WBEZ | Samantha Irby http://www.wbez.org/tags/samantha-irby Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Body Talk: What Chicago author Samantha Irby gets right http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-12/body-talk-what-chicago-author-samantha-irby-gets-right-109308 <p><div><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Meaty-_CHUNKY_UPPER_CASE_JAN_2013-624x998.jpg" style="float: left; height: 496px; width: 310px;" title="(Amazon)" />Chicago writer&nbsp;and performer&nbsp;<a href="http://bitchesgottaeat.blogspot.com/">Samantha Irby</a> is not obsessed with her body. She knows it for what it is, and keeps going anyway.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Listen homie, that thing that you secretly hate about my body? Don&rsquo;t worry, I hate it, too. With every fiber in my weird, fibrous breasts,&quot; she writes in her essay &quot;Forest Whitaker&rsquo;s Neck,&quot; from her recent book, &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Meaty-Essays-Samantha-Creator-BitchesGottaEat/dp/0988480425">Meaty:&nbsp;Essays by&nbsp;Samantha Irby</a>.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In the essay, she recounts a comment from a sort-of ex while in bed together. At the time she wasn&rsquo;t sure about the extent of their relationship, and his random comment&mdash;&ldquo;you have the tiniest nipples I have ever seen&rdquo;&mdash;certainly did not help.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Every mark, every scar, every scratch, every flaw: I&rsquo;ve seen it, documented it, cried over it, and tried to hide it. Would it kill you to pretend it isn&rsquo;t there?&rdquo; she writes.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Womens&#39; relationships with men are not like our relationships with ourselves. With ourselves, we see exactly what we walk with from day to day. In relationships, at least in the flawed relationships Irby tries to build, willful ignorance is the root of contentment.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Can&rsquo;t we just lie fully clothed in bed together while holding hands and talking about how good pork belly tacos taste? I don&rsquo;t want to do the &quot;I&rsquo;m sorry this is my disgusting body&quot; apology jig ever again, nor will there ever be a time that the &ldquo;just let me keep my shirt on&rdquo; waltz isn&rsquo;t utterly humiliating,&rdquo; she writes.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A blissful relationship, one before the rawness of seeing the body, her body, is what she wants. But like what she seeks in the actions of a man, this is willfully ignorant of the realities of partnership. Relationships are not all pretty and sweet. Like the body, there are things to critique and hate and finally accept about them, too.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Later in &quot;Forest Whitaker&rsquo;s Neck,&quot; she recounts every detail of herself she does not like. &ldquo;Dark red mark from ingrown hair on the upper inside chunk of calf,&rdquo; she writes in the section about her left leg. &ldquo;Pale, raised scar from when I threw myself down a flight of stairs at age six as protest against accompanying my mother to the grocery store,&rdquo; she writes about her arms.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Rather than just finding new and new things to hate, each mention of her body feels like a story brewing. She knows why she does not like it; she is still living and breathing anyway.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Society understands women can be obsessed with the female body, but what we fail to realize is the extent of that obsession. As a young teen, I used to spend nights circling the worst areas of my body with a thick marker.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Getting outside of my head was my biggest concern. Although I wrote down my fears and anxieties and anger in my notebook, writing was not enough. Pen and paper were just an extension of the obsessions of my mind. I repeated these fears and anxieties enough to call my journal less of an account of the things I did and more of an account of the things I could not let go.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The body was (literally) the biggest one. At my obsessive peak, school markers turned into permanent markers. The circles stretched over the back of my thighs, my ass, the little tops of my shoulders&mdash;scarred from years of painful acne that never went away, but bubbled up to the service to fester in its own bacteria, leaving pockets of hyperpigmentation. Permanent marker was a &ldquo;permanent&rdquo; reminder. &#39;You will never be the person you want to be if you continue to look like this.&#39;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>My face, the worst, I never marked. I could control it&mdash;its roundness, acne, scars, discoloration&mdash;with makeup. Unlike clothing, which only served to remind me of of things I could not change or do with my body, makeup could transform me into something new. (That I could barely apply foundation evenly mattered little.)