The Top 12

How do you begin to process a year of life? By looking through thousands of low-resolution cell phone photos, apparently. I leave 2015 with an odd feeling in my stomach and a lot to think about. It wasn't as though it was all perfect. But amidst so much hardship in our world, I feel uncomfortably grateful. …

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Welcome to the Safari

Breath in, breath out. Black glove, grey door handle. Brown boots, white snow. Shuffle, not walk. Slosh, slosh, slosh, steps squish-squash; I’m Vanessa-style skating through mud and snow. Breath in, breath out. Black glove, black door handle. Snow-covered boots, water-covered entry. Children, not adults. Little people 90% winter clothing and 10% body weight; I’m Stephen …

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Christmas Letter 2014: A Filterer’s Review

If you had a conversation with me in the last 1-3 years, you may have experienced the following: (1) I asked you a question immediately. i.e. "Jane! How are you? Tell me about your life!" (2) I answered your question with a question. i.e. "Hi Vanessa, how are you?" "Jane! How are you? Tell me about your life!" …

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The day I sat on Chris Hemsworth’s face

One of my many day jobs is working at a trigger point therapy clinic downtown in the loop. Think massage on steroids. This stuff is for the people that believe surgery is 90% of the time unnecessary and doctors 90% wrong and chiropractics (ha!) is 90% ineffective and therefore 100% inefficient. The thing about working …

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[Honest] Tips for Chicago actors from the casting desk [on a Friday afternoon]

#1. I'm so glad you're submitting for the musical! So. I read your cover letter (cute!). A few times. And--wait, I'll double check again...Okay. So. Just one question. Which role specifically do you want to be considered for? I wouldn't recommend any unless you really can sing any*.  As much as I love browsing through all the shows …

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