Do you have what it takes to read at You’re Being Ridiculous? Read my interview with Jeremy Owens to find out!

You’re Being Ridiculous is one of Chicago’s bravest and funniest reading series. Curated by Jeremy Owens, You’re Being Ridiculous puts on three cycles of shows quarterly at Mary’s Attic (above Hamburger Mary’s) in Andersonville.

Presently, You’re Being Ridiculous is taking submissions for its next show in November. I spoke with Jeremy Owens about what he looks for in submissions and his love of live lit. Read on to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of this fantastic reading series.

Interview after the jump. 


Tell our readers a little more about You’re Being Ridiculous.

You’re Being Ridiculous is open to everyone. All anyone needs is a story that they’re willing to share that fits whatever theme we’re exploring. The show is super fun, and I guarantee that you’ll have a good time and leave with something to think about. We do charge an admission, but I believe that storytelling should be valued. When you buy a ticket to our show, you’re paying an artist. I’m proud that we’re a show that pays its performers and I believe it’s important.


What do you look for with submissions to your series?

We’re a humorous live-lit show, but that doesn’t mean that we’re necessarily looking for a stand-up routine. Funny is great, but there should be something at stake. What we really want are stories that are brave and revealing with a hint of embarrassment. Funny is good, but funny with a heart is even better. This time around our theme is “Confession” and we can’t wait to read the little secrets that we’re about to be let in on! If our show has a motto it would be, “good stories are better than good times.”


What was your favorite show in recent memory and why?

I’d have to say that my most favorite show in recent memory is the show we just did in August. Our theme was fear and the show was full of the bravest stories that we’ve ever featured. It was really fun to watch performers work through their fears in front of a live audience.


How did you choose Mary’s Attic as the venue for the series?

I love the Mary’s Attic because the space feels both casual and theatrical. I mean…you’re basically in a secret bar in an attic. …a secret bar in an attic that also happens to have a stage with sound equipment and really bright lights. When you’re up there you feel like you’re going to see something special. (P.S. YOU ARE)


Using six words, describe You’re Being Ridiculous.

Brave. Bold. Revealing. Funny. Fun. Heartfelt.


If you could have anyone read at your show, who would you choose and why?

I want everyone to read for You’re Being Ridiculous. There are tons of Chicago performers, writers and readers that I’d love to have in the show, but we’re talking dream scenario, right? I’m completely obsessed with Roxane Gay. She’s my dream choice. If you don’t know her then turn off your Apple Watch and go read Bad Feminist. The essay What We Hunger For will knock you out. I love Roxane because she has read and watched everything from Dostoyevsky to Bachelor in Paradise and she has something insightful to say about all of it. Also? She live tweets The Barefoot Contessa. She’s my hero.


What can we look forward to with this series?
I hope that we continue to provide a safe place for people to share stories.


Submit to You’re Being Ridiculous