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I am in a constant battle for control and conquest of the machinations and limitations of my body. It&#39;s why I danced until I was a teenager, and that is why I love to watch dance now, as a confirmation of achievement. Dance is knowing yourself, taking control of yourself, and seeing yourself&nbsp;completely. It is a truth that can be beautiful as much as it can be ugly in our wrestle for power.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>There is this idea&mdash;cold and inescapable&mdash;that we must be reminded of everything we lack. Some believe that we do not know that we are fat or tall or scarred. They think we do not see ourselves so they must remind us of how we exist in their eyes, how we lack something fundamental to the norm, how we are not right.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But with adulthood comes the reckoning of our understanding of ourselves.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Later in her essay, Irby adds, &ldquo;Or that&mdash;brace yourself&mdash;it might make me mysterious and sexy?&rdquo; She has been through the pains of literally growing into her body and she is beyond it, accepting of it; perhaps even a little proud of it.&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-12/body-talk-what-chicago-author-samantha-irby-gets-right-109308 Changing the face of Chicago comedy http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-04/changing-face-chicago-comedy-106777 <p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.5; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/397837_362177723795476_477747667_n.jpg" style="line-height: 1.15; width: 435px; height: 290px;" title=" Kelsie Huff, in a promotional photo for 100 Proof Comedy. (Courtesy of Johnny Knight)" /></p><p dir="ltr">When I sat down with Kelsie Huff, we chatted for a half hour before I actually got around to interviewing her. Huff has a way of making people feel comfortable. Before you know it, you&rsquo;ve told her things you&rsquo;ve never told anyone, especially someone you just met. After seeing her perform at Queer Comedy at Zanies, produced by local comedian Adam Guerino, I felt like I knew her.</p><p dir="ltr">That buoyant accessibility is exactly what makes Huff good at her job. Huff got her start in the Chicago comedy scene doing one-woman shows, baring her soul to a room full of strangers. Like many of her peers, Huff came up through Second City and IO, honing her voice by doing stand up around the city.</p><p dir="ltr">Huff said performing onstage can be &ldquo;like Thunderdome,&rdquo; especially for women. She said after her early performances, audience members would often come up to her and say things like, &ldquo;Hey, you were way funnier than that other girl in the show!&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Although she didn&rsquo;t take it personally, Huff knew it was important to create safe spaces for women to hone their voice and &ldquo;change the culture of comedy.&rdquo; When she was starting out in the scene, she and &ldquo;a roving band&rdquo; of comics had group writing workshops and attended open mics together. Finding that community helped her feel at home.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a strength in finding people like you,&rdquo; she said.</p><p dir="ltr">Huff works with upstart female comics at Femme Comique, a class designed by <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/pyht">Cameron Esposito</a> to help women find their creative voice.</p><p dir="ltr">Femme Comme is a five-week course that caps off with a five-minute set at the Lincoln Lodge, and Huff claims she has yet to see anyone bomb.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They crush it every time,&quot; Huff said. &quot;There&rsquo;s nothing like seeing someone do something they want to do and not failing.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Huff started The Kates in 2005, an all-female comedy group in Lincoln Square. Fellow Chicago comedian Ever Mainard says The Kates was a <a href="http://www.rebelliousmagazine.com/announcements/the-kates-bringing-female-performers-to-a-bookstore-near-you-since-2007">landmark moment</a> for female comedy and a &ldquo;big factor in getting all the women who are working going.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Kelsie Huff dissolves all the competition out of comedy,&quot; Mainard said. &quot;She understands that many of us are just here to express ourselves, and she will book any woman who wants to perform. That&rsquo;s the key to building a supportive network.&rdquo;</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>Ever Mainard and Caitlin Bergh</strong></h2><p dir="ltr">For Mainard, occupying public spaces is important for female comedians &ldquo;to address sensitive topics.&rdquo; In her act, Mainard uses comedy to highlight the realities of sexual assault and the messages women are taught about getting raped. It&rsquo;s a way of fighting back and unpacking issues you&rsquo;re told you can never discuss.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If not onstage,&rdquo; Mainard asked, &ldquo;when else are you going to talk about it?