September 2012 Archives


When you are friends with awesome photographers, like I am, sometimes one of them will say to you "Hey, I want to test out some lighting things. Want to come over so I can take your photo?" And if you are smart, you will jump at the chance and say not only "YES!!" but "I'll bring beer!" And you'll laugh your ass off when your friend and you'll eat amazing empanadas and get some freaking great shots out of it, which is amazing cause you can't take anything seriously and you have a goofy toothy smile and it is hard to stop talking so your photos tend to usually look weird. But your amazing photographer friend will take shots of you that make you look like a supermodel.

At least, that is what happened to me last night with one of my favorite people ever, Elizabeth McQuern. '


Erica Reid headshots by Elizabeth McQuern Erica Reid headshots by Elizabeth McQuern Erica Reid headshots by Elizabeth McQuern Erica Reid headshots by Elizabeth McQuern  Erica Reid headshots by Elizabeth McQuern Erica Reid headshots by Elizabeth McQuern

Eleganza! I feel so pretty! Thank you, Elizabeth! You're the best!
On Monday, Hixx, Kathe and I took our friend Sabra to the suburbs to look at some wedding dresses for her nuptuals next year (sidenote: if there ever was an awesome story of 2 people meeting and falling in love, it is Sabra's. I am so happy for her!). The 4 of us are the most non-girly, no nonsense women you will ever meet, so it was especially funny to us that we took a day off of work to go do the MOST girly thing ever in the MOST girly of places. We drove out to Norridge, IL (location chosen due to its proximity to the Longhorn Steakhouse) for Sabra's 11am appointment.

Who goes to David's Bridal at 11am on a Monday morning?

The answer: No one.

We were there before the doors were open, and there was absolutely no one in the parking lot. This was hilarious to us, and we did bits about trying to find parking, etc. etc. So much that we had to take photos to show how empty it was and how silly we were. Here are others:

IMG_1782 IMG_1784 IMG_1790 IMG_1792

We were so distracted that Sabra's notes flew all over the parking lot. It's ok though! There were no cars there to dodge!

Finally they opened, and we were kids in a candy store. Sabra was being very polite and professional, and me, Margaret and Kathe were instantly off the rails. I think we touched everything. And we had fun with the tiaras... IMG_1799 IMG_1804 IMG_1807

So then a little while later, while helping Sabra into a dress, I heard someone say my name, and the phrase "car was hit." Sabra told me to go check on it, and when I got outside, there was a lady in an SUV who didn't speak a lot of English outside, and my right rear tail light was smashed to bits. There were some dents and scratches, too. The lady had tried to get away, but swift Kathe caught her in time.

 IMG_1884 IMG_1888

"How did this happen?" I asked.
"I didn't see you." the lady said.
"How is that possible? I am the only car in the lot. And I am right in front of the door?" I asked, to no answer.

Because it was hard to see this red car parked in front of the door in the empty parking lot.

We exchanged information, finished up at D. Bridal, and did what anyone could have done in that situation: order the dessert sampler at the Longhorn Steakhouse. IMG_1899

So yeah. I've been to 2 body shops and am dealing with her insurance on fixing it. It sucks, but it certainly makes for a funny story. COMEDY!

Boobs of the Dead Opens 2 Weeks from Today!

And I am so excited about it! The ladies are really kicking ass, and last night, I laughed so hard the whole way through the run through. Everyone is doing an amazing job: the actors, the writer/director, costumer/stage manager, tech guy, everyone!  I'm really having a ball working on the show.

Here's the press release, and some photos!

Press Contact: Kelly Williams, Marketing & PR Coordinator,, (773) 598-4549
Audience Contact:: Gorilla Tango Theatre BUCKTOWN (1919 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60647), (773)

Hottest. Apocalypse. Ever.

All photos by K Leo (; more photos available upon request.

WD Cast.jpg

Chicago, IL (October 2012): Soft, eerie moans. The relentless approach of shuffling footsteps. And glitter. So. Much. Glitter. 

