Relationships

Meet Our Readers

Double agents. Passing. Going undercover. There’s a lot of ways to be not what you seem, and this Wednesday Brooke Allen, Allie Wachowski, Kim Nelson, and Bea Cordelia get into these cases of Mistaken Identity with humor, grace, guts.

Brooke Allen

Brooke Allen is a Chicago playwright and storyteller. Her work has been published on such websites as Story Club Magazine and Role Reboot. She has performed with YBR, Essay Fiesta, Mortified, Paper Machete, Guts and Glory, Write Club and more. She loves pizza and cats.

 

 

 

 

 

Allie Wachowski

Allie Wachowski is a writer, local internet sensation, teen heartthrob, and the self proclaimed Mariah Carey of the Midwest. you can find her online, or getting asked to leave your favorite bar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Nelson

Kim Nelson is a writer, performer, lifelong Chicagoan, karaoke enthusiast, and regular contributor at Drinkers with Writing Problems. This summer, you can read her Game of Thrones recaps at HeauxsChicago. She’s on Twitter and Instagram with the handle @ponytailup, where you can see lots of pictures of her awesome dog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bea Cordelia

Bea Cordelia is an award-winning, Chicago-bred, internationally slandered writer, filmmaker, performance artist, actor, producer, educator, & activist whose work uplifts & reimagines the narratives of transgender people. Her “life-changing” solo show Chasing Blue has featured in Steppenwolf Theatre’s LookOut performance series & The Brick’s inaugural Trans Theatre Festival in Brooklyn. In 2016 she developed her first multimedia installation The Cosmic Body in a University of Chicago Performance Lab residency through Salonathon, was made a Luminarts Cultural Foundation Creative Writing Fellow for her poem “The Future,” and made headlines for her lawsuit against the City of Chicago regarding its sexist & transphobic ordinance forbidding the exposure of breasts in establishments with liquor licenses. She is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency, and is currently working on the forthcoming web series The T with co-creator Daniel Kyri & distributor Open TV.
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Meet Our Readers

Walk with us through those ceremonies, formal and otherwise, that mark the passage from one state to another (please read the previous in a “Submitted for for the approval of the Midnight Society” voice). Us is Sophie Amado, Lauren Catey, Turi Ryder, Tamale Sepp, and Rachel Hyman, telling stories about Rites of Passage.

Sophie Amado

Sophie AmadoSophie Amado is a proud Chicago native and she will judge you if you put ketchup on your hot dogs or if you’re still not excited to hear Go Cubs Go since November 2nd. She received her BA from the University of Iowa and spent a year surrounded by Spanish ham and red wine in Madrid, Spain teaching English to high school students with the Fulbright program. Sophie returned to her homeland to go to grad school for creative nonfiction writing at Columbia College where she teaches rhetoric to freshmen and is an assistant editor for Hotel Amerika. When she’s not doing either of those things she likes eating food that requires chopsticks or Googling celebrities ‘birthdays.

Lauren Catey

Lauren CateyLauren Catey was raised on a farm in Indiana. Her best friend was a horse. She moved to Chicago 10 years ago to go to art school, which made her parents deeply uncomfortable. Now she spends her time writing and teaching 3rd graders in West Humboldt Park. She writes stories that they probably shouldn’t hear.

Turi Ryder

Turi RyderTuri Ryder has spent most of her working life where almost nobody can see her: on the radio. You may have heard her on Chicago’s WGN or WLS (AM or FM}. She has also offended people over the airwaves in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis (where she was voted Best and Worst of the Twin Cities by the same entertainment weekly in the same year), and Seattle. Turi recently emerged from her soundproof room with a memoir, “She Said What?”.

Rachel Hyman

Rachel HymanRachel Hyman is the author of the poetry chapbook Dear S (Big Lucks, 2015). She co-edits the literary journal Banango Street and co-runs the Welcome to the Neighborhood reading series. She was born in Chicago and will probably die in Chicago.

 

 

 

Tamale Sepp

Tamale SeppTamale is a stand up comedian and interdisciplinary performer who splits her time between Chicago and the rest of the world. She also travels internationally with her fierce eyebrows. Voted runner-up for Chicago’s Best Stand Up Comedian for The Reader, Tamale is a regular at The Laugh Factory, Zanies Comedy Clubs, and countless local and national showcases. With a BS in Agricultural Education and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media, her comedy occupies a wide spectrum, and never disappoints. Tamale also loves to shoot guns, skydive, and ride her giant motorcycle with an eyelash …because she has a lot to prove. Check her out at TamaleRocks.com and around town as she rides her motorcycle (often in costumes) with her pals in Bikes and Mics!

