Performers!

  • Karen Shimmin Gets Ridiculous...

    Karen Shimmin is a writer, performer, and plant hoarder. She co-hosts Essay Fiesta, a monthly reading series at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square, as well as All Write Already!, the “completely unpretentious” literary podcast, which is currently in hibernation.

    Three things you may not know about Karen...

    1) My three favorite foods are pie.

    2) I took cello lessons for nine years. I stopped taking lessons in college, when I realized that I didn't actually have to keep going to see my new teacher, who made me cry almost every time I saw her. I grew out my fingernails and started wearing rings and bracelets and now I'll never be good at the cello again.

    3) My most prized procession is an orchid that has bloomed four times. Sidenote: is it possible to insure an orchid?

  • Erin Diamond Gets Ridiculous...

    Erin Diamond is sooooooo exhausted.  She wrote, directed, and co-produced with Leah Munsey--Christmas: by Melania at the Uptown Underground at 8pm on 11/14, 11/21, 12/4, 12/5,  12/11, 12/19.  The show is an homage to the Christmas variety shows hosted by Judy Garland, Cher, The Osmonds, and the few clips of Kathy Lee Gifford's she could find on YouTube.  Guest appearances by Jeff Sessions, Mike and Karen Pence, Kellyanne Conway, Maxine Waters, and many more!!! Please, please come see it.  Erin is a frequent contributor to The Paper Machete where she has played Melania over a dozen times.  She is a devoted fan of the band Third Eye Blind.

    Three things you might not know about Erin ...

    1) Erin got so scared at Six Flags Great America's Fright Fest for her friend Nikki's 13th birthday party, that she attacked one of the masked performers that jumped out at her (because she was so terrified) and the entire party was escorted out by security.

    2) Erin's uncle Drury Gallagher helped establish the Swim Around Manhattan in honor of his son and Erin's late cousin Drury Jr.

    3) Erin used to send the same nude photo when asked for a nude photo so that only one carefully curated nude photo of her could be leaked in the case of a nude photo leaking.

  • Brenna Kearney Gets Ridiculous...

    Brenna comes to Chicago via New York, London and Kansas City. Her great loves are scotch, steak and Dateline mysteries. She has performed with several groups in Chicago but her heart belongs to You're Being Ridiculous.

    Three things you may not know about Brenna...

    1. I've never been in the ocean because I'm afraid of sharks.

    2. Here's something everyone knows instead of doesn't know. Everyone knows I hate goat cheese and yet they keep trying to give it to me. Putting you on blast people! No more goat cheese.

    3. I was excited when John McCain nominated Sarah Palin as his running mate ... until I she started talking. I will carry this shame to my grave.

  • Sarah Hollenbeck Gets Ridiculous...

    Photo credit: Patrick Allen Carberry

    Sarah Hollenbeck has published personal essays in Dogwood, TriQuarterly, and Shondaland. Her essay "A Goldmine" was nominated for a Pushcart and received a Notable Mention in Best American Essays. She's also a contributor to the new anthology NASTY WOMEN, which was published by Picador earlier this year and features Cheryl F*ckin Strayed. But she’s often distracted from her writing by her day-job running Women & Children First, one of the last remaining feminist bookstores in the country. As the store's co-owner she has been featured in New CIty's Lit50 twice and in Publisher's Weekly Star Watch, which honors 40 young people who are making a difference in the U.S. publishing industry.

    Three things you may not know about Sarah...

    1) Kinda obsessed with Bojack Horseman to the point that I have incorporated direct quotes from the show into pivotal entries in my diary.

    2) My secret shame is how familiar I am with 7-Eleven’s selection of roller grill snacks.

    3) I laugh every time I see anyone fall down. 

  • Adrienne Gunn Gets Ridiculous...

    Adrienne Gunn is a writer, editor, and humorist based in Chicago. Her fiction and essays have appeared in various literary magazines including McSweeney’s and PANK. In 2016 her one-woman show Mother of the Year! premiered in Chicago to sold out audiences. She served as both Managing Editor and Fiction Editor of TriQuarterly, the literary magazine of Northwestern University, and is currently co-editor of the web magazine HEAUXS. Adrienne holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon and is an official cast member of the kates, an all-female comedy group dedicated to showcasing funny women in positive and inclusive environments.

