Friday, August 22, 2014

Life is what happens to you while you're busy multi-tasking.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy multi-tasking." - John Lennon (probably) 

A new op-ed I wrote for Crain's. 
Shout out to Ian Belknap for opening my eyes to James Franco being a (not so) shining example of mediocrity generating multitasking.

Monday, June 16, 2014

3 Plays. 3 Days. Come Play With Me!

Need a kick in the butt with your writing? 

3 Plays. 3 Days. 

An Intense Writing Intensive with Joe Janes 

3 Plays. 3 Days.
@ Gorilla Tango Theatre Chicago[Bucktown]
1919 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

In three days, participants will learn how to write improvisationally, ultimately generating three ten-minute plays. Each student will have one of their plays performed in a staged reading on the third day by some of Chicago's finest actors. Some writing experience is recommended. Class size is limited to 8.$150 until 7/20/14; $175 after. REG DEADLINE IS 8/1/14.

Playwrights from our last 3 Plays/3 Days class had this to say:

"My expectations going into the weekend were high...I wanted to try and write at the highest level I could and push myself. I wouldn't change anything about the class. At all. ...It's a great way to grow as a writer, to get focused and learn how to write in spurts and develop a writing routine." - Patrick, 3 Plays/3 Plays Writing Intensive Alum

"...You walk away with three new and different pieces. The staged reading element was awesome. I was flat out terrified to take the class (and seriously considered skipping) but I am glad that I did...I think regardless of the level you're at, you will be able to participate in and take a lot away from the class....there is a lot more to the experience than just the writing." - Alexandra, 3 Plays/3 Days Alum

PLEASE NOTE: Class times are Friday 8/8/14 from 6-9 pm; Saturday 8/9/14 from 12-6 pm, and Sunday 8/10/14 from 12-6 pm with the final showcase at 7:30 pm that evening. Tickets to the public reading are $5 and may be purchased at or at the door.

Joe Janes is an Emmy award winning writer who teaches comedy writing at The Second City and Columbia College. He has written for Jellyvision's "You Don't Know Jack" and SNL's "Weekend Update." He has written three books: 365 Sketches, 50 Plays and Seven Deadly Plays. His full-length plays include Metaluna and the Science of the Mind Revue, A Hard Day's Journey Into Night and Always Never. He writes regularly for WNEP Theatre and Robot vs Dinosaur

Spots still available.

Click HERE to register.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Good Reason Not To Friend A Teacher On Facebook

In February, I told a story at Story Club - Southside. They liked it so much, they asked if they could publish it in their on-line magazine. It's their Story of the Week. I hope you enjoy it.

    Click here! Story Club Magazine

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Month of May. When Everything Happens All at Once

"Life is what happens to you while you're cleaning the cat box."

This is going to be a very busy month. Always a blessing and a curse. It means I'll be doing many cool things with some very cool people. It also means I'll get to spend less time on my couch with my cats drinking IPAs and watching Hannibal, The Agents of S.H.E.I.LD., Supernatural, The X-Files, Crisis, etc. Life is hard.

ATTACK AT BIKINI WEREWOLF BEACH, PART II (shhhh - there is no part one)

Robot vs. Dinosaur's first original full length musical opens at The Den Theatre on May 2nd and runs for one month only. I co-wrote it and will be doing house management duties during the run. You may also see me mauled by a werewolf on a few random nights. I sat in on a rehearsal last week. The music kicks butt. The actors and musicians are nailing it. DNAinfo Chicago did a nice article on us. Click on those links for more info.


I am very excited to be participating in this. I saw the last one and enjoyed it immensely. You will see me tap dance in my piece. Well, let's just say it will generously fall under to wide umbrella of what some people may consider to be tap dancing. This is on Saturday, May 3rd. You can get more mostly honest information about it HERE. Get your tickets in advance. They had to turn people away at the last one.


I'm really proud of my Comedy Workshop folks. They have been killing it all semester. For every show we've had way too much material and some really great scenes and songs have yet to see the light of day. This is a good problem to have for putting together a show. This is officially their final show - they'll be doing another performance at Manifest, but we'll be shy of a full cast. This show is free and will be at Donny's Skybox (fourth floor of Piper's Alley, North and Wells) on Friday, May 9th at 5pm. No reservation required. Come on in.


I love teaching this workshop. Want a kick in the ass? For writing, not for anything pervy. Want to move from writing sketches to writing short plays? Want to just hang out with me for the weekend? All good reasons to take this workshop. I will share with you improvisational writing techniques and you will write three ten minute plays all in one weekend. AND, as if that wasn't enough to make your head 'splode glitter, one of your plays will be done in a staged reading on Sunday night. It's a blast. Go Gorilla Tango for more info.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Psychology Today? Pure Insanity Tomorrow.

The lovely Mark Peters, a former student of mine, has given me a major shout out for being an inspiration to him. He even coined a term in my honor. So, that's cool.

Psychology Today

Monday, March 31, 2014

So. Many. Things.

Here are some of the many things coming up this spring that I hope you will find the time to sufficiently investigate and enjoy.

Please be merry and gay with us!  Robot vs. Dinosaur Presents:
The 4th Annual
St. Drunken’s Day!
A Holiday for the Drunken Masses
 The 2014 celebration features:
* St. Drunken’s Day pageant with songs and miracles * Drinking games such as beer pong and beer plinko * A silent auction with one-of-a-kind St. Drunken’s Day artwork * Raffle with prizes you'd actually want * More fun than a barrel of monks * And excessive amounts of beer and fun!
The Details:
What:      St. Drunken’s Day!
When:     Friday, April 4, 2014 from 7 p.m. to Midnight
Where:   HQ (located at 1914 N. Milwaukee Avenue)
Tickets:   $20 in advance, $25 at the door (see or email any member of RvD for tickets)
** The St. Drunken's pageant with sketches, songs, and miracles starts at 8 p.m. **
All proceeds will go to help fund our show that opens in May – Attack at Bikini Werewolf Beach Part 2!!
**(You must be 21 to attend St. Drunken’s Day.)**
For more information on Robot vs. Dinosaur, look for us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@RVDChicago)
About St. Drunken:

St. Drunken is the world’s mostly forgotten patron saint of drunks, inebriates, drinkers, imbibers and people who like to have fun.  He is responsible for finding arbitrary reasons for people to get together, enjoy each other’s company, shake off the weight of the world, and drink alcohol (usually to excess).

I will be guest starring in a live radio show on April 13th. (Click to enlarge. Insert dirty joke here.)

On Saturday, May 3rd, I'll be lying my ass off for fame and fortune.

Click HERE for more information.

And Robot vs. Dinosaur is mounting a big full-length musical! I co-wrote it. Do not miss this. Good times. 

Shhh...there is no part one. For tickets and info, swipe your razor sharp claws HERE.

AND... I'l be teaching another weekend writing intensive. "3 Plays. 3 Days." on May 16, 17 and 18. It ends on Sunday night with a staged reading by Chicago actors bringing one of your three plays to live in front of an audience. It rocks. Check out Gorilla Tango for details.