 

Meet Our Readers

This Wednesday, we’re talking about you. The theme is Gossip and the readers are Jasmine Davila, Anjali Waikar, Josephine Yales, and Takelya Weathers. You heard it from them first.

Jasmine Davila

Jasmine DavilaJasmine Davila is the fast-talking, thoroughly charming co-host of “Vital Social Issues and Stuff”, a podcast about pop culture from a lady’s point of view. She has read in venues small and medium sized for shows such as Tuesday Funk, 20×2 Chicago, That’s All She Wrote and this very show. You can find Jasmine on the web by Googling “Jasmine Davila” and on Twitter as @jasmined.

 

 

Anjali Waikar

Anjali WaikarAnjali is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Chicago after living on the east coast for the past two decades. She was a member of a comedy improv troupe in college until she quit to play Division 3 tennis until she quit to join a hip hop dance troupe until she quit to volunteer in Guatemala until she quit to find herself. She believes in trying everything once. She’s a virgin storyteller to the stage, but regularly practices the art of storytelling in her day job as a lawyer.

 

 

Josephine Yales

Josephine YalesJ[osephine]. M. YaLes is the author of ‘A Coven in Essex County’, a writer, a poet, and ex-museum educator. She currently lives in Chicago after a life time in Wisconsin and a brief stint in Utah.

 

 

 

 

Takelya Weathers

takelya weathersHailing from the south side of the city, Takelya “TK” Weathers is an eternal dreamer with the heart and soul of a poet. She’s an avid writer who can oftentimes be found with a pen and paper in hand. While writing and theater are her first loves, she comes to us as a graduate of The French Pastry School’s L’Art du Gateau program and a lover of all things deliciously sweet. In her spare time, she works on building her MsBijou Sugar Artistry brand, being a student of the Second City Theater Training Center, and dreaming in full, living color.

Meet Our Readers

She said yes! This Wednesday, Mary Fons, Rebecca Makkai, Veronica Vidal, and Rebecca Duxler bring us stories of Wedding Bells at Gallery Cabaret. No hole in the wall’s gonna ruin our special day (no really, that happened last week):

hole in the building

But onto the readers:

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai is a fiction writer who does occasional live lit so that her inner high school theater geek never dies. She has two novels, The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and a story collection, Music for Wartime. The story collection was printed on special paper made from that one tree that fell in the woods when no one was there to hear it. She teaches at Northwestern University and StoryStudio Chicago, and she lives on the North Shore, where she enjoys alarming all the Republicans.

Veronica Vidal

Veronica VidalOriginally from the land of Happy Days, Harley Davidson, and THE BEST fish fry, Veronica Vidal was born and raised in Milwaukee but has called Chicago home for 19 years now. She has performed at Is This A Thing and a couple of open mics. In her free time, she is slowly trying to rid the world of acronyms.

 

 

 

Mary Fons

mary fonsMary Fons is a writer and designer who loves Chicago a lot, especially downtown Chicago, which is where she lives. She is a proud Chicago Neo-Futurist and is currently pursuing her Writing MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She teaches writing at the University of Chicago Writer’s Studio and if you want to take her “Stories Onstage: Writing To Perform” class (four weeks long) you should do it. Mary writes a blog called PaperGirl and it’s loads of fun.

Rebecca Duxler

Rebecca DuxlerYour Friendly Neighborhood Uber Driver by day, literary artist and athlete by night, Rebecca Duxler is always hungry for adventures. As a super nerd and a black belt, she is usually found taking people’s breath away on a Dance Dance Revolution Machine, in the kitchen cooking way too much food, giving people glove and orbit light shows, on the computer writing and making websites, on the fighting field, and on stage. She has performed at various open mic nites, literary shows, variety shows, and local “Got Talent” contests across Chicago and the surrounding area. She is the proud owner of several blogs, such as “Your Friendly Neighborhood Uber Driver”, a blog documenting the (mis)adventures of being a rideshare driver. Rebecca’s ultimate goal is to be able to make a difference in the world with healthspiration (health and inspiration), spread positivity, enjoy randomly spontaneous moments, and share her contagious laughs! Someday, she will be a game show winner, the “Got Talent” queen, and the next million dollar winner on Wheel of Fortune!