Just in time for Halloween, Gorilla Tango Burlesque presents BOOBS OF THE DEAD: A WALKING DEAD BURLESQUE, the latest in a long line of unique and immensely popular scripted burlesque parodies. On stage in October ONLY, this silly, sexy Zombie-filled romp comes to life Fridays at 9pm and Saturdays at 11:59pm, October 5-27, 2012, with a special final performance on Wednesday, October 31st at 9pm (1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60647). Tickets are $20; 18 and over only. Advance purchase highly recommended (tickets are already selling strong!) at or by phone at 773-598-4549.

You may have encountered their viral (pun intended) marketing in the form of Facebook updates from the fictional Chicago CDC which have been charting the spread of "virus B1Z3" since early August with warnings that "virus-carriers have been observed performing elaborate dance routines while removing sequined corsetry before committing heinous assaults on confused onlookers," and, "One of the greatest dangers is that the infected show no visible signs of boas, pasties or high heels for the first 6 hours of infection... while they appear perfectly normal and super sexy they remain dangerous, and citizens should watch for these subtle signs and remain at a safe distance."


Featuring such familiar zombie-genre archetypes as Sheriff, Wife Lady, Old Dude, Best Friend and Southern Guy, this slyly satirical exhibition of reanimated flesh will appeal to any audience seeking some glittery gore for the spooky season. One doesn't have to be a fan of the television series to recognize the sexual tension between Wife Lady and Best Friend or enjoy Sheriff's encounter with an attractively anthropomorphic horse.

Written and directed by internationally renowned fine art photographer K Leo, and with choreography by Erica Reid (the creative force behind burlesque numbers performed by some of Chicago's most well known "classic" troupes such as Kiss Kiss Cabaret and the Belmont Burlesque Revue) this show promises to be one of the hottest tickets of Chicago's October offerings--so take our advice and get them now (before they get you!)

WD cast 2.jpg

Written and Directed by K Leo
Choreographed by Erica Reid
Costumes by Rafaela Valderrama 
Featuring: Paly Flames as the CDC Official, Alexis Rex as the Sheriff, Slightly Spitfire as Southern Guy, Roxi La Rue as Old Dude, Devyn DeViante as Wife Lady, Helena Handbasket as Best Friend, Duchess Daffnie as a Burlesque Zombie Alpha and Honey Cha-Cha as Burlesque Zombie Beta.

BOOBS OF THE DEAD: The apocalypse has never been hotter.


Over the past two years, Gorilla Tango Burlesque has gone from the debut of the surprise hit "Boobs & Goombas: A Super Mario Burlesque" in October 2010 to a local burlesque/comedy powerhouse with literally thousands of audience members through the door to see unique burlesque parodies of everything from Star Wars to Indiana Jones, from superheroes to 1990s pop-culture phenomena -- and that's just a small selection of what they have available for-- as their slogan states-- "the Discerning Nerd." GTB recently debuted HOLY BOUNCING BOOBIES: A BATMAN BURLESQUE at its new venue, Gorilla Tango's Skokie Theatre (7924 Lincoln Avenue, Skokie IL 60077) and look for THE EMPIRE BRINGS SEXY BACK: A STAR WARS SEQUEL this November!

For more information or to schedule a review, please contact Kelly Williams, or 773-598-4549.
Gorilla Tango Theatre (GTT) provides year-round theatrical venues where audiences of all ages can consistently go to see a wide variety of talented artists. GTT exists to provide artists with an opportunity to produce their work in professional environment. GTT was created by Dan Abbate and boasts two venues: an 80-seat performance space in Bucktown and a 150-seat performance space in Skokie. GTT Bucktown is conveniently located at the intersection of Western and Milwaukee in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. Easily accessible by public transportation, GTT is steps away from the Western Blue Line stop and the #49 Western, #73 Armitage and #56 Milwaukee buses. Street parking is readily available.  Gorilla Tango's Skokie Theatre is located in the heart of Downtown Skokie; street and lot parking available. With shows for all ages, all GTT performances are on a rating system, similar to the one used in movie theatres. GTT offers a variety of affordable beer and wine for purchase. Consult the website for show details, rating information, tickets, and more. - 773.598.4549
1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
7924 Lincoln Ave. Skokie, IL 60077