&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Mainard&rsquo;s partner, local comic Caitlin Bergh, uses performance to combat the repressive homophobia she faced after coming out.</p><p dir="ltr">Her parents told her, &ldquo;You can do whatever you want, just don&rsquo;t shout it from the rooftops.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;That hush-hush attitude creates so many social problems for queer teens,&rdquo; Bergh said. As a comedian, she wants to take those &ldquo;bottled-up secrets&rdquo; and &ldquo;spill them everywhere.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Bergh hosts Chunks at Powell&rsquo;s and co-runs Performance Anxiety at the Pleasure Chest, the sex toy shop in Lakeview.</p><p dir="ltr">In doing so, Bergh hopes to &ldquo;make an open space for everyone to talk about [their] life and not have it be something where you have to runaway from home because you can&rsquo;t tell your mom who you&rsquo;re dating.&rdquo; For Bergh, comedy is about more than punchlines: it&rsquo;s about telling stories.</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>Samantha Irby</strong></h2><p dir="ltr">As a storyteller and a blogger, Samantha Irby&rsquo;s experience in the female comedy scene has been unique. Irby writes &ldquo;Bitches Gotta Eat,&rdquo; a wildly successful local blog about her dating and sex life or as she puts it, &ldquo;farting on some guy&rsquo;s dick.&rdquo; Both on stage and in writing, Irby is radically honest.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re gonna come read my stuff...I&rsquo;m gonna tell you the whole story,&rdquo; she said.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Irby primarily writes for women, and she believes she gets the kind of response she does because she puts all her &ldquo;failures and disappointments and scars out in the universe for people to relate to.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;My insecurities are locked really tight and stacked really tall,&quot; Irby said. &quot;In being super honest, I feel like I wrest some of that back. Yes, I went through it, but I processed it. I did it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Irby believes women do a disservice to each other when they only share the good parts of themselves &mdash; what she calls their &ldquo;highlight reel.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Who does that help? Who relates to that? No one wants to read about this little perfect perfect with their perfect perfect,&quot; Irby said. &quot;Let&rsquo;s talk about the eating of pork products in our pajamas. Let&rsquo;s talk about how the sex was awful and we didn&rsquo;t say anything. Let&rsquo;s talk about how the sex is regularly awful. There aren&rsquo;t enough people talking about that.&rdquo;</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>Dana Norris</strong></h2><p dir="ltr">In addition to simply being honest, Dana Norris looks for topics that make her uncomfortable.</p><p dir="ltr">Norris is the host and founder of Story Club at Holiday Club, and she argues that the act of sharing your fears in public &ldquo;creates a weird community,&rdquo; one that she&rsquo;s found &ldquo;incredibly open and supportive&rdquo; to her perspective.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When I&#39;m looking to write a new essay I try to look at the things that bother me &mdash; those tiny grains of sand that get under your skin,&quot; she said. &quot;If it bothers you it means that there are unresolved questions there, that there&#39;s some substance to the subject. And you trying to resolve these questions can be funny or it can be sad but an audience really just wants to watch your mind work. They want to hear unique voices. You have one.&rdquo;</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>Liz Joynt Sandberg</strong></h2><p dir="ltr">Liz Joynt Sandberg discovered her creative voice after becoming a mother. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;After my daughter was born, I felt a strong urge to share,&quot; Sandberg said. &quot;Motherhood changed the voice that came out of me.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">She began writing on Facebook more often, commenting on others&rsquo; statuses and updating about her day, corresponding with her community in a &ldquo;loose, vague&rdquo; way.</p><p dir="ltr">This propelled Sandberg to do comedy. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I wanted to pursue [creativity] in a bolder, more brave way,&quot; Sandberg said.&nbsp;&quot;That&rsquo;s what being a mother showed me: F*ck it. I can pull a person out of my guts. I can bomb if I want to.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Since joining the comedy scene as a performer and stand-up comedian, Sandberg has noted the &ldquo;male energy&rdquo; in many spaces, where &ldquo;feminist is still a dirty word.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Sandberg related an experience where she performed with &ldquo;a comic [who] did a really long set with tons of rape jokes and fat b*tch jokes.