Performers!

  • Kim Nelson's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Kim Nelson is a writer, performer, and former roller derby skater from Chicago. After retiring from contact sports, she became a regular contributor and co-editor of the literary blog Drinkers with Writing Problems, and co-producer of their live show, Lit Up, every last Friday of the month at Brisku's Bistro. According to a Buzzfeed quiz, her spirit animal is a dog wearing sunglasses. You can follow her on Twitter @ponytailup

    My Wishes for 2017:
    Ideally, world peace comes about when a certain sentient cheeto gets 'unpresidented.' Equality, kindness, tolerance, and love sweep across the land. No one is treated differently because of their gender, orientation, race, or religion. Kit Harrington appears in my dreams on a weekly basis. If that's all too much to ask, then I hope at least the upcoming season of Game of Thrones is pretty rad.

  • Steven Strafford's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Steven Strafford's new play Small Jokes About Monsters is getting a production this January in Houston. His one man show, Methtacular, will be published this spring. He is slated to be in a children's musical and a production of She Loves Me at The Marriott Lincolnshire this spring. Until now, he's acted in shows a bunch. 

    My 3 wishes for 2017 ...
    I would like it if I find a way to keep exercise in my life. Not abs-oriented or anything like that, just to keep moving 
    I want to believe that somehow we'll figure this nightmare presidency out 
    I would like to meet Charlotte Rae and/or Angela Lansbury. 

  • Julia Weiss's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Julia Weiss is one of the head writers of Cards Against Humanity. She regularly appears on The Paper Machete and is in the cast of the award winning Improvised Start Trek podcast. She's a former member of The Second City National Touring Company. Her written work has been published in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Frisky, The Red Eye, The Hambook, and The Chicago Reader. Her play Tammy: A Coming of Age Story About A Girl Who is Part T-Rex can be bought for real money at Playscripts, Inc. She's currently subletting a friend's studio apartment and really likes living alone. 

    My wishes for 2017 ...
    I wish for Mother Earth to gain sentience and Jumanji the fuck out of the white house while Trump and his cabinet are trapped within, left to recon with vines, wild animals and that freaky ass hunter who HATES Robin Williams. 
    I wish never to have an Uber driver say any of the following: "Ya Know Bernie would have one." "Let's give Trump a chance." "Your boyfriend is very lucky. Oh you don't got one? I guess this is a first date then." 
    I wish for peace, enough to eat, reasons to laugh, warmth and happiness for everyone who's ever known pain, fear and need. 

  • Stephanie Jalove's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Stephanie Jalove is a Chicago native who spent time living in LA and NYC pursuing creative stuff like acting, music and photography.  She ended up doing cool stuff like: start an arts non-profit to raise money for important causes through performance and fine art shows, study sketch comedy, improv and camera acting, and perform as the drummer in a sexy, theatrical band called "Roma!". You may remember her from the group background shot she was in on Days of Our Lives sometime in 2005. She also worked as a celebrity photo editor behind the scenes at events like The Oscars and Sundance, and realized she much prefers being in front of the audience. Now, she's back in Chicago and ready to make a name for herself in the storytelling, improv and solo scene! 

    My Wishes for 2017:
    1. share my own voice and words on stage
    2. add to my plant collection
    3. spread light, love and positivity all over everyone and everything 

  • Anna Besmann's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Anna is a self-loathing narcissist who started attending storytelling open mics when she realized it meant people would have to listen to her talk. She has performed at Storylab, taken home first prize in an Ink and Blood Dueling Society writing duel, and has nearly 1500 kudos on AO3. Her paper "Pals in Power Armor", based on her research at the University of Chicago into how humans relate socially to video game characters, was published in 2012 in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Online Behavior, and Social Networking. Anna also documents the many weird sights in the Chicago landscape at thecityofwind.tumblr.com.

    3 Wishes for 2017
    1.
    Effective action against climate change
    2. Compassionate discourse and cooperation across lines of difference
    3. A Pokemon Snap remake for iPhone

  • Randall Colburn's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Randall Colburn has written and performed around Chicago with 2nd Story, Write Club, Story Club, This Much Is True, Mortified, Paper Machete, and more. As a playwright, he's seen his work produced and developed all over the country and overseas. Randall also writes about pop culture and food for The A.V. Club, Consequence of Sound, Blumhouse.com, and Splitsider. 

