“They popped up on MySpace. That’s how long ago it was.” Bob Regan, aka Bryant Mumble, talks about becoming the voice of the Windy City Rollers.
Read more: The Evolution of Bryant Mumble
When you were incarcerated, you became interested in theater after reading a book on black playwrights—was there a particular play or playwright that grabbed your attention?
“It was Douglas Turner Ward’s play, Day of Absence. It is a political satire that I thought was hilarious. Once, I was in “the hole” for six days and was allowed to take one book with me. I reached for a revolutionary book but I accidentally picked up this anthology of black playwrights. I read it and I said that when I got out of isolation, I was going to get the craziest guys I knew in the prison and start a drama group.”
|—||Read more: Charles S. Dutton: From Jail to Yale: Serving Time on Stage|
Whether it’s through improv, sketch comedy or stand-up, Tara DeFrancisco has made her mark on Chicago’s comedy scene. The Ohio native, named “Funniest Person in Chicago” by the Chicago Free Press and listed as “One to Watch” in Time Out Chicago, teaches improv and performs all around the Windy City at popular spots including ComedySportz and Second City. Currently, DeFrancisco can be seen as “Molly” in “Delusions of Grandeur,” a “loosely scripted, Generation-Y” comedy series that airs on BLIP.TV.
Here, she talks about her love for improv, the impact of Internet television and the importance of nurturing Chicago’s comedy and arts community.
Music Editor Anne Holub interviewed Gotye on a recent visit to Chicago; the interview just went live in Transmission. An excerpt:
Gapers Block: I’ve been thinking a lot about your breakout hit, “Somebody That I Used to Know” and I think that a lot of the success has to come from the listener’s ability to easily relate to the characters in the song. What also draws you in, I think, is we also don’t really know who to side with or who to root for — so we really want to spend some time with the story. Do you feel that ambiguous aspect was a kind of conscious choice when you were writing the song?
Gotye: I think maybe that indeterminate quality is part of what I think gave it a ring of truth between the two characters. I think despite that both Kimbra and I in the song are kind of unreliable narrators, people still choose to side with one or the other, or still have emotional reactions, or feel they can relate to one side of the story or another.
Specifically regarding the Illinois sandwich, how much research did you put into your Italian beef? Did you try multiple examples? Any favorites?
Illinois was the first state in the series so I was still figuring out how everything was going to work out. My sister and I had lunch at Portillo’s before I made it myself. I’ve been to Al’s Beef and while I know people have strong alliances towards one or the other, I think I need to do a few more taste tests before I can deem a winner.
One reason is that I’m of a generation that didn’t really grow up with that technology. I’m not really savvy in that area… it creates an anxiety in me. Also, I don’t like being on the grid that much. I suppose if I had something that I really felt I had to tweet, I would do it. I feel like I express myself on stage. I think if I was a younger person, I would be tweeting and online like anyone. I don’t even use a computer. I did briefly, but I stopped. I don’t have a lot of the outlets, which actually are vitally important to a comics success, so it has hurt me.
Janeane Garofalo on her lack of an online presence. Much, much more in Nellie Huggins’ interview with her in A/C.