&rdquo; She wondered, &ldquo;Whose rape is hilarious? Is my rape hilarious?&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">However, Sandberg said that she has found &ldquo;many welcoming spaces for a 31-year-old mother of a toddler who goes to bed at 9 p.m.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I can imagine that 10 or 15 years ago that it would have been a dealbreaker to tell my fellow castmembers that I&rsquo;m a mother,&rdquo; Sandberg said.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">At a time when more women are involved in comedy than ever before, Sandberg knows things are changing: &ldquo;If not, I wouldn&rsquo;t be here.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Nico Lang writes about LGBTQ issues in Chicago. You can find Nico on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nicorlang">Facebook</a>, <a href="http://www.twitter.com/nico_lang">Twitter</a> or <a href="http://achatwithnicolang.tumblr.com">Tumblr</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-04/changing-face-chicago-comedy-106777 Funny Ha-Ha: The Triumphant Return is tonight http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/funny-ha-ha-triumphant-return-tonight-105660 <p><p>I am writing this post from the distant past. Will there be snow tonight? Did the storm miss us? It&#39;s really irrelevant because you are coming out tonight to the return of Chicago&#39;s favorite literary humor reading series!</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FunnyHaHaTriumphant-Med.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Also, unrelated but still awesome, I conducted a Random Roles interview with <em>Freaks And Geeks</em>&#39; Linda Cardellini for the AV Club <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/linda-cardellini-freaks-and-geeks-er-voiceover,92761/#comment-807255736">which you may enjoy. </a></div></p> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 09:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/funny-ha-ha-triumphant-return-tonight-105660 Samantha Irby wonders why 'Mad Men' bothers with black characters at all http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/samantha-irby-wonders-why-mad-men-bothers-black-characters-all-98108 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/episode-4-dawn.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 436px; " title="Dawn Chambers (Teyonah Parris) and Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) in Episode 4 of Season 5 (Photo by Michael Yarish/AMC)"></div><p>AMC's <em>Mad Men </em>has been lauded for its nuanced depiction of life 1960s America, particularly the voice it gives to women. However, it's been picked upon for how little black Americans have been represented on the show. Others feel this is an unfair claim, given that in the world of advertising at this time, there were few black people around.</p><p>But in the fifth season, which takes place in 1968, <em>Mad Men</em> has to confront race, if it's going to go by history. It's done so thus far with by introducing a new black secretary, and by pulling a story about a civil rights demonstration <a href="http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/on-mad-men-an-opening-scene-straight-from-page-1/">straight from the headlines</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>But writer Samantha Irby isn't sure any of this makes much of a different in a show where all the main characters are white. To Irby, <em>Mad Men</em> "represents the loophole white men have created to dodge the political correctness of current racial and gender equality, and also happens to be a total turnoff to me as woman of color: the Period peace." She asks: why introduce any black characters in the first place, if the show isn't going to engage with them in any real way? Read an excerpt or listen:</p><p><em>"The year is 1967, and black people FINALLY exist.<span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;"><span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;">&nbsp;At least, we finally exist within the drab, colorless context of </span></span></em><span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;"><span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;">Mad Men</span></span><em><span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;"><span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;">’s fictional Sterling Draper&nbsp;</span></span><span mce_fixed="1" mce_style="font-size: 5px;">Cooper Price. After a much ballyhooed delay, your ex-wife’s favorite television program is back on the air for a fifth season.&nbsp;</span></em></p><p><em><span mce_fixed="1" mce_style="font-size: 9.52381px;"><span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;"><span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;">I never much understood the obsession with this show past its visual appeal: the writing is kind of weak, the characters are mostly shallow, the actors playing those characters are totally boring, and the acting isn’t really impressive, but I do appreciate the painstaking care with which every single Art Deco end table and antique lamp has been researched and chosen by the set decorator.