Here are 2 examples. I know there are more out there.

(pic from 2011)

(pic from the other night.)

Summer Phishing!*

| No Comments

A few weekends ago, I got to rock out 2 nights in a row with Rebecca at the 2014 Summer Phish tour! These were concerts 6 & 7 for me! With the release of their new album, Fuego, it was especially exciting to hear those songs for the first time! We had a total blast, and tour has become a highlight of my summers--something to look forward to! Here are some pics from the weekend!

We are classy dames.

I love Rebecca's tradition of taking your photo with your concert ticket!

We're actors. We know how to face the product.

Sunset with skyline. Can't beat it!

The next day, we "shared a Coke" with KOKO! Couldn't find a Megan, so "Friends" had to do.

Sunday, we found my friend and fellow Modet dancer Amy (right) and her friend Diva, which we were NOT able to do the night before. We also sadly weren't able to find Claire and Tracy Saturday night, but we tried. That's what counts.

We also found our friend Lauren! It was so fun to hang with everyone!

It was a great weekend. The music is incredible and the people are all so nice. Phish shows are all about love and friendship, and it's such a positive place to be. And getting to rock out with your best friend is the best thing ever!

Thanks, Rebecca! Already looking forward to next time!

*I hope this title doesn't get me lots of spam & scams.

Big Swim

| No Comments

Our big swim is Saturday! It's a 2.1 mile swim to an island in Lake Superior. It'll be awesome but cold. We head up tomorrow and come back Sunday. I am currently trying to decide between having my full range of motion in the water and being cold by swimming without gloves or booties, or sacrificing some of my swim power to stay warmer and conserve heat and keep my hands and feet covered. I will likely make the decision that morning. Either way, I am excited, and SUPER excited for it to be done soon. I love swimming, but this summer has been so nutty, juggling the training with everything else (ahem meat hand) has been a bit challenging.

I'll report in after! Wish us luck!

8 Years!

| No Comments

Holy Moly!

Has it been 8 years already?

It's been the best 8 years, cause I've been with Fuzzy, the most amazing man on the planet.

Happy Anniversary, my love.

Soundgarden and NIN

| No Comments

Last week started my 3 week party summer week, and it has been EPIC. I went to 2 Phish shows last weekend, and last night was Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails. Tonight and tomorrow night, I have 2 bachelorette parties, then Tuesday is mine and Fuzzy's 8 year wedding anniversary. The 2 mile Lake Superior swim is next weekend. Plus, we are doing Apes Monday nights and I am still in Rack of Khan rehearsals. Non-stop rocking.

The show last night was interesting--Soundgarden and NIN are co-headling this tour, so they are each playing an hour 20 minute set. It was fun to look at folks before the show to see where their alliance was--were they in a Soundgarden or a NIN Tshirt? I was of course proudly rocking my Soundgarden tank top. Soundgarden went first, and it was still daylight outside. The crowd wasn't into it, and the light made the screens hard to see. They played a lot of tracks from Badmotorfinger and Superunknown, and only 1 from Down on the Upside. Matt Cameron wasn't there, and while it was a good show, it wasn't GREAT. But I will take a less-than-great Soundgarden show over no Soundgarden show, and Megan and I had a great time rocking out.

Me and Megan

Cassie and Miranda

Weiners.

Sea of black tshirts and hoodies. I felt at home.

Jesus Christ Pose

The Day I Tried to Live. Holy crap, watching that again makes me so happy.

My bro gave me a hard time for wearing a Soundgarden shirt to a Soundgarden concert, but Chris Cornell did it, too, so...

Then NIN started. And holy moly, was it awesome.

Like, REALLY awesome.

It was a high energy rocking show with amazing lights and great audio and it just ROCKED. I've always liked Nine Inch Nails, but now I think I LOVE them.