    Three Wishes:

    1)
    I hope I continue to defy all current trends in media by continuing to make a living freelancing as a pop culture writer. Everyone who pays for shit like music reviews and essays about Final Fantasy or whatever the fuck is constantly cutting their budgets so here's to the hustle.

    2) I didn't throw up at all in 2016 and I hope I don't in 2017 because throwing up is literally something I nightmare about. I'm sweating just thinking about it.

    3) I hope I'm not vaporized in nuclear warfare.

  • Andrew Saenz's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Andrew L. Saenz is a first-time storyteller, long-time actor and all-the- time nerd. He’s been seen onstage playing characters for Chicago companies such as Rasaka Theatre, Vitalist Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Jackalope Theatre Company, TimeLine Theatre Company, A Red Orchid Theatre, The Ruckus and more. Film/TV credits include featured roles on Chicago P.D. and Sirens and he also stars in the upcoming independent feature film En Algun Lugar. He believes strongly in the power of storytelling, both fictional and non-fictional. As such, in his spare time he is likely rolling dice in one of his multiple Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, writing for them or surrounding himself with friends…and playing a tabletop game nonetheless.

    3 Wishes for 2017:
    1. To play MOAR GAMEZ.
    2. To make lemonade out of lemons both metaphorically and literally.
    3. To probably play EVEN MOAR GAMEZ.

  • Diana Slickman's 3 Wishes for 2017

    DIANA SLICKMAN has worked in Chicago theater for over 30 years as a performer, writer, director, producer, and administrator, sometimes all at the same time.  She is a Theater Oobleck ensemble member who has appeared in several of their productions, most recently Song About Himself. She’s also a member of BoyGirlBoyGirl, a group solo performance ensemble, with whom she has co-created a dozen or so shows inspired by found text, including Warman's Practical Orthoepy and Critique and Phenomena of Materialisation. Diana has appeared in recent shows by or with Barrie Cole, The Goodnight Ladies, Dog and Pony Theater, and the side project.  She is a Neo-Futurist of  ‘90s vintage, where she wrote for and performed in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind and many of their prime time productions, including Drinking and Writing. Diana also performs her own writing at various live lit shows around town at Write Club,  Essay Fiesta, and Paper Machete, among others.  She prefers summer to winter, mountains to the seaside, and scotch whisky to almost anything else.

    Wishes for 2017:
    I wish that President Trump won't actually do all the things I'm pretty sure he's going to do.
    I wish you would just use your turn signal.  I know you can do it.  It's not hard, it's not fattening, it doesn't require any special skills, there's no cost involved…just…use your signal.  Goddamnit.
    I wish everyone would be just fractionally more civil to people they disagree with.  Just a tiny bit.  We've got to start somewhere.

  • Seth Davis's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Did you know Seth actually shares a birthday with Bette Midler, Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, and his little sister who is hilarious and 5 years younger?! Born in Chicago and raised on the mean streets of Skokie, Seth is a writer, standup comedian, actor, storyteller, and producer. A graduate of The Second City and i.O. Theater, he has been described as pee-in-your-pants funny by people with bladder control problems. Seth has appeared off-Broadway in The Awesome 80’s Prom, NBC5’s The Nude Hippo Show, and on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Seth has also appeared in NACA, The New Orleans Comedy Arts Festival, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, Chicago Musical Improv Fest, Chicago Fringe Fest, and Chicago Sketchfest. He is regular at Zanies, The Laugh Factory, colleges across the country, a producer/ performer of the critically acclaimed live comedic storytelling and podcast show I Shit You Not, a co-producer/ performer of the brand new storytelling show Snapped: Live, and performs in the improvised show for children, Storytown. His comedy shows have been reviewed by The Reader, Timeout Chicago, and The Chicago Tribune, they actually said pretty good things.

    Wishes for 2017:
    1.  Help me find an editor to help me publish and sell my children’s book, The Detective Who Lost His Mustache.
    2.  Write and perform my own one man show or be in the movies.  
    3. 
    I can’t tell you the last one or it won’t come true but it’s really good and I’m not just saying that because I can’t think of anything else to say... I just have OCD and am really superstitious. 

