I briefly shared a few words with Rasa Gierstikas, one of the masterminds behind comedy show The Sh*t Show now play at The Collaboraction Theater. The Sh*t Show has some big new things happening for it, including a successful opening of the show in Los Angeles with Ever Mainard. Take a peek below to see exactly what you can expect from this new and improved Sh*t Show when you see it this Saturday, March 1.
The Sh*t Show happens the last Saturday of every month and it used to be you and Ever Mainard before she moved out to Los Angeles last fall. First, tell me a little bit about Sh* t Show and what the show entails and who is taking over for Ever.
Sh*t Show has always been a unique comedy show here in Chicago. Our goal is to always have a fun environment for both the comics as well as the audience. It's more interactive and alcohol driven. We try and book more popular comics in Chicago that have a great energy and lesser known comics that are definitely worth checking out.
Another way the show is different is that we pass out shots and prizes to our audience members to loosen them up a bit to enjoy themselves more. Can't forget to mention that we have Hotdog Man (Keith Paesel) who keeps the crowd fired up during the show.
The idea is that comedy should be fun for everyone involved and hopefully the show reflects that.
At this time, there are no plans to replace Ever as a co-producer and co-host. We had a great dynamic and that's irreplaceable. This show has always been based on a strong partnership and we both want the best for both the show in Chicago and The Shit Show that is about to launch in LA. I feel like we have a formula that seems to be working and hopefully keeps evolving into something greater.
With Ever out in LA, I know you two were looking for an opportunity to bring this to the West Coast, any luck so far?
It definitely has been a eye opening experience between the differences of costs in having a show in LA as opposed to Chicago but it seems like Ever's work has paid off and she found a venue in North Hollywood called The Good Nite. The first show is set for the last Friday of the month (3/28) at 7pm.
Now you said that Sh*t Show is undergoing some big changes, both here and obviously in Los Angeles. What changes are happening?
The biggest thing that we are interested in is to keep growing the show. We think we have something unique and we want to keep exploring every opportunity to increase it's exposure both here and in LA. We are constantly looking for partners and sponsors to help with increasing our show's audience and visibility as well.
Here in Chicago we have great sponsors that have been with the show and have been consistently supportive (Revolution Brewing and Mingle Around) and we have recently partnered up with Neorevivalist.com (Lonnie Edwards) and are excited to have him onboard for our future shows.
The biggest change that we now have is having a show in Chicago as well as LA and want to keep the momentum going. In Chicago, we have moved venues to Collaboraction Theater in the Flat Iron building (Wicker Park) and we're changed the day of the show and the time.
We used to be a show where we would encourage the audience to get drunk and then leave and reek havoc on the city. Now we're at a later time slot (10pm) so we're hoping the audience doesn't live up to the show's name.
We have other big changes that we're working on but I don't want to jinx it.
Will this open up new opportunities for people to perform?
We're always open to having new people perform at the show. We've been open to improvisers, sketch performers, story tellers and stand up comics. We find that a couple genres work better with the theme of the show but don't want to close any doors.
As long as we can see that they have a great energy and will keep people's attention, we are interested in having them perform.
Mainly, we look for comics/ performers who like to have fun when performing and that won't provoke the audience or the show's format. Having sat through some bad situations with comics we try to be really conscious of that when booking for the show.
What's the best way for people to contact you if they're interested in getting in the line-up for the next show?
The best way is to send an email with a video to email@example.com.
How will this affect your audience?
Of course, we don't want it to affect our audience, we've been really fortunate in having audiences that have fun at the show without being disruptive. If anything, we hope more people are interested in checkin it out. We also hope that the new time and day doesn't discourage people from coming to the show (We have shots to give).
In LA, it would be great to have the same successes as we've had in Chicago by having good solid crowds each month that will become returning audience members.
What three to five words would you use to describe this show (sh*t and show cannot be two of them)?
Sh...wait, can't say Sh*t Show...comedy party? Could only think of 2. Sorry.
What makes this show different than other shows in the area?
In your ideal world, which local Chicagoan would you like to have up on your stage that hasn't been up before? And who are you most excited to have back?
That's a tough one because most comics in Chicago seem happy to do the show. We haven't really had a "playing hard to get" situation. There are some Chicago transplants that have done really well for themselves that we would love to get our grubby mits on when they're in town visiting their families, etc.
We're always excited to have comics who have performed in the past back on the show. It solidifies that they had a great previous experience at the show and are willing to come back and do it again.
Any parting words?
I tried Googling inspirational quotes but none seem to capture the moment. Come to The Sh*t Show.