 

Consent

On July 27th, 2016, our theme was Consent. Featured readers included Ada Cheng, Sarah Meltzer, and Caitlin Brecht.

-Rose

Crush

On June 29th, 2016, our theme was Crush. Featured readers included C.A. Aiken, Lauren Kapinski, Julie Marchiano, Amy Guth, Jess Merighi, and Jenny Peel.

-Rose

Meet Our Readers

This Wednesday, the writers below tell us when someone said yes, no, or maybe, out loud or otherwise.  See you there.

Eileen Dougharty

photoWhen Eileen Dougharty isn’t handing out drinks, snacks, and snark to the flying public, she’s trolling Chicago in search of adventure. Eileen has performed with Story Sessions, You’re Being Ridiculous, and 2nd Story and she has contributed her writing to Reader’s Digest, WBEZ’s “Pleasuretown” podcast, and Consequence of Sound. She was also part of a recent TEDx talk about the power of storytelling and she’s thrilled to be part of Miss Spoken.

 

 

Ada Cheng

Ada ChengAda Cheng is a recovering academic and a professor turned storyteller, improviser, and stand up comedian. She has been enjoying her new adventures in theater and performance since quitting her job at the university. She is a one time The Moth story slam winner. She has performed at different venues all over Chicago. She is living her motto: Take your life and make it the best story in the world.

Sarah Meltzer

12670940_484163775101714_8510613120944992136_nSarah Meltzer lives in Chicago, where she is co-host of the Wit Rabbit reading series. She divides her time between writing small things, asking her cats about Jesus, and making secret plans to start an advice column about the organization of kitchen cabinets. One of these things is a lie.

 

 

 

Caitlin Brecht

Cate BrechtCate Brecht is one of those dreaded Florida people you are always hearing about in the news. She wants to tell you that everything you imagine to be true about Florida is in fact true and that is why she relocated herself to Chicago last year. She currently works in an office downtown helping to assist different boards of nursing across the United States. When she is not working, and partially when she is working, she is an avid consumer of podcasts, movies, books, and theatre. She ushers at theaters around Chicago in order to see as many plays as her calendar will allow. She is a co-host on a Buffy the Vampire Slayer podcast called Babes Watch Buffy. She likes to write and would like to write a book even though she will confess that she doesn’t write as much as she should (thank you Netflix). She has had a poem of hers published In a Florida literary journal and she has seen two ten minute plays she wrote performed. This is her first spoken word event in Chicago and she is very excited and hopes to not throw-up. You can find her on all social media platforms at Catebrecht and you can find her Buffy podcast at Babes Watch Buffy on iTunes and Soundcloud.

First Time

Here’s a recording of our April 2016 show. The theme was First Time. Featured readers included Whitney LaMora Currier, Anne Elizabeth Moore, and Kaitlin Sullivan.

-Rose

Meet Our Readers

For tomorrow’s show, Jenny Peel, Jess Merighi, Julie Marchiano, C.A. Aiken, and Lauren Kapinski  make like Lil’ Kim and Lil’ Cease. That’s right, we’re telling stories about crushes. Late 90s hip-hop moves can neither be confirmed nor denied.

Lauren Kapinski

headshotLauren Kapinski is a writer, a Wisco woman, and a recent transplant to the City of Broad Shoulders. In her short time living here, she has bested a knight, was the first intern at the Paper Machete, and sold a self-published chapbook titled Beats Per Minute. Like Chicago, she doesn’t have an obvious nickname but has sometimes been called: The Kapin, Our Lady of Perpetual Anxiety, and Norman. She generally has no idea what she’s doing but relies on her Midwestern charm, Muppet-like facial expressions, and foolish tenacity to figure it out. You can follow this broad and these shoulders on Instagram and Twitter @honestbabel.

Jenny Peel

jenny_peel-alt2Jenny Peel is a native Chicagoan, currently residing in the wild north of Evanston. She works for an educational publisher as an image researcher, which allows her to brush up on her science and social studies. Over time, Jenny has acted in off-off- Loop theater, played in both Beatles and Led Zeppelin cover bands, and got as far as a green belt in karate. After a recent class at the Story Studio, she feels ready to share her writings with the world—or at least with a subset thereof.

