Other Peeps in the Windy City

Dear Other People,

I arrived to meet my cohorts and collaborators in Otherpeeps, Candace and JP, in Chicago last Saturday Sept. 24th. It was a quick but blustery flight, and I took the train from the airport to meet them at the storage space where they’d parked the monstrous 1980’s remodeled RV by the name of Molly Creampuff.

From there, we piled all the clothes and technology we’d need for shooting and living for the next few days, and headed to our good pals Carlos and Ricky’s lovely abode.

Carlos and Ricky live in a part of town dubbed Boy’s Town, to further illustrate the kind of neighborhood you might be imagining at this moment, I will link this video:

For the duration of Saturday and Sunday, we delayed some shooting for grubbing and catching up. Carlos and Ricky were wonderful and gracious hosts and kept us full and in stitches the entire time, taking us to an excellent Vietnamese spot and cooking an all out brunch feast that included some of the best quiche I’ve ever had.

But, enough of that, we didn’t just come to Chicago to eat, as much as we’re capable of an eat-cation.

(Though, side note: One night we did go to a famous late night hot dog spot where they yell at you, and I asked if Tina Fey had ever eaten there and no one, not even the hipster Canadians who were there, knew who I was talking about. However, every one did know who Ron Jeremy was, and he’d come in for a lil’ late night hot dog after a lil’… well… yeah.)

On Monday, we spent the day bus hopping around the city picking up supplies for the next two days of shooting. We got most of what we needed at a grocery store of a thrift store that ended up garnering many garments on the very cheap. After getting the requisite supplies, we gathered all of our stuff for our screening that night at Multi-Kulti, a multipurpose space that felt a little like a Ninja Turtle hideout. We had an intimate gathering of friends from the area, and we were all smiles due to their support, laughter, and feedback.

The next day we turned Ricky and Carlos’s swanky digs into a bizarre facsimile of Renaissance times for the Orlando inspired back story of my character, Cricket. JP dressed up in drag to play an old, ghastly Queen, I donned my hand made pantaloons and a found art neck piece, and Candace worked her seamstress magic to turn into a wild Russian Czaress.  After that shoot, we ate an amazing meal made by Carlos’s lovely mom, and then quickly turned her back alley into another site of Cricket’s back story, this time the mean streets of Chicago in the 80’s. Ricky dressed up to the hilt in psychedelic, Burning Man gear, Carlos and Michael provided the voices and shadows of threatening street teens, and Carlos’s brother Danny helped out as a cult member who absconds with Cricket from a dingy and dirty basement.

Needless to say, it was a full day of shooting, and we are eternally grateful to those who leant their time, energy, and homes to the process.

On our last and final day in Chi-Town was spent running around in the rain in our bizzaro Renaissance attire, shooting chases and uber dramatic moments by Lake Michigan. It was part set of Dangerous Liasons part goon squad film making, but we did it, and the shots look great, full of wind torrents, rain and tumult. In fact, after we finished shooting, the clouds parted. The sun waited a while for our dramatic pauses.