&nbsp;</span><br><br>Seriously, I buy the kind of furniture that snaps together like Legos, and all of those beautiful sunken living rooms&nbsp;</span></span><span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;"><span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;">almost&nbsp;make me care about interior design. Also, Jon Hamm and his big chin has the kind of face you want to sit on for, like, nine hours. Like I said,&nbsp;</span></span><span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;"><span mce_style="font-size: 10pt;">it’s the visuals that really carry the show."</span></span></em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.org/thepapermachete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 13 Apr 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/samantha-irby-wonders-why-mad-men-bothers-black-characters-all-98108 Samantha Irby wants to go back to school for gender neutral housing http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-21/samantha-irby-wants-go-back-school-gender-neutral-housing-95687 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-04/samanthairby.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-04/samanthairby.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="Samantha Irby at a previous 'Machete' appearance (Photo by Ali Weiss Klingler)">Writer Samantha Irby takes a unique look at the move to implement gender neutral housing at Yale (with her trademarked salty language), which (to her at least) is less about gender and more about sex. Read an excerpt, or listen below:&nbsp;</p><p><em>"Published this week in the Yale Daily News, that upstanding stalwart of journalistic integrity and hard-hitting investigative reporting, were the findings of a study conducted by the Yale College Council to determine whether or not offering on-campus gender neutral housing was a plausible alternative to the choice of sh***y, threadbare carpeted student apartments most potential date rapists and Rugby match riders opt for during their junior and senior years of school. Leave it to those eggheads at Yale to come up with a fancy way of saying 'Across the hall booty call.'"</em></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483860-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/samantha irby.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>On Saturday, if you went to the <em>Machete</em>, you saw Steve Waltien of the Second City main stage, Kate James of Schadenfraude, puppeteer Noah Ginex at the Horseshoe on Saturday. The performance also featured a tribute to the late Chicago comic Mike Enriquez by Ryan Patrick Dolan.</p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.org/thepapermachete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Sat, 21 Jan 2012 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-21/samantha-irby-wants-go-back-school-gender-neutral-housing-95687 Irby + Ian dole out the highs and lows of a year in James Franco http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-25/irby-ian-dole-out-highs-and-lows-year-james-franco-95133 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-23/6320065451_be4acce126.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-23/6320065451_be4acce126.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="Franco speaking at an event in November. (Flickr/Tara Giancaspro)">This "unholy union" of writers, the duo behind the new blog <a href="http://irbyandian.blogspot.com/">Irby + Ian</a>, Samantha Irby and Ian Belknap definitely do not fall on the same side of the "is James Franco legitimate?" argument. Read an excerpt of their thoughts below:</p><p><em><strong>Irby:</strong> Well, it certainly has been a huge year for movie and TV star, performance artist, painter, author, model, provocateur, James Franco. Hasn't it, Ian?</em></p><p><em><strong>Ian: </strong>Well if you mean it's been a big year for a billionaire dilettante a**hole to continue swindling a gullible public on a series of half-baked past times, and cementing his status as the perfect slackjawed and self-congratulatory embodiment of everything wrong with this once-great nation, then yeah! It has been a banner year.</em></p><p><em><strong>Irby: </strong>Jealous....January 7th. James Franco told the </em>Los Angeles Times<em>, 'I might just be gay.' Which was surprising to me, considering that the fan letters I sent to his home on a weekly basis stressed just how much and how ferociously I would make love to him if ever presented with the opportunity. </em></p><p><em>When confronted with a question about his sexuality, based on his affinity for playing gay characters, rather than offer up an insulted denial, this hot piece of a** said that he accepted those roles because -- and I quote -- 'I might just be gay.' A million and a half boners all popped at the same time. And one poor little heart broke.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em><strong>Ian:</strong> January 31. Franco announces he'll be teaching a course called </em>Editing James Franco, with James Franco<em> at Columbia College Hollywood. if there is any more effective means of announcing what a total d***hole you are, i cna't imagine what it could possibly be.