Hey folks, we’ve been working on this for a while and I’m very pleased to announce that Batterymouth: It Burns opens tonight at the de Maat Theatre at Piper’s Alley. For the unintroduced, Batterymouth is a two man improv team made up of my good friends Dave Urlakis and Zack Whittington. You may have seen either of these gentlemen before in Best Church of God and Long Pork respectively.
The guys take on a daring form rarely attempted and even more rarely successful: They take one audience suggestion and use that to make a single, half hour, two man scene in real time. They’ve spent a lot of time working on their craft with the magnificent E.J. Scott and the show promises to be a blast.
It’s been an honor and a lot of fun working with Batterymouth to refine their brand and promote this show. I can’t wait for you to see it.
Also, Long Pork fans, if you missed the Gentlemen’s show at Sketchfest you should notice that they are scheduled to perform on closing night. I highly suggest you come sooner than that but you may want to buy tickets in advance for that show as it will likely sell out.
Here are the show times:
Fri, 1/21/11 at 7:30PM with Honor Student Breakfast
Fri, 1/28/11 at 7:30PM with Electric Lunchbox
Fri, 2/04/11 at 7:30PM with Wildcard
Fri, 2/11/11 at 7:30PM with Tina with the Weather
Fri, 2/18/11 at 7:30PM with Long Pork
Tickets are $12 at the door or $10 for students and can be bought online or at the Second City Box Office.
To start with I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
I’m visiting NY for the weekend to see my family and reflecting a bit right now I’m thankful for a lot. I’ve switched to part time at my retail job and I really have started to find a good work / life balance. I turned 29 on Saturday and had an awesome party with awesome friends. I can’t express enough how important and awesome my friends are. Thank you everyone. This has been a great year. What I am thankful for going forward though are exciting projects. If you know me, dear reader, I’m not happy unless I’m doing a million things at once, here is what is going on right now:
I’ll be working with dynamic improv duo Batterymouth to promote their upcoming run Fridays at DeMaat Theatre at Second City from Jan 21st – Feb 25th. So far we have one publicity photo ready but there are more on the way. In my eyes Batterymouth is one of the best kept secrets of Chicago theatre and I’m very excited to be working with them.
Speaking of comedy… Long Pork is still going strong. The Gentlemen are hard at work on their next show which is set to debut at the Chicago Sketchfest on January 13th 9:30 pm. Also they’ve been invited to preform in the Charleston Comedy Festival for which they are super excited and honored.
Still doing the ChicagoNow thing. Yesterday I published a photo set of Wrigleyville during last Saturday’s Northwestern vs. Illinois Football game. You can check that out here. Tomorrow I’ll be publishing a holiday gift guide for photographers so check back then.
That’s all for today friends. I hope you all enjoy your turkey dinners!
Three years ago I moved to Chicago in what seemed to many like a random decision. I had gone through a rough patch in NY where I realized I had been doing the same things in the same places with the same people night in and night out since 7th grade. The weird part though is I had a job I loved working for Apple, but I could not get past the fact that I was working in the mall that I had been going to every day for as long as I could remember living in suburbia. I needed to change something and Chicago offered the perfect opportunity to make a clean break.
I was able to move out here and not only keep my job with Apple but get promoted as well. In the last three years I’ve grown immensely, made amazing friends, traveled extensively, started taking improv classes, started working with Long Pork and really started to build my photo career with the launch of my ChicagoNow blog and a few new clients.
The only down side? It worked too well.
Moving out here has been liberating beyond my expectations, but I find myself so busy pursuing my passions that sleep and friendships suffer due to it. I also find myself turning down photo and design work I’d like to be doing due to conflicts with my full time hours. Three years into living here I once again have found myself in need of a change.
Effective next week I’ve decided to step down from my full time role and leadership responsibilities at Apple and into a more limited part time hours.
This will allow me to pursue my passions even further, recover a semblance of a social life and maybe, just maybe start sleeping again. There is a lot of traveling planned, for starters Long Pork and I are driving to NY next week for Sketchfest NYC at the UCB Theater. I am also going to finally get certified to skydive this year.
Last week on Friday Sydney Owen and I head out to the Chicagoland Skydiving Center to go for a tandem jump and enroll ourselves in the certification program. It’s going to be an interesting summer.
While I’ll admit I am nervous about what I’m leaving behind I am really excited about the road ahead. More to come soon.
(This post is a follow up to my first entry found below or here. So If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go read that and this.)
I was introduced to Journey To The End of Night last year by my good friends Aki and Mark. They had participated in the inaugural Chicago running of the event in 2008 and when they told me about it I nearly died with excitement.
This year we were joined by my friends Lee, James and Kat, all who were really excited to participate.
James is an experienced runner and one of the most creative people I know so when I told him about Journey it was right up his alley and he brought along his always awesome girlfriend, Kat Carolan. Then there is Lee. Lee in addition to being one of my closest friends is he a member of local sketch comedy group, Long Pork. So naturally with his theatrical roots, Lee had to do something unique and ran the event in a suit.
