Insecurity has got the best of me

As a performer, I’ve recently been exploring stand-up. This is in large part due to Chicago and a class called the Feminine Comique. I discovered this all female class through a Reader article on local stand-up and Fem Com creator, Cameron Esposito. Now taught by the hilarious Kelsie Huff, this class is amazing.

My graduation show was awesome. My set received a lot of laughs and an audience full of friends supported me. A handful of positive open mic’s later and my long dormant creativity was back and ready to find its next manifestation.

I want to write and perform a solo show; I want to collaborate; I want to do a web series; I want to produce a show to showcase other female talent.


Then I went to Cole’s and bombed. In front of Cameron and all the other cool lady comics I want to like me.

Comedy Sportz – same. This time in front of Kelsie and Kristin Clifford.

My set at The Kate’s was well received but sloppy…erratic…

That was January 28 and I haven’t performed since.

What am I so afraid of that I don’t even want to walk into the room? Why do I all of a sudden feel like I am the new girl in the cafeteria with no one to sit with?

I’m too normal. I’m not interesting enough. I’m too pretty. My hair is too long. I’m just another straight girl whining about boys. I’m not as cool as the gay girls with their side mullets and leather jackets. The girls who I long to be accepted or at least respected by. I’m too old. I don’t want to spend all night at the bar hanging with 23 year olds who I can’t help but be jealous of because they’ve already figured it out where as I am just discovering this part of myself. This part of myself that, at 33, feels like it’s too late. And, I don’t want to make jokes or try to make you laugh. I want to make you think. I want to talk about shit that pisses me off. I want to call your attention to stuff that is idiotic, annoying, or just plain fucked up. Sometimes it’s funny; sometimes it’s not.

Because, the truth is, I’m not trying to be funny. I’m just trying to be real.

And, that shit is scary as hell.

Let me see you Footwork…

Last night I attended Homeroom at the Hungry Brain. The subject: Footwork 101. For those of you who don’t know, and until last night I was one of you, Footwork is a genre of music that led to the birth of a style of dance. On hand to give the history of footwork was Chicago Reader columnist Miles Rayner, whose segment was basically an audio journey through Footwoork’s musical evolution. Native to Chicago (debates ensue among South and West side as to who truly began the movement) Footwork is an offspring of House music but more directly Ghetto House which incorporates more elements of hip-hop (booty and bass). Ghetto House bred Juke and its sibling, Footwork.

Also on hand to educate the room, West Side dance champion Tee Jay “The Boss” Johnson and pioneering producer Lady So. Tee Jay is a member of the Footworkingz, a super group created by Lady So to put Footworking and Chicago on the global map. Just a kid when he first started dancing, Tee Jay’s impressive resume includes touring with Ginuine and performing with Footworkingz here.

The most fascinating and inspiring thing I learned from Tee Jay: Footwork’s very first origins in the early 80’s came out of gang members as an alternative outlet for aggression. Instead of taking to the streets to brawl they went head to head in dance battles. Make Hip-Hop not War!

The music itself is still very localized and many argue that it lacks mainstream appeal. Like we care. Raymer shared a new track Luuk Out Gurl by Chicago artist Josh Young of Flosstradamus and co-starring female MC Kid Sister. This isht is bangin’ and while it may not make it to the airwaves I would get down on this in the club.

Many thanks to the amazing people in Homeroom for putting this on.

Buy the Footworkingz DVD “Take Flight” here.