August 2013 Archives

Modern Feminism

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I feel like I have written about this topic here on my blog in the past before, but I am feeling the importance of discussing it again. This week, Miley Cyrus's performance on the VMAs shocked people in many different ways. Some people loved it, some people hated it, everyone is talking about it. Everyone is shocked with her blatant attempt at over-sexuality, with her tiny outfit, grinding, hand gestures, etc. And what I want to say to everyone is calm down. You're not helping feminism. You aren't helping anything.

Some of the outrage is due to the fact that Miley used to the the ulitmate image of wholesomeness in her Hannah Montana days. I'll be the FIRST to say that I loved Hannah Montana--it got me through a really hard time in my life, and therefore, I developed a huge affection for Miley. I love her music career, I love who she is, and why not? She's gorgeous, she's talented, she's charming. And she is also free to do whatever the hell she wants. But yet, every time a pop star wears panties as clothes, does drugs, or references sex in any way, the whole nation rears up about how she is not being a positive role model. But why does every woman ever in the public eye have to be a role model? And isn't she actually BEING a role model by doing what she wants and not caring? I would want the young girls of today to see that you can do whatever the hell you want and live with no fear. Don't do what people think you should do.  Sure, this image she is presenting might be carefully crafted by ad execs, but she took a risk and had no fear and presented herself unapologetically. As well she should have.

I wouldn't want my every move to be scrutinized by all of America, and Lord, your 20s are MEANT to be your time to discover yourself, your body, and all that life is offering you. I am thankful that I was able to be wild and wreckless and make my mistakes and learn what I learned as a normal American and not on a completely open and public scale.  Rihanna isn't president, Ke$ha isn't Secretary of State, so these women are free to do what they want. It affects most people in absolutely no way at all. That's the beauty of freedom in America.

I remember this awesome interview of Ke$ha where she was asked about being a role model. She said that she never said she was a role model and it was up to their parents of the young girls to monitor what they are letting their kids listen to. Power up!  Male recording artists have been writing songs about sex and women and doing what they want for decades.  So why can't these female ones do so?

The best thing to do is to just not make a huge deal out of everything. Who cares what was performed on that show as long as it didn't hurt or degrade anyone else? Parents, if you don't want your kids to see it, don't let your kids watch it. Talk to them about the values you want to instill in them. Teach them the risks that come with social media.

Let's all just live our own damn lives and let others live theirs. And let women be and do what they want to do without criticism. THAT is modern feminism.

Daily Inspiration


This is NOT the time to get a cold. I don't have time for that.




Double Tri

I did it! I did 2 triathlons in 2 days! I will write more about the experiences later, but for now, I just wanted to post this quick update. Thank you to all my friends and family for the love, support, cheers, and well-wishes that I received! You are amazing!



Some thoughts the day before Triathlon Weekend

This time last year, I was a machine. I was so well trained for the international distance triathlon, and I had already completed 2 sprints earlier in the summer.

This, not so much.

It's been a busy summer. Travels, rehearsals, lifestyle changes, no training partner. Last year's summer goal WAS the triathlon, and this year's goal has been to live as much as possible and do as much as I can. Last year, I signed up cause I wanted to, this year I signed up cause it seemed like something I should do. Last year, I had someone keeping me accountable to training. This year, I went about it solo. This year, I compared myself and my dedication to Fuzzy's drive and dedication, which is stupid, cause he is training for a freaking Iron Man. This year, I priortized sleep. I trained, sure, but not to the extent that I should. I never did a brick day. I never went over my distance (1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3 mile run) for any one event. I am ok with that. I've had other things going on.

I am ready for this weekend to be over so I can stop feeling guilty for not training.

But there is no should, really. Should I have been training more? Who is to say? If I am ok with my level of training, then eff what anyone else says I should or should not do. I will be fine. I know I can do it. It will be hard, but I will do it. And I will have fun doing it and feel amazing afterwards. And then I will be able to breathe easier knowing I don't have this frickin' endeavor floating over my head.

I'll post an update here afterwards, but if you want to track my progress or whatever or whatever, tomorrow in the Supersprint I am #429 in Wave 9 and Sunday in the Sprint I am #1725 in Wave 12.

And who knows, maybe this guy will make an appearance:beard lady.jpg

Sparkle Hour! at the NY Fringe Festival

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Sparkle Hour!, the one-man show I produced (& choreographed) last fall in Chicago is currently running at the NY Fringe Festival. I knew it was going to be a success, but here are the reviews to help back that up! I am so happy and proud of Philip, Jen, and the show!

