Performers!

  • Lydia Otey Gets Ridiculous...

    Lydia Otey is a freshly minted lesbian with a law degree and no job.  She is also a Scorpio to the core-pio and would love a chance to gaze into your eyes and read the contents of your soul. But only if you’re into that sort of thing. Her New Years resolutions are to cook at home more, to pay more attention to her spiritual health, and maybe maybe maybe finally give up sugar.

    Lydia is sharing a story with us at the Fillet of Solo Festival at Lifeline Theatre Friday, January 19. Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Theo Allyn's Resolutions...

    Theo Allyn is an actor, improviser, and writer in Chicago. Originally from Pittsburgh, by way of New York, she has been living in Chicago for the last 5 years with her spectacular daughter, Olive. They would both like to rescue all the dogs. All of them.

    What are your New Year's Resolutions???
    I am contractually obligated to say that I resolve to quit smoking, and I do, I really do resolve to quit smoking - in like, an abstract, it's somewhere on the list kind of way. But the big resolution is to find my damn place in the universe. Without even knowing what that means exactly, I want to not be a tertiary character in my own damn life anymore. 2017 was a garbage year, for the country, but then also in my little tiny universe. I didn't follow my bliss, I didn't choose me or lean in or lean out, I just tried to keep my head above water and patted myself on the back for not drowning. So, this year, I resolve to learn how to swim.

    Theo is sharing a story with us at the Fillet of Solo Festival at Lifeline Theatre Friday, January 19. Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Archy Jamjun @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to kick off 2018 as part of Steppenwolf's LookOut Series -Steppenwolf's performance series that presents the work of artists and companies across genre and form. We're delighted to welcome Nestor Gomez back to YBR to share a story with us ... learn a little about him here and get your tickets!

    Archy Jamjun is a writer and storyteller from the burbs. He won the Moth Grandslam and his work has been feature on Risk!, The Rumpus, and The Coachella Review. You can see more of his work at ArchyArchJ.com.

    What's your favorite thing ... what can you not live without?
    As I thought about what I couldn't or wouldn't want to live without, I realized I'm a gluttonous pervert so I'm going to go ahead and say air conditioning, tranquilzers and hope. 

    Archy is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre on Friday, February 2.
    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Nestor Gomez @ Steppenwolf!

    You're Being Ridiculous is super excited to kick off 2018 as part of Steppenwolf's LookOut Series -Steppenwolf's performance series that presents the work of artists and companies across genre and form. We're delighted to welcome Nestor Gomez back to YBR to share a story with us ... learn a little about him here and get your tickets!

    Born in Guatemala and resident of Chicago since the mid 80's, Nestor Gomez holds the record for most Moth Slam wins (25)  and is offering a free "how to tell stories at the Moth workshop." Visit his website Nestorgomezstoryteller.com for more information.

    What's your favorite thing, what can you not live without?
    Spending time with the people I love. Specially my family, my wife Sweet Mel and my two kids.

    Nestor is sharing a story with us at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre on Friday, February 2.
    Follow this link to purchase tickets

  • Patrick Curtin Gets Ridiculous...

    Patrick Curtin is ordained by the Chaplaincy Institute, an Interfaith Seminary, and provides support for people in hospice.  As a celebrant, he collaborates to mark important passages in people’s lives. These events include weddings, memorials, anniversaries, pet and house blessings that reflect their values, beliefs and desires. He lives in Chicago with his spouse, Armand. He currently serves as treasurer for the Rainbow Gardener Guild and Chief of the Curtin Clan.

    Three things you may not know about Patrick...

    1) Patrick was an usher when the Beatles played at Sox Park.
    2) Patrick has 2 extra ribs—pre-Adam!
    3) Patrick was chased by the police at the Chicago Democratic Convention

  • Alisa Rosenthal Gets Ridiculous...

    Alisa Rosenthal is a musician, comedian, and teaching artist. She works at the Old Town School of Folk Music, where she teaches Wiggleworms and music residencies in the Chicago Public Schools. A Former semi-finalist for the Andy Kaufman award, she performs her original musical comedy around town and is the emcee for the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers. www.alisarosenthal.com

    Three things you may not know about Alisa...

    1) The last time I was in LA, I got mistaken for Ilana from Broad City on the street (it happens semi-regularly). Then at the airport on the way home, a security guard told me I look like the girl from "Girls." I responded, "I KNOW. ILANA. I GET IT ALL THE TIME." Then I realized he said Girls. "OH," he goes. "You DO look like her!"

    2) I had mysterious spots on my hand until I was about 14. My mom finally took me to a dermatologist who determined they were flattened warts. She prescribed me a brand new, very intensive cream. It was actually for genital warts. She warned me not to look through the accompanying instruction booklet but what can I say, I'm a rebel. This coinciding with a unit in health class about STIs. When we got to the genital warts portion my hand shot up. "I HAVE A PAMPHLET ON THIS THAT I CAN BRING IN A SHARE WITH EVERYONE!"

