Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Have Your Mind Blown and Your B YOBed at (Re)Zoned: Tales from the Magical Twilight

I love shameless self-promotion. It's the easiest thing to market other than Simon Birch films.

I wanted to let you lovely people know of a super fantastic event going on in Chicago for the next three weeks. It's so good you have to buy tickets for it....

It is...

(Re)Zoned: Tales from the Magical Twilight

What's the catch? Catch? CATCH? You offend me, sir. Because this "catch" you speak of is the cheery on top of this sweet cake of golden oysters*. (Re)Zoned is a sketch comedy show by Corn Productions - who were paid enough money by my boys in the Lollipop Guild to allow me to be part of the acting ensemble. What's that? You need more background on the show? You are hoping this is a BYOB theater? You like people that talk like they are from 1953? GREAT.

(Re)Zoned offers a sketch comedy twist on the original sci-fi TV series, "The Twilight Zone," with some extraordinary magic and a killer house band, The Cell Phones, to guide you through the comedy vignettes and episode parodies - and to also help you keep your sanity. Oh, magic**? You didn't misread - magician Justin Purcell hosts the show, as he performs interactive magic with the audience that may blow your mind all over your program***. Brain splatter jumpsuits are not available at Corn - BYOJ (bring your own jumpsuit).

The best part is you don't have to have ever seen "The Twilight Zone" or even know what magic or a band is to enjoy the unhinged ride through the 5th dimension!

More reasons to go:

1. It's BYOB.
2. You'll be in an audience, so it will seem like you have friends even though you don't.
3. The show is a good excuse to get out of grandma's house and stop bingeing on her medicine.
4. It's BYOB - that means you can bring alcohol into the building and drink it under no judgement****
5. Corn is now a horse free theater.*****
6. Waka Flocka Flame gave the show a GREAT Yelp review.

Magic or reality?
Meet the cast*****:

Ensemble -  Dustin Craig, Kamron Palmer, Alex St. John, Stephen Schumacher, Ivory Stahly, Antora Delong, Emily Forberg, Hannah Dobratz, Justin Purcell

Featuring in house band - The Cell Phones

Directed by Kevin Anderson

Stage Manager - Jes Mican

Tweet the deets:

(Re)Zoned runs Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. Feb. 22 through March 23. Tickets are $7 on Wednesdays, $10 on Thursday and $15 on Fridays and Saturdays. Y'all can purchase tickets online , by  reserved calling 773-650-1331 or by purchasing them at the door.

Please come, because if you don't I'll find you lazy, sweaty sack of pancakes and cut off your big toes. lolz. See you there!


* Available at Jewel-Osco one block from Corn.
** It's real magic - so don't bring anything you don't want sawed in half or turned into a dove.
*** Corn has recently gone Green. All programs are made from formerly blown minds.
**** Feral horses/ghost-horses in the audience who are recovering alcoholics will judge, but we have no control over them.
***** Physically, the theater is horse free. But mentally....
****** Some of the cast members are part horse - the hooves and tails are a dead give away on who.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What I Except on My Trip to LA

Part III of my pre-amp LA blogs! Make sure to check out my other two: "10 People I Want to See While I'm in LA" and "10 People I Don't Want to See While I'm in LA."

I'm obviously looking forward to this trip considering I rarely have the opportunity for vacations. As CEO of a Fortune 500 Make out Company, work controls the majority of my life. However, even grownups need time to have some fun too.

Are my expectations too high for the trip? Far from it. I've done my research and educated myself on the California culture and how to properly prepare. With that being said, I would like to share with you What I expect on My Trip to LA. Enjoy, nerds.

Take a shower.

1. A lot of jobless tenant farmers

American author John Steinbeck has made it very clear California is where poor farmers from Oklahoma go to find work and avoid the never ended Dust Bowl, which has plagued the Great Plains of the United Sates for more than 80 years. There is rumor you can still find John Ford and Henry Fonda roaming the streets of Sacramento looking for odd jobs. That's also why I'm flying to LA. Route 66 is FILLED with smelly, penniless families looking to join unions and kill one another in peach orchards. I likely won't visit any peach orchards unless completely necessary. 

