Shelby Plummer first heard of Slaughterhouse-Five from an internet boyfriend. After being grounded for having an internet boyfriend, she got to actually read the book as an AP English assignment and has been a Vonnegut devotee ever since. She devoured his novels and short stories in a way she had never really engaged with reading. He made a fellow Hoosier feel less alone for thinking it was OK to want everyone to be treated well through life, to read and write about aliens, and to make dirty jokes along the way. Shelby carried those philosophies through an expedient college career and still apples them all the time to her comedy writing and performing. Notes: Check out the lineup of the upcoming Bentwood Comedy Festival at iO Chicago, where Shelby serves as Creative Director The James Conklin Memorial Scholarship Thanks to the Chicago Podcast Cooperative for their coordination of sponsorships and thanks to Overcast for sponsoring this episode OtyGF8bN1z4zoOXMzaST
Aug 8, 2018
Stephanie Anderson cut her teeth as a group leader working in an acute psychiatric inpatient facility at a children's hospital. The taxing environment led her to explore improv as a way to unwind outside of work. After some experience bringing improv exercises into her work environment with patients and coworkers alike, she set off to Chicago to pursue more improv learning and teaching opportunities. Now, she can speak to how all of these different groups pass through forming, storming, norming, and performing phases influenced by their members' actions. Notes: See Stephanie perform at iO with Cecilia Thanks to the Chicago Podcast Cooperative for coordinating sponsorships and lending a legitimacy to this whole thing, and thanks to Overcast, MBS's podcast player of choice, for sponsoring this episode.
Jul 26, 2018
1 hr 20 min
Casey has put his general health and wellbeing on the line as he works up to 30 hours editing each episode of NeoScum, an actual-play podcast in which five Chicago improvisers (including Casey himself as well as past MBSing guest Mike Migdall) play the tabletop RPG Shadowrun. A longtime lover and performer of musicals, Casey's level of perfectionism and lack of self-confidence launched him into editing the show and the rest, as they say, is history. In spite of the occasional pains from nerve damage and Twitter complaints, the show has been a source for absolute passion and pride in Casey and it means everything to him to be honoring the magic he creates with his friends while giving listeners a heartfelt journey. Notes: NeoScum! Casey says the editing really took off at around episode 14 or 15 and his favorites so far are around 18 or 19. A nice visualization of Ira Glass's thoughts on taste vs. skill Thanks to the Chicago Podcast Cooperative for coordinating sponsorships and Overcast for sponsoring this episode.
Jul 19, 2018
1 hr 51 min
Tom Dyke has known the original 151 by heart since he was a preschooler, his pure fandom being born along with the Pokémon franchise itself. He has played the video games since he could hold a Game Boy, and his dad was the only adult in the neighborhood who would help he and his friends play the trading card game. So one can imagine his delight at the advent of a mobile game that would allow him, and potentially his friends, to catch Pokémon all over the world. Tom unpacks the ups and downs of being a Pokémon Go devotee, how its gameplay fits into the larger picture of the franchise and gaming in general, and how far the game has come since its bare bones launch. Finally, Tom and MBS become official Poképals by trading some 'mons on mic. Thanks to the Chicago Podcast Cooperative for coordinating our sponsorships and to Overcast, MBS's podcast player of choice, for sponsoring this episode.
Jul 11, 2018
1 hr 31 min
One of Yazmin's earliest memories is her family watching one of their favorite movies: Killer Clowns from Outer Space. From Michael Myers to the Redfields of Resident Evil, her family came together to experience horror, for better or worse (too many zombies have been known to keep kids from sleeping well). She even enjoyed when they would gather around to scare one another with stories of their own crafting and has witnessed a few paranormal events that she's never been able to shake or explain. All of this has influenced her ability to deal with fear and being open to new experiences, though she admits she has opted to feel closed off from any other paranormal activities... except when it comes to the characters she plays onstage. Thanks to the Chicago Podcast Cooperative for community and the coordination of sponsorships, like this week's sponsor, Overcast.
