25 Years, 25 Lessons

Welcome to the SECOND week of our Best-of-2013 shows, the final weekend of our hit show The Sovereign Statement, and our 2nd week as a 25-year-old!


We lost Ryan and Leah this week to double Sunday shows of Burning Bluebeard at Theater Wit, but we’re going strong despite the cold with thirteen eager and able ensemble members back to take even more this year’s archive and this cussin’ cold weather by storm!


No one knows better than us how hard it is to drag oneself out of the warm comforts at home late on a winter night, and we want to make it easier for you to get here. Let it be known all the way to the middle of Lake Michigan and back that we WILL be kicking this frozen Friday the 13th Weekend in the cajones and opening our doors at 10:30 on Friday & Saturday this weekend — a whole hour earlier than usual!! — to get you peoplesicles into our recently heated State Park lobby space where we will serve you complimentary hot cider and host a pre-T.M.L.M.T.B.G.B. viewing of a SURPRISE holiday movie courtesy of Phil Ridarelli’s personal DVD library, and we promise you that it’s not a crappy one.


Now if we could just talk about me for a second…



It is with a bittersweet heart too complicated to describe that I leave The Neo-Futurists this weekend, trading my long black Patagonia coat for a wetsuit as I head to Los Angeles in exactly one month. There are many very sappy things to say about this, and while I am one to mull and indulge the deeper moments in life, we just don’t have time for that here.

When I started writing and performing for Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, I was 25.  Newly 30, I feel qualified to look back and share some post-25 wisdom with our iconic babyhead:

1. The whole “being able to rent a car” thing that people sarcastically celebrate is misleading. You will still need a major credit card able to withstand a $250 hold on it and a valid driver’s license, sometimes even in the state within which you are attempting to rent the car.

2. You will get kicked off your parents’ insurance sooner than you think. People will listen to you whine about not having insurance for about one hour before they roll their eyes at you and stop listening to anything you have to say for the next ten years.

3. Student Loans actually DO have to be repaid. Can you BELIEVE this shit?? Also, Chase bank is always right.

4. There are good Jewel grocery stores and there are really, really bad ones. The good ones have quinoa and tahini, the bad ones have an overcrowded vegetable morgue for a produce section.

5. Probably don’t loan anybody money.

6. Think twice before letting somebody put a _____ in your _____.

7. Go to your closest LOCAL hardware store and buy a Drain King Mini Snake. You will need it.

8. The Toy Story franchise is a metaphor for everything. Titanic, on the other hand, doesn’t really hold up.

9. You will know few luxuries as a 25-year-old, but decent toilet paper should be one of them. Do not EVER buy Scott. If life comes to that, steal the low-grade stuff from your job. Do not pay money for it.

10. Stop smoking. If you are spending $10+ a pack on cigarettes, then forget what I said about the toilet paper. You don’t get to have cigarettes AND the nice toilet paper. Just like you don’t get to have nice beer AND dinner.

11. Never volunteer yourself to write a list of 25 anything. Unless you are Buzzfeed and your options are limited to writing for Buzzfeed.

12.Your gut instinct and the Chicago Reader are usually right about city politics.

13. O’Hare v. Midway. It’s apples and oranges, really. Only the apples are something else. And the oranges. The oranges are also something else.

14. Oh crap! You and your parents are ALL adults now! This only gets more and more confusing.

15. Read this, get a helmet, and sign up for a Divvy bike membership (*this will also put a hold on a major credit card but the long term environmental, health, and financial benefits of being a cyclist in a big city are worth it).

16. I was about to tell you to also join IGO Car Sharing and when I went to their webpage to get the link, I realized that they have been taken over by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I’m a member and I didn’t even know that, which just goes to show you how much Enterprise Rent-A-Car sucks. IGO Car Sharing used to be a local non-profit car sharing alternative to Zipcar, but it’s gone now. Shop small and local as much as you can. Also, I bought a Gingerbread Latte from the Starbucks at Target yesterday.

17. Freedom ain’t free. File your taxes, and pay the extra money for an accountant. When you get your refund check, go out to a nice dinner with friend like Brenda Arellano. It’s the richest you’ll be all year. Don’t kid yourself about the truth being anything otherwise.

18. I’m pretty sure you can use the Welles Park Fieldhouse gym for free, but don’t quote me on that.

19. Never fly Spirit Airlines. Don’t even Google them to verify this statement. You will inevitably get suckered into a “cheap” plane ticket that will ultimately cost you more than Southwest. Fly Southwest. Or take a Divvy bike.

20. Don’t be fooled. A normal-sized person wears a size L at American Apparel. Which is nothing personal, because they also seem to the believe that you can get by in life pantless with a scrunchie around your ankle. And I’m just referring to the menswear line.

21. Wash your dishes and throw away your trash. No one will take you seriously until you prove that you can do both without being asked.

22. You have passed the point in your life when you can ask friends to help you move for pizza and beer. Get creative.

23. Harvesttime and Chicago Women’s Health Center

24. Learn to cook for yourself immediately.

25. If you can’t figure something out, ask Bilal Dardai. If you can’t find something, call Tif Harrison.

Welcome to the big 2-5, Neo-Future. Thank you forever and always from the bottom of my heart for the last five.

You can do this, too.

Interested in taking a class? Our ensemble members teach Neo-Futurism throughout the year at our home space in Chicago. We can also come to you. Find out more about enrollment, hiring teachers, and scholarships.