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chicken in car and the car won't go...

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

That's the way to spell Chicago!

Where do I even begin? Do I tell the story of the Uber driver who told me that black and white are not colours: they are shades? For context, he asked me my favourite colour and I said I wear a lot of black.

I KNOOOWWWW...where do we go from here, Mohammed? I am yet to unpack this new information.

Or maybe I can tell you about the three days I got to spend with my best friend/sister/confidante Denise who flew in from Iowa. In summary, the laughter was extreme, the tears were few and every moment shared was grounded in the endless years of friendship and sisterhood. Look, I'll be honest we talked nonstop but between you, me and everyone reading this blog, I don't recall one thing she said true Denise/Cindy-Ann style, the conversations were loud, in real time and happening at the same time. I think she's doing well...I hope.

I can tell of my two minute standup set at The Comedy Bar....SO FUN! Look, I said it was a two minute set, what more do you want from me?

I must tell about my storytelling experience with LadyLike at The Lincoln Lodge. Gross! No, seriously, that was the theme for the night so we each had to tell a gross story and it was...GROSSLY good. My experience at LadyLike set the tone for what became one of the best experiences I've ever had since I started this comedy journey. For real, for real.

The first day of class felt like most first days. Awkward but exciting. Huh? Oh, sorry, I went to Chicago to attend the Improv 1 intense 5-day program at The Second City Training Center. So, the first day included rules, expectations, guidelines and introductions. There were ten of us, and it was interesting to learn the path that brought each of us to this juncture.

I remember bumping into a few of my colleagues after the first day of class and they extended an invitation to join them for lunch. I couldn't because Dee was leaving the next day and we had a few things to take care of. The invitation felt warm and put me at ease.

The following day we returned and as the day continued I observed a connection among us that isn't the norm for such a diverse group after such a short time together. At the end of the day, we decided to go to lunch. I mentioned that I was part of a storytelling show at Lincoln Lodge and sent the flyer in the group chat. OH YEAH! The group chat. Immediately after the class on the first day, someone suggested we form a group chat. Now, admittedly I was very hesitant, given my past experiences with group chats!!! But....I complied

I arrived at Lincoln Lodge early enough to try and settle my very hard-to-settle-nerves and waited for the start of the show. As I walked into the theatre I caught a glimpse of Amanda, Austin, Caleb and Lillie. My heart became filled with happiness. They really came! I don't ever take these things for granted. EVER NEVER. Happiness was immediately replaced by fear and anxiety (told ya, my nerves are uncontrollable).

My story was well received and at the end of the night I couldn't stop grinning. It wasn't event about the success of my story. My heart felt so much joy.

My Improv crew is better than yours.

We spent the next few days in class playing games, creating scenes, supporting each the heck out of each other and creating memories which, for me, would last a lifetime.

On the last day of class, most of us had lunch together. We shared more details about ourselves and decided we would continue the group chat and stay in touch. Later that evening those of us who were available attended Caleb's sister's improv show. As we sat together sharing some tacos after the event, Paul asked us over to his home. He said we were welcomed to sit on the rooftop and share some laughter and drinks! Ahmmmmm...hello? Yes PLEASE!

We gathered on the rooftop and as faith would have it, shared more detailed stories about ourselves. Lillie, opened up with a standup routine, Austin followed with some jokes and Amanda, Caleb, Paul and Noah took turns sharing a story about fear. As the host of our storytelling series at The Rooftop on Mildred Ave, I closed the show. Look, I can't remember every story, I do remember how I felt sitting there just allowing the wind to carry our voices over the city so the people of Lincoln Park could hear the sound of some sweet sweet comradery.

The night as the Uber driver took me back to my hotel I held myself back from asking if he knew that black was in fact a shade (I'll leave that to Mohammed to disclose at the Uber Drivers convention of 2023) as I closed my eyes and thanked God for his traveling mercies.

Saturday morning I was scheduled to link up with Mariam and determined to understand what the fuck Chicagoians meant by 'the loop'! Thanks for the clarification Mariam!

When we arrived at The Little Goat for breakfast, I found myself staring at this guy thinking he looks oddly familiar.

'Mike?' I said in a very hushed tone so that if it wasn't him, none of us would feel uncomfortable with the exchange.

'Cindy, right?' he answered.

Mike used to live in Florida. As a matter of fact, the last time we spoke he was calling from the highway with a flat tyre telling me he wouldn't make it to perform at my show. YEAH! That was in 2016 when we produced the first ever Mauvais Langue comedy event and I certainly didn't need anything to give me more reason to rush off to the toilet but.......there was Mike.

I reminded him of the incident and we both laughed. He looked great! I was happy to hear he was still doing comedy too. Man, listen, I have so much respect for anyone who has the fortitude to stick with this game because let me tell something to you....this shit ain't easy!

I can go on and on about Chicago. I really can but I will save some details for my book, stay tuned😉.

For now, I will say this. Take that chance. Trust your gut. Allow the sound of your voice to travel. Feel the feels. Tell your story and allow yourself to share in the experiences of others.

I'd love to hear of an experience that lit your soul on fire. Drop me a line!

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