 

Jess Merighi

13419134_880592772046195_3308695521761588494_nJess Merighi was born in Massachusetts and was raised on Bruins hockey until she moved to Chicago on a whim in 2013. She spends her time running the customer service department at a tech startup in the West Loop, going to shows, schooling punks about feminism, and getting injured while crafting. Her writing has appeared in Hello Giggles and Literally Darling, and most proudly, the Boston Bruins satire blog, Day’s of Y’Orr. You can find the bulk of her writing, and other random musings at JessKristaMerighi.com.

 

 

C.A. Aiken

headshotbwclC.A. works in making Chicago and all cities better—she hopes!—and moonlights as a poet and someone who writes.

 

 

 

 

 

Julie Marchiano

Julie-Marchiano1Julie Marchiano is delighted to be reading again at Miss Spoken! A Chicago-based actor, improviser, and writer, Julie has been featured on a number of live lit shows, including The Paper Machete, Story Club, Is This A Thing?, and That’s All She Wrote. She is currently performing in her first revue at The Second City, A Red Line Runs Through It. Follow her on Twitter @juliemarchiano, or do a deep dive on juliemarchiano.com.

 

Not That You Asked: My Lemonade

beyonce-lemonade-compressed

Can we talk about Beyoncé? Or rather, can I? I mean, since everyone is weighing in on it…

*Don’t worry. I won’t speak on the racial aspect of things since I can’t, while also acknowledging that race may or may not play into what I do want to discuss.

Like others before me who were quick to write their think-piece on the matter, I will declare myself a Sort of Fan of hers. Yes, Destiny’s Child’s songs still make me smile and in general, I’ve always enjoyed her music.

But I’m no worshipper.

When Formation came out, I rewatched it about five times in a row, fascinated. I found it powerful, eccentric, creative and tried to understand the meaning of its message without claiming any kind of ownership or overwrought opinion on/about it.

I just liked it. I liked what felt like a political statement and I liked hearing it from someone who had an understanding of it beyond my own.

 

When I watched the trailer for “Lemonade” on HBO Go, I was…confused. And annoyed. I remember seeing her tease something about this upcoming “once in a lifetime” event and felt even more irritated when, from what I saw, she had gone and made some kind of horror movie.

But of course, after hopping on social media, I was quickly inundated with the overwhelming response of people I like basically saying I was missing out on life if I didn’t take the opportunity to watch it.

Well. It was…incredible? Incredible in how it captivated. Incredible in how emotionally connected I was to it. Incredible in how real it felt.

I will choose, for now, to ignore the swirling talk of this all being a huge production, created and made-up by Jay and Bey to garner sales and sign people up for Tidal.

Because honestly? Even if that were even remotely true, you will never be able to convince me that Beyoncé hasn’t wondered if her husband has cheated on her and you will most likely never be able to convince me that he hasn’t.

There are two things I thought a lot about after digesting this visual and audio onslaught.

The first being: We need to talk about how Beyoncé met Jay-Z when she was SIXTEEN YEARS OLD. In a 2007 interview with Charlie Rose, Jay-Z said he met his future wife about ten years prior. She was 16 in 1997.

Six. Teen.

And while further interviews and loose details will point more to them “starting to date” when she was 18 or 19, that seems awfully convenient.

But fine. Let’s give them the 18 and then focus on the fact that he is ELEVEN YEARS HER SENIOR.

Which means, a twenty nine year old MAN was wining and dining an 18 year old GIRL.

Now here is where I’m going to start making assumptions, ones that I believe are probably true and deeply entrenched in what might be going on in Beyoncé’s mind and soul if dealing with her spouse’s infidelity.

Beyoncé was destined for stardom, for queendom, for utter domination. No question. She worked her ass off, night and day, day and night. She has been performing since she was a child. And judging from her relationship with her parents, I don’t think she was really concerned with, nor had time to have a boyfriend.

What I’m saying is, even if she lost her virginity to someone else, maybe even had sex with two people before Jay-Z (which even that I’m doubtful of), he is one of VERY FEW sexual partners she’s ever had.