</em></p><p><em><strong>Irby:</strong>&nbsp;Again, jealousy....</em></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483843-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/2011-12-17-papermachete-samantha-irby-ian-belknap.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Tune back in to the&nbsp;<em>Machete</em>&nbsp;in January, where there will be journalists, comedians and storytellers talking about current events, pop cultures, and American manners.</p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.org/thepapermachete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Sun, 25 Dec 2011 15:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-25/irby-ian-dole-out-highs-and-lows-year-james-franco-95133 Daily Rehearsal: Shake-ups from the Neo-Futurists http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-29/daily-rehearsal-shake-ups-neo-futurists-94427 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-29/ensemble2009-2-small.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Samantha Irby, our usually NSFW friend</strong></span></span> at <em>The Paper Machete</em>, <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/books/15025409/samantha-irby">is profiled in the latest <em>TimeOut</em></a>. She's available if you want to take her out: "I’m hoping this article gets me laid." Direct quote. Learn more about Irby's loves (like New Kids on the Block) in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-04/5-machete-questions-samantha-irby-nkotb-fan-93763">our <em>Machete</em> extra with her from a few weeks back</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. A <a href="http://reviewsyoucaniews.blogspot.com/2011/11/sweet-confinement-sinnerman-theatre.html">new Review You Can Iews</a></strong></span></span> -- and this one comes with an A+ rating! In it, <a href="http://reviewsyoucaniews.blogspot.com/2011/11/sweet-confinement-sinnerman-theatre.html">John Moran compares</a> SiNNERMAN's <em>Sweet Confinement&nbsp;</em>to<em> The Walking Dead.</em></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. At the Annoyance tonight at 9:30:<a href="http://www.annoyanceproductions.com/inaworld/"> <em>In A World</em></a></strong></span></span>, which "creates an entire universe of comic characters and situations" from one suggestion. So, improv. These characters are played by Aidy Bryant, Chris Day, Nancy Friedrich, T.J. Jagodowski, Conner O’Malley, Rebecca Sohn, Rich Sohn, Chris Witaske and special guests depending on the evening.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-29/ensemble2009-2-small.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="(Photo by Andrew Collings)"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. A lot of news from the Neo-Futurists</strong></span></span>: you can now get advance reservations for <em>Too Much Light</em>, they'll have a New Year's show, and also special 23rd anniversary shows coming up. Of course, lots of catches with this news: The advance reservations are $20 (at least 5 more than usual) and not applicable on Friday and Saturday nights. And the New Year's show will include a toast and pizza (all for $50). They've ALSO welcomed new ensemble members:&nbsp;Brenda Arellano, Trevor Dawkins, Tif Harrison, and Leah Urzendowski.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-25/dueling-critics-black-ensemble-theater-revives-jackie-wilson-story-94336">Hear the Dueling Critics talk</a> all about Black Ensemble Theatre's new space</strong></span></span> -- and their new show,<em> The Jackie Wilson Story -- </em>on <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>last week. While Jonathan Abarbanel says that there's always "a certain cookie cutter-ness" to their productions, and a selective history of the black experiencec about them, he praises Kelvin Rosten Jr.'s performance. Kelly Kleiman tells us that the new "space is beautiful" and is "really going to boost the attractiveness of the neighborhood", which is Uptown.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 29 Nov 2011 18:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-29/daily-rehearsal-shake-ups-neo-futurists-94427 The Paper Machete Radio Magazine: The Trouble Episode http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-09/paper-machete-radio-magazine-trouble-episode-93891 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-09/chad the bird.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="333" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-09/Cayne Collier as Dr. Charles Neerdringer.jpg" title="Cayne Collier as Dr. Charles Neerdringer (Photo by Ali Weiss Klingler)" width="500"></p><p>Before Daylight Savings ended, there was a whole lotta trouble, starting with Samantha Irby, who paints Herman Cain as the lady killer he is.&nbsp;Cayne Collier&nbsp;becomes a gastroenterologist who educates us on&nbsp;fecal transplants (a real thing!). Chad the Bird wonders whether those wearing Guy Fawkes masks really know what they mean. With music from Diego Sol and the Metronomes, specifically, an excellent cover an excellent Prince song.