest!”
—Martha Frankel, Executive Director, Woodstock Writers
“Jamie Brickhouse gave a terrific presentation for Dangerous When Wet at the 2015 AJC Decatur Book Festival. He kept the attention of everyone in attendance who hung onto every word of his talk and conversation and it was followed by a lively Q&A. The whole audience was engaged and entertained.”
—Philip Rafshoon, Program Director AJC Decatur Book Festival
“Jamie Brickhouse is a funny, smart and brutally honest speaker who brings flair and a glamorous warmth to tough subjects. It’s hard to imagine having a conversation with someone about illness, suicide, AIDS, and family heartbreak — and basically laughing all the way through it.”
—Alex Kuczynski, Hostess of Southampton Arts Centre’s Lecture Series
“We could not have been more impressed with Jamie’s presentation. His story had something for everyone and he delivered it with humor, warmth and panache. Others have made lemonade out of lemons, but he added effervescence and created a cocktail all his own. Jamie holds out hope for the hopeless – and draws on his considerable acting talent to captivate a very demanding Dallas audience.”
—David Davis, Director of Public Relations, “Authors at the Adolphus,” Dallas
“Hilarious, warm, magnetic, and charming, Jamie Brickhouse made the evening a sparkling success. We only wished we could have listened to him all night.”
—DeLauné Michel, author and founder of Spoken Interludes
“Jamie Brickhouse brought that rare and invaluable blend of professionalism and panache to our event. Where others might have shared a reading from their work, Jamie brought one of the characters from his work to life. As a result of Jamie's humor and the quality of his writing, our forum at the Baltimore Book Festival was not only informative but it was great fun as well.”
—Nancy Murray, Organizer, Baltimore Book Festival/CityLit Project
“Jamie Brickhouse was an engaging, often humorous presence on the LGBT memoir and bio panel at the 7th Annual Rainbow Book Fair. He helped attract a large audience, and was a sparkling addition to the panel, talking about his first book and the rewards and challenges of memoir writing.”
—Perry Brass, founding coordinator the New York Rainbow Book Fair
“Jamie’s was phenomenal and ranks among the best author speaker we've ever had. His story really touched me. He is an amazing human being – a true inspiration.”
—Paula R. Fenner, CPCE, Director of Catering, “Authors at The Adolphus,” Dallas
“Jamie Brickhouse is an inventive, hilarious, thoughtful, and considerate speaker at any event he is a part of. A former publishing professional, he knows to prepare for his events, not just show up at them. He has been game for every event we suggested to him at the San Antonio Book Festival. Plus, he wears clothes, which wouldn’t normally be remarkable except for the fact that his outfits are routinely vibrant and a little outrageous, ensuring that he’s a stand-out, fun presence.
—Clay Smith, literary director, San Antonio Book Festival
"When the town hero comes home, it makes the news. When it’s Jamie Brickhouse, it’s all the rage. Let’s face it. In the south we all have our wacky stories, but Jamie’s jumped straight off the lectern and into our hearts. His wit is infectious, he speaks for us all, and his stand-up routine is just knee-slapping pleasure. Each of us left the room feeling like his best friend. Should you ever be so lucky to hire this man or hear his performance, run don’t walk to sign the contract or purchase a ticket. An evening with Jamie Brickhouse is delightfully uplifting, poignant, and good ol’ southern fun."
—Karen Chapman, public relations director, McFaddin-Ward House Lecture Series, Beaumont, TX
“We had a full house for Jamie’s presentation to the Atlanta Writers' Club. From his opening remarks until the last book was signed, he kept the audience completely engaged and entertained. We’ll definitely invite him back!”
—Valerie Connors, VP of Programming, Atlanta Writers' Club,
PRAISE FOR JAMIE'S BOOK CLUB TALKS
“It was a joy and very entertaining to interact with Jamie! His sensitivity, humor, and visceral account of a symbiotic relationship with Mama Jean was touching and memorable. His answers to our questions, plus his questions for us, certainly added to our understanding and appreciation for his book, and most especially for his mother, Mama Jean. Jamie's stories added laughs to our dinner and we all had a wonderful evening!”
—Rhonda Peck, Austin Teachers Book Club
“Jamie helped bring his book, Dangerous When Wet, to life when he made a guest appearance at our book club. It was wonderful to be able to hear the book in his wonderful Southern cadence.”
—Jennifer Ferguson, Melody Book Maids Book Club of New York
“Cheers to Jamie Brickhouse! Blending his story of love, survival and gown days with unguarded style, Jamie mixes the perfect free pour conversation cocktail. Like chatting with a longtime friend, the topics were limitless. His disarming charm was delightfully intoxicating while his humor enchanted us completely. We eagerly anticipate his next book and the opportunity to Skype with him again!”
—Claire Cross, Facilitator, Reading Between the Wines Austin Book Club
“Our book club was fortunate to be able to Skype with Jamie. He answered the many questions asked by our group with integrity and humor. Jamie tells his story about his struggles with alcoholism and his tumultuous relationship with his mother, Mama Jean, with openness and candor. He presented his downward spiral to the depths of depression followed by his ascent to happiness and confidence with amazing honesty. I would recommend Jamie and his book for any book club!”
—Anne McClellan, Rookie Book Club, Beaumont, TX