    Three things you might not know about Adrienne...

    1.  Adrienne collects salt and pepper shakers. She's got over 90 shakers ... there are Thanksgiving pilgrims, kittens, fish, and on and on and on. Her latest set is President Obama and Michelle ... it's her fave.

    2.  She bikes everywhere. EVERYWHERE. She sold her car back in 2013 ... and she's been biking everywhere since and she's never been happier.

    3.  Her favorite TV Show is Matlock ... and also The Real

    Adrienne is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, November 18 ...
    Follow this link to get your tickets!

  • Stephanie Diaz Gets Ridiculous...

    Stephanie Diaz is an actor, puppeteer, casting director and writer. She channels any existing and potential neuroses into small, intricate, handcrafted items that invariably cause her carpal distress. Current interests include watching her cats freak out over her new Flokati shag rug; baiting racists on the train by speaking Spanish on the phone with her mother; and berating herself for not screening houseguests more thoroughly. She recently discovered that Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome is a significant driving force behind many of her personal and aesthetic proclivities, and she is 100% okay with it. She is a founding member of The Chicago Inclusion Project, Artistic Associate at 16th Street Theater and proud Guatemalan-American. This is not her first time at the Rodeo, because she never plans to attend one.

    Three things you didn’t know that you didn’t know about Stephanie...

    1. She is a former competitive gymnast who only got into theatre after she broke her tailbone in training. Yes, that is correct: she fell on her ass, and it broke. She can still do a cartwheel directly into the splits, and will occasionally do so if you ask nicely (and by “nicely,” she may or may not mean “bearing an alcoholic beverage for her consumption”).

     

    1. She is mentally, constantly and compulsively copy-editing every piece of writing she sees. Perhaps-unrelatedly, she takes migraine medication you can only get in Latin America.

     

    1. She hates feet. Your feet. All feet. Feet are gross. Please don’t touch her with your unshod feet.



    Stephanie is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, November 18 ...
    Follow this link to get your tickets!

  • Brooke Allen Gets Ridiculous!

    Brooke Allen has performed with You're Being Ridiculous, Essay Fiesta, Mortified, Paper Machete, Guts and Glory, Write Club and more. 

    Three things you might not know about Brooke Allen...

    1) I secretly dream of being a metalsmith and making artsy copper jewelry

    2) I hate those "You Are Beautiful" signs. Ok everyone knows that, I just wanted to reiterate it.

    3) I never liked orange juice my whole entire life until randomly about a month ago and now I drink it all the time.

    Brooke is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, November 18 ...
    Follow this link to get your tickets!

  • Eileen Dougharty Gets Ridiculous...

    Eileen Dougharty has taken a year off from performing in hopes of cultivating a life worth chronicling. She’s pleased to report that her hiatus has been 22% baller and 78% blissfully boring. When she’s not passing out peanuts and snark to the flying public, she writes daily to remain within a stone’s throw of sane.

    Three things you might not know about Eileen...

    1) In my next life, I wish to be a poet. I envision myself as the unlikely love child of Warsan Shire and Billy Collins. I reserve the right to make it happen in this life if I ever get my shit together.

    2) If we’ve shared a juicy, substantive conversation, know that your thoughts are my fuel. Small talk is my daily death by a thousand yammering cuts.

    3) I like to believe my cynicism is based in scorched idealism as opposed to rampant negativity...I imagine it smelling more like cinnamon toast than burning flesh.

    Eileen is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, November 18 ...
    Follow this link to get your tickets!

  • Ashley Ray Gets Ridiculous...

    Ashley Ray is a storyteller, comic and freelance writer for The A.V. Club, the Chicago Reader and more. Her work explores the intersection between race, gender and pop culture. She was also voted the Chicago Reader's 2nd best Chicagoan to follow on Twitter. You can catch her all over town.

    Three things you may not know about Ashley...

    -I studied Latin for 7 years
    -I have 8 brothers and sisters
    -I was once engaged to be married at the age of 19

  • Patrick Allen Carberry Gets Ridiculous...

