Jeff Tweedy's kind of an "AABA" guy...sometimes "AABAC."

08 September 2010

Spiro Agnew?

You all know how much I hate writing in this blog, so I decided to review a play with my friend Jessie Fisher over on Reviews You Can Iews! You can find it here.

I like plays and presidents, so it was easy to write! Yay!

07 September 2010

Aiea Neejerelp

Hey friends, I just want to pass along that my sketch comedy group, The Sean Miller Explosion, is having a fundraiser for our trip to NY this Thursday, Sept 9th at 8:00. We're going to be at Schubas (3159 N Southport) and we'll have some free snacks, cheap drinks, and Mr. Kevan Eftekhari tickling the ivories for your listening pleasure. We've also got some great raffle prizes including a Metropolis coffee package, a dinner and show package from Schubas, and a headshot package from Brian McConkey (a $350 value)!

We'll also be showing some footage from our previous shows, so if you like fun, we'd be happy to see you on Thursday.

So in other words, I'm going to New York on Sunday. Whee!

25 August 2010

Otto Tings

I'm picking up steam, folks.

Couple of good auditions, actually got a callback on something, The Sean Miller Explosion continues to move forward to our inevitable date at Comix comedy club in NYC and The Mike Ps and The Cool Breeze are also coming together.

I've found I get some good mojo from writing these days, because it's something I can do creatively to fill in the gaps between renting apartments and sleeping. Something I can control completely. Not to get all Peter Brook and stuff, but to ultimately control your destiny should be the artist's main concern, which would encompass all the other humanity reflecting and fulfillment jazz. Which seems to be what I'm doing these days: forging my own path. Or trying to. Hard to do as an actor, so frequently subject to others' taste, but if you're not getting the work, you make your own.

To that end, I mentioned I'm doing the sketch comedy thing, but it's for realz this time. There's a fundraiser for our trip to NYC on Sept 9th at Schubas that you, dear reader, should attend. Then, we're flying in two of our members from Chicago to LA Sept 10th, getting on the road and putting together a mock/doc film, doing some gigs, and performing a brand new stage show for our big Comix gig Sept 23rd.

THEN, The Mike Ps and the Cool Breeze are performing on Oct. 9th, I'm going to St. Thomas in December, and then returning home to The New Colony with The Warriors in February.

Might even throw another show in there somewhere! Who knew you could have so much fun making no money! you might have guessed I'm going to do that judging thing in November. Stay tuned for more sell-outs!

22 August 2010

Ellie Chun

I am in a severe moral quandary, people.

Our state of Illinois enjoys that time-honored political tradition of the primary system, and as such, when you go to vote in primary elections, there's that awkwardly undemocratic moment of having to declare your political party affiliation before several strangers serving as election judges, so that you can be provided with the appropriate ballot.

Whether you're a centrist like myself or not, if you want to vote in the primary, you've got to pick a party.

I took the Republican ballot.

Before I'm made a pariah by my fellow artists, let me explain my rationale: I'm sort of a libertarian, basically meaning I like fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. While this may sound like a load of hooey, it's really just me saying I'm an issue voter. Like most reasonable people in this country.

So, when I walked into my Chicago voting precinct, I had a certain point of view in mind. Namely, this city is Democratic by a massive majority. I thought that those folks can take care of themselves, they know what they want. I said to myself, "Hey, I can help make sure some crazy Focus On The Family Republican doesn't beat a Log Cabin Republican."

And, despite the shocked reactions from the Democrat election judges and the obvious surprise from the otherwise bored Republican judge that she actually had something to do, I took my ballot and meandered over to the booth, looked over the scant number of Republican nominees (many positions had no candidates at all) and punched the holes that seemed appropriate.

Flash forward to present day. I have a big envelope waiting in my mailbox from the Chicago Board of Elections. I open it. Within is a manila application of some kind, and this letter:


So...I would be representing the Republican party as a judge at my voting precinct. But I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat either. But, I do believe in democracy and fairness and judging and all that stuff. So...I should do this?

...and I'm a poor actor. I also lease apartments as my day job. The apartment leasing market: not so hot the first week of November. Could use a little extra scratch...