West Hollywood, CA
2. Greedy, gritty oil men

Yes, like many other Americans, I've thought about settling down in California to take my stake in gold as the rest of the nation focuses on cotton and tobacco. But I'm much wiser than that...I've seen "There Will Be Blood," and I'm aware former mineral prospectors eventually turn to the oil business to become wealthy murderers. And I'll be honest, the idea of having a deaf son who tries to lite people on fire, fighting with an annoying, young priest all the time and becoming an alcoholic bowler just doesn't seem very relaxing for a weekend. Still, I will have my eye out for Daniel Day-Lewis and his crazy milkshake dramatics.

Must be like looking in a mirror
for most Cali Ladies
3. Top notch California girls

I'm a fan of the way East coast girls dress, and even a bigger fan of how the girls down South talk. This isn't overlooking the Midwest farmer girls - they are great - and the Northern girls are definitely the best kissers. I've traveled all over the world and seen quite a variety of women, but I'm just excited to get back and see the cutest girls in the world - some California girls.

There's just something about green grass, sipping on gin and juice and laying beneath palm trees that makes these California gurls unforgettable. They still know how to rock daisy dukes and bikini tops with sun-kissed skin that just melts my popsicle. Ever since I partied with them, I fell in love. Especially since Snoop Dogg is always up for making an appearance. These gurls have a lot of other things to offer as well - bikinis, zucchinis  martinis, no weenies - literally anything you can think of. These gurls really represent the West coast.

Jackie Slater doing what he does best - groovin'.

4. "LA Rams - Ram It!"

You must watch the video in order to understand this gem of a song and outstanding moment in NFL history. I expect "Ram It!" to be on repeat most places I go - LAX, nightclubs, McDonald's, Lindsay Lohan's apartment - I've already learned the dance from Hollywood Hanson (#21) himself.

You got Bon Iver on vinyl?
5. Different types of hipsters

Chicago, without a doubt, breeds hipsters. Don't believe me? Head over to Wicker Park and tell me what you think. They are everywhere, but one must recognize there are definitely different classes of hipster. Check out this article in StyleCaster. A phenomenal piece of writing on the 12 types of hipsters. In Chicago, you will see these types of hipsters the most:

The Freak-folk Hippy-ster
"Guitar anthems, geometric patterns, Polaroids, hitch-hiking, lake-swimming, begetable loving, psychedelic-experimenting free-spirits. Think Devendra Banhart."

The Yuppie Hipster
"Do you own a Prius that still has an Obama sticker on the back? Do you want to make as much money as possible while appearing to not put much effort into anything? Yup-ster! Keychain, $3.95, Zazzle."

"Bicycle riding, Whole Foods shopping, art-galley going, Toms Shoes wearing, urban-gardening, yoga practicing, meditation-retreat attending, hipsters."

And one type of hipster you see everywhere:

"Vintage mash up! Ironic, pop, or just loud and memorable. Probably owns some oversized reading glasses (most likely without prescription), frequents Urban Outfiters, fame-conscious, has bought at least one flannel shirt, fedora, and pair of cut-off shorts. Icon: the darling Alexi Wasser." - Also noted in Chicago

Hip to be square.
In LA, I think the hipsters might have an edge on what's currently in Chicago - they are closer to the roots of this lifestyle. The eclectic enclave of the Greater LA Area boasts some of the nation's most lauded food trucks and farmer's markets, a booming arts scene and one of the largest creative class communities in the country.  From Forbes, "Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA is also home to some o the most avant garde Modernist architecture in North America." Although some hipster classes can be seen everywhere, I expect to particularily see these:

"(The biggest haters of the term hipster). You're not a f*cking hipster, you're an artist. You don't keep up with teh trends, if something great comes out, you'll hear about it from your friends. Think Vincent Gallo."

"Past-grasping, Grunge, glam, '50s slick, early '70s folk fashion, mod punk etc. Clothing with idealism."


Related articles:

Hit me up on Twitta - @StephenSchu

Monday, February 4, 2013

10 People I Don't Want to See While I'm in LA

Here it is - blog #2 pre-amping my trip to Los Angeles. Make sure to check out my last post, "10 People I Want to See While I'm in LA."