Jun 27, 2018
1 hr 5 min
Alyssa was born a rebel, as evidenced by her refusal to accept an "Indian" name in place of her own as a kindergartener on Columbus Day. This small rebellion opened the door to an interest in eking out the truth about colonialism, imperialism, and revolutions throughout her schooling. In college, she declared a Middle-Eastern Studies and Political Theory double major to feed her thirst for knowledge on how the history of colonialism influences the sociology of current cultures. There are mentions of many modern political implications, suggestions for specific books and periods one might seek out to study further, and ads for soap. Notes: Thanks to the Chicago Podcast Cooperative for their continued coordination of sponsorships. This week, it's Overcast, MBS's podcast player of choice.
Jun 20, 2018
1 hr 6 min
Gary Pascal grew up in a home operated like an engineering firm thanks to his ME father. This nature and nurture led to all four of the family's kids also becoming mechanical engineers. After choosing BEST Robotics to fulfill a graduation requirement for his STEM high school, Gary was well on his way to serving as an engineer for Mars Chocolate right out of college. In spite of the inherent fun-factor of being the project manager for a couple of Fun-Sized Snickers assembly lines, Gary admits that he wasn't very good at this high-stress position. He's since found a great balance between drafting custom furniture designs and leaning into his analytical approach to comedy writing. Notes: Check out Gary's newest comedy project, Murdertown. Here's an explanation of Gary's robotics teacher's bumper sticker (and it was red). Thanks to the Chicago Podcast Cooperative for coordinating sponsorship with Overcast, MBS's personal favorite podcast player.
Jun 13, 2018
1 hr 19 min
Episode 250 - MBSing LIVE with Box Brown - André the Giant & Andy Kaufman's Wrestling Careers
Box Brown has been a pro wrestling fan since his first PPV experience: Hulk Hogan lost at Wrestlemania VI, and the friend he was watching with cried. He was hooked by the characters and the facade of it all, so it's no wonder that he became attracted to two huge cults of personality in André and Andy. André left a bevy of stories in his wake, one of which inspired Box to draw the first comic of what eventually became his book, André the Giant: Life and Legend. Later, Box was hooked by the way Andy borrowed the idea of wrestlers being enveloped by their characters into comedy, and his antics with Jerry Lawler on Letterman secured him a place in the history of wrestling's secrets and Box's interest. Notes: Box's most recent book, Is This Guy For Real?: The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman is a fascinating read for fans of comedy and wrestling alike. Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, the Chicago Podcast Cooperative, and C2E2 for making this happen, and thanks to Overcast for sponsoring the episode.
Jun 8, 2018
Meredith discovered the world of Jane Austen's novels in college and has since reread them many times over in addition to listening to them as audiobooks and rewatching the film/TV adaptations (at least the ones she likes). There is something to the simplicity of daily life, the rules that governed socializing, and the fashion and furnishings of the era that Meredith finds herself constantly drawn to and daydreaming about, so much so that she has ventured into writing her own as-yet-unfinished Austen-style novel. Notes: Meredith's most recent production with Team StarKid, Firebringer Thanks to the Chicago Podcast Cooperative for their support and Overcast, MBS's podcast player of choice, for sponsoring this episode.
Mar 14, 2018
1 hr 17 min
Chels studied WB shows like Felicity and Gilmore Girls like they were homework, at one point in life staying up until 11 PM to watch a rerun of Gilmore Girls only to watch it again at 3 AM. They also began to mentally catalog the writers and actors from each show, faithfully seeking out trivia from DVD commentaries and social media accounts to feel more like a part of the fictional teen-aged worlds being created. Now, Chels prides themselves on creating worlds professionally as a B2B content specialist and creatively as a host of Sell Me A Pup, a show where comedians review made-up media. There's a lot of talk about how much pickier we tend to be with media now, relishing in representation and prickling at problematic jokes and storylines. There's also mention of Tarzan, Roswell, Buffy, and a few non-WB TV delights like The OC, Grey's Anatomy, and... West Wing? Notes: Check out Chels's contributions to Your Stories Vlog Brothers, Hank and John Green Thanks to the Chicago Podcast Cooperative for their continued support and Simplecast for sponsoring this episode. Use the promo code "chicago" to get 50% your first 3 months of Simplecast.
Mar 7, 2018
1 hr 46 min