What We Love About FiasCo: A Blog Post in Three Acts

By FiasCo members: Meghan McGuire, Kevin Fergus, and Mary Kelly

Act I:

Salutations! I’m Meghan McGuire. I’m a writer and performer originally from Brunswick, Maine. You might recognize me as the writer of such sketches as “Period Meeting” or the performer of such roles as “person with a passable Boston Accent.” Like a lot of people in this temperamental city, I moved to Chicago with the purpose of being a writer and performer, but had little idea of how to actually implement that.

One thing I love about FiasCo is that it gives me purpose. Not purpose in my life, that’s something I’m working on with my therapist. But it gives me creative purpose. Between writing a play and pitching to humor publications and having a solo show that is 12% formed, it’s hard to stay motivated to write when I’m not sure when or even IF my things will be seen or read. BUT every couple of weeks, we the people of FiasCo gather in our coach Sarah’s apartment to read sketches and hear pitches for our next show. It is a collaborative environment in which teammates offer constructive feedback, excellent punch ups, and honest reflections. It makes all those times I find myself banging my head against my keyboard hoping a perfectly formed sketch comes out worth it to know that there is a squad of excellent writers and performers on my team who are going to read my work. What’s more, every two to four weeks, something I’ve written or contributed a joke to or am performing in will go up onstage at the Crowd and people will see it and laugh (or not). And then we’ll take our bows, and we’ll start a new show cycle where we get to create something completely new. FiasCo challenges us to always be creating. By the time our Now That’s What I Call FiasCo shows roll around, we will have created a year’s worth of sketches. WOWEE! Sometimes as an artist, I feel like I’m a wind up toy stuck ramming up against a wall over and over again, but FiasCo is the hand that grabs me and turns me away from the wall. Was that a good metaphor?

Act II:

Hello, Kevin Fergus here! I’m a writer and performer from the burbs, and if any FiasCo heads exist they most likely know me as the Lazy Lil Sloth.

When I got placed on FiasCo, I was at a strange place in my comedy career. I had a few years of experience under my belt, and I’d written some things that I was very proud of. I found myself constantly trying to think of “the next idea”, that Big Project that will be In My Voice and talk about Things I Care About while also being Funny As Hell. FiasCo forced me to be much less precious about my material--I had to write new sketches because we had shows coming up, not because I had thought of the Next Great Kevin Fergus Sketch. And when I show up to writers meetings, I get to run it by a group of friends and collaborators that bring nothing but a sincere desire to make funny shows. Some of the best writing I’ve ever done started as sloppy one page drafts I finished before heading over to Sarah’s apartment. There’s immense value in writing something because you have to write it, and seeing what comes out on that great big Google doc in the sky.

Act III:

Hey!  I’m Mary Kelly, I would hope if you do know me from FiasCo, it’s as the YouTube celebrity and conspiracy theorist Professor Moonbeam, but you may also be familiar with my work as a 95 year old cover band frontwoman, Ethel. I’m here to close us out in the third act. Why? Because of the rule of threes, and because I was the last one to load up the Google Doc. Also (and thirdly) because I love FiasCo!!

If you’ve joined us in the audience for our shows before, I hope you see the raw joy and honesty exuding from our pores when we pour our brains out onstage on those late Friday nights. Now, let me take you on a V.I.P. tour of what it’s like on a show night. There is nothing like walking up that steep staircase at The Crowd and turning the corner into the green room to see your teammates (and at this point best friends 4ever) rehearsing their lines for the night’s upcoming show. The joy of working together to write our sketches is heightened as we prepare to show you all the goofy business we’ve been up to. I love that each member of our team has a different strength, and that we’ve learned after an amazing year together how to highlight and showcase our teammates’ talents to create the best show for you that we possibly can. I love the excitement backstage as we listen closely for the laugh we’re excited to hear from a joke we guffawed at in a writing meeting, or the satisfaction of hearing a hilarious ad-lib during a show, to the delight of everyone watching. The energy in the room and amongst our team when we are performing is jubilant, tactile, and addictive. (Can you tell I used a thesaurus for this blog post? Well I use one to write sketches too, so deal.)

I love dissecting our sketches afterwards, deciding what worked, what didn’t, and what surprised us. This Best of FiasCo show will be such a fun opportunity for us to take that growth and passion to showcase some of our favorite sketches for you to enjoy. We can’t wait, and we hope you’ll be along for the ride as we celebrate a year of writing and performing together!


All this to say that FiasCo is performing 2 (TWO) Best of Shows: Now That’s What I Call FiasCo! Come check us out on the 12th and 13th of July at 8 PM! Tickets are $8! The Crowd is, as always, BEE WHY OH BEE!

P.S. Sarah Magnuson is the one that put all of us weirdos into one room and told us to create things. She is an angel and a star and a woman with a keen eye, and our luck was truly in abundance the day she chose us to fly under her wing. Thanks for all you do for us, Sarah, and reader, if you’re ever lucky enough to work with her, you’ll be lucky too. You can enjoy a taste of her genius by joining us for our Best Of Showcase!