Going off that list, I also realize people in California, especially LA, are not a lot like those in the Midwest. Yes, I could make jokes about everyone around here being overweight...sausage fingers, beer drinking, Hoverounds....but I'm more pointing in the direction of that "Midwest charm," which apparently lacks in the City of Angels. However, I'm not on board with the "Midwest charm" being as great as everyone assumes. I see it as most people around the Midwest are nice to your face but then do the trash talking behind your back. Yes, everyone from the Midwest is pretty much the main cast of Mean Girls. The Californians are likely a little more honest and upfront about their thoughts about you. Regardless, as you look at my list of hopeful encounters, I'm aware there is the exact opposite roaming LA.

With this in light, there are some DEFINITE individuals who could ruin my trip if I run into them while there. So, I've created the 10 People I Don't Want to See While I'm in LA. Read it up, nerds.

Just poopin' it up
1. Jay Cutler

Chicago Bear's QB Jay Cutler was a standout at Vanderbilt University and has had a decent career in the NFL - where he now ranks as "The Worst Team Leader in Sports." Granted, Cutler's overall mannerisms are depressing (that's just how he is), but when this guy screws up on the field or something goes wrong in a game - his lack of confidence and composure is flat-out pathetic. The last thing I need is his mopey face dragging my vacation down. I only fear running into him, because his girl, Kristin Cavallari, and I are kind of the same person...So, there is a solid chance her and I end up in the same places at least more than once - we both have this thing for Qdoba that's kind of hard to control. The only good thing about running into Cutler would be he and I could share insulin -- he's a Type 1 diabetic as well.

2. Guy Fieri

Yes, Guy Fieri is a ridiculous idiot who loves food and looks like a manager at Chili's, but that's not why I don't want to run into him. Actually, he featured Glenn's Diner (amazing) near me on his show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," which I thought was a great kudos to a very fine Chicago establishment. Regardless, I more fear seeing Mr. Fieri, because I believe he would find a way to interrupt my dinner date with Lauren Conrad. She and I will be out to eat at some place like Lucques, he'll pull up in his red convertible wearing those stupid sunglasses with his bleach blonde, spiked a brief monologue about the restaurant, and then walk over to us and start doing a candid interview right in the middle of me I'm throwing fastball after fastball pitches of schoolboy charm at LC.

"HEY!" says Guy Fieri with BBQ sauce all over his hands. "What do you think about the food at this place?"

Then I'll have to say something cool and collective with a "whatever" attitude like, "Yeah, it's pretty good. Makin' her smile, at least" as I point to LC and wink.

Long story short, Guy Fieri has ruined our date. I guess LC and I will have to hit up Les Deux Cafe nightclub early.

I hate her.

3. My 7th grade science teacher

We bucked heads all year in 2002, and I still won't forgive her for the D+ she gave me on my periodic table acoustic song set to the tune of  "Hand on the Pump" by Cypress Hill. 

"When I see ya punk a**/ I'm gonna get ya, / Gallium ya / F***ing do ya / Shotgun goes BORON!"

I GET IT, Willa. I GET IT!
4. That entourage of women celebrities who are in love with me - i.e. Hayden Panettiere, Lena Headey, Jessica Stroup, Emma Roberts, Lyndsy Fonseca, Willa Holland

Ugh, I  DO NOT need more women celebrities drooling over me. I've already made it very clear I'm holding out for Jennette McCurdy, but some of these girls just don't take "no" for an answer! It's like, "I get it Willa Holland! We had a fling that one week in Cedar Rapids, but we have to move on with our lives now! We are GROWN UPS! WE HAVE CAREERS! Ya, know?" You should see the texts I get from Lena and Emma...and I totally know they are together when they are sending them too - just awkwardly fighting over my heart that they will never get. I mean, give it up Jessica Stroup! It's like you're nailing JELL-O to the wall - a lot of work for nothing....but I mean, ugh, I did go to Junior Prom with Hayden....and I guess Lyndsy and I make sense if you compare our relationship to most Taylor Swift and Adele songs...Still, ladies, you need to stop. No more SnapChat pics to my work phone, please.


5. Heidi Montag

After LC and I hit it off when I get there, and I see Heidi Montag at Starbucks......Awkward City, USA.

Enough is enough.