New Hair and Jacket

Erica new haircut and new heirapparel jacket

So I've been wanting to do something radical with my hair for a while, but I was waiting until all the weddings were were officiating were over so that if something went terribly wrong, it wouldn't make their wedding photos look bad. So last weekend, Fuzzy and I had some fun with the electric razor and the scissors and came up with this new cut that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE. I might be coloring it, too...we'll see. Also, I FINALLY ordered the jacket from my favorite designer, Laura Good of Hier Apparel, and it came last weekend, too. I am OBSESSED. It is so comfy and warm and cool and it makes me feel like a badass.
 Erica new haircut and new heirapparel jacket Erica new haircut and new heirapparel jacket Erica new haircut and new heirapparel jacket

Rine-Stone Needs a New Hip!

My sweet lovey dovey Rebecca Rine-Stone (who you may remember from the hit sketch comedy show Arabesque and the awesome book Sunbathing in a Body Cast) was born with hip dysplasia and has had a million surgeries and a million body casts and is in a ton of pain all the time. Luckily, she is getting a new hip on December 11th, and she needs our help to make sure she can pay her bills so she can live a life with no pain! YEAH! Let's help Rebecca be able to walk for years to come, run after her kids and sit "criss-cross applesauce" for the first time!

She is having a fundraiser at Go Fund Me here! Click on over!

Here's her appeal video!

Every dollar helps! Thank you so much!

Yeah, Reebs! New hip, here we come!!!

David Byrne and St. Vincent

David Byrne & St Vincent

Tuesday night, Fuzzy and I saw David Byrne and St Vincent in concert at the Chicago Theatre. I'd been waiting for this day for months, and it was finally here!  The album came out last week, and I've been listening to it almost nonstop.

Let's step back for a second.

I've been a fan of Annie Clark/ St. Vincent's for a while. I have all 3 of her albums, and we even saw her accidentally, and excitedly 3 years ago in Indiana. (If you don't remember the story, or you don't want to click on that link, I teared up when we saw she was opening for Andrew Bird, and later she wrote such things on my ticket stub, captured with a blurry photo here.

Annie Clark at Murat Theatre

I love her. I think she is the coolest.

And David Byrne. What can you even say? A genius, for sure, and the creator of some of the best music ever, both solo and with Talking Heads.  I mean, this song alone, right?  And this? Come on! Classic!

Fuzzy for a long time has been wanting me to watch True Stories. Because of our schedule and rigorous competition reality TV obsession, we rarely watch movies. So the other night, I decided we should pop it in.

And Oh. My. God.  It was my perfect movie. Written and Directed by David Byrne (and co written by Beth Henley--I knew her parents!), it was the perfect mix of weird and quirky that I love. It was all character driven, and it had almost no plot, so you know it was right up my alley. It was as if David Lynch wrote a movie that Jim Jarmusch directed, and that movie was Waiting for Guffman. See what I mean? A dream for me!

But I digress.

We entered the theatre, and the stage was set with a lot of brass instruments with spotlights on them, and there were bird chirps amplified over the speakers. Love it. I realized while waiting for the show to start, that I was the target demographic for the show. It was made for me and my people (which if you are reading this, you are most likely included in.)  We had great seats, and I was noting that with 15 minutes before the show started, the audience was barely half full. I think that opening bands and the modern show structure have trained people to be late all the time for concerts and theatre, so the audience mostly filled up after it had started, which means that they missed some of the show--there was no opener. And they performed the album in order, so all those late-os missed Who.

David Byrne & St Vincent

Since they just have the one album together, they did a neat structure that went like so: 2 songs from Love this Giant, 1 St. Vincent song, 1 David Byrne song, 1 song from LTG, 1 SV song, 1 DB song, and so on and so forth. Everyone (the 8 wind instrumentalists, the drummer, the keyboarder, and D Byrne and A Clark) performed on all of the songs. It was awesome. The brass band was amazing and there was this wall of music that just swept me away. I do feel like the solo songs sort of broke the momentum of the album songs, but that is ok, cause the album songs were so powerful and entertaining that it didn't take away from their power.