So there’s this juxtaposition. We live in a society (an American one) where being sexy means you ARE sexy means you know what you’re doing in the sack.

There is no way at sixteen OR eighteen she was sexually experienced enough to know left from right, especially with a twenty nine year old man.

And whether or not she had other encounters before him, he became her everything. And depending on what kind of teacher, nurturer, partner he was, that would become her introduction to sex.

A lot of things have to go right in that scenario for her to come out of it OK.

Because again, we are expected to know what we’re doing. It’s assumed that if we look good and exude confidence and seem sexual in any way, or are sexualized without doing anything other than stand there, we internalize that and never actually talk about it.

We’re supposed to know what we’re doing based on what exactly? Movies? T.V.? Porn? The only way to get good at sex is actually having it and even then, depending on who you have it with and how open your communication is, you may never get good at it.

I’m not saying that people haven’t been able to wordlessly get someone off. But is that all you want? Just the orgasm? Also, why don’t we (as women) talk about all of the times we definitely did NOT have an orgasm?

Maybe it seems unsexy to have a discussion before or during. Why do you feel that way? Is it because everything you’ve ever seen on the screen are two people automatically connecting and having otherworldly intercourse?

Sexual attraction gets you there, but it doesn’t and can’t take you all the way. There is no way of knowing what the other person is into without working it out first.

Back to Beyoncé. Her world is coming apart on many levels due to this infidelity. Do you see me? She asks. Everyone else does. She says. He only want me when I’m not there. She says.

To her, this is unfathomable. She is THE baddest bitch on the planet, oh and also his WIFE (which again, in her mind is the ultimate…the commitment, the vows, the promises, the sacredness…to her, this is everything and being cheated it on is the equivalency of him murdering her.) This makes her feel like she is not enough and how could that possibly be?

Why would he want anyone but her?

To touch on marriage and monogamy, this is what I think causes a lot of damage for some people. For those that consider marriage a holy union, an eternal binding with no exceptions, cheating is the worst sin of them all. And a lot of people cheat.

Because it is actually asking a lot of human beings to only sleep with one person, or in general, “be” with one person for the rest of their lives.

As hard as it is to meet people, it is also not hard at all to make a connection with more than one person. If you have exes than you’ve already proven my point.

There’s no completely shutting that off. We will continue to be attracted to and attracted by other people. We will form relationships with people, get close to them emotionally and sometimes physically because that’s in our nature.

Not because our partner isn’t enough, but because there is no actual limit.

We feel because we’ve given everything to someone that they should be satisfied, fulfilled.

Which brings me to the second thing I thought a lot about: Past relationships. Actually, one in particular. I’ve never been cheated on (to my knowledge), so I can’t really speak on it. Yet I still really identified with the first half of “Lemonade”, with all of it’s anger and apathy and threats and indignation and middle fingers wagged in faces.

And the absolute contradiction telling the guy you want: “Boy, BYE.”

When you are sleeping with someone who doesn’t want to be exclusive, doesn’t want the labels and is generally kind of aloof and non-committal, it will drive you crazy.

The answer is always to not be with someone like this, but it happens.

You have no idea if you’re the side chick. You probably are. Or at the very least, you are simply one of a few, possibly many.

I remember trying to see other people in the meantime. Which didn’t really work because if I was being honest with myself, I wanted to be with him. Even though I knew well enough that we weren’t right for one another, the baseline attraction (mine to him) was undeniable.

I could not extricate myself from the situation. That out of control feeling had me going on dates with other people, having inappropriate conversations and casual meet ups with a friend of his and other people he had connections to.

So when out of the blue, the phone calls and texts stopped, I didn’t know how much of it had to do with him meeting someone else or what he knew about what I was up to when we weren’t together.

I believe it had more to do with the former, but the way in which things were left were because of the latter. As in, maybe I didn’t deserve any kind of explanation or reason or courtesy ending of our non-relationship.

On occasion, I’m still irked by this other girl. She is younger. She is prettier. And she managed to lock it down. The one thing I couldn’t do.

During the entire situation I was constantly questioning my self worth over something that wouldn’t have worked for me anyway. Seriously, at one point I was at a bar hanging out with his friends and he was there. On a date with someone.

Anyway. I’m no Beyoncé.

But I feel a lot of things when I watch and listen to Lemonade. I feel for her and I feel for me.

-Carly