    3) I have an irrational fear of Ewoks. No explanation necessary.

  • Arlene Malinowski Gets Ridiculous...

    Arlene Malinowski is an actor and playwright and teaching artist who views her solo work as an artistic extension of the social justice work she has been committed to for the last twenty-five years.. Her 5 solo shows have been produced in venues and colleges across the country and abroad. Her solo show “A Little Bit Not Normal” was produced by Victory Gardens and she starts touring it this Winter. AS an actor she has worked at the Goodman, Steppenwolfe and Victory Gardens. She teaches Solo/Storytelling at Chicago Dramatists where she is is a Resident Playwright.  She is the proud recipient of the 3Arts/UIC Fellowship and has done TV and films, some of it good. Most of it bad.

    Something you may not know about the Devine Ms. Malinowski

    In LA I was in a band called Way Tapestry and the Children of the Corn Choir.  I was the part of the corn.  There were 13 members. The band had an accordion, 2 guitars, bongo drums, a flute, a tambourine and costumes. Lots and lots of costumes. We did folk covers of rock songs. Our Pat Benatar medley was fuckin' killer. During the medley one of the Corn balanced a picture of Pat on top of a sword that was balanced on her forehead and walked across the stage.  It was a fan favorite.

  • Jacoby Cochran Gets Ridiculous...

    Hey, I’m Coby. I am a born and raised Southsider and proud of it. I grew up in over 10 different Chitown stomping grounds and if it wasn’t for all this damn story telling I probably wouldn’t have ever visited many of the northside neighborhoods. With that being said, I am happy to have gotten to experience and perform in dozens of hoods across my city. Buckle in for a smooth yet ridiculous journey through my often improvised stories of life’s innocent moments turned real blending humor, heartbreak, and the intersection that is being a black man in this here America. With a Masters in Communication from Syracuse, I have worked both inside and outside the classroom with thousands of students hosting public speaking and story telling workshops across the nation, including inside Cook County JailI have been featured by NPR, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and my Mother’s braggy texts!

    Three things you may not know about Jacoby Cochran
    1. I can roller-skate better than I can walk
    2. I am the only 4 Time Collegiate “Top Speaker In the Country” 
    3. I loathe the patriarchy and tuna fish in no particular order!
  • Sarah Bowden Gets Ridiculous...

    Sarah Bowden is a teaching artist, whose plays have been performed in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Stockholm. Her work has been developed by the Painted Bride Art Center, the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, the Nylon Fusion Theatre, Monkeyman Productions, the Greenhouse Theater Center, Southern Illinois University, and Ohio University. Her full-length Lively Stones was produced as part of 20% Theatre Chicago’s ReFocus 20/20 season. Her full-length The Magnificent Masked Hearing Aid has been listed as a semi-finalist in several theatre festivals, including the Capital Repertory Next Act! New Play Summit and the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte’s nuVoices Festival; the script will be produced in March 2018 by the Chicago-based Springboard Theater. Sarah has won the White-Howells English Prize for Drama and the Margaret W. Baker Prize for Fiction. Her full-length Tin Noses was a finalist in the Route 66 Theatre Test Drive Workshop, a semi-finalist for the Stage Left Theatre Playwright Residency, and was featured as part of the 2017 Chicago Theatre Marathon.

    Three things you may not know about Sarah...

    1) My high school mascot was the Pretzel, because my hometown had a largely German heritage and a pretzel factory in its past -- or, so the story goes. The women's sports teams were, of course gendered. As a cross country runner and soccer player, I was part of the Lady Pretzels. Our school's informal motto was: “You can eat us, but you can't beat us!”

    2) I was born three months premature. I weighed one pound and thirteen ounces, and my twin brother was only an ounce heavier. My brother was in the NICU for a month, while I stayed for four. As a result of that experience, I am Deaf in my right ear, and I have an amazing startle reflex (due to being exposed to the world a bit early, I've been told). So if you drop your keys near me, I will likely catch them before they hit the floor.

    3) I am the world's foremost Superman-ologist. If you have any questions about the Man of Steel -- comics, movies, or cartoon-related -- feel free to make an appointment to speak during my o.ffice hours.

  • Christine Simokaitis Gets Ridiculous...

    Christine Simokaitis is a member of the creative writing faculty at NEIU and has published her fiction and nonfiction in journals and anthologies. She has been on stage for many of Chicago’s live lit shows, but this is her first time performing with YBR, and she is totally thrilled because she has a super secret crush on Jeremy Owens.

    Three things you may not know about Christine...

