Idea Potluck: Like a Gatsby party (without the murder)

I had an incredibly fun night in Chicago on Tuesday. I had the great pleasure of speaking at an event called IdeaPotluck, run by Mac and Cheese Productions. I say “event” because it makes me sound super professional and important, but really it was like an improv party with a bunch of fun, eccentric people and delicious beer.

Like a Gatsby party. Except without the fireworks. And the murder.

The Potluck is hosted once a month by Saya Hillman, who I had the pleasure of meeting through Listen To Your Mother, and her husband, Pete. The gist of it is that a handful of speakers get up in front of a usually-sold-out audience and just talk. About whatever. Whatever they’re passionate about, they riff on for six minutes, to a hugely supportive audience. I squeeed in excitement when Saya asked me to be a “dish” (the nickname they give their speakers), while my introvert husband shuddered. “That sounds terrifying,” he said. It kind of is. In a fun way.

Your host, Saya Hillman.

Your host, Saya Hillman.

The most fun thing about Idea Potluck, to me, is that all the speakers have such varied interests and passions. One speaker talked about website design. Another talked about craniosacral therapy. Another gave a powerpoint presentation about quitting her job and traveling throughout eastern Europe. In the past, the Potluck has had musical performances, beatboxing, you name it. It’s a fun sampling of different people’s lives, and each presentation is only six minutes, so it’s not really possible to get bored of any particular subject.

There were way too many awesome performers to summarize in this blog post, and my crappy iPhone pictures probably won’t make a very compelling blog. But all of the performers are listed on the Potluck website and are worth checking out. Some highlights for me were:

Laughter Yoga! Lauren gave a pretty entertaining  rundown of how she got kicked out of AA, maintained her sobriety, and punched fear in the face so she could launch her own acupuncture clinic. What a cool lady!

Laughter Yoga! Lauren gave a pretty entertaining rundown of how she got kicked out of AA, maintained her sobriety, and punched fear in the face so she could launch her own acupuncture clinic. What a cool lady!

and:

Brit Belsheim blew me away with her speaking abilities. Brit is an actress/improv-er working in Chicago, and she shared a funny and powerful story about loss and restoration. She reminded me of Jennifer Lawrence, actually. She was way cool.

Brit Belsheim blew me away with her speaking abilities. Brit is an actress/improv-er working in Chicago, and she shared a funny and powerful story about loss and restoration. People who can get up in front of an audience and just riff without cards or prompts amaze me to no end, and Brit did just that. Plus she reminded me of Jennifer Lawrence a lot, so overall I’d say she was pretty darn cool.

finally:

Rude Hippo Brewing Company also made an appearance and brought some of their delicious libations. Their beer -- oh my gosh. I have tried IPAs before and have though "Meh, they're okay." I'm not a big beer drinker. But their brew -- their IPAs -- my God. The world stopped spinning. It was so delicious. They are currently raising funds to open their own brewery, and if you like delicious IPAs, you should probably go support them. Like, now.

Rude Hippo Brewing Company also made an appearance and brought some of their delicious libations. Their beer — oh my gosh. I have tried IPAs before and have though “Meh, they’re okay.” I’m not a big beer drinker. But their brew — their IPAs — my God. The world stopped spinning. It was so delicious. They are currently raising funds to open their own brewery, and if you like delicious IPAs, you should probably go support them. Like, now.

Throughout the night I kept thinking, man, I wish this was a thing when I was in college! I would have been all over this kind of thing like white on rice. In fact, it really made me miss the days when my husband and I were married, without kids, and living in the city, where incredibly fun things to do were just a short ‘el’ ride away. If I still lived in Roger’s Park, I would be at the IdeaPotluck every single month.

photo 5

My face, right after performing. I read my essay, “If healthy pregnancies were treated like special needs pregnancies,” which you can find here.

So, for anyone who can make it to Idea Potluck every month, do it, I implore you. It’ll remind you of a Gatsby party. It’ll make you wish you didn’t have kids (if only for “two couple minutes,” as June likes to say). It’s the most fun you’ll have on a Tuesday night.

 

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2 thoughts on “Idea Potluck: Like a Gatsby party (without the murder)

  1. Pingback: Smatterings July 2014 Vol I | Mac & Cheese Productions

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