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Flatball Radio | Dom Fontenette on a Teammate’s Suicide

by | April 21, 2015, 7:30am 0

As we count down the days until Flatball Radio: Portland (ultimate’s live storytelling series) Skyd will release story videos from the inaugural event in Seattle.

Early in the workshopping process, I asked Flatball’s storytellers to come up with several story ideas to pitch to the group. One thing Dominique Fontenette talked about was the recent suicide of her friend, Stephanie Barker. I think this was when I knew that Flatball Radio was going to tell important stories that transcended the boundaries of our sport. I felt grateful that a 20-something year world/national/everything champion would take such a risk on a new project like this. Dom trusted what we were doing enough to share such a personal and vulnerable story. This was a big moment for me in realizing the power these stories could hold.

Once Dom decided that this was the story she would tell live, we workshopped it with the group in our many meetings and email threads. During this process, Dom got some feedback that the ending was a big downer and it wasn’t a good way to leave the audience. Technically, I can appreciate that note and maybe even agree with it, but personally, I couldn’t ask Dom to put audience comfort level over personal truth. Dom felt a certain way and there wasn’t a neat bow to put on top. I felt it was paramount that Dom end the story in a way that reflected how she was processing the loss. The audience, like Dom, had to get outside their comfort zone with this ending and confront some difficult truths.

More about Dom: Dynasties and gold medals seem to follow her wherever she goes. Also a doctor. Also parties hard. Also best name.

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