    1) When I was growing up, I had an ongoing fantasy that Laura Ingalls Wilder, from The Little House on the Prairie books, had time travelled and lived with me, so I spent a lot of time imagining that I was showing her around and explaining how to use modern conveniences like light switches.

    2) I meditate (almost) every day, and I am only telling you this because there is not much else people don’t already know about me.

    3) I have never been to Paris, but if you paid to send me, I would totally go.

    Christine is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, December 2 ...
    Follow this link to get your tickets!

  • Meg Benson Gets Ridiculous...

    Meg Benson was born in North Carolina, grew up in Grand Rapids Michigan and has lived in Chicago for 40 years.  For the last 37 of those years, she’s been married to Art Simon, a Rogers Park boy. They have three great daughters-- Julia, Caroline and Gina, and a poorly trained terrier named Trevor.
     
    For the last 35 years, Meg has worked at Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, the finest legal aid agency in the world. She loves everything about her work, including her staff and colleagues, the volunteers and most of the clients. The only thing she doesn’t like is trying to raise enough money to keep CVLS running from year to year in a world that doesn’t appreciate the value of legal aid. That sucks.
     
    For the most part though, her life is great and she is happy.

    Three things you might not know about Meg...
     
    1. She got a D in ethics in law school.
     
    2. She's like a baby or a crow-- if I see something glittery or shiny, I reach for it.
     
    3. She is an introvert. (No one believes her, but it’s true)

    Meg is performing with us at Uncommon Ground on Saturday, December 2 ...
    Follow this link to get your tickets!

  • Stephanie Jalove Gets Ridiculous...

    Stephanie Jalove is a nature-loving Chicago native. She spent ten years living in LA and NYC to see what all the fuss was about and decided to return to her no bullshit hometown four years ago. She did cool things on the coasts such as: work at celebrity events editing photos, start a non-profit arts organization for which she produced live shows and fine art auctions to raise money for important causes, perform sketch comedy, and play drums in a sexy, theatrical band called Roma! Her background credits include repeated episodes of Days of Our Lives sometime in the early 2000s. She is excited to now be writing her own material and sharing her voice with you on stage. 

    Three things you may not know about Stephanie...

    1. I have never seen an episode of Game of Thrones.

    2. I worked at a commercial production company in Hollywood that represented Christopher Guest, my hero, for whom I made cappuccinos.  

    3. I grew up riding my Big Wheel on the mean streets of Andersonville in the 80s.

  • Lupe Nunez Gets Ridiculous...

    Lupe Nunez a Director of IT at a major video game company, 22q & Homeschool Dad, first generation Mexican-Chicagoan...and now a story teller. I've only been telling stories for a bit, but I've been lucky enough to do shows like Truth Be Told, The BackRoom, Story Lab, This Much Is True, and Do Not Submit. I really dig crafting a story, getting up in front of an audience, and sharing that moment together. I look forward to telling more stories in my own way and taking the whole experience and medium even further.

    Even though I'm fairly new to storytelling, people may not know this isn't my first time on stage or behind a mic...I'm the baddest emcee you've never heard! Hip hop is a huge part of my life and it's led to other interests: I'm an avid record collector, I stockpile vintage music equipment, and somewhere, hidden in a deep, dark place, are years of hidden recordings that nobody has ever heard. Sounds like a cool story, right? ;)

  • Zina Camblin Gets Ridiculous...

    Zina Camblin - not like the Warrior Princess at all because she's a short black lesbian- not a tall white questioning Amazonion princess-  She did however write for a sitcom in LA and now teaches at Northwestern University. She is married to a New Orleanian, and together they have a dog, cat, and a hedgehog.

    Three things you may not know about Zina...

    1. My straight crush is Colin Kaepernick
    2. I'm a Willie Nelson fan
    3. I recently got my first tattoo in Japan

  • Andy Fine Gets Ridiculous...

    Andy Fine is an English teacher at Lane Tech College Prep High School, where he is the head coach of their very successful debate team. He loves reading, musicals, and his gorgeous dog Sally Field.

    Three things you may not know about Andy...

    1. I was the dance captain of my high school show choir, The Buffalo Grove Expressions, and was voted most valuable Expression my senior year.

    2. My favorite TV show is My So Called Life ... I once went dancing and hand drinks with Rickie (Wilson Cruz) and took a selfie with the Dad (Tom Irwin) at Steppenwolf.

    3. I'm obsessed with Oprah, and write her an email every year inviting her to my classroom ... she hasn't responded yet. YET.

  • Chuck Sudo Gets Ridiculous...