&nbsp;And as usual, if you can hear us, this magazine is LIVE. &nbsp;Download at iTunes <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=450280345">here</a>, or listen below.</p><div><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483815-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/2011-11-05-papermachete-radiomag.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>At this Saturday's show at the Horseshoe,<a href="http://billayers.org/"> Bill Ayers</a> returns to <em>The Paper Machete</em>. He'll be talking about a looming scandal in for-profit education. Other topics in the queue: the Mississippi Personhood Amendment and the CTA's social media tactics. With <a href="http://www.youtube.com/crashpad3d">Chad the Bird</a>; <a href="http://vimeo.com/12219540">Jason Economus</a> of Write Club; comedian <a href="http://vimeo.com/12809584">Matt Kelly</a>; writer and performer <a href="http://www.coyapaz.com/">Coya Paz</a>; <a href="http://www.tangelopie.com/">Tim Sniffen</a> and <a href="http://www.improvisedshakespeare.com/">Brendan Dowling</a> of Second City, and Jessica Young of <a href="http://2ndstory.com/">2nd Story</a>.&nbsp;Check&nbsp;<a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/2011/11/08/1112-line-up/"><em>The Paper Machete</em></a>'s&nbsp;site&nbsp;for the updates on this line-up as the week goes on.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-09/chad the bird.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px; " title="Our regular Chad the Bird (Photo by Ali Weiss Klingler)"></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-09/samantha irby again.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px; " title="Samantha Irby rocks you like a Herman Cain (Photo by Ali Weiss Klingler)"></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-09/diego sol.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px; " title="Diego Sol and the Metronomes (Photo by Ali Weiss Klingler)"></p></div></p> Wed, 09 Nov 2011 16:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-09/paper-machete-radio-magazine-trouble-episode-93891 5 Machete Questions with Samantha Irby, NKOTB fan http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-04/5-machete-questions-samantha-irby-nkotb-fan-93763 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-04/samanthairby.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Samantha Irby is the&nbsp;indefatigable blogger behind <a href="http://bitchesgottaeat.com">Bitches Gottta Eat</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://irbyandian.com">Irby and Ian</a>, a collaboration with <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-16/5-machete-questions-ian-belknap-dean-mean-92088">Write Club misanthrope Ian Belknap</a>. Since she takes guff from nobody, her return to the <em>Machete</em> is highly anticipated.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="333" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-04/samanthairby.jpg" title="Samantha Irby at her last 'Machete' performance (Photo by Ali Weiss Klingler)" width="500"></p><div><b>1. What's got your goat this week, and how will you be approaching it in <em>The Paper Machete</em>?</b></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>My goat has been&nbsp;<em>firmly</em>&nbsp;gotten by the minotaur slash unicorn also known as the African-American political conservative. In other words, I will be tackling&nbsp;the modern-day minstrel show that is Herman Cain's ascendance to the top of the heap of Republicans vying to wrestle the Presidency out of Barack Obama's wealth-redistributing clutches.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>2. If you could be watching any college football game this Saturday instead off ranting at <em>The Paper Machete</em>, it would be...</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Whichever teams play "shirts" versus "skins." In other words, do community colleges have competitive&nbsp;football teams?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>3. In your entire schooling, what was the subject you in which you performed most poorly? Have you been required to demonstrate knowledge of that subject since?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I hated chemistry with a vengeance. My experiments always failed&nbsp;or exploded wrong and I only passed the class&nbsp;because I'm really good at guessing multiple choice final exams. And cheating off of smart people.&nbsp;<br> <br> I haven't had a real&nbsp;boyfriend in six years. I OBVIOUSLY should've paid more attention to forming&nbsp;covalent bonds and sticking atoms together.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>4. a) Name your favorite Biblical character or New Kid on the Block, and give at least one sentence of explanation. b) Name your least favorite&nbsp;<strong>Biblical character or New Kid on the Block</strong>&nbsp;and give at least one sentence of explanation.