    Patrick Allen Carberry teaches English and Creative Writing at Harper College--a position which sounds "adult" but allows him to maintain an undergraduate schedule perpetually. His short fiction can be found in a number of literary magazines: PANK, Another Chicago Magazine, and others. 

    Three things you might not know about Patrick...

    1: His penis was flipped inside out momentarily for a surgery, and he loves to describe the procedure in vivid detail. Modern Medicine is fascinating. There are scars. He will show them to you if that's something you're into.

    2: He thought that the Cubs' W flag supported George W. Bush. This belief persisted for 7 years into Obama's presidency and was only corrected when the cubs won the World Series last year.

    3: He doesn't lock his front door.  

  • Randall Colburn Gets Ridiculous...

    Randall Colburn makes his living writing about music, horror movies, beer, and professional wrestling for sites like The A.V. Club and Consequence of Sound. He also writes plays sometimes, and has seen them at places like Writers Theatre in Chicago and Playwrights Horizons in New York. As a storyteller, you may have seen him at Write Club, Second Story, This Much Is True, Mortified, and Story Club (though You're Being Ridiculous is his favorite). But he's most proud of being a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2. 

    Three things you might not know about Randall...

    1.) I did a taped, in-person interview with the Pixies a few years ago and I don't think I've ever been so scared. I tried to talk to Black Francis about aliens but he didn't bite. It still turned out okay, but I can't rewatch it. 

    2.) I'm a co-host of the world's greatest and most popular Stephen King podcast. It's called the Losers' Club and I hope it's what I'm remembered for. 

    3.) My cat's name is Michelle Visage and she's my princess.

    Randall is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, November 4 ...
    Follow this link to get your tickets!

  • Jennifer Peepas Gets Ridiculous...

     

    Jennifer Peepas writes the advice site CaptainAwkward.com and teaches moviemaking at Columbia College and The Second City. She writes and directs short films and has written for BuzzFeed, Indiewire, The Archipelago, and Story Club Magazine. She's read essays on stage at You're Being Ridiculous, The Paper Machete, Miss Spoken, Loose Chicks, That's All She Wrote, The Stoop, Guts & Glory, Story Sessions, This Much Is True, and the first ever Story Club.

    Three things you might not know about Jennifer...

    1. I used to sneak out of my serious management consulting job by telling my assistant I had "client meetings." Then I'd go watch three movies in a row at the indie theater up the block.

    2. I have been my current height (5'4") since I was in about the 4th grade and was the tallest kid in class for several years. As a result I feel much taller than I am and probably (inside my mind) think I am taller than you.

    3. I was a Libertarian for 5 minutes in college because of a crush on a dude. He graduated that year, and there weren't enough Libertarians to keep Libertarian Club going so I was appointed president and inherited his giant box of unfunny t-shirts.

    Ergo, I am the former president of the Georgetown University Libertarians.

    Jennifer is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, November 4 ...
    Follow this link to get your tickets!

  • Jennifer Rumberger Gets Ridiculous...

    (pic Joe Mazza)

    Jennifer Rumberger is a Chicago-based playwright. Recent productions of her work include Night in Alachua County with Wildclaw Theatre, Open Blue Sky at Stella Adler/ NYU Tisch School of the Arts and The Bride with the Living Room Playmakers and Chicago Fringe Festival.  Jennifer’s work has been developed or presented by The Lark Playwrights Center, id Theatre Company, The Gift Theatre Company, Black Box Acting Studio, The Living Room Playmakers, Commission Theatre Company, Wordsmyth Theatre Company, White Rose Miami, Northwestern University, The Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and Chicago Dramatists. She has performed her nonfiction prose with the Genesis Ensemble and the Gift Theatre Company.  She is a founding member and associate playwright with the Living Room Playmakers in Chicago.

    Three things you don't know about Jennifer Rumberger...

    1. I love sugar. I have a map in my head of every cupcake and donut shop in Chicago and whether or not they have good indoor seating if I want to write there, catalogued according to neighborhood and season (patio seating can be a game changer.) I will also go out of my way to go to events where there will be free cake even if it is raining or very cold.

