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Self Help: In which we (try to) improve ourselves

Tuesday, May 12  7:30 - 9:30

Hey Nonny, downtown Arlington Heights

We’re all in hot pursuit of perfection, but really, where does it get us? Are we any richer, thinner, wiser, calmer? This month, stories about efforts to manage anger, get smart, find peace, remember shit, cheer up, and the toughest one of all: self-acceptance. 

Content is appropriate for ages 18+. ID's will be required to purchase alcohol.

Tickets on sale April 7

Diane Kastiel

Diane Kastiel is the producer, director, and host of First Person Live. She's is a three-time winner of the National Public Radio’s Moth StorySLAM, and her work has been featured on the Moth Radio Hour, its podcast, and at special events for WBEZ. Diane has told stories on stage at The Second City, the Park West, Victory Gardens and other theaters, but also in more unconventional settings, including bookstores, art galleries, comedy clubs, the basement of a tattoo parlor  – she even did a show in the middle of the woods! Diane is committed to bringing storytelling to new populations, working with libraries, high schools, community centers and homeless shelters, and leading storytelling workshops at Northwestern University. Diane is an alumna of The Second City Conservatory and the University of Chicago’s Great Books program. She also has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business…just in case. 

Hamid Bashir

Hamid Bashir, MD is a rheumatologist with a keen interest in inflammatory autoimmune conditions. He is also a proud immigrant to the United States with roots in Pakistan and the Middle East. Since moving here, Hamid has become seriously interested in transculturalism, diversity, and finding common ground with people from all walks of life. He is also a music creator, songwriter and accidental singer, and works with Chicago' s 10MGMT modeling agency for acting and talent work when he has time (!). Above all, Hamid loves to travel and tries to go on unique adventures as often as he can. He makes awesome Pakistani food and chai, and his favorite snack is the Persian cucumber – sweet, crunchy and healthy!

Kristen Mesikapp

Kristin Mesikapp is a former elementary school teacher who now works behind the scenes setting up online classes for a university. In 2018, Kristin started running to counteract the effects of sitting at a computer all day. When not working or running, she can be found knitting, watching reality TV, or attempting improv comedy. This is Kristin’s debut at First Person Live.

Nestor Gomez

Nestor Gomez was born in Guatemala and moved to Chicago in the mid-80s. He told his first story at a Moth StorySLAM as a way to get over stuttering. He won the slam that night and currently holds the record for most Chicago Moth StorySLAM wins. He’s also the producer and host of 80 Minutes Around the World: an Immigration Storytelling Show, which showcases stories of immigrants and their allies. But if you ask him, he will say his greatest achievements are making his mother proud and winning the heart of his wife, Sweet Mel.

Tim Schreiber

Tim Schreiber has been a meat clerk, pizza driver, busboy, library assistant, columnist, reporter, student, teacher, reference librarian, and landlord - but he’s given all of that up (for the time being) to stay home with his two young children. Although he has been writing and telling stories all his life, Tim just recently caught the bug of storytelling in front of a live audience, competing in Moth StorySLAMs and appearing regularly at First Person Live.

Paul Teodo

Paul Teodo is a retired healthcare executive. Born and raised on Chicago's south side, he’s been telling stories in real life for 65 years and on stage for the past six. Paul is a five-time Moth StorySLAM winner and a Moth GrandSLAM Champion, invited to perform in New York at the prestigious Moth Ball and featured on CBS Sunday Morning. His first novel, "Pastaman," is available on Amazon and he is working on a second one. Paul raised two great sons as a single dad and is a lifelong dog lover.

Kevin Biolsi

Kevin Biolsi is a statistician by trade, but he found that really didn’t get the kind of laughs he was hoping for. He started telling stories in front of live audiences in 2016 and found it to be more exhilarating than any drugs he’s ever taken - although to be honest, those have almost exclusively been analgesics and anti-inflammatories. For fun, Kevin brews beer. For even more fun, he drinks that beer. Despite an impressive inability to dance, Kevin is a longtime member of the board of directors of the Evanston Dance Ensemble. Kevin is a regular at First Person Live and tells stories at the Moth and other shows around Chicago. 

Jimmy Carrane

Jimmy Carrane is the host of the popular podcast Improv Nerd and former host of Studio 312 on WBEZ. He has performed numerous one-man shows including "Living In a Dwarf's House" at The Second City and "I am 27, I still live at home and sell office supplies," at The Annoyance Theater. He has been teaching and performing improv in Chicago for more than 25 years and also offers private coaching. For more about Jimmy, visit his website at jimmycarrane.com.

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