David Byrne & St Vincent

Perhaps the best part of the show for me, was that EVERYTHING was choreographed. Each song had specific placements and movements for the band, taking up the whole stage, and it was mesmerizing. Everything was so deliberate and placed just so. DB and AC did weird arm and hand movements for most of the songs, and I love love loved it. Y'all know I love me some choreography and I love me some weird, so the show was truly visual art. David Byrne had a headset on, so he moved around as a part of the choreo the whole time, too, including laying on the floor with the band during St. Vincent's Cheerleader.  It was awesome.

Also exciting was that David Byrne performed 3 Talking Heads songs, which I have to admit was pretty amazing. They did Naive Melody, Burning Down the House and the show ended with Road to Nowhere, and each one brought down the house.

I think my favorite moment of the night, however, was the haunting, lilting and gorgeous version of The Party that they performed. It gives me chills thinking about it. I was too wrapped up to get a photo, but this one is from Road to Nowhere:

David Byrne & St Vincent

It's always a special moment to see an icon, and when they are paired with another of your favorite performers, it is even better!  It was certainly a show that I am glad I didn't miss.

Is it November 13th Yet?



My Amazing Husband, Fuzzy Gerdes

I just wanted to take a moment to tell the world about my amazing husband. I am SO proud of Fuzzy, for so many reasons. Here are just a few.

1. He hosted Season 7 of Impress These Apes!, and he did it beautifully. He had great energy, was hilarious, and really kept the show flowing. Plus, we gave him the incredibly hard task of announcing the cast onstage, include those who were not cast. What a trooper!!  It was SO fun watching him every Monday and seeing what he brought to the stage. Plus, he was just so HANDSOME as Sports Show Host. See?

Impress These Apes Live Callbacks July 9, 2012 Impress These Apes Sept. 10, 2012 Impress These Apes July 30, 2012 

 Photos by Elizabeth McQuern.

2. He has a great new job! He successfully survived a HARD ASS YEAR at his old job, while the company was closing the Chicago office, and kept going no matter how awful the job got. On top of that, he got a new job, and the title of Director of IT, at my favorite weekly magazine.  I love it!

3. He has signed up for the New Orleans Rock-n-Roll Marathon in February. WOO! Marathon man! Woo! New Orleans!


4. He has signed up for the 2012 Madison, Wisconsin IRON MAN!!! WHAT AN ATHLETE!! That's a 2.5 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and then a marathon! I AM SO IMPRESSED.

It is going to be an exciting year. Mostly exciting for me, because I get to watch the love of my life do things he loves and really just be happy. That's all I could ever wish for.


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(Don't worry, I didn't fall again.)

It's the start of the change of seasons here in Chicago. The calendar flipped over into September, and suddenly, our nights were 50 degrees. Suddenly, I found myself in long pants, long sleeved shirts, and scarves again. And surprisingly, I didn't mind it.

Not that it is cold or even chilly for good. Yesterday, I wore a tank top and rolled my jeans up to my knees and sweated through everything. But it is in the air. It is crisp. It's time for layers. Putting on my favorite jeans was like saying hello to an old friend.

I've always loved fall. It is rejuvenating, and inspiring to me. I get a lot done in the fall. Yes, it means that winter is around the corner, but I can't even say that I am dreading winter that much, either. (Wow, I just put that in writing.) Things are going great right now for Fuzzy and I, and I am excited to see what the next year is going to bring.  I LOVED this summer. I took it, embraced it, and squeezed every drop out of it. I vacationed with friends, vacationed to see friends, swam in the lake, laughed. wore shorts and skirts every day, triathloned 3 times, did Apes, did some soul searching, and had a blast. I am sorry to see it go. But I am welcoming autumn into our lives with open arms. I am making some major life changes that will give me more time at home, and I can't wait to hunker down and clean out a lot of the clutter and junk that we have in our apartment. I have so many projects going on and am rarely home these days, that I forget how nice it is to have a night off (I made dinner the other night, and it was awesome!) and just be HOME. What better time than winter to settle in a bit.  I am proud of myself for taking these steps to live the life that I want to have.