    2. When I was in first grade I tried to convince the most popular girl in class to be my best friend by writing her into a story where the two of us flew around on unicorns chasing a ghost.  I left it in her desk and she read it and asked me why I was so weird and never talked to me again until I saw her as an adult in a Panera and found out she’d gone into pharmaceutical sales.

    3. I used to terrify my family with dollar store bugs.  They made these cheap rubber spiders, and I discovered that by tying dental floss around their necks and pulling them casually behind me it looked like they were running along the carpet. One time I threw one of them over the top of the shower while my sister was in there and pretty much scarred her for life.

    Jennifer is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, November 4 ...
    Follow this link to get your tickets!

  • Saya Hillman Gets Ridiculous...

    Saya Hillman’s lifestyle business, Mac & Cheese Productionsâ„ , creates and curates experiences that encourage individuals and groups to embrace a Life of Yesâ„ — positivity, self-efficacy, playfulness, & community. Mac & Cheese motivates individuals and organizations to stretch themselves and do their best thinking, and supports people in finding fulfillment and groups in creating a positive culture. Think adult summer camp. She’s married to someone she met at one of her own events and they pulled off an almost 100% bartered wedding, as featured in the Chicago Tribune and Huffington Post. She’s attempting to pen a memoir but finds writing a book with out a book deal very very difficult.

    Three things you don't know about Saya Hillman...

    1) Not understanding how bangs work as a 12 year old, no longer wanting them, Saya cut them off, leaving her with a half circle bald spot just in time for a wedding she attended. So much professional photographic evidence!

    2) What Saya wants most in life right now -- besides world peace and an end to injustice, of course -- is a brand new Subaru with one of those huge red bows left outside her door, with a note that says, "Saya, enjoy!", a book deal, and to fit in her skinny clothes again.

    3) The working title of Saya's in-the-works memoir is: "The Poor-Rich, Fat-Skinny, Ugly-Pretty, White-Black, Quiet-Loud, Non Jew-Jew Who's Just Like You"

    Saya is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, November 4 ...
    Follow this link to get your tickets!

  • Margaret Dunn Gets Ridiculous

    Originally from the great state of denial, er Utah, Margaret has happily spent seventeen years as a starving artist in beautiful Chicago. Her work as a writer, actor, director and comedian has gone unnoticed by all the best people and Margaret has loved her time in obscurity on the stage. Recently, she decided to lose her mind entirely and have a gorgeous baby with her very patient partner. Her little boy has stolen her heart, her sleep and all of her sanity and she is loving every minute of it. You can check out more of Margaret's musings on her blog Overdunn2000.wordpress.com.

    Three things you don't know about Margaret Dunn...

    1) I accidentally got an undergraduate minor in dance because I was taking the classes to stay in shape and my teachers wouldn't let me just repeat Ballet 101 every semester. It would have been fine except they made me do a performance to get my degree so I had to get in a leotard onstage with a bunch of lithe ballet dancers and clump my way through a traditional Romanian folk dance in front of god knows how many people for two weekends in a row. And yes, there is video evidence. God help me.

    2) I almost died when I was eighteen. The summer after high school, I worked at my local pool as a lifeguard, swimming instructor and swimming coach. I came down with a cold after being wet for four weeks and couldn't shake it. I laid on the couch for two weeks, getting more and more lethargic. If my younger sister hadn't thrown a fit that I was hogging the television, my mother might not have taken me to the doctor that day. After a quick x-ray, the doctors got very serious and whisked me upstairs. It turns out, my right lung was full of fluid and my left lung was three-fourths of the way full. If they hadn't taken me to the hospital that day, I probably would have just fallen asleep that night and never awakened. So, essentially I am alive today because my little sister wanted to watch Saved By the Bell. Thanks Bess!

    3) I hate green beans. I know they are everyone's favorite vegetable but I can't stand them. Yes, I have tried them with bacon. Yes, I have tried them fresh. No, I still cannot eat them without wanting to rip out every taste bud in my mouth and stomp them into oblivion while screaming, "THERE IS NO REASON FOR YOU TO BE SO HORRIBLE! NONE!"

