Friday, February 23, 2007
Wicker Park Randomness
Last week I went to my friend Chris’ improv show at Gorilla Tango, also home to the Mary Kay LeTourneau story. I went alone, and when I went into the performance area saw that for this show the seating was cabaret-style, with little tables, so I sat at one.
A young woman sat alone at the table just in front of me. She looked at me a couple of times, and then said, “are you here alone?”
“Yep,” I said.
She pulled a bottle of wine out of a bag. “Want to split a bottle of wine?”
“Sure," I said, pulling up a chair.
“That’s my favorite pick-up line, but obviously, not in this context,” she said.
We were both there to support cast members. Amanda, the girl, had no corkscrew, but the happy women at another table did, so I went over and borrowed it, which led to another table borrowing it, and soon we had all bonded over the corkscrew.
So it was that I drank cheap zinfandel out of a plastic Solo cup and watched my friend’s group do a long-form set. To be honest, it wasn’t all that good, but it was very educational, from a student’s perspective. I saw what worked and what didn’t, and it really hit home how important it is to create strong characters and give each other support. A few of the members stood out, my friend included. (He just found out that he made it into Second City Conservatory, and we will be in the same class. That should be fun.)
Earlier this week, at the Ear-bleeding Dunkin’ Donuts, I bumped into the cast member that Amanda was there to see, and we had one of those “wow, what a coincidence” moments (where I work is nowhere near the theater). I wanted to go and support Chris before the show closes, but I ended up seeing “Vertigo” with Beth at the University of Chicago Docs Theater. Next week, the final week of the show, we might go back for “North by Northwest.” I’m torn. I like to support fellow performers, but Hitchcock…
Tonight I went with my neighbor Becky to a Wicker Park party hosted by the Young Advocates, a group from the ACLU, where Becky worked before going into law school. It was held at this cool space – the front is a jewelry store and the rear section is a small party area, with DJ booth and bar. So I fought for my rights at the party, filled in a quiz on abuses of civil liberties, and came away with my very own Bill of Rights bookmark. Cool! We ate at Earwax beforehand – Becky is moving towards vegetarianism – she had the Seitan Chili, and pronounced it heavenly, and I had a To Die For Jerk Seitan sandwich.
As we walked down the street we passed a storefront that had one of those lifelike reclining puppies fashioned out of rabbit fur. I stopped.
"See, what makes this so messed up is that they slaughtered an adorable animal so that they could use its skin to fashion a fake adorable animal. Is it me, or is that just totally fucked up? It's like, why is the dead mink pelt on a coat considered beautiful while the live mink is treated with contempt? Where is our capacity for reverence?"
The party was actually a lot of fun, and the people were very sweet. Becky and I had both noticed that most of the girls were skinny, and we discussed this scarily growing trend on the way home.
We aren’t at risk.