6. Chad Kroeger

I debated whether or not to throw a guy off the train the other week when I noticed he was listening to Nickelback. If I see lead singer and guitarist of Nickelback, Chad Kroeger, it will not end well. I likely will demand he takes back anything he has ever attempted to contribute to the music world, end his career and live the rest of his life out by giving talks at high schools about how bad music ruined his life and much of America's.

7. Justin Bieber

This little boy has caused me so much pain since his arrival to the music scene. My hair is my bread n' butter, and this little bag of turds stole my look, which has resulted in far too many people telling me I look like him - WHEN HE IS THE ONE LOOKING LIKE ME. To some extent, I will take the compliment since millions of girls obsess over the singing poop ball. Otherwise, it's upsetting for a 7-year-old to legit steal my look and then make it popular. I've been pulling off the sexy, hip-hop schoolboy look since you were just a tickle in your pappy's sack, jbiebs.

Lookin' at a big ol' diaper of an analyst.

8. Skip Bayless

Let me refer you to my fellow contributor's article regarding this shock jock of a sports analyst. I'm aware Skip gets paid to say what only 10% of his audience agrees with in an pompous fashion, because that's his character. However, if this is not a big put-on, Skip Bayless may be one of the most classless individuals to ever be a part of the world of sports. If I see him in LA, I'm going to tell him he is a very bad man and makes me sad. That should teach him to shut up.

This is where kids go when they die.

9. The old furnace from Home Alone

Absolutely terrifying. Running into this metal giant would be a huge buzz kill.

He's just the worst.

10. Seth Wanta

One of the main reasons I'm getting out of Chicago for a few days is to be as far away as possible from this giant toddler of a man. You don't know him? Oh, well, just follow him on Twitter then (@sethwanta). You'll quickly learn what it's like to be the part of the internal monologue of a male Betty Spaghetty with the personality of a less funny Jane Lynch. His gangly, awkwardness can stay in Chicago.

Hit me up in Twitta - @StephenSchu

Sunday, February 3, 2013

10 People I Want to See While I'm in LA

As you may have read in publications such as Teen Vogue, I'm fortunate enough to be making a trip to Los Angeles this month. As a much sought after destination for living at some point in my career, I plan on taking full advantage of my time there by fully indulging in the the Hollywood culture.

With that being said, this will be the first of a series of blogs pre-amping my visit. Other than arguing with locals and wannabe actors about scripts I've read that they haven't by writers they should know about but I've completely made up, I have some things planned out I hope to accomplish. I've compiled these lists by simply asking myself, "Why do most people visit and live in LA?"

Answer: To see celebrities.

The American public is obsessed with the lives of famous individuals. So obsessed that they will do almost anything for even a small, personal acknowledgement from a star for the sheer enjoyment of that brief moment Meryl Streep knew they existed. And I'll admit I really am awful at recognizing most celebrities and knowing anything reasonable about them. However, there are a few I hold dear adoration for.

I've compiled a list of the 10 people I want to see while I'm in LA - in no particular order. Enjoy, nerds.

LC LC LC....

1. Lauren Conrad

Everyone is aware I'm still eyebrow deep in my "Hills" phase of life. I will publicly recognize this is a stage 14-year-old girls went through six years ago, but this doesn't ruin the fact I realllllllyyyyyy want to meet LC in person. I mean, I have so many questions for her! Such as, "Where did you get that scarf from in Season 4 episode 15?," "Have you ever walked in on Brody changing? LOL," or "Is it still cool to drink wine out of soda cans? Because if it is, I have Franzia and empty Diet Coke cans in my tote, and I know a GREAT spot at this Burger King on Sunset where we can hang out."

2. Jordy Nelson

White Lightening

Drafted in 2008 as the 5th pick in the 2nd round as the 38th overall pick by the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Draft, Jordy Nelson has become one of my favorite, active players in the NFL. His athletic ability, intelligence, good looks and commanding presence on the football field reminds me of what I would be like if I was an NFL wide-receiver. Likewise, I've never had the opportunity to actually meet him, which is especially sad considering I'm from Green Bay and attend obscene amounts of Packer games - but now is the perfect opportunity to change that. I'm aware he originally hails from Manhattan, Kansas and likely doesn't spend is off season clubbin' in the Hills, but who knows? I've ran into more random people other places, like all my step-dads hanging out together at Kmart.

