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Chicago : The Improvised Version

A new drama, some facts, photos, and other ramblings.

ACT ONE, Scene One

Where we see our hero safely in the domesticity of an established home life and routine. Surrounded by an excellent bunch of friends and family, an amazing job that they are thrilled to have, and surviving well financially with routines and regular places to go, and they have a happy life.

• The film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was filmed in Chicago. The funniest moment of the movie is when Matthew Broderick jumps over two skimply-clad ladies sunbathing in their backyard when he’s running away, and he checks himself to take a moment to go back and introduce himself.

ACT ONE, Scene Two

Our hero leaves the safe confines that they’ve been comfortable with for over thirty years of their life, and heads off to pastures new in a quest of passion, love and fulfillment. Little do they realise of the turbulent times ahead …

• The urban districts of Chicago are known as Chicagoland, some of which spread into the neighbouring states of Indiana (to the east), and Wisconsin (to the north). So it’s – sort of – possible to say that you live in Chicago, but not live in Illinois. Cool.


– – – i n t e r v a l – – –


ACT TWO, Scene One

Our hero’s well-being takes a dive and suffers from weight loss and mental issues. Torrid times ensue as a battle for control reigns in the new land, and doubt is thrown over their whole future. More questions than answers rear their ugly head, and it can of course only lead to to collapse and dark days loom ahead.

• Illinois is referred to as ‘Land of Lincoln’ on their license plates. The classic profile picture of him can be seen a lot around Chicago

ACT TWO, Scene Two

Yet amidst the diversity, a beacon of hope and light shines out, and rapidly starts to burn quite brightly. Our hero realises that amongst the twists and turns of their chosen path, a reward awaits them and it is one that brings them much joy, pleasure and amazing experiences.

• People wear Cubs shirts around here a lot. It reminds me of Newcastle in England, where the team colours of Newcastle FC are worn more of a fashion statement than anything else. Girls will be seen hitting the town on a Friday night wearing the Geordie Soccer strip, nice. It feels the same here.

ACT TWO, Scene Three

Is still in the process of being written, but it’s shaping up for a damn good ending.


So I have just spent five days in a city which has thoroughly consumed me. In American terms it’s bigger than Charleston (where I now can’t walk down the street for more than five minutes without bumping into someone I know), and smaller than New York (Which is too huge and scary and overwhelming)

More than that, I have been surrounded this week by a bunch of relative strangers who rapidly became my friends and made me feel more at ease, and more sure of myself that I have done for a long time, and it will live long in the memory. And I guess I kinda knew that that was gonna happen, and I wanted it to – so am thrilled that it did indeed work out that way, along with a couple of nice unexpected bonuses too. Good times.

I got a good result from a second beat of something that happened to me back in May in Charleston. Often, when you have an amazing moment in life which you didn’t see coming and you didn’t plan, it’s hard to repeat it and get the same rush from it. Today however, I managed to re-engineer a second occurrence of that experience and almost got the same rush. It felt wonderful.

Also, there were a few thoughts kicking about in the back of my head which have been options for some time, and some of them transformed into decisions – and in their place exciting germs of new ideas formed, which I suspect will now develop into something wonderful over time and be the next phase. Sorted.

Getting out and moving about and seeing the big wide world opens up your mind and makes you understand more and be receptive to new things easily, and there have been a couple of situations this week that I’ve managed to take in my stride that I know I wouldn’t have been able to handle not so long ago. Of course it could be that I was capable of doing this a few years back, lost the knack, and have just got it back again. But whether it’s a return of an old skill or the development of a new one, I like it.

Chicago is famous for many things – it’s architecture, it’s gangland history and railroad industry. Right now, it’s the mecca of improv comedy in this fair land, and draws many artistic people of a theatrical nature to its colourful suburbs. Mini dramas on a personal and theatrical level are played out here on a daily basis, and I’ve been most fortunate to see them unfold up close these past few days, and be wiser for it. Definitely a good thing.

The one downside is that of course one day it will be time to move on. I’ve already created an online gallery of ‘People I love in Charleston’, as I can see that I’ve truly gone from hating this place and being horribly homesick, to going the full circle and realising that when my time comes to an end here it’s going to be desperately sad and I’ll have to re-adjust all over again. I find that unfair, but beautifully juxtaposed all at the same time. Nice.

I’ll sum up with brief paragraph from book that I bought and started reading this week (Truth in Comedy) that made me smile from ear to ear.

“Funny asides to the audiences have their places; commenting on a scene is even allowable, as long as you aren’t involved in the scene at the time. The situation is similar to a relationship between a man and a woman – the more they talk about it, the less time they spend on it”.

Life of course is a drama, and every day is an act within it. Enjoy your scene.

8 responses to “Chicago : The Improvised Version”

  1. So what you’re saying is “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts”? Sounds familiar somehow.

  2. Leigh says:

    I’m glad to see you happy again, Geoff. And looking forward to Act Two, Scene Three. I hope there’s a happy ending in there for you.

  3. Watching the human evolutionary process in action is fascinating, and uplifting.

  4. ckd says:

    My favorite Chicago t-shirt: University of Chicago Law (front), WHERE FUN COMES TO DIE (back).

  5. ckd says:

    p.s. Highlights in hair + Spiky product in hair + Aviator sunglasses = someone’s becoming a rock star. That must be why you are leaning into the camera with a “Look, I just finished yet another interview with Rolling Stone and I’m about to have some cigarettes for lunch so would you stop asking me about my new album and just bug off before my bodyguard has to get involved?”

    p.p.s. Yes, normally the post script isn’t longer than the actual message, but that’s just how I roll.

  6. Paul Webb says:

    “the team colours of Newcastle FC are worn more of a fashion statement…” Urmmm, I think it is an actual deovtion to NUFC

  7. Geoff's Mum says:

    I am truly puzzled by this post, I could say ‘What was all that about then?’ But I don’t suppose Geoff would tell me. I think travel does broaden the mind, in Geoff’s case it would seem it has *opened* his mind, but to what I am unable to deduce right now. You seemed to have grasped the meaning of life at a remarkably young age, it usually comes with old age. It could be mixing with theatrical people that has give you new perspectives. Good Luck whatever you decide to do next, life is a rocky road, but you usually get back out of it what you put in.

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