Othello: The Remix

My favorite daily browsing of BuzzFeed reminded me of my favorite show that we saw this summer, which was Othello: The Remix.  I heard about it from a coworker and the next day the show popped up super cheap in my daily Goldstar newsletter.  So why not?  

Now I am a fan of Shakespeare, while my wife is definitely not (not even David Tennant in the BBC’s version of Hamlet could keep her interested while I’m laughing like crazy).  She’s not a fan of having to decipher what the actors are actually talking about.  And she loved this show as well.

To be short and sweet about it, it’s a rap version of Othello.  And not in the way I thought it would be either.  I expected four guys on stage rapping the words of Othello.  But no!  They actually rewrote the entire story with more modern words and set it to rap and hip hop.  These four guys (and one DJ who was more involved than just changing music on a laptop) ran around in overalls playing all the characters in the play – sometimes by changing something slightly such as a hat and other times going full drag in a slip over the head dress and a wig while going falsetto!  They were amazingly talented and I’ve never laughed so hard at a Shakespeare before – and I love Shakespeare!

The show has left the Chicago Shakespeare Theater but apparently has recently hit the news by performing for inmates, which I think is fantastic.  Inside a place where people have either committed a crime against others or on the flip side, in there for what someone else did to them, the play speaks to those inmates I should hope.  

This has been continuously traveling throughout the world, and I would pay to see it again if it came back through and have made a permanent mental note that if I see the The Q Brothers have started a new show to go immediately!

What I thought I was going to say to Felicia Day

Note:  I started this after C2E2 in June of 2013 and finally a couple months later “finished” it.  I think it’s things like this where you realize, there truly sometimes are no words….

Talking SIP with Terry Moore in 2010

I am worthless sometimes when it comes to meeting people I admire.  My first comic book convention I nervously walked up to David Mack and sputtered something out as he signed my Kabuki comic.  But in my defense, I had admired him so long as an artist, I didn’t know the man was gorgeous to boot, which made my nerves skyrocket! 

In awe over Andy Kubert at C2E2 2010


But there are other times when I’m eloquent such as talking to Terry Moore about Strangers in Paradise and how we both missed Katchoo and Francine.  Or my personal favorite moment was thanking Andy Kubert for doing what he does because I became an artist because of him as I loved his style and copied it into my sketchbooks from X-Men comics.  This seemed to stun him for a second as he was signing my books and really, genuinely appreciated it.  And the guy seemed a bit dick-ish to everyone else, but I went into the conversation and put it all out on the table anyways.  

Then there are times that you meet people you not only admire, but you feel that in another life, you would probably be best friends.  Felicia Day has been that for me over the past few years.  I was first introduced to her in Buffy as Vi when that was ending.  While I was hating on the rest of the series (I thought the whole last season was dumb) I liked this seemingly quiet, shy girl who joined the cast for a bit.  

I was there before 11am cash in hand!


Later on, in 2008 while the writer’s strike was happening, one of my younger self’s crush, Neil Patrick Harris, was in a web series.  And who are these other two seemingly hilarious people that Joss Whedon has found?  Of course, *now* everyone knows who Nathan Fillion is because of Castle.  But at the time, IMDB had to come to my rescue and I learned that both him and Felicia were in the end season of Buffy.  Interesting!  In any case, I latched onto anything Felicia did while The Guild was in its second season I believe.  I loved the fact that a woman was an obsessed gamer!  Finally!  The gaming (and nerding) world in general wasn’t just about the men!  And of course, being a musical lover, the songs they did for The Guild I immediately added to my iPod!  Songs like “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar” and “I’m the One That’s Cool” were like they were talking about me!  Especially the last one.  More on that later.


In any case, when I went to C2E2, Felicia was my #1 draw and reason I pressed “buy”.  The entire convention was of course amazing.  But my interaction with Felicia was the highlight.  And for one simple reason.  She truly WAS as kind and sweet as I always thought and imagined she would be in person.

But here’s where I went off the track and said NOTHING I wanted to tell her. 

