Category Archives: Shepherd Express
Tea laughs it up and weirds out here every Friday.
This column (and my life) focuses a lot on Funny Weird, but today I thought I’d talk about another interest of mine, Funny Ha Ha. People tend to know I’ve written about subjects considered unique or unusual like Real Life Superheroes, paranormal investigators, doomsday prognosticators, conspiracy theorists, etc. But as a freelance writer, I’ve written about a lot of things that wouldn’t be considered to be fringe. Topics I’ve written at least a couple articles on include local music, burlesque, roller derby, food/drink, theater, comic book artists, authors, and interviews with a wide range of Milwaukeeans for the Shepherd Express and other publications.
And I’ve always had a fun time writing about comedy. Really, how can you go wrong? You sit around and laugh, then write it up.
I’ve written a few articles on the local comedy scene here in Milwaukee, including a round-up of local open mics and an article on Milwaukee Comedy Festival back when they were on year 2 or 3 (they just did their 14th year!) In more recent years I wrote on the Milwaukee comedy scene in general in 2015 and did an “Off the Cuff” interview with Matthew Filipowicz of Laughing Liberally earlier this year. Fun stuff.
Anyway, one of my favorite publications to freelance for is Scandinavian Traveler. I was contacted by them years ago when Risto Pakarinen editor (and author of a new novel, Someday Jennifer— congrats, Risto!) read my book Heroes in the Night and asked if I would be interested in penning an article on Real Life Superheroes.
Since then I’ve written a few articles for Scandinavian Traveler, including one on Chicago chocolatier Katrina Markoff of Vosges Haut-Chocolat (a very delicious assignment), the Mars One program, and some checklists I compiled while I was on vacation in San Francisco.
Risto gave me an extremely delightful assignment for the July issue of Scandinavian Traveler, asking if I’d write about the improv school at the legendary Second City Chicago for their “10 Trips with a Purpose” cover story. I took a trip down to Chicago and participated in an improv class. I also interviewed artistic director Mark Hovde about the comedy biz and Second City’s amazing legacy as the starting point for comedians like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Meyers, and so many other comedians that went on to Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central, and other comedy careers onstage and in writing rooms.
Here’s a PDF version of the magazine (my article is page 71-74): https://scandinaviantraveler.com/sites/default/files/st1907.pdf
ClownWatch 2019: 08/01/2019: IndieWire reports that the Alamo Drafthouse will have a “clowns only” screenings at 17 theaters on September 5 of It: Chapter 2.
“encouraged to come dressed as a clown – the wig, the makeup, the oversized pants and suspenders, the blood-curdling makeup — and sit through this coulrophobia-inducing fright fest with a theater full of fellow clowns.”
Great googly moogly, what could go wrong?
The Week in Links
The Apocalypse Blog Book Club’s late summer selection is Feed by Mira Grant. Next selection will be made early October. The groups meets in person in Milwaukee and has online discussion world wide. Join the club here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1482975718409410/
Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2019 is happening Sept.13-15. See a speaker line-up and get tickets here: https://milwaukeeparacon.com/2019/07/26/milwaukee-paranormal-conference-2019/
The Milwaukee Krampusnacht 2019 event page is live!: https://www.facebook.com/events/520974881979502/
Really great mix for me this month. “#Save Uptowner” was a collection of quotes from people associated with the tavern, explaining why the bar (over 130 years old) is an important institution to many, which appeared in Riverwest Currents. I also wrote a nice, breezy profile on Jessi Mechanic for M, which I think turned out well. I did a fun historical look at Robert Bloch (author of Psycho) who lived in Milwaukee as a young author, my second piece for Milwaukee Record. On the blog angle, I wrote my “Monster of the Month” column on one of my favorite experiences for my book Monster Hunters and I wrote a piece about frightening things that have happened to me out on in the field for this blog.
Next month, the word count will take a huge jump as June 1 is the official release date of Monster Hunters (available now: HERE).
I did quite a few promo interviews for the book on both local and paranormal themed podcasts, websites, print, and radio shows. I won’t list them all, but here’s a Q and A w/ Shepherd Express and a podcast interview with Milwaukee Record’s “On the Record” show.
12. “#Save Uptowner,” Riverwest Currents, May 2015. (page 2)
13. “Making Music in Brooklyn,” M Magazine, May 2015.(page 96)
14. “Bloch-buster: Milwaukee’s Connection to Psycho, H.P. Lovecraft, and Robert Bloch,” Milwaukee Record, May 6, 2015.
15. “Monster of the Month: Squishes (aka Michigan Bigfoot),” Forces of Geek, May 16.
16. “The Four Most Frightening Things That Have Happened to me While Working on Books,” teakrulos.com, May 26, 2015.
Total 2015 word count: 16, 080