From review by Charles C Bales
August 16, 2013

Bolting through the audience and bounding on to the stage with the conviction of a tent revival evangelist, Philip Markle quickly wins over the Sparkle Hour! audience with his enthusiasm. A bildungsroman for geeky gay teens, his one-man musical indeed sparkles with hilarious tales of sex and sexuality, online gaming, and dress up accompanied by a collection of catchy tunes.

Starting off the evening with the unapologetic anthem, "Live Epic," Mr. Markle's sly and knowing smile never leaves his face during the 55-minute piece that flies by effortlessly due to the talent and energy of its star. Whether relaying tales of his own gayer-than-gay version of The Lord of the Rings or his poignant yet uproarious coming out in front of a sanctuary full of Catholics, he exults in his own miseries with a Puck-like glee. Markle's tongue-firmly-in-cheek approach encourages the audience to laugh through the pain of his awkward adolescence and young adulthood.

The younger Philip as described in Sparkle Hour! is a confused gay teen, struggling with his sense of self alongside other similarly disenfranchised loners in the nameless, faceless realm of online gaming. In this marginalized world, Markle finds himself excelling at the role playing make-believe of EverQuest and discovers the power to overcome his insecurities and admit to his nerd community the scariest of truths: he's gay.

Writing and performing Sparkle Hour! is obviously cathartic for Markle. Although much of his reminiscing is sensationally funny, it's nonetheless tinged with heartache. But the show as fluidly directed by Jen Ellison barrels through the pangs of suffering for a laugh a minute so that the atmosphere never teeters into melancholy. Instead of wallowing in the less-than-memorable aspects of losing his virginity, for instance, he jubilantly turns the tale on its end by reimagining this pivotal moment in his sexual awakening as a steamy romantic romp -- acted out with a blow-up sex doll.

SubCulture in NoHo is the perfect venue for this FringeNYC 2013 show -- more like an intimate comedy club, complete with its own bar, than a standard proscenium theater. And Sparkle Hour! has the shape of a zany stand-up comedy routine, including a call-and-response section as well as additional audience interaction.

Mr. Markle brilliantly balances the glittery outrageousness of his performance style with amazing storytelling skills, although the subject matter is decidedly adult. (This is definitely not a show for anyone under the age of 18.) Coming out of his shell with vim and vigor, Markle brings home the message of "Be yourself, love yourself" at the heart of Sparkle Hour! that is as beautiful as the butterflies -- yes, butterflies -- he says turn him on.

From Theatre is Easy:

Sparkle Hour

By Philip Markle; Directed by Jen Ellison

BOTTOM LINE: Sparkle Hour is the reason Fringe festivals were invented.

Everything about Philip Markle and his one-man, one-hour, part original-musical and part sketch, Sparkle Hour is bigger than life, chock-full of laughs, and deliciously naughty. In other words, perfect fare for the NYC Fringe Festival where the show is now running through the end of the festival at the beautiful subCulture space at The Culture Project on Bleecker.

Sparkle Hour follows Markle, who is as puckish as he is engaging, as he recounts his journey from adolescence to adulthood. This includes, among other things, being a master player of the online role-playing-game Everquest, coming out at a Catholic youth retreat, and having a one-night stand, care of the hookup dating service Grindr. All the while, we're treated to a good dose of original music (some of it made up on the spot), lots of (optional) audience participation, way too much personal information about Markle and his turn-ons (one of the funniest moments of the show), and even some free candy. 

While some of Markle's stories are blush-worthy and the delivery given a facade of amateurishness, there is no doubt that we are watching a carefully crafted performance (with help from director Jen Ellison), that vacillates masterfully between tongue-in-cheek and soul-baring honesty. The result is a show with universal appeal, touching on the fear of being different and the power in self-discovery.  

My dictionary defines "sparkle" as "vivacity and wit," and "fringe" as "unconventional." Philip Markle's Sparkle Hour is unconventional, full of vivacity and wit, less than an hour, and a perfect example of what great fringe theatre can be. 

(Sparkle Hour plays at SubCulture, 45 Bleecker St, through August 25th, 2013. The remaining performance is Sunday, August 25 at 3PM. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door and are available at or by calling 866-468-7619. For more information visit


Way to go, Philip!

Wicked Weddings!


My new site for Wicked Weddings is live! It still needs a bit of work, but I am happy to just get my info out there.

Wicked Weddings specializes in wedding officiating & choreography for the quirky cool couple! Check it out!

Main Page
Testimonials (my fave page, cause everyone is so sweet)

Choreographer and Vendor partners coming soon!

Special thanks to the amazing Melissa Dixon of Blufish Design for coming up with the name and logo for the company!

If you want to get married, and you live in the Chicagoland area, hire me!

Now all we need is nationwide marriage equality...

I Love My Life

This happened to me the other day:




Yeah. Ruth Buzzi followed me on Twitter!!!