    The product of an unholy union between a Greek Good Humor man and a Brach's candy plant worker, Chuck Sudo grew up on Chicago's Northwest Side with an overactive imagination, ready access to candies no one likes and mispronouncing "gyro." He tells other people's stories for a living as a journalist and is currently making the world of commercial real estate weird for Bisnow.com. Chuck's byline has appeared in most publications of good or ill repute in Chicago, and he's a former editor-in-chief of Chicagoist. When he feels like leaving his Bridgeport apartment, he's also game for telling his own tales around town and is humbled by the chance to cross "performing at You're Being Ridiculous" off his bucket list.

    Three Things You May Not Know About Chuck...

    1) My mother would slip $20 into her birthday and Christmas cards to me, along with handwritten notes to "treat myself to something special," well into my forties. I asked her to stop a couple years back. Now she buys me Bod Man body spray gift packages — including the free car air freshener — to celebrate the birth of Jebus and the start of a new solar rotation. I'm hoping for the cash-filled card this Christmas.

    2) During my final year in the Navy I ran afoul of the eponymous owner and proprietor of Thunder's Tavern in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Thunder was also a licensed bail bondsman and he had this wonderful racket where he would get military servicemen blind stinking drunk, have his bouncers kick the shit out of them and arrested, then bail them out. Nice work if you can get it. Anyway, I was a smartass and loved to tell him how the bar seemed like "Porky's" in real life, which didn't sit well with Thunder. (He may have also detested that I was seeing his niece.) So one night, Thunder offers me free drinks. I declined. He then asked if I would play a game of chess with him. I declined again. Then he rephrased the question by pulling out a gun. We wound up playing chess for six hours to a Bocephus soundtrack, came to an understanding that I would never step into his bar or see his niece again, and he let me gorge on the "last call survivors" breakfast buffet before leaving.

    3) I grew up a Cubs fan in a family of White Sox fans and wanted one day to live east of Halsted Street, walking distance from the ballpark. And I achieved that goal. But that park is Sox Park, I'm a White Sox fan now and my family started rooting for the Cubs just as the team was rebuilding. Fate is a cruel mistress.

  • Elizabeth Gomez Gets Ridiculous...

    Elizabeth Gomez is a comedian, writer, and a free bleeder. She performs all over the city, but you may have seen her on Check Please, which means she is Chicago famous now. She is the founding writer of Drinkers with Writing Problems, contributing writer at Heauxs Chicago, founder of the Windy City Rollers, and possibly the reason your parents broke up.

    Three things you may not know about Elizabeth...

    1. After quitting roller derby, I realized I hate roller skating. It's boring if you're not hitting someone.

    2. Many dentists have told me that I have perfect teeth, especially since I never had braces; so perfect that I've had several say that I should donate them after I die. All was ruined in my late twenties when I cracked a tooth on a tongue bar that I'd been sporting since I was 18. Lesson here - piercing are stupid.

    3. I am a 43-year-old woman who literally gets the swoons when it comes to Idris Elba. Are other women still "boy crazy" at 43? I can sit at my desk at work and imagine us having children and what life would look like if we live together in a flat in London. When I see him on a magazine, my stomach drops because I love him so much. I mean clearly I'm crazy right? I mean at my age, I KNOW all men are garbage.

  • David Barish Gets Ridiculous...

    David Barish has spent years listening to  stories in  his  day gig as a lawyer  representing  injured  workers. He  has been telling  them since  his  parents came home and asked, "What  happened  here?" Since  then he has abandoned  fiction  and   he  has been telling  true stories. He has  done so for  many local shows including Story Sessions, Is this a Thing? That's All She Wrote,  Homewood Stories, Tenx9, Serving  the Sentence, Story Club, The Thread Reading Series and  Essay Fiesta.  He  has one  of those tiny cups from Write Club and is co-host of  Do Not Submit-Evanston.  

    Three things you might not know about David...

    1. I am extemely ticklish to the point  where I have threatened violence when  my kids were little and tried to  tickle me. We came close to  having  a DCFS situation. The hair stands up on  the back of my neck when  my wife winks at me and whispers,  "goochie goo."

    2. I  like to  throw things.  I was a pitcher when I  was a  youth and  before I stopped growing  vertically. I like to  ball up  my socks and toss them into the laundry basket, sling the newspaper from  the end of the  driveway to the front  porch and throw snowballs as if I  am  a  gunslinger in the  old west.  I  play disc golf to relax and  get  to  run up and throw a frisbee as far as I  can  and then slow my heart rate down to concentrate on  putting it into a  basket.

    3. I  could  eat  pizza every day. I would  alternate between New York and  Chicago  style and  then  vary the toppings in order to keep  from getting bored. When  I  was a kid the  notion  of a  hot  fudge  pizza  came into my head which  kept  me  laughing  for  days (hey I was a  kid and strange things make kids  laugh).   I  am still wondering about making  a dessert pizza and my mouth is  watering just  thinking about these things. My higher  functioning self helps me keep this  from becoming  a reality but then again...

  • 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.