The only sad thing about the colder weather is that my running days are slowly coming to an end. I sadly can't run comfortably when it is colder than about 50 degrees.  Due to my hyperhidrosis, my body is unable to retain any heat ever, instead sweating it all out right at the start of a run, therefore making the rest of the run incredibly cold, resulting in numb fingers and toes for up to an hour after getting out of the cold. It's stuff I don't want to mess with.  We have a few more on the books, though--the Crypt Run 5k, The Run for Science, Get Your Rear in Gear, for example.  Fuzzy will be training for some major athletic events over the winter (more info to come), and so I will need to find my own ways to stay active. Hopefully that means more dance classes, Pilates, and boxing again. And I've already caught myself talking about next year's triathlon...

So as I look to the seasons and year ahead, I get a smile on my face. After so many years of struggle and heartache due to this, that and the other, it feels so GOOD to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the amazing life that I have.


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It's hard to believe that we are yet again at a closing night of Impress These Apes! Season 7 has been SO much fun and one of my favorite seasons so far. I know how grueling it can be this final week of competition--you try not to care about the money, but yet you really want to win. It's best, though, to just go out and enjoy yourself and celebrate the weirdness that you shared with 7 other weirdos, some judges in rubber masks, and the audience who watched week after week. 

Here's me, in February 2007, on my closing night. I did a tribute to my Dad.
Erica Reid 

Watch the video here.

It's been such a fun journey for me, from contestant, to liason, to producer, to Ape, and I've loved every second of it. Each year, we say it is going to be our last year ever, then the next year, we can't bring ourselves to let it die. We'll see what the future brings...

To the audience that came to every show, or any show that you could, thank you. Without you, there is no point in doing it. Your laughter is worth way more than $1,000 and a grab bag of groovy prizes.

To Clay, Joanna, Joe, Liz, Martin, Meredith, Monique, and Wolfgang, thank you for bringing your amazing talents to our stage week after week, and for never giving up. It's truly been a ball watching you.

To Bryan, Paul, Fuzzy, Noah, Steven, Greg, Gabe, Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Denise, Rebecca, Jessy and Alan, thank you so much for the hard work you put in this whole season, and your your humor and cunning.

To Steve, thank you for creating this amazing show, and for all the other wacky Blewt! ideas you come up with. Thank you for letting me tag along on your creativity. It's truly a wild ride. I look forward to many more projects in the future.

Living to the Fullest

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This morning, Fuzzy and I officiated our friends Ryan and Sylvia's wedding. We got home at 5ish, napped for 45 minutes, and are heading out to Jen and Dave's house to film a new season of Drunk Monkeys. Tomorrow, we close Impress These Apes. Though I may be exhausted, this is what life is all about. Doing what you love and being surrounded by good friends. I'm so lucky I get to share this life with my best friend/ great love. We're living the dream.

Boobs of the Dead Promo Shot

It's coming...


I think it's that way...

Our friends at RAM Racing have yet again used a photo of me for a blog post. I am so flattered!

This one is especially funny, cause the photo they used really makes me laugh. My bro and I forever ago started doing this thing where we point to the future, and now I make other people do it, too. This photo was an unintentional pointing, though Shaun and I were pointing to "bike out" and not the future. Though "bike out" was IN our future, so there you go.

Thanks, RAM! Can't wait for the Bucktown 5K!

My best friend Love Goddess Judy Tenuta is performing in town this weekend. Sadly, I have too GD much stuff going on, and we can't go. But I just tweeted the awesome closeup photo to her, so maybe she will respond. She's going to be performing gay marriages on stage. I love her.

I just had to say something, cause you know...the campaign. Remember the campaign? Good times...

Juuuudy Juuuuuuuuudy!!!!!