I think this means I've officially made it!

Now I just need Judy Tenuta to follow me...

Living Among the Chaos

So, we're flat out in the middle of August. Fuzzy and I right now are pushed to the max. We're less than a month away from Fuzzy's Iron Man, and he is working out up to 6 hours a day. My triathlon is in 2 weeks, and I am feeling a bit under trained. I am in a ton of rehearsals right now, and working some from home. Fuzzy is editing a million different projects and working a part time job from home. Neither of us are getting enough sleep. We are living out of a series of bags and water bottles. There is crap all over the house. We are almost always too tired to do chores, but we do the best we can. And we just have to keep pushing through.

I had heard somewhere that when one person in a couple is training for an Iron Man, it can be rough on the couple, but we are doing great. We are incredibly patient and tolerant with each other and each other's messes, and we know that our priorities are not housework. Fuzzy and I are a great team, and we know how to work together.

We're in the homestretch. Fuzzy's Iron Man is Sept 8. My shows open Sept 26 & Oct 4th.  We're living each day to the fullest and doing the best we can. YEAH! TEAM GERDES WOOO!

But don't take it personally if we don't invite you over. We'll be able to host again in October. :)

Gloria Slimem & The Electric Slime

This Friday, Gloria Slimem (2012 SLUG Queen runner-up, and public persona of the darling Shannon Rose) will be once again competing for the title of SLUG Queen in Eugene, Oregon. This is her year. She is going to knock out the competition and slop them up with her slime trail.

I am proud to have choreographed her new signature dance, the Electric Slime. See a video of Gloria teaching it here! She even references the dance in this interview:

During the competition, Rose will debut "The Electric Slime," a choreographed dance number that, with any luck, will have her supporters and the rest of the crowd grooving to the beat, as well.

"I kind of want it to be a flash mob," Rose said, laughing. "That's my vision, anyway - we'll see what actually happens."

I will be cheering her on from Chicago!


(photo by Dan Pennington and Micha Elizabeth)


Photobomb by Chris.






Separated at Birth

This art installation at the Pompidou Museum:


My brother in his suit and this purse:

Lookin' good!

From my brother, Chris Reid, who resides in Mwanza, Tanzania:

One of the more amusing quirks of Tanzanians- or rather, the Sukuma people among whom we live- is the way they pose for pictures. In general, people here are super friendly and are always quick to smile despite all the challenges they face in life. And while many locals here have cameras, people still get excited when you take their picture. They'll get excited with huge smiles on their face, get in a pose, ready for the picture, and then right when you take the picture, they look away from the camera and drop the smile. If they do look at the camera, they almost never smile and often have a slight scowl as well (imagine your typical DMV divers license shot}. I assume that people feel they must be "serious" to look like respectful people, when in actuality they look depressed and not just a little mean. This is the same culture that expects a bride not to smile on her wedding day lest she offend people by looking happy to be leaving her family. Anyway, as with all generalizations, this certainly doesn't apply to everyone, and this is also not limited to Tanzania by any stretch. Regardless I have numerous pictures where everyone is just staring dead-eyed into the camera only seconds after having been the epitome of happiness and smiles. So my friends and I here all like to take pictures "like a Tanzanian."

And now, I present to you, The Reid Gerdes crew in Paris. Enjoy:

Chris poses like a Tanzanian. This will become a recuring theme of the trip.

Posing like Tanzanians



Fuzzy & Katie pose like Tanzanians while Chris smiles

Fuzzy poses like a Tanzanian while Katie and Chris Smile

Fuzzy and Katie Smile while Chris poses like a Tanzanian

Drunk Monkeys on Talk Hard!

This Friday at Midnight at ComedySportz, Drunk Monkeys will be sitting down with Jamie Campbell to talk Boozey Goodness! See their blurb about it here!

And wouldn't you know it, that old so & so Steve Gadlin will also be on the show to talk Star Makers!

What would people give me to hijack the musical guest and be a part of her act, too?


Our websites are often hit with massive amounts of comment spam.

But, for SOME reason, all the spam I've received this week has been all about fried chicken. What does that say about me and my blog?

Me vs the other Erica Reids

I still continue to get at least 3 emails a week meant for other Erica Reids. I know all their secrets. And we all know my ongoing mission to be more famous than the famous Erica Reid, right? Well, I just realized that her website is We are so opposite! Mine was almost Wouldn't that have been something?

Paris Day 7

On Saturday, the morning after the wedding, we tried to sleep as much as we could and have a leisurely morning, but I think we still got up relatively early. We all agreed that we needed to go to the Eiffel Tower, but we wouldn't bother with going up in it, so as to avoid the lines. To maximize our sight-seeing times, we decided to walk there.