But this is civic DUTY we're talking about here, what does money have to do with it?! This is akin to jury duty, right? I should do this. Moderate the parties. Checks and balances. I'm not a Republican, but I'm an actor right? I can look out for their interests for a day.

I mean, the way he puts it in the letter, it's sort of sad, right? These poor, inner-city Republicans with a shortage of judges. I should make sure they're taken care of.

...or should I?

Will people I know see me there wearing my Republican Election Judge badge? What if some big-shot theatre person walks in there and sees that and never hires me again? I mean, he probably wouldn't have hired me anyway, but he would actually have a reason not to!

I've never been presented with a situation like this, nor felt the need to place so many thought ellipses! I don't know how I should proceed with it. If I should even proceed at all. I'll probably let it sit on my coffee table. Or I could even be sabotaging the possibility by writing about it. Who knows. I certainly don't.

My girlfriend is a pretty left leaning person so you can imagine where her loyalties lie.

But my father would be so proud...he's a member of the NRA now...he listens to Rush Limbaugh....

Wait a damn minute. That's who I'd be representing? Dittoheads' interests? Oh HELL no, nevermind all that then. No way I'm gonna sit there as a figurehead for xenophobic, homophobic, bigoted jerks...

But if I don't, then I'll represent no one. And nothing.

Is it better to represent something with reprehensible elements than nothing at all? Let's be honest, there are some bad folks on the far left who are trying to ruin this place for us as well. Political correctness, litigious ACLU garbage, and nativity scene protests certainly move us in the wrong direction too.

I'm making this far too complicated, I think. I'm not that morally defined a person, really. I've never been terribly religious. I play devil's advocate more than I play the devil. What's the big deal? Such a simple decision, really:

Do I want $170 or don't I?



...but I could probably live without it.

We'll see. I'm sort of exhausted running myself around something that really just boils down to whether I feel like doing it.

I'll put this on the shelf for now. Save the ethical wrangling for something that really counts.

18 August 2010

Rhea Tourn

So...I forgot that I've linked my blog on my Twitter page (@michaelmpeters, if you care to know) which I apparently haven't touched in over two years. So...I'll quickly just plug that I've got a gig with Mr. Mike Przygoda at The Paper Machete this Saturday, August 21st. It's at Ricochet's in Lincoln Square, and you should come especially if you like Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle, or two guys named Mike. We are, in fact, The Mike Ps.

You can see us with our full big band, The Cool Breeze (Yes, we're The Mike Ps and The Cool Breeze, if you're keeping score), performing the seminal Sinatra record "Songs for Swingin' Lovers" in its entirety at Strawdog's Hugen Hall on October 9th. More info on that closer to when that happens. Jazz!

12 January 2008

Lilly Tunh

Been a while since I've posted anything, and it probably will continue that way for a bit.  Meanwhile, I encourage all three of you to come out and see me in my play: columbinus at the Raven Theatre.  Yes, it's a play about Columbine.  Yes, it's intense.  No, it's not the comedy hit of the season.  However, it does all of the things that I think theatre must do to maintain its vitality.  Which is why you should come support it.  

Thanks and see you there.

29 October 2007

Aria "Happy" Nao

Once again, not very inventive on the titles lately.

So, I had a strange duo of occurrences last week in the same day, both calling my character into question and both via the ubiquitous and life-changing facebook:

A) The facebook has an application one can add called the "Honesty Box," which I added onto my profile for amusement purposes. It is what it sounds like: a person may place a message into your "Honesty Box" anonymously, thus freeing them of inhibitions or consequences associated with telling you things in person. The user has only a gender and a list of people who use the "Honesty Box" to go on to figure out who may have placed a given message. The user may also prompt a specific question to be honest about, such as "What do you think of my blog?" (to which I was cryptically responded "noticeably ostentatious.") As of now, it is set to the default "What do you honestly think of me?"

So, this week I received a note from a female stating the following, verbatim:

"You don't seem like a very happy person."


