Posted on March 20, 2012 by

A Chicago Fear Experiment.

Late last year, I participated in Potluck 2.0 and quickly realized that I was unaware of an incredible underground Chicago scene.  Potluck is a speaker series (see: Ignite) where people from very diverse backgrounds speak undisturbed for 6 minutes.  After presenting about taking the leap into entrepreneurship, I listened to a group of amazing and eclectic poets, actors, writers, and comedians tell creative and unfiltered stories.  I was blown away.  And they referred to a Chicago scene that I had honestly had never heard of: live magazinesbooks & beerdesign based speaker series, and much more.

When friends in other cities ask me about Chicago, I evangelize the beach, our college football Saturdays, how nice people are, and of course, our summers – none of which is novel.  When asked about trying new things like Yoga or Farmers Markets, I say that I can’t touch my toes and can barely cook but that I experiment with Chicago by regularly attending start-up events and trying new restaurants.  Being with such diverse group of people at Potluck made me realize that I had never left my comfort zone. Even when I worked in finance previously, I would volunteer on junior boards composed of other young finance professionals.  My exploring of Chicago was tied to my profession and my palette.

potluck chicago

My fellow Potluckers.

So I want to continue expanding my status quo.  Saya, the co-host of Potluck, shared a list of events and activities that are underground to me.  My experiment is to attend one new event each month.  The list is below. Who’s with me?

Fear Experiment (another of Saya’s ventures that helps strangers face their fears of dancing comedy very very publicly) http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sayahillman/fear-experiment-strangers-facing-fears-in-front-of
Story    http://2ndstory.serendipitytheatre.org
Get Mortified    http://www.getmortified.com/
Dollar Store    http://www.dollarstoreshow.com/index.html
Write Club    https://www.facebook.com/#!/WRITECLUBRules
2nd Fridays    http://www.chicagoartsdistrict.org
Salonathon    https://www.facebook.com/Salonathon
Essay Fiesta    http://essayfiesta.com/
Reading Under the Influence http://readingundertheinfluence.com/
Paper Machete    http://thepapermacheteshow.com/
Tuesday Funk    http://www.tuesdayfunk.org/
Drinking and Writing Theater    http://drinkingandwriting.com/
Interview Show
Funny Ha Ha    http://www.zulkey.com/funnyhaha.php
Story Lab    http://storylabchicago.com/
Ignite    http://www.ignitechi.org/
Pecha Kucha    http://www.pecha-kucha.org/cities/Chicago
P. Fanatics    http://www.pissfanatics.net/
This Much is True    http://www.thismuchistruechicago.com/
The Moth    http://themoth.org/events
The Encyclopedia Show    http://www.encyclopediashow.com/EncyclopediaShow/Home.html
Here’s The Story    http://heresthestory.org/
Story Club    http://www.storyclubchicago.com/
Grown Folk Stories    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Grown-Folks-Stories/120392737992152#!/pages/Grown-Folks-Stories/120392737992152?sk=wall
Windy City Story Slam    https://windycitystoryslams.wordpress.com/about/
Real Talk Live    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Real-Talk-Live/135852693139029