I'm just standing here with this Fish

"Don't mind me, I'm just standing here with this fish."

Everyone in Paris was so gorgeous and so fashionable. It was inspiring. Guess who is NOT Parisian?
But seriously, Katie and I forwent the shoes we'd been wearing all week and went with our sneaks and hiking boots. It was the best idea ever.

I love my husband, brother, and sister-in-law so much. There is a long series of photos in front of this fountain (separate blog post to come) because they were being so silly. This makes me so freaking happy.

Everyone photobombs everyone


Oh my God, that cracks me up.

That afternoon, we played "spot the bride." We found 5! Here are 3!



What a cutie!

True love.




Floating garden!



Another plant building!

Then we were there!

Eiffel Tower

Dorks at a Tower



Reids and the Eiffel Tower

Ooh la la

We got some new hats...


Then took a little rest! While there, Katie discovered that we could take photos like this:


Tower Dick

The 4 of us spent a lot of time taking photos like this. We are adults.
Then we had to take photos like this:


What happened next was one of the best memories of the trip for me. The side of the park we were on didn't have an exit that we saw. There was a paneled fence that was the outer edge of the park that was knocked down. We didn't realize that we were going to have to walk over the wobbley fence to get out, but that's what other people were doing. I realized that to my left, there was an older hunched over (but well dressed) gentleman in his mid to late 70s (maybe? Or 80s? I don't know) with a cane. He was trying to figure out how he was going to get over the fence. I offered him my hand and asked if he needed help, and he accepted. Together, we traversed the unstable terrain. When we were safely to the other side, he said "Merci" and I didn't recall how to say "you're welcome" in French. He said "Gracias, Danke schoen" and I remembered my German, and said "bitte." Then we parted ways. It was so sweet to me, this little man with soft hands, and that I could offer some help even though we didn't speak the same language. Priceless.

On the way home, we made one last stop to the grocery store and settled in for our last night in Paris. We feasted on bread, wine, cheese, butter with salt, meats and fruits, and it was lovely. Fuzzy and I packed.




This soda was a huge favorite of ours.


I wanted to live in this butter. Huge chunks of salt crystals. Heavenly.

Our wedding souvenir

The macarons were our wedding favor. Beautiful and delicious.

The bonus treat of the night is that Jan and Jeremy had to drop something off to Christopher, so they brought over dinner and came and visited with us for a couple fo hours. It was great having some more intimate time with them just for visits and not in the hectic hubub of a wedding. It was sweet and fun and emotional, and such a lovely capper to the night. But they aren't the only ones who came to say goodbye...we had another special visitor!

Henri, our nieghborhood friend


Au revoir, mon petit chat!


I feel like I haven't been home in forever. Part of that feeling comes from the fact that I haven't been home in forever. We were in both Michigan and Wisconsin last week, I am currently in 2 rehearsal processes, both with at least 2 rehearsals a week, I've been working part time at my old job, and also am training for a triathlon (and made a music video recently, and have been doing shows and also directed that other show. Oh yeah, and I try to see my friends and go out on dates with my husband, too.) So I have been living out of tote bags for a while now.

So yesterday and today, it was an AMAZING treat to have 2 days off and almost all of my plans canceled. I relish moments like that. And I've not been slacking. Here is a brief list of just some of the things I have accomplished in that time:

*I made breakfast, lunch AND dinner in one day. All 3 meals! I love cooking, so that made me really happy.
*In addition to that, I made homemade pretzels, grapefruit curd, and this amazing new chia seed food thingie* that I got the recipe for in BUST magazine (also, the pretzel recipe came from there, too.) I also made a chilled thai peanut noodle dish.
*I sent some cards I've been meaning to send!
*I did a lot of work on Star Makers & Work Shirt!
*I repotted some plants! I don't even really know how to do that, but I did it!
*I did laundry, and even put most of it away!
*I washed all the millions of dishes that I dirtied multiple times!
*I organized the linen closet! It was getting very sitcom closet-y.
*I had a nice long chat with my mom!
*I went for my first official bike training ride for the triathlon! Then I went for a short run!
*I unpacked most of the bags on the floor!
*I cleaned a little!
*I went to the grocery store twice!
*I took out trash and recycling!
*I had drinks with a friend!
*I even (gasp!) WATCHED SOME TV!
*And more that I can't think of!

And now I am freaking exhausted. Fuzzy is responsible for dinner tonight. :)

What an amazing feeling.

*Chia Seed Pudding (it isn't really pudding), recipe from BUST Magazine:
1/4 cup chia seeds, 1.5 cups unsweetened coconut or soy or almond milk, whisk together, refrigerate for a few hours til thick. I topped mine with honey and blueberries and couldn't get enough.