FUN FACT! Both Soundgarden and NIN had songs covered by Johnny Cash.
FUN FACT #2: For Rack of Khan, I almost made the LoCuteUs/Picard/Borg number to Rusty Cage (I'm gonna break my rusty cage and run) but instead decided on Head Like a Hole (I'd rather die than give you control.)

It was a fun night out with good music and good friends! And then hours and hours in the car on the way home, which I will blame on the Beyonce/Jay-Z concert and construction.

More Impress These Apes Press!

| No Comments

More press for Apes! This time from The Real Chicago. Enjoy!

A couple of folks have told me that they weren't able to load the trib review for Apes, so here is the full thing. Enjoy!

'Apes' remains slightly bonkers, little known and incredibly hilarious

COMEDY REVIEW: "Impress These Apes" at ComedySportz ★★★★

Nina Metz Chicago Closeup

5:23 p.m. CDT, July 15, 2014

I have no idea why "Impress These Apes," the hugely funny comedy competition now in its eighth season, remains such a niche event that's known pretty much only within comedy nerd circles.

But that's fine. Really! Because bigger buzz would inevitably lead to slicker execution and a larger venue. That would not be good, not for a show like this, where so much of its appeal lies in the fact that it's still something of an underground phenomenon.

And so the show remains small in scale and cozy (if slightly bonkers) in temperament. Want that delicious feeling of discovery? This is your show, led by four interstellar apes from the future who have corralled eight performers -- each year a new mix of stand-up comedians and improvisers -- who go head-to-head Monday nights in a quest to impress these apes.

This season has a cruise ship theme, and I realize writing about this show can sometimes look like an exercise in non sequiturs. Why apes? Why a cruise ship? Why the future?

I don't know. But it works. All of it. Even in its shaggier moments. Every piece works, and I don't know that I can say that about any other theatrical offering in town, comedy or not.

So, the basics: Competitors are given one week to prepare for their assignment, which is just loopy enough to push everyone onstage out of their comfort zone. That, I think, is why performers want to be a part of the show. It forces them to broaden the concept of who they are, or what they're capable of onstage. It all feels terribly personal, and there's something almost noble in the attempt to strive for something deeper than the status quo.

These are precisely the sort of circumstances highly creative funny people thrive under -- egos are on the line, but there's a real spirit of camaraderie, handcrafted prop-making, juvenile laughs and striving to do something out of the ordinary -- resulting in strange, vulnerable moments that are also startlingly funny.

The first challenge, performed this week, was a "get to know you" bit: They were asked to build puppet versions of themselves, which were used to reveal a little bit about who they are.

John Leadley's ode to bars and his love of the drink was just the kind of sardonic, unexpectedly brilliant interpretation that is emblematic of "Impress These Apes." His puppet was crafted out of the top half of an empty bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey, and like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Leadley's puppet emerged from an assemblage of booze in a marvel of visual creativity. But the bar stories he told were just as important and winning for their tenderness.

(You can watch clips from every show at impresstheseapes.com; also worth watching are those from Trevor Martin, Steven King and top-scorer Tiff Svitko.)

The individual performances are prepped ahead of time, but the apes sitting in judgment are engaged in full-throttle improv, offering sharp jokes but even sharper critiques. This is key. The show has to genuinely push these competitors to bring their A-game. And the judges do it with a real sense of off-the-cuff wit: "I've always wanted to see a Tinder date in a psyche ward," went one observation after a competitor finished his puppet rendition of picking up a woman in Wrigleyville.

The crack panel is comprised of Bryan Bowden (playing a good ol' boy named Bushmeat who began his assessment of Leadley's puppet with: "First off, excellent use of garbage ..."), Steve Gadlin (whose ascot-wearing Barry Shirley is a latter day Charles Nelson Reilly), Paul Luikart (as Captain Apehab) and Erica Reid (maternal but biting as April May).

