YOUR PRESENCE IS REQUESTEDI stand for a world free from MS in my lifetime. Join me for a special event to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society on November 5, 2017.
Why We Gather
My name is Roberta Miles, and I’m the producer of A Gathering of Outrageous Souls. In August of 2007 I was diagnosed with an illness that has changed my life forever: Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic degenerative disease. MS is a debilitating disease in which the immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue in the central nervous system. It can effect every aspect of life, causing cognitive difficulties, vision problems, limited mobility and more. I suffer from a disease that is disabling and unpredictable. But I am not alone. Approximately 2.3 million people are affected by MS worldwide.
the average age of MS onset
new cases of MS diagnosed in the US each week
people in the US who live with MS
people affected by MS worldwide
How You Can Help
Celebrate With Us
Join us at the fourth annual Gathering of Outrageous Souls on November 5, 2017.
Bring your holiday shopping list! 100% of proceeds from our artisianal gift shop and live auction go to benefit the National MS Society.
About the Event
November 5, 2017
12pm to 4pm Emerald City Coffee Uptown
1224 W Wilson Ave, Chicago
The Gathering of Outrageous Souls is an afternoon full of creativity and bounty. It’s a come as you are and when you please event featuring entertainment by some of the city’s most engaging comedians, musicans and dancers, an exciting live auction of premium items from local businesses, and an Artisan Market with one of a kind goods and services from local artists.
This year we’re excited to announce a change in venue. Our friends at Emerald City Coffee Uptown will be hosting the event at their new space at 1224 West Wilson Avenue. They are dedicated to making a difference in the world. They do it lovingly with every loaf of bread they bake and every muffin they give to the homeless at the end of the day. It is because of their generosity that we have a new home this year. With a dedicated performance area, delicious coffeeshop food, to-die-for pastries made in-house, and good street parking, Emerald City will make a great home for this year’s event. It is wonderful to see our community of support grow as we continue to build our efforts to end MS.
Master of Ceremonies
Cultural organizer, events producer, provocateur, podcaster, actor, director, and raconteur, the inestimable Don Hall returns as our Master of Ceremonies.
Formerly a theatrical producer, a public school teacher, a massage school facilities manager, professional trumpet player, and a homeless busker, Don Hall currently makes a living as a freelance event consultant. He also is a veteran host of the moth, a storyteller, and a voiceover artist. He lives in Wicker Park with his poet/musician wife, Dana Jerman. Go to his websites donhallchicago.com and literateape.com to read his profane views on the world.
Jillian Erickson is a producer, director, writer, performer and pain in the ass… and not necessarily in that order…
Jillian explores the themes of identity, compassion and mental health with an intensity and humor that is uniquely her own. Erickson is co-producer of Loose Chicks, and is the co-producer/director of the long running BEAST WOMEN.
Her one woman show, 3:00 a.m. (Slipping Beyond the Boundaries of a Bruised Mind), is a menagerie of Jillian’s life over the past years: from Colorado to Chicago… from Ralph Macchio to Religion… from Biological Clocks to a Norwegian obsession.
Sydney Davis Jr. Jr.
Originally from Bentonville, Arkansas, Sydney relocated to Chicago at the age of 16 to pursue a career in comedy, where she began studying at The Second City Training Center.
After turning 21, Sydney began as an intern for Chicago Underground Comedy, where she eventually became a producer and programming director, later retiring from the show after four years at the age of 25.
In addition to performing standup, she also recently joined the teaching faculty at The Second City Training Center, where she teaches stand-up comedy. You can visit her at sydneydavisjrjr.com.
Half Baked Goods
BandThink storytellers and singers. That’s Half Baked Goods. They blend good stories with great melodies, harmonies and some deft guitar and banjo. Old-time roots run deep with this band, but don’t be surprised if you hear a new take on more modern tunes. Randy Burgess, Ellen Shepard & Jay Voss make up Chicago-based Half Baked Goods. They sing songs that might break your heart, but somehow you’ll end up smiling and tapping your toes.
Lauren Huffman is a Chicago based actress, writer, host, and producer.
She is a co host and producer of the monthly storytelling shows Tenx9Chicago and Do Not Submit Old Town. A featured writer for “Literate Ape” online magazine. A co host on Flabby Hoffman’s Radio Extravaganzo. And she just finished her run with the acclaimed sketch group Waiting for Huffman.
Jan Slavin is a singer, writer and stand up comic who has performed to sold out cabaret and comedy venues all over Chicago.
Jan performs regularly in the musical duo The Boomer Babes and recently completed a month long run at the PGA Arts Center in Palm Beach in the hit show Funny Old Broads.By day, Jan is a certified Music Together teacher with studios in Wicker Park, Humboldt Park, and Lincoln Park.