So, I responded (which the "Honesty Box" allows you to do to the anonymous party):

"Well, I just got out of a relationship. Little on the lonely side. Other than that, things are looking up lately. Thanks for your concern."

It's not the comment that I mind so much, it's:
1) That I'm ostensibly unhappy
2) The fact that such an innocent comment, that I'm completely able to deal with and have dialogue about, is not able to be delivered personally.

So, I'm grumpy and unapproachable. No wonder you can't say it to my face.

Which brings me to:

B) A friend wrote this note on my facebook wall the very same day:

"I was minding my own business today when all of the sudden I heard 'Yeah, I don't really care for Mike P*****.' I laughed a little inside and then I felt sorry for you. Just thought you should know..."


This friend is the type of friend who would say that sort of thing for a laugh, so I sloughed it off at first. But after I coupled it with the previous "Honesty Box" fiasco, I had to call her.

I was told that this, indeed, had happened. She was sitting in the hall at my old alma mater reading, when within a room she heard the aforementioned quote. It was a male speaking to another male, and the other male quickly changed the subject.

How I wish he hadn't...perhaps the perpetrator would have revealed himself. So, not only am I:

1) Grumpy
2) Unapproachable



And, at my old school no less. Where, mind you, I was once the KOT. Once...long ago...a whole year and a half ago...

I think I've made a concerted effort over the years to be funny, jovial, adept at conversation, with the ultimate goal of being WELL-liked. But now it seems that I have achieved mostly the opposites of those goals (if my female dealings of late are any example). See the characteristics above for reference.


There is something amusing about being disliked. The very idea that if my name came up, at least one person would immediately reply "I don't really care for him," is pleasurable in an inverse sort of way. There's really no in-between there. To that person, I am how I would describe an unsavory vegetable: "I don't much care for peas."

In the same way, "You don't seem like a very happy person" must have been conceived through a series of meetings with me. I must have been a real asshole. And everyone knows that someone who treats people in an asshole-ish manner is really working something out about themselves that they don't like, so I must be unhappy.

It's all very...flattering really.

These are seemingly simple statements about me, but there's a littany of judgment passage that goes into them. In essence, I've been thought over in a very detailed way to come to these conclusions. I'm starting to think that maybe it's better than saying "Oh, Mike? Yeah, he's cool," or my absolute least favorite: "He's nice."

"Nice" people don't do anything for anybody save the opportunity for practicing small-talk... use on other "nice" people.

So goddammit, I'm honestly pleased that I'm still occupying a place in a few people's minds. And no, I'm not reveling in being berated. It hurts a little when people clue you into your faults. Especially if you don't know who they are.

But it's about damn time I'm the asshole. I'm the "nice" guy to most people already.

Preach on, facebook. Identity be damned.

(P.S. Peep my madd outlining 5k1llz!!!)

18 October 2007

Becky India-Saddles

Alright, so being out of practice, you have to give me some leeway on the whole "clever name as title" thing.  

But...I'm BACK ya'll.  I finally have a day off of work and I'm not completely exhausted, so I thought I'd scribble down some thoughts.  Here's what's new with me:

1. Single.
2. Finished an eight-day-in-a-row stretch at the Corporate Coffee Compound for the People (CCCP, for short).
3. I'M IN A SHOW!!!

That's right, folks.  Your beloved unpaid professional auditioner now is a paid professional actor again.  And we all know the difference between being a professional and an amateur: makin' dat money.  Just don't come asking me for any.  It's hard out here for a pimp.

I get to play the role of "Jock" in a Chicago premiere at Raven Theatre, columbinus.  I'll yield that it may not be the feel-good story of the post holiday season, but it's an excellent play and certainly affecting (I just read the thing, I can only imagine how it will feel on its feet).  

The caveat being that the role of "Jock" is, as the high-school archetypal nomenclature would imply, is very athletic.  I've always been a fan/player of sports, but I gotta be up front: I'm not exactly in the shape of my life right now.  I smoke a pack a day, I drink a lot of beer, and I love burgers.  And I have to take my shirt off for this thing.  No nakey-nakey for Mikey-Mikey, but I gotta look good, right?  