On Monday the challenge will be as follows: "You have been randomly assigned a theme song to a popular movie that one might watch on a cruise ship. You must choreograph and perform an original dance to this song. Your dance is to be inspired by the movie it is from, but remember that dance is the focal point of the piece." The assigned songs range from "Fame" to "Space Jam" to "Ghostbusters."

nmetz@tribune.com

Twitter @NinaMetzNews

When: 8 p.m. Mondays through Sept. 1

Where: ComedySportz, 929 W. Belmont Ave.

Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Tickets: $12 at 773-549-8080 or comedysportzchicago.com

We got a great review today from Nina Metz in the Chicago Tribune!

Some nice quotes:

Every piece works, and I don't know that I can say that about any other theatrical offering in town, comedy or not.

And

The individual performances are prepped ahead of time, but the apes sitting in judgment are engaged in full-throttle improv, offering sharp jokes but even sharper critiques. This is key. The show has to genuinely push these competitors to bring their A-game. And the judges do it with a real sense of off-the-cuff wit: "I've always wanted to see a Tinder date in a psyche ward," went one observation after a competitor finished his puppet rendition of picking up a woman in Wrigleyville.

The crack panel is comprised of Bryan Bowden (playing a good ol' boy named Bushmeat who began his assessment of Leadley's puppet with: "First off, excellent use of garbage ..."), Steve Gadlin (whose ascot-wearing Barry Shirley is a latter day Charles Nelson Reilly), Paul Luikart (as Captain Apehab) and Erica Reid (maternal but biting as April May).

 

It really is going to be a great season.

Check it out!

Meat Hand

| 1 Comment

This year, Fuzzy and I have signed up to swim the Point to LaPointe, a 2.1 mile open water swim in Lake Superior in Northern Wisconsin on August 2nd. We've been talking about doing it for years, and for some reason, this year--the coldest on record in forever--seemed like the right year to do it.

Because of the polar vortex-y winter, Lake Michigan has been intimidating in it's ice water-ness, but I am sure it is a hot tub compared to Lake Superior. We did some pool swims and then decided last week that it was time to take the plunge into the lake.

On the 4th of July, we had a leisurely morning, and then in the heat of the sun decided to get decked out in our neoprene wetsuits, socks and gloves and take the plunge. 

The socks were great, but the gloves felt clunky and like I wasn't able to pull myself through the water. I took them off and Fuzzy tucked them into the back of my wetsuit. I swam only about three-quarters of a mile, but it went ok.

We had friends in town for the 4th, so we cooked up a bunch of meat and I whipped up some margaritas. We sat in our "front yard" (ie: square of grass) and I noticed that my right hand was really red and sore. "Huh, I guess I sunburned my hand." I said, and noticed that the left one was also kind of pink. "Bizarre." I've done many a lake swim before and this has never been an issue, but I figured something was off kilter that day. I felt a little woozy, but chalked it up to tequila and over eating.  I was worn out the next day, but pushed through to play with She's Crafty for the Dark Matter block party, watched Space Jam and went to bed.

photo 2.JPG

Sunday, we decided to try the lake again. We said goodbye to our guests, ate some lunch, then schlepped back downtown to where we train. (The beach where we train has marked distances and runs along a concrete wall, so it is very safe and easy. All the triathletes train there, and yes, there are lifeguards.) I made sure to sunscreen my hand. The water on Sunday was painfully cold--it was a shock to the face. I corrected an error I was making (swimming too fast--I was getting out of breath easily), swam a half mile, and then stopped. I should have kept going, but I couldn't for some reason. We grabbed some lunch and ran a few errands on the awesomely super hot day. I noticed that my right had started forming blisters--giant painful ones--and they got bigger as the day progressed. It looked gross and hurt like hell. We stopped at Walgreens and got some high-tech bandages to keep it covered and moist. I had a hard time sleeping because it was so painful and irritated.

(I don't have photos of the blisters. You're welcome.)