</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>a) OMGOMGOMG. When I was ten my bedroom was PAPERED with the NKOTB pictures I'd torn out of Bop magazine; I could play "The Right Stuff" on the piano,&nbsp;I had New Kids: notebooks, Trapper Keeper folders, stickers,&nbsp;<em>all</em>&nbsp;of their tapes and cassingles, shoelaces, and I a VIP fan club membership; plus I called the New Kids chat line every single day and ordered their pay-per-view concert without my mother's consent&nbsp;<em>twice</em>. I received a very stern talking-to when she finally received a&nbsp;two hundred dollar&nbsp;cable bill and EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLAR PHONE BILL in the same month, and then she threw out all of my posters and told me to go outside for once and make some real friends. Even as a child I was well aware of my place on the bottom rung of the social ladder, and my crushes reflected that knowledge. So Jonathan, the slightly older not even marginally attractive one openly gay now that he's an adult one, was my absolute favorite. He seemed like he'd be a really good listener.<br> <br> a) Jordan was the worst, obviously. Too pretty, too popular, nicest singing voice, and ALL the other girls wanted him. Like I said: I AIM LOW.<br> &nbsp;</div><div><strong>5. As a member of the Chicago performance-art community, what lucrative career do you now wish you'd chosen to pursue instead?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Am I the only writer jerk who has a real job and isn't trying to support&nbsp;myself on the fourteen cents you make from Google ads? As long as I have a clock to punch, I could do this forever. I'm totally lying. My other choice of career is Immigrant Megamillions Lottery Winner.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 pm, it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Listen to the most recent&nbsp;</em>The Paper Machete Radio Magazine<em>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-02/paper-machete-radio-magazine-halloween-show-guest-host-josh-zagoren">here</a>, or download it from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></div></p> Fri, 04 Nov 2011 14:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-04/5-machete-questions-samantha-irby-nkotb-fan-93763 The Paper Machete Radio Magazine: The Halloween Show with guest host Josh Zagoren http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-02/paper-machete-radio-magazine-halloween-show-guest-host-josh-zagoren <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-02/Josh Intros Show-web.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><img ali="" alt="" by="" class="caption" game="" photo="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-02/Josh Intros Show-web.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; " title="Guest Host Josh Zagoren brings his " weiss=""></p><p>You know Halloween is still in the air, because the candy corn hasn't run out. For this Very Special Halloween episode, we have a Very Special Guest Host, Josh Zagoren.&nbsp;Adam&nbsp;Guerino claims Halloween is the new gay holiday. Aemilia Scott manages to occupy the ridiculousness that is the media coverage of Occupy Wall Street. Finally, we have music from Fatbook, which Christopher is very sad he missed. And as usual, if you can hear this, this magazine is LIVE. Download at iTunes <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=450280345">here</a>, or listen below.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483810-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/2011-10-29-papermachete-radiomag-REVISED.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>At this Saturday's show at the Horseshoe, it'll be Herman Cain, Herman Cain, Herman Cain. And another Cain; we'll be joined by Cayne Collier of the group <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/things-to-do/54005/good-things-come-to-those-who-weight">Brick</a>; Chad the Bird aka Josh Zagoren of <a href="http://www.youtube.com/crashpad3d">Crash Pad</a>;&nbsp;Neo-Futurists'&nbsp;Diana Slickman and Rachel Claff;&nbsp;Jessica Palmer<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>of&nbsp;<a href="http://gapersblock.com/">Gapers Block</a>&nbsp;and writer <a href="http://bitchesgottaeat.blogspot.com/">Samantha Irby</a>. With music by&nbsp;Sol Diego and the Metronomes.&nbsp;Check <a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/2011/11/02/115-line-up-2/"><em>The Paper Machete</em>'s site </a>for the updates on this line-up as the week goes on.</p><p style="text-align: left; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-02/Adam Guerino-web.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px; " title="Adam Guerino isn't dressed up...I think? (Photo by Ali Weiss Klingler)"></p><p style="text-align: left; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-02/Aemilia Scott-web.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px; " title="Aemilia Scott wears a Halloween-worthy crown (Photo by Ali Weiss Klingler)"></p><p style="text-align: left; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-02/Fatbook-web.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px; " title="Fatbook brings in the horns (Photo by Ali Weiss Klingler)"></p></p> Wed, 02 Nov 2011 14:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-02/paper-machete-radio-magazine-halloween-show-guest-host-josh-zagoren