I fucking hate running.  Running is the worst thing in the world.  Every few months I'll get a fire under my ass and I'll jog a couple of miles.  When I lived just off of Addison in Wrigleyville, I'd set a goal to run down to Fullerton and back.  Not bad, right?  I'd get to Fullerton and be absolutely exhausted.  Then what am I supposed to do, take the fucking train back?  Oh no.  I've got far too much pride for all that.  So I'd run back.  Thats the problem: running back.  When you get tired from running, you're in the middle of fucking nowhere and you still have to get home somehow.  I never feel like I'm getting anywhere when I'm running.  And fuck treadmills, for that matter.  At least running in town I get to see some pretty homes.  I can watch TV in my own home, thank you very much.

But now I have no choice.  I either have to join a gym or run.  The latter is far cheaper.  

I had a good go of it, though.  One can't survive on a completely sedentary lifestyle forever.  I'll miss you, Mickey-Ds.  I thought this was the year for us and Monopoly to find each other in the night, but we will never know now that I have to move on.  Goodbye...


...readers.  I'm done.  

What?  I'm not quitting beer or cigarettes.  The running and the McDonald's are enough for one day.

21 August 2007

Ace Habam, Producer and Master Electrician

It's plug time.

I'm doing this show down at EP Theatre on the southside.  It's called Resident Alien (no, I don't play the alien).  It's being produced by my friends at Shabam! Productions.  Check it out if you can.  Click the link, it will gloriously provide you with all the necessary information, also information about the other two shows (in rep?) that we're performing with.  

More tomorrow.  

17 August 2007

Ju "Fella" Myriad

I run into somebody I know at random every single day in the city.  Not just the regulars at my work, but people I knew in high school, college, strange inter-collegiate and inter-scholastic extra curricular activities.  

But most frequently at work.  I ran into a girl who was involved in theater from my high school, and is getting her graduate degree in music from DePaul.  She was a senior and barely recognized me.  I must have devastated her with my refined, chiseled physique and sharp features.  I was, after all, a freshman when I knew her.  

The weird one was a couple of weeks ago.  In the middle of the afternoon, I'm usually pretty freakin' bored.  So when a customer comes in, I dish it fast and hard: 

"Hi, how ya doin'?  Can I get a drink started for ya?  How about something to eat?  An espresso machine?  What about twelve [Italian for Twenty] [trademarked blended coffee and milk concoction]s?"

A guy whom I don't recognize comes in.  I go in for said spiel and stop dead.  




I smile.  "What's up man, I haven't seen you in years."  

I hadn't.  This guy (whose name I'm masking with a pseudonym) was an acquaintance in my elementary school years through high school.  We were always cool with each other as I recall and I always found his antics amusing.  The last actual memory I can recall of him was in our junior year, when he mercilessly tortured our Spanish III teacher by bombarding her with phrases like "SeƱora, ¿fuma drogas?"

"Do you live up here now, Terry?"  Here, of course, being Lincoln Park.

"Yeah, man.  I'm managing for this construction company."

"So, you're like a foreman or something?"

"Yeah," he says, with a slight smirk.

I grab his drink for him and ring him up.  A pivotal moment:  Does he get it for free?  A discount?  Full price?  

The reasoning is difficult.  One could say for old times' sake he should get it for free.  It's also possible that I could get freakin' canned if I give out too many freebies.  But, even that could be a good thing (I do often fantasize about being fired for some reason or another).

Before I can decide, however, he says "So what are you doing here?"

"Well...just...auditioning, you know.  Trying to be an actor," I reply trepidatiously.  


He had that slimy "Well, look at that kid who was in all of the AP classes working at a coffee shop" tone.  

Suddenly, I have a flash of memory from junior high.  Him sitting at the large dining room table at my house with a bunch of other young guys.  Wearing blue shirts.  It's a Sunday night meeting for my Webelos den.  My mom is the den mother.  She's talking about an upcoming camp trip...and Terry makes a smart-ass remark under his breath about packing double the food...  

...for my mom.

I lift my head from the register...and give him my own patented smirk.

"That'll be $3.58."