This year’s Journey started off at Eckhart Park on the corner of Chicago and Noble. There we found Aki, Mark and their friend Alyssa waiting for us. There were over 400 people waiting in the park eagerly for the game to start. We picked up our maps and our arm bands, tying on our red bands symbolizing our starting status as ‘runners’ and putting the yellow ones in our pockets hoping never to need them.
Huddling together with our maps we began to formulate plans of how we would get to our first checkpoint. We had six stops to make and we knew we wouldn’t all survive but we were going to do our best to make it through. Before we knew it it was 7pm, the race was on and everyone was dashing east through the Chicago Avenue traffic.
Immediately we saw one of the “staff chasers” on a bike aggressively coming towards us. He managed to catch Kat soon after and unfortunately we had to leave her behind. Our little group got split up almost immediately but we stayed in touch and managed to reconvene at the first checkpoint on the corner of Hickory and Haines down on the South East side of Goose Island. Clearly the planners of the event had made some intelligent decisions. There are only 5 roads that enter or exit Goose Island meaning at some point every participant of the race would need to cross over one of them leaving them exposed for attack. At the first checkpoint we found people in robot costumes, they signed off our maps and gave us our clue for the second one.
We made some new friends on the way but eventually found ourselves split up and with myself, James, Lee and another guy Joey, being chased through an industrial waste management facility and almost back where we started. By the time we got our bearings we had hopped a fence into an industrial parking lot on the corner of Halsted and Division and did our best to avoid contact with other participants. When we got to the second checkpoint we caught up with Aki and Mark again but soon found that Alyssa had been caught. From there we made a pretty easy run through the third and forth checkpoints ending up in Oz park near the Tinman statues. There we came upon a giant scrabble board and tiles where we needed to create words in order to move on.
Aki and Mark were pretty beat at that point so we tried to figure out the most direct route to the 5th checkpoint, the park on Diversey Harbor. Quickly after leaving the park a female chaser came out of nowhere tagging Mark and then Aki and going for more of us. Aki took the opportunity to argue with her the legality of her double tag sacrificing herself to buy the rest of us time. The rest of us (Lee, James Joey and Chris, another guy we picked up along the way,) cut deep into the park along the zoo and managed to make it over to checkpoint 5. However, some of Chris’s friends were waiting there with yellow bands on and made it clear they planned to follow us out of the park. Chris took one for the team and lead them off in one direction while James, Joey, Lee and I ran off to the far end and managed to catch a bus up the Lakeshore drive to Rosco Street.
From there it would be a straight shot to the finish-line, The Town Hall Pub on Rosco and Halsted. We were extremely cautious as we got closer and closer. At the last minute I spotted a girl with a yellow band who saw me and then suddenly shouted “RED!!!” at the top of her lungs and charged at me. It was now 11:50; the event was ending at 12 and I had been walking almost non-stop for 5 hours. There was no way I was going to give up now. I dashed down Rosco as fast as my tired legs would carry me and lost her in a crowd outside of a bar successfully making it to the finish line where James, Lee and Joey would soon join me.
We celebrated for a bit outside before going into the bar to enjoy some music, comedy and a pitcher of sweet sweet victory. We had completed the journey and although we were all very tired we were immensely proud of what we had accomplished.
It’s been almost a week now since Journey to the End of the Night and I am still covered in mystery bruises and aches, and every time I notice them I smile and think of what a great time I had. The most profound thing for me though was something I noticed while driving to get a haircut yesterday. I was driving down Halsted Avenue in Lincoln Park and suddenly knew exactly where I was and what was around every corner. Journey has given me a deeper appreciation, understanding, and excitement for Chicago.
In the two times I have participated in it I have learned more about Chicago than in all of my three years living here. It’s made me fall in love with this city in a way that I wouldn’t have otherwise had I just continued to go about my daily life commuting too and from my job. I hope you find this conveyed in my photos, it’s definitely given me some ideas about where I’d like to go back to and shoot on future days, or maybe just hang out.
(For the first set of photos please check the first entry, found here.)
Hello there dear readers,
I wanted to apologize for the delay in posting my account of Tokyo and my photos. I’ll keep it simple but life has gotten in the way and kept me from blogging. I promise things are on the way within a week’s time.
That said I have some exciting news:
Long Pork is coming to New York for the NYC Sketchfest!
The Gentlemen of Long Pork will be performing at the UCB Theatre on Friday June 11th at 8pm!
I cannot wait to introduce all my friends in NY to the group, I’ll keep y’all posted as soon as we find out ticket information.
Inorder to make this all happen however we are having a fundraiser/concert for the group this Thursday at the Hideout right here in Chicago! The details are as follows:
Long Pork Presents: Hit Yourself In The Face With A Guitar!