Just thinking about me...

3. Lauren Conrad again

I mean, so, like...I'm totally assuming her and I will hit it off REALLY well during our first encounter. I'm then thinking she'll text me to meet up and have convenient monologues about how she was becoming really close friends with me on the intro of a new episode. I'll meet up with her at Gjelina on Abbot Kinney Blvd for dinner and then head over to AREA nightclub to meet all her friends. I'm then thinking the episode ends with the audience unsure about whether Lauren and I are "a thing" now or if it's totally plutonic, which I assume will be followed by a cancelation of the show once again.

Too much
4. Aziz if he's with Kanye

Much love for my boy Aziz Ansari who I feel I can call "my boy," because I saw his appearance on Conan live in Chicago. I'd be pretty pumped if I had a chance to talk to him so he can help me get my traveling puppet show on the map. I think Aziz is a funny, unique and intelligent comedian, but I also know from listening to his standup he has connections with Kanye West. That's no diss on Aziz either, but meeting Kanye West is probably like a fat person's first bite into a KFC chicken bucket - smooth as gravy.

5. Jennette McCurdy <3 <3 <3 lolwtflollllxoxoxo

It's a love story, baby, just say "yes."

If there will be ever a girl for me, without a doubt it is Jennette McCurdy. She's gorgeous, talented and  hilarious. If she was a movie and I was part of the Academy, she would win best Film Editing and Sound Mixing every year. Oh, "Why is she right for me?" you ask? Well, let's just see...

#1: We both have amazing hair.
#2: We both have Twitter.
#3: We are both so much funnier than everyone else it's fairly embarrassing for society.
#4: My Ouija Board and Magic 8 Ball have both told me she and I will get married like 7 out of 10 times.
#5: I think I'm the man who can finally make her an honest woman, by taking her out to dinner at that little place in Target.
#6: A boy can dream right?

I cannot correctly put words into this blog to describe how amazing running into Jennette would be. The successfulness of my trip is 90% banking on her and I having a romantic adventure somewhere - maybe Target again (I'm not great with date ideas). I mean, she will still go on a date with me even though I have diabetes, right?

6. Drake Bell

He and I look so much alike it's a little ridiculous...NOT TO BE COMPARED TO HOW MUCH KEIRA KNIGHTLEY AND I LOOK ALIKE - THAT'S NOT DEBATABLE...My plan is to run into him on the street, freak him out so he thinks he is looking into a mirror when he sees me, we do that animated "copy each other's movements"  comedy bit - then never see each other again.

"The Duggars" also known as "Mumford & Sons"

7. Some of the Duggars

The Duggar family is well known for their TLC series, "19 Kids and Counting," which is a reality show revolving around Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar...and their 7,500 children....which means I have a pretty good chance of seeing at least a couple of those little rascals while i'm in LA - AM I RIGHT?

Pierre Escargot
8. The entire "All That" cast

I persume they all hang out together at almost all times, and big groups are much easier to spot. I'm aware some of the cast members may have grown out of the group due to success - Kennan Thompson (SNL), Amanda Bynes (What I Like About You), Lori Beth Denberg (Wendy's commercials), Jamie Lynn Spears (Teen Mom) - but they must still chill out in that pre-show/green room and cause HILARIOUS antics with one another. At the very least, I'm pretty sure Kel Mitchell and Josh Server aren't up to much these days.

This is why people don't shop
at Sears anymore.

9. Air Bud & Ty Pennington

They will likely be together, right? I see this as a win-win situation. I'll have the chance to tell Ty what an annoying douche he is and watch a multi-sport playing dog move a bus.

YAY America!
10. The Chocolate Cake from "Matilda"

Ever since witnessing Bruce, the childhood obesity-stricken boy from the 1996 film "Matilda," devour that ginormous chocolate cake infront of his entire school - I've wanted a piece of it. Side note: I hope that schoolbody realizes they were pretty much cheering that kid into losing a foot due to adult-onset Type 2 diabetes. Anyway, I've heard a rumor that the original cake was so big and so packed with preservatives that a few pieces are still floating around the United States. I'm hoping LA will have at least one of them. 

Hit me up on Twitta - @StephenSchu