  • Blair Chavis's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Blair Chavis is a Digital Producer at Crain Communications, specializing in healthcare news. In her spare time, she spends her days writing and thinking about food, and has written freelance food pieces for Chicagoist.com and DiningOut Chicago magazine. Blair formerly worked for the Chicago Tribune Company and WBEZ. Her bylines include the Tribune, WBEZ, NPR, Huffington Post and more. Additionally, Blair is a longtime blogger for OyChicago.com. One of her essays for Oy! was published in a book anthology, Living Jewishly: A Snapshot of a Generation. Blair has appeared in live storytelling shows with Story Club,  Oy!Chicago’s Oy! Let Me Tell You…and You’re Being Ridiculous. This is her second year joining You’re Being Ridiculous in the Fillet of Solo Festival. In her free time, Blair enjoys watching foreign and independent films and eating dessert first. Blair believes we can all agree that Ryan Gosling learning to tap dance for the film, La La Land, was the best part of 2016.

    3 wishes for 2017:
    1. I wish Patrick Dempsey would return to Grey’s Anatomy, like alive…not in dead “McDreamy” flashbacks. (I’m not the only person alive still watching the new season, right?)
    2. I wish to curb my coffee addiction—hilarious. That won’t happen. 
    3. I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy. (Thanks, Mean Girls!) 

  • Elizabeth Gomez's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Elizabeth Gomez is a Chicago-based comedian, storyteller, writer, and experienced napper. She is a founder of the Windy City Rollers (all female roller derby league); cast member of the Kates; storytelling teacher for Fear Experiment; and has performed at The Laugh Factory, Drop Comedy Club, Zanies, and Chicago Women's Funny Festival. Her biggest dream is to live the rest of her life without tucking her skirt into her pantyhose after going to the bathroom.

    3 wishes for 2017...
    1.
    That my vagina won't shrivel into a prune and close shut.
    2. Idris Elba will finally ask me to marry him, but will let my current husband live in the pool house.
    3. Mike Pence will ask Donald Trump to come over for a BBQ. Then as Pence is grilling burgers and chatting up Trump, Trump pulls out a cigar and asks Pence if he could spare a light. As Trump leans over to have the cigar lit, Pence leans in closer. Trump lifts his eyes meeting Pence's and for a short, but intense moment they make eye contact. Pence and Trump simultaneously toss away the lighter and cigar engaging in a passionate kiss. Arms wrapped tightly around each others neck, Trump lowers Pence softly to the ground. They break for a moment and Pence watches the wind blow through Trumps hair as he softly whispers, "Donny, let's runaway together." Trump lovingly returns, "I can't live this lie anymore, Mike. I have loved you for so long." Suddenly, a house drops on top of the couple and a young woman named Dorothy walks out of the house wondering how she got there in the first place.

  • Allison Shoemaker's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Allison Shoemaker is a pop-culture critic and semi-retired theatre artist who John Stamos once called 'impressive' on Twitter. You can read her stuff at The AV Club, Consequence of Sound, Comic Book Resources, Time Out Chicago, and elsewhere. She is also the co-host of Podlander Drunkcast: an Outlander Podcast, which is exactly what it sounds like.

    Wishes for 2017...
    1. I wish for the 2017 return of Sherlock to not be disappointing. 
    2. I wish for absolutely no more movies where white dudes explain jazz to girls.
    3. I wish for all the other things that decent humans are currently wishing for but which are not very funny so I won't list them here. 

  • Karen Shimmin's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Karen Shimmin is a writer, performer, and podcaster. 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. Originally from Colorado, Karen came to Chicago to get a useful degree in both creative writing and theatre and still hasn't left.

    Wishes for 2017:
    1. I wish I was a little bit taller.
    2. I wish I was a baller.
    3. I wish I had a girl who looked good / I would call her.

    Or, you, know, for the world to stop being so insane all of the damn time.

  • Emjoy Gavino's 3 Wishes for 2017

    What Emjoy lacks in social ease, she makes up for in coffee intake. When not producing The Chicago Inclusion Project or casting for Gift Theatre, American Theatre Company and The Hypocrites, Emjoy can be seen on Chicago stages with Barrel of Monkeys or whoever will have her. You will likely find her sneaking cheese samples at the Mariano's on Lawrence. This is her first storytelling event. She is so excited, so excited, so scared.