Felicia with UP house cosplayer

I was two people behind the lovely cosplayer who was amazingly dressed as the house from “Up”.  I was with my wife, still debating on what item I wanted signed and trying to calm my nerves.  She kept trying to talk to me, but I couldn’t speak.  I almost was ready for it to be “over with”.  I watched her with the people before me and thought “she doesn’t want to be doing this for 10 hours – she’s not going to appreciate anything I say”.  I have seen and heard my fair share of meeting heroes and then they don’t meet your sometimes lofty expectations.  In any case finally my wife snapped a photo for the guy that was in front of us who didn’t have anyone with him and then BOOM she was right. freaking. there.  

And my mind went blank.  

Achievement Unlocked. Now BREATHE.

She loved my Geek & Sundry stein – which I had her sign.  She gave my wife the biggest smile.  She actually put her arm around me instead of just leaning in as she did with other fans.  We talked about G&S a bit, I thanked her profusely for nothing in particular, and then just lots of smiles and thank yous.  

I didn’t say ONE thing I meant to.  


So here it is.  

THANK YOU Felicia Day for giving girls and women the strength to embrace their nerdiness.  I had comic book characters in the 90’s to latch onto because there was no one IRL.  No one ever understood my fascination with things like Final Fantasy VIII or Myst.  Or how I still loved playing Zork with just text to guide me.  I dressed all in black with odd jewelry that I most likely made myself.  No boys wanted to date me – which I was kinda okay with (considering I accepted later in life, I was actually gay, so that would be why!) though I yearned for the unattainable romance I read about.  I lost myself in books, comics, and the lives of video game characters.  I had thick glasses, developed too quickly (which I would discover later in life I wouldn’t mind later!), and tried to fit in desperately in an attempt to avoid teasing.  This included doing the popular kids papers and homework for them.  They knew I would read the books assigned to us (if I hadn’t already) and made it sound like I would get to go to their birthday parties if I did it.  I guess my invites all got lost in the mail, so you’re welcome for helping you pass AP English and History.  Jerks.  

People can still be mean.  I’ve felt this at work over the past few years as well as some acquaintances that have come into my life.  I’m in my thirties and bullying still exists??  Unbelievable.  So more than anything when the whole “fake geek girl” crap started arising and people were down on Felicia on YouTube to the point that she posted how it upset her, I wanted more than anything to run to wherever she was at the time and give her a hug.  How could anyone upset a person who’s kind and doing good for a small part of the population of the world?  People are dicks.  And people listen to Wil Wheaton and don’t be a dick.  Don’t hide behind your keyboard to do it either.  No you’re a dick and a coward.  

Me SUPER nervous and not talking to Val

In any case, I guess even in typing this I realize that I can’t even convey what I really wanted to say to her on a blog post either.  So perhaps that for the best – if anything I won’t come off creepy.  I think in the end there are not enough “thank yous” in the universe to tell her.  And to be clear there are many others like her that I admire and appreciate too – but she was the first beacon of hope for me that I wish was around when I was younger.  So if anything, the kids today have it good to have people like her to have as a role model.  Also, apparently it’s “cool” to be nerdy now?  Which is kinda annoying – but I guess not getting made fun of and instead being one of the “cool” kids for wearing a Marvel t-shirt is better!  

So truly 6th grade girl that kicked my ass frequently – I’m the better person.  And I strive everyday to try and find some way to encourage women and girls to be themselves.  I was, and still am.  I am now happy and living in a huge city with so many things to offer.  I would never go back and wish I wasn’t teased or bullied in school – it made me stronger in the end.  Also, “coming out” as a nerd is amazing – especially at work!  Incredible how many like you there really are!

So Felicia, thank you for being a role model even to this 32 year old in Chicago who is still a huge nerd.  you’ve talked directly to me through the Vaginal Fantasy group, I met you and the thought still brings a smile to my face about how gracious you were, and all-in-all you are successful and I can only hope that someone is as proud of me as I am of you and what you’ve accomplished.  I can’t wait to see what you do next! 

Also, I hope if I get the opportunity to meet you again, I do it with slightly more eloquent words.  Or we could just geek out over lord knows what game just came out!  

Hugs and thanks for being you!

It’s always amazing to meet the people that inspire you!