Guest Editor at Coudal

This month, I am the guest editor at Coudal Partner's Fresh Signals Blog, which is very exciting, because you can't get any more awesome/creative/innovative than Coudal Partners.  Here's my bio! I'll be posting short things that catch my eye over there this month! Enjoy!

This Video

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Perfection. SO can't wait for this concert.


Coming Soon...

Boobs of the Dead jpg

Show info and tickets here.

Fridays at 9 and Saturdays at midnight in October!
Special showing on Halloween night!
Gorilla Tango Theatre
1919 N. Milwaukee

Coolio Run, I mean, the Hell Run

When I got the email months ago about the Hell Run, I instantly emailed Shaun and Fuzzy and we all agreed that it was too good to be true--the post-race party was going to be Coolio. WHAT?! COOLIO!? Shaun has the Coolio Library "READ" poster in his office! So we all signed up and have been counting the days til we saw Coolio in concert/ did another fun mud run with obstacles.

Before the race! Ready to go!

The timing of this race was perfect in that it was a nice easy and fun run to blow off steam post triathlon insanity.

The bibs were cool in that you could personalize your nickname!
DJ ENRG Baron Fuzzystein

Erica and Fuzzy
It was also awesome in that it wasn't super early in the morning.

Fuzzy Erica
Pre-race chillin.

The race was SO MUCH FUN. A 5K at a horse racetrack, with a number of mud obstacles, including lots of water pits with mud hills you had to climb up and down. The only problem is that is that the mud had a lot of sticks in it (literally a stick in the mud) so sliding down on your ass was very dangerous, and I now I have a HUGE SWOLLEN GIANT cut on my right lower ass cheek that hurts when I walk or sit on hard porcelain surfaces...if you get my drift. But I signed a waiver, so I can't complain too badly.
Shaun, Erica, and Fuzzy

We climbed over cars!
Jazzercise: Real Results. Pure Fun.
(JAZZERCISE! It's BACK, baby!)

Horse starter gates!
Erica and the Starter Gates

Erica and the Tunnel Splashers
I was doing good only getting my feet wet with this one, until these guys came by and splashed the hell out of everything. At the end of the tunnel they said "That wasn't very nice of us." I love it.

 Erica, Mudder
Mud pit!
Tunnel, tunnel, tunnel, tunnel...
Queen of the mud!

There were 2 obstacles I skipped, both involving climbing giant walls. I know myself and how I I am climbing tall things, so I thought it best to skip them. But Fuzzy and Shaun did it!

While running near the stage, we saw Coolio chillin in his tent! I called his name and he did a nice muscle pose for us. Yeah!
Coolio, Chilling Before His Show Erica, Tire Runner-Througher
Tire obstacle!

Wall Climbing
Yet another wall I didn't climb.

And then, the BEST one--JUMPING OVER FIRE!! Shaun, Fire Jumper Fuzzy, Fire Jumper Erica, Fire Jumper

That was right near the finish, so we collected our medals and went over just in time to catch... Coolio at Hell Run Chicago

How do you feel about it, Erica?
Erica and Coolio

How do you feel about it, Fuzzy and Shaun? Fuzzy, Shaun, and Coolio

It was a super fun show, and super weird, and super white (audience), and super awesome. Coolio at Hell Run Chicago Coolio at Hell Run Chicago

They gave us capes at the finish, so at one point during Gangsta's Paradise, he ran off stage to go get his, and then he came on stage and ripped his shirt off and through it into the audience. I was thisclose to catching it. Also, earlier, he ran off stage during a song, only to return with some sort of food/soup/yogurt in a styrofoam cup that he took a bite of and kept rapping. I am not making this up.

I danced my ass off and loved every second of it.

All in all, the race was a blast! I would definitely do it again, especially if the obstacles change from year to year.

Thanks, Hell Run!
Erica Shaun and Fuzzy at Hell Run Chicago Erica at Hell Run Chicago

(a few sidenotes: For the rest of the Hell Run tour, the performer was Tone Loc, also an awesome choice. Also, the 3 of us opted to forgo the "showers" [just 2 people with power nozzles on hoses] and we went to lunch covered in mud. It was awesome.)