    My three wishes for 2017:
    1. I wish I was Evvie from from "Out of This World." I would stop time and take a nap for years.
    2. I wish I could actually just take a nap for the next four years.
    3. I wish Ambien didn't make me sleep-eat Dorito's.

    Bonus wish: I wish I could re-write that last season of Dexter.

  • Lisa Marie Farver's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Lisa Marie Farver is a comedian, writer, professional princess and bathroom selfie model who also runs a stuffed animal adoption agency. She's done improv in Chicago for six years and currently performs with The Greatest Story Never Told. You can read about her armpits in Rebellious Magazine for Women. This is her first storytelling performance, but now that the dam has broken, you're in for lots of unsettling tales debauchery, Chicago. She does not eat animals. She is afraid of the dark.

    For 2017, Lisa wishes with all her might that:
    1. Jack Klugman would come back to life and marry her or at least ravage her in a public restroom.
    2. Fewer people would throw away stuffed animals.
    3. We would all wake up and realize it was 12/31/2015 and 2016 had just been a convoluted, sadistic nightmare

  • Adrienne Gunn's 3 Wishes for 2017

    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. She is the author of the Ask A Single Mom advice column and in 2016, her one-woman show Mother of the Year! debuted to sold-out audiences. She served as both Managing Editor and Fiction Editor of TriQuarterly, the literary magazine of Northwestern University, and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon. She is an official cast member of the kates, an all-female comedy group dedicated to showcasing funny women in positive and inclusive environments and she performs stand-up and storytelling throughout Chicago, including appearances at Steppenwolf Theater and City Winery.

    Three Wishes for 2017
    1)
    have my faith in humanity redeemed
    2)
    meet a nice boyfriend
    3)
    take a cool vacation and write something awesome.

  • Lynne Wilde's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Lynn Wilde appeared in the film US Marshals (didn’t everyone in Chicago?) for which she still receives residuals (last check $1.87) and played a nun in a Big Mac commercial.  Some acting roles include Lady MacBeth, Blanche DuBois, Emily Dickinson, and various Ray Cooney sex farces.  She has performed at the Madison Rep, New American Theatre, Next Act Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and New World Theater, among others.  She lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Denver with her husband Jim Zvanut, director/teacher/woodworker, their dog Sadie, and the frequent deer, elk and occasional bear.  She is a mother and grandmother.

    3 Wishes for 2017:
    —To wake up from our national nightmare
    —If that came true, that’s all I need
    —But if that’s not possible, then lots of laughing and really good wine

  • Brooke Allen's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Brooke Allen is a playwright whose work has been produced around the world, a storyteller whose work has been seen mostly around the Chicagoland area and a receptionist whose work is limited to one little desk.

    3 Wishes for 2017:
    1) for Hillary to be president
    2) for Princess Leia to be alive
    3) to cook a perfect ham

  • Stephanie Diaz's 3 Wishes for 2017

    Stephanie Diaz is an actor, puppeteer and writer originally from California's beautiful (but somewhat boring, unless you're a marine biologist or gajillionaire golfer) Monterey Peninsula. Her work as a puppeteer has been honored with various residencies, grants, commissions from Chicago theaters and a Jeff Nomination in a pear tree. Her work as an actor, which underwrites her work as a puppeteer, has taken her all over Chicago, the nation, and into your television sets. Her work as a writer is constantly stymied despite residencies at Ragdale and Hedgebrook, because writing is hard. After 12 years in Chicago, she has finally acclimated to single-digits being not that bad as long as there's no wind. She was featured in the 2015 edition of the Chicago Reader's annual People Issue sporting much longer hair.

    Three wishes for 2017:
    For Trump to collapse into himself and cease to exist.
    For Pence to follow suit.
    For David Bowie and Prince to return to us in exchange.

  • Julie Cowden's 3 wishes for 2017

    Julie is excited to spin a yarn at YBR again. Having lived in Chicago for ten years, she has done her share of shows and karaoke. You can listen to her cuss a lot and drink on the Podlander Drunkcast An Outlander Podcast or if you want to Tweet at her, hit it @juliestarbee

    Three wishes for 2017:
    1)
     I wish for an amazing 40th birthday.
    2)  I wish that I could fly.
    3)  I wish that my husband will cook me several roasted chickens in the upcoming months