Avid in theater production, she is managing director at Prop Theater, resident costume designer, and has skills in metal fabrication, hat making, and drawing. She also works with The Silent Theater company on costumes. A dance enthusiast since childhood, she studied dance as a minor as an undergrad and currently like to choreograph and perform short vintage inspired cabaret style pieces which have appeared in various variety shows at Prop, Rhinofest and the Beast Women series. Big fan of the Beast Women, she is super excited to be included among the most awesome of Chicago female talent.
John Eskola & Patricia Rusk
John is a founding member of Chicago Cabaret Professionals and Choir Director and Chief Cantor for weddings, funerals and masses at Assumption Catholic Church (River North) and throughout the Chicago area. A member of Actor’s Equity, he toured internationally as a cast member of the musical Evita, and was in The House of Martin Guerre and The Visit with Chita Rivera at the Goodman Theater.
Patricia Rusk, musical director, pianist, arranger, and coach for both musical theatre and cabaret, has been performing professionally since age thirteen and teaching since age sixteen. She has been an integral part of The Academy since 1997. In 2011, she became Musical Theatre Chair Emeritus at the Academy after fifteen years of heading the department.
Anthony grew up in Greenville, SC, where, he began performing at age 10. He performed with the Greenville Little Theatre, The Warehouse Theatre, The Greenville Fine Arts Center, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts, and the Singing Christmas Tree.
Since leaving South Carolina, he has performed in Atlanta (Center Stage Atlanta and Georgia State University), The Lost Colony in Manteo, NC, The Golden Apple Dinner Theatres in Sarasota and Venice, Florida and many venues in Chicago (The Royal George, Emerald City, Beverly Arts Center, Theatre on the Lake). In addition to performing, Anthony teaches elementary and junior high music in the public and Catholic School systems, and directs productions for various south side schools and the Beverly Arts Center.
Roberta Miles is a jazz singer, poet, writer, and visual artist.
Her award-winning autobiographical monologues touch on growing up in Chicago in the 70’s and her life’s indiscretions and romantic regrets. Roberta chronicles her quest for mental and physical health with brutally hilarious candor.
She has crafted her monologues into the one-woman show, “I Want a Banana, and Other Desperate Love Stories.” Roberta performs her work at live lit and storytelling events including God, Sex & Death, This Much is True, The Make Ready at the Dandelion Theatre, Stoop Stories, and Seven Deadly Sins. She is a staple performer with Beast Women and Three Cat Productions and has written and performed with Steppenwolf’s Project Compass.
Comedian and Storyteller
Holly Beaudry has studied and performed improvisational comedy all over the United States.
Most recently, she performed as one half of the improv duo “Slightly Altered,” until her other half moved to LA. Holly has refocused her efforts as a solo performer doing character monologues and stand‐up comedy all over the city and has been described as “wonderfully weird”.
MusicianIn addition to his being the front man for one of the most intense rock bands in the history of pop music (now with 3 albums including the triple album masterpiece “Coup De Ta-Ta’s,” writing a 750,000 word long book entitled “The Avant Guardian” which is a darkly satirical take on the compromising of the human spirit by the aristocracy in an effort to turn the world into The Fourth Reich, he has booked more than 500 shows on the Chicago rock circuit, produces a weekly hour long TV variety showcase on local cable TV, fronts an online radio station and is attempting to put together a farm system to encourage the growth and development of the creative process without having to compromise the art or sell out in the process and currently putting together a full length feature mockumentary to document his and his cohorts’ efforts to reinvent the demented culture of our perverted society.
Dana Jerman was born in the dawn of a western Pennsylvania spring to a secretary and a salesman.
She considers herself to be a strictly short form writer, who has self-published the chapbook Briefly, The Heart, and A Sequel To Your Diary- a ‘zine.
You can learn more about Dana at her writing and photography blog, Blastfortune.
Guitarist and composer Matt S. Berger has backgrounds in jazz, world music, classical and pop styles.
A graduate of Berklee College of Music in 2006, Matt studied jazz guitar with masters such as Tim Miller, Mark White and Bruno Raberg as well as fugue/counterpoint-composition with master composer Yakov Gubanov.
In 2007 he studied and toured with Indian Classical tabla master Sandip Burman. Matt has been performing concerts and clinics around the United States with artists such as Nneka, Gros Pokossi, Gabriel Datcu, Ian Maksin and his jazz trio.
Dan Shapiro is a writer-comedian from Wichita, Ks.
He performs stories and standup all over the Chicago area and co hosts a mental illness and addiction themed variety show every first Wednesday upstairs at Schubas at 8 called Psychotic Break.
With his passion for music and comedy, Griffo’s show is what you get if Ben Folds and Flight of the Concords had a lovechild. He combines music with comedic lyrics. Griffo sings, plays ukulele, guitar and piano. He’s been featured on FunnyorDie, YouTube, and Buzzfeed. Chicago Sun Times said his show is “both toe-tapping and rib-tickling”.
He’s released 3 albums, recently finished a tv pilot and is constantly performing live.