Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-03-13
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Cameron Esposito works on personal material
by Charlsie Dewey

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Lesbian comic and Windy City Times 30 Under 30 alum Cameron Esposito returned to Chicago for two weeks at the end of March, performing 14 shows at the Den Theatre.

Esposito was here working on new material and said the smaller venue and Chicago audience was the perfect setting to test out the more personal material she's been developing, which includes the topics of sexual assault and sex education.

"I'm working on a new hour and usually when I've done that in the past it's meant going on a giant tour in as many cities as possible over eight months, but this material is very personal, so I've decided to try and do it in a different way," she said.

As women across the country join the #MeToo movement by sharing their personal experiences, Esposito said it was important for her to do so as well. Her new material includes discussing her own experience of sexual assault while in college.

"It feels important right now to talk about my history with sexual assault," she said. "This is a topic that has been in the news for the last year. To me it feels like comedy is a great place to deal with any topic that actually creates harm and trauma. I think that is what humor is for, but what I usually see is standup that has thrown out the idea of assault but not talked about the realities of assault or even the people involved."

Esposito said taking this more personal approach will hopefully help create a greater sense of immediacy and a stronger understanding of what victims experience.

"If I start talking about it maybe other folks will too, and talking about it in this way, from the perspective of a survivor," she said.

Esposito is also taking on the topic of sex education in the United States—or rather the lack, thereof. Using her Catholic school upbringing as a springboard for the topic, Esposito discussed the fact that even public school children aren't provided with much useful information.

"The spectrum is nothing to [putting a condom on] a banana—that's it," she said.

For the tour, Esposito is drawing on her unique experiences in an effort to actually connect to the universal experience. "I'm trying to move individual experience into the larger experience that we all share," she said. "So, my cultural background is Catholicism, but sub in your own, that is what I want.

"I think the specificity of my experience is actually pretty universal. I didn't have sex ed because I went to Catholic school, but it turns out we don't offer sex ed in this country. Sex ed is not something that is part of anyone's education. … The most you get is the condom on a banana, that is someone who has had a lot of sex ed."

Esposito said while the shows pretty much went as expected, being in Chicago for two weeks gave her a chance to connect with the city's up-and-coming comics. She booked 14 local comics ( one for each night ) as openers.

"I'm from Chicago and it's where I started doing standup, but usually when I come to town I hang out with my family or I go do the one night of shows. I don't really hang out in the scene. So it was really cool to connect for the first time with folks that are a couple of generations below me that I don't know at all and hear what material they are doing."

She was also impressed with the growing diversity, having started standup when the Chicago comedy scene was limited to only a few queer and female comics.

"There are so many queer folks and that was awesome, because that was my goal working in Chicago, to try to effect the scene," she said. "And a lot of those folks started through a standup class I created in Chicago called the Feminine Comique, and a lot of them started at Cole's Bar, where I had an open mic and where I met Rhea ( Butcher )"

Esposito said her audience has also changed substantially as she's garnered more accolades and recognition nationally. Where once she played to rooms of mostly straight people, her audiences today lean LGBTQ, which she said brings it's own set of challenges.

"Maria Bamford talked about this before, once you start drawing your own audience it's very interesting. Before you had to convince people to be on your side, but now people come in and they know your viewpoint, and so you are trying to up your game to continue to entertain and surprise and present new information.

"When you are someone's favorite band, you can play their favorite song and it can be like a greatest hits and the audience will be jazzed; when you are somebody's favorite comic, it should be the exact opposite experience. You should be on the message they vaguely know you to be, but blowing their minds with the new shit, but it's hard to do that."

Esposito is currently taking her set to the East Coast, but people can catch new episodes of her podcast, "Queery," every week throughout the summer. Seasons one and two of Take my Wife, Esposito's show with wife Rhea Butcher, are also available on iTunes.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Hands on a Hardbody 2019-03-20 - Playwright: Doug Wright ( book ), Amanda Green ( lyrics ), Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green ( music ) At: Mason Hall in ...

Gay News

Anti-gay fliers criticizing Lightfoot distributed near churches 2019-03-18 - Fliers decrying lesbian mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot appeared at a number of churches with predominantly Black congregations the morning of Feb. 17. The ...

Gay News

Homophobic attack targets Lori Lightfoot in Chicago mayoral race 2019-03-17 - Washington, DC — Homophobic fliers targeting openly lesbian Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot were distributed on cars in key neighborhoods of the city ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Filmmaker Barbara Hammer dies at 79 2019-03-17 - Pioneering experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer—whose works involved a distinctive lesbian perspective—has died of ovarian cancer, ARTNews reported. She was 79. Hammer's breakthrough film, ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW How to Live on Earth 2019-03-15 - Playwright: MJ Kaufman At: Chimera Ensemble at the Flatiron, 1573 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets:; $23. Runs through: March 24 Those ...

Gay News

eta seeking executive director 2019-03-14 - The board of directors for the eta Creative Arts Foundation is seeking an experienced executive director with a strong background in African-American arts ...

Gay News

Ravinia Festival Experience Center, immersive-experience theater, to open 2019-03-14 - HIGHLAND PARK, IL — Ravinia Festival will open a major addition to the park, the RaviniaMusicBox Experience Center, later this summer. The new ...

Gay News

Women In Comedy to host "A Love Letter to Myself, A Chicago Variety Show" 2019-03-13 - Chicago, Illinois — On Monday March 25, Women in Comedy hosts "A Love Letter to Myself" from 6 to 9 p.m. at Revolution ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Remember the Alamo 2019-03-13 - Playwright: Nick Hart At: The Neo-Futurist Theatre, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. Tickets:; $25 ( pay-what-you can Thursday nights ). Runs through: April ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Bridges of Madison County 2019-03-13 - Authors: Marsha Norman and Jason Robert Brown At: Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard St., Evanston. Tickets: or 773-347-1109; $39-69. Runs through: ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.