Monday was a busy day. I had rehearsal in the morning and the live Apes callback show that night. I didn't want a bunch of people to try to shake my hand, so I covered it in a big white bandage. Of course, a lot of people asked what was wrong, and I shrugged it off saying that I must have gotten a bad 3rd degree burn or sun poisoning of some sort.

The show was a huge success and we cast 8 amazing performers. We got home, exhausted, and fell into bed. Fuzzy looked at my hand. Then he felt my hand. It was swollen, hot, and red. He suggested that we go to the ER, because it reminded him of how my foot looked when I had that crazy bad infection. I shrugged it off and said if it wasn't better in the morning, we could go to the new Immediate Care Clinic that opened in our neighborhood a few weeks ago.

We woke up super early the next morning to see how it was doing. It looked fine! It wasn't swollen, and I was exhausted, so Fuzzy went for a run and I slept a bit more to get rested before my rehearsal and show. About an hour later, I got up, and within 10 minutes, my hand was this huge swollen red chunk of meat. Meat hand. It was freaky, and we decided that we needed to go to the doctor.

Because the urgent care clinic was new, there was no one there, so we were able to see a doctor right away. They put a burn cream on it, gave me a tetanus shot (the droll male nurse said "I got the biggest needle I could find" which made me laugh), and put me on this hard core antibiotic that I have to take 4 times a day for a week. They said "no sun, no swimming, no alcohol" while it was healing. But I had a gig that night at City Winery! (Droll male nurse: "You'll have plenty more times to drink alcohol.") I laugh cried at my rotten luck at the yet another freak ailment that I can now add to my list (kidney stones, staph infection, foot infection, shingles, possible gout...)  I was 45 minutes late for my rehearsal, which I hate, and I did a little stress crying, but I pushed through.

photo 3.JPG

Meat hand in action.

My hand, though painful, was still functional, so I found a lace glove made by one of the Modet dancers for our show, and I wore it in the gig. It looked like a choice and not a neccessity!

photo 4.JPG

The gig was amazing, by the way. (More photos and things to come soon.)

It's now Friday. The swelling has gone down. The blisters are all dried up. Now instead of looking like a swollen piece of meat, it looks like ground beef. 

photo 5.JPG

I HATE taking medicine for things, and this antibiotic is no exception--it has drained all of my energy and made me REALLY spacey and loopy. I am continuing to use the cream and wrap the hand, and I have a few more days of the pills.  Plus, I have a cold and a million things and rehearsal and meetings and shows, so I feel like a shell of a person, but I am keeping on keeping on.

Sigh.

Impress These Apes SEASon 8!

| No Comments

After a year hiatus, the Apes are back for another season of hard hitting talent competition. And this time, we're going on a CRUISE!

Apes 2014.jpg

Tonight is the LIVE CALLBACK SHOW hosted by STEVE GADLIN of STEVE GADLIN'S STAR MAKERS. 16 hopefuls will be performing 16 different assigned talents, and at the end of the night, 8 contestants will be announced and given their first week's challenge.

This season is going to be a blast! Hope to see you there!

Keep reading! The next most recent entry was Future Perfect Tension Photos or you can visit the Archives

Erica Reid

Erica Reid headshot by Elizabeth McQuern

Twitter

Upcoming Shows

Recent Comments

  • mom: GREAT!!!! I am so proud of you!! read more
  • mom: I almost put "Red Right Hand" but you beat me read more
  • Claire: These KICK ASS! And so do you! read more
  • mom: Looks great! Can't wait to see some more! read more
  • Erica: Yay! Thank you guys! You're the best!!! xoxoxoxooxooxo e read more
  • Carrie Miley : Whoa!! So I didn't miss it! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Geez you read more
  • Jean: Here's hoping you squeeze in some fabulous birthday hi-jinx, read more
  • Leigh!: And your cat-voice is unique and beyond compare! read more
  • Leigh!: Am writing on writing right now! read more
  • Zulk: Yay! Thanks for passing this along. you are awesome read more

Archives