Wednesday 18 Apr 2012

Windy City LIVE: Bullying

Windy City LIVE:
I was invited to be a part of the studio audience at Windy City LIVE, as hosts Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini dedicated the entire hour to the very serious topic of bullying; personal stories were shared and experts and parents helped weigh in on the issue.

My new friend and Windy City LIVE Senior Producer Hank Mendheim shared his personal story about how he was bullied in grade school. “I think the bulling experience in small town america is probably much different in big cities.”

He even got his first piece of hate mail not too long ago; saying, ““I’m not going to let bother me. I’m not going to dwell or think about it. Twenty years ago I would have. Twenty years ago I would have been like, how could someone say that to me? How could someone do that?”

Obviously Hank is more comfortable in his skin these days. ”I think that since I am comfortable now, being a gay man and somewhat comfortable being an on air personality now, I just kind of roll with it.

“I can look at it now and laugh about it, because I know who I am and I know what I do.” I think Hank is living proof that it does get better.

Bullying prevention expert Karin Stortz spoke about the bullying epidemic being at the forefront of the media these days, thanks to movies like "Bully" and the "It Gets Better" movement. She also gave amazing responses for when you do get bullied and some great bullying resources.

This is a not-to-be-missed episode!

Bill Pritchard

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Wednesday 28 Mar 2012

Comedy comes to Boystown's straight bar

Pure Comedy:
The Sarcastic Squad is a comedy variety show featuring the best of Chicago stand-up, sketch and audience improv games as well as hand-drawn comic book programs. The show will begin its third season after a two year hiatus Monday April 16th at Town Hall Pub 3340 N Halsted at 8pm for an extended weekly run every Monday.

Regular cast-member segments include the interview audience game Aw, Hell N-Oprah from long-time Oprah impersonator Michelle Rene Thompson (Oprah: Live Your Best Laugh,) the current events segment Second Hand News from comedian/writer/lawyer Mark Nabong (Edge Comedy Club) and blogger/writer Patrick Gill ( and Liza With a Xanax sketch from Liza Minelli impersonator Matteo Lane (Queer Comedy at Zanies) Stand up cast members also include Candy Lawrence (TBS Just for Laughs) Megan Gailey (Your Funniest Friends) and creator and producer Adam Guerino (Queer Comedy at Zanies)

Presented by OutLoud Chicago a production effort to bring queer entertainment to mainstream venues. Squad features straight, gay, lesbian and bi-sexual cast-members. Town Hall Pub is an ideal venue for this fusion because it is located in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood and considered a “straight bar” by Boystown scenesters and a “gay bar” by Wrigleyville regulars.

Monday April 16th features guest stand-up comics Cameron Esposito (SXSW) and Matt Riggs (Your Funniest Friends) Hosted by Candy Lawrence with cast stand-up from Megan Gailey and Liza With a Xanax from Matteo Lane and Second Hand News from Mark Nabong and Patrick Gill.

$5 admission includes a 4 page hand-drawn companion comic book. For more information click here.

Keep laughing!
Bill Pritchard

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Tuesday 13 Mar 2012

Spring Has Sprung

Here we are, days away from St. Patrick’s Day and spring has sprung here in Chicago and also New York. I’m not quite sure if Mother Nature is done with us on the whole winter chill, but it sure is nice to see.

Of course seeing cute guys in shorts on Lake Shore Drive isn’t a bad thing!

You know we’ve reached the joys of spring when RL Restaurant (See photo above) in Chicago sets for a touch of al fresco dining. I love them more than friends.

Enjoy the weather!
Bill Pritchard

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Wednesday 15 Feb 2012

Justice With Your Pants Down

Opps I Dropped My Pants:
No, you’re not reading a typo. I did in fact drop trou at Scarlet’s famed monthly mayhem, “Dance Off with your Pants Off”. Leave it up to Paul and the Scarlet gang to invent this one.

Before you think of every creepy thing that can go wrong with this idea; keep in mind that it’s all perfectly harmless. Those who wish to participate submit their trousers at the coat check and get a free drink ticket. All in all, a fun way to have a drink or two!

With my pants on, I attended Saturday’s Equality Illinois Gala. Joining me in the fun was my pal and Director of Special Events & Volunteers at the Center on Halsted, Jacob Kosior. We were joined at our table by President R. Matthew Inawat and’s new fashion writer Stephen Young, of I’ll tell you what, that boy never stops with the comedic one-liners.

President Obama's senior advisor Valerie Jarrett brought the audience of notable political, corporate and community leaders and supporters to their feet! A Chicago lawyer, businesswoman and one of President Obama's longest serving advisors, Jarrett started in Chicago politics in 1987 working for Mayor Harold Washington.

It was marvelous to run in to my friends and State Representatives Greg Harris and Deb Mell; two of the three State Reps, including Kelly Cassidy, who recently filed a marriage equality bill in Illinois General Assembly! It’s their hard work and dedication to the LGBT community that we need to get behind. Now that is gay pride!

You can see photos from the gala here!

Bill Pritchard

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Monday 30 Jan 2012

Happy 108th Birthday!

In my Family, we celebrate life, even after death. Knowing my Grandparents, it’s easy to see why! They were life/world changers and each had their mark on our lives.

One such person was my Sainted Father’s Mother, Anne Pritchard Strauss. (See photo above with my Grandfather, Llewellyn Pritchard and my Sainted Father, young Llewelyn Pritchard) She would have been 108 on January 31st.

Grandma was quite a character. She made everyone laugh and always had something to say. She loved her grandkids, giving each one a nickname. (Perhaps that's where I get that from.) She named me Peaches & Cream. Apparently my complexion was that grand in her mind. To this day, every time I exfoliate, lotion, or wash my face; I think of her.

She was a woman with a rich faith. Not a moment would go by where she didn’t thank God for “His many blessings”. She’s famous in my family for saying “God will know” when one of us kids was less than honest about something. Somehow, I think that God wasn’t the only one who knew.

Every day, like clockwork, Grandma would fix little snacks; pour herself a Gibson on the rocks, and enjoy Happy Time. (Her version of Happy Hour!) She never missed a chance to do this and always included us in the preparations. We would be our own company, if guests weren't around. As silly as this sounds; it's a great lesson in celebrating each day and the consistent appreciation of those around you. (The drinks have gotten better too!)

Before Grandma came to live with us in Seattle, she lived in the family home in New York and took residence in Florida, during the winter months. In the days before internet and email, she would always write us and send care packages. Christmas had nothing on her when it came to the arrival of a package from Grandma. Of course, she went above and beyond at Christmas; even dressing up as Santa Clause for all.

I could give chapter and verse about Grandma, but there isn’t enough space on my computer for such a blog. Suffice it to say, I miss her terribly and will celebrate her day with a bit of Happy Time!

Bill Pritchard

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