    Margaret is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, November 4 ...
    Follow this link to get your tickets!

  • Esteban Cruz Celebrates PRIDE with YBR

    Esteban Andres Cruz feeds off of hatred and turns it into love, like plants and carbon dioxide. Esteban is from the sunflower family and as his mother lovingly calls her; a girly boy. He will hug the shit out of you if you get too close and that is not a threat but a promise. Unite, all sisters under the X chromosome! Feminine joes, come out of the closet! The revolution has begun and we are it! 

    Esteban is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, June 24 ...
    Follow this link to reserve your ticket for that night's performance!

  • Scott Duff

    Scott Duff is a Chicago- based actor, comedian, radio host, and professional gay.  He is the host/producer of The Kiki: Queer Comedy with Variety, Laugh Factory Chicago’s night of queer comedy, and has gayed up audiences at venues all over the city and the Midwest including Zanies, iO, The Annoyance, Uptown Underground, and Comedy Sportz.  As an actor he has performed with Steppenwolf, Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, About Face Theatre, ATC, and Lookingglass Theatre, and he can be seen in a variety of independent films.  You can listen to Scott every Sunday on OUT CHICAGO, a weekly live talk show for the LGBT community airing from 11am-1pm on WCPT, Chicago’s Progressive Talk AM & FM. 

    Scott is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, June 24 ...
    Follow this link to reserve your ticket for that night's performance!

  • Sherry Fine @ Steppenwolf!

    Sherry Fine is a wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister, sister-in-law and friend.  The only thing she really cares about are her people. 

    Three things you may not know about Sherry...

    1. I sold Christmas trees for 15 years

    2. I haven't spoken to an audience since my Bat Mitzvah 

    3. I starred in a tv commercial

    SHERRY is performing with us SATURDAY, JUNE 24 AT UNCOMMON GROUND

    Follow this link to reserve a ticket for that night's peformance!

  • Jess Kadish @ Steppenwolf!

    Jess Kadish has been telling and directing stories in Chicago since 2011, mostly with 2nd Story where she’s been a proud company member since 2012. She spends the academic year in the cornfields training in the MFA acting program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and she’s also an ensemble member with Teatro Aguijón, Chicago’s Spanish-speaking theatre company. Her Chicago-based web series acting credits include Easy Abby (Juicy Planet), You’re So Talented (OpenTV), and DateSMASH! (XVP Comedy). She’s a graduate of UChicago and is represented by Gray Talent Group. Find her online at jessicakadish.com. Find her in real life memorizing lines out loud on the CTA – it’s a great way to get a seat all to yourself.

    Three things you may not know about Jess...

    1.  During naptime in kindergarten, I’d wait until the teachers weren’t looking, then slowly crawl behind the bookcase and read until the other kids woke up. Now, of course, I realize they knew what I was doing and let me get away with it, but at the time I thought I was pulling off this elaborate secret bookworm heist.

    2.  My mom is the oldest of eleven kids from a farm town in the thumb of Michigan. So, naturally, I came out to my aunts and uncles over a game of Euchre.

         “What’s trump?” my aunt asked.

         “I’m gay!” I blurted.

         A pause.

         “Oh. Okay. What’s trump?” my aunt repeated.

    3. When my wife Erica and I got married last summer, she wore a dress and I wore a suit during the ceremony. Then, for the party, we traded. Best lez outfit switcheroo we've ever pulled off.

  • Steven Strafford @ Steppenwolf!

    Steven Strafford is an actor and writer. His one man show, Methtacular, is going to be published in an anthology of one person shows this fall. He is the author of the play, Small Jokes About Monsters, coming to a Chicago theater soon. He does musicals and plays all over Chicago.

    Three things you may not know about Steven Strafford...

    1. I was, at one time, homeless.

    2. My last name backwards is Dr of Farts.

    3. I host a podcast called She Loves Sisters about, among other things, the 90s TV show, Sisters.

    Steven is performing with us at Steppenwolf on Wednesdy, June 21...
    Follow this link to reserve your ticket for that night's performance!