Adam Guerino…LGBT Homelessness to Comedy

Adam Guerino
is a writer in Chicago who works nationally as a stand-up comedian, mc/host, columnist, cartoonist and producer.
He created Queer Comedy at Zanies as well as Laugh Track at Sidetrack and Beauty Parlour: Comedy Never Looked So Gorgeous.

Adam has been featured in Timeout Chicago‘s “Joke Of The Week” and played at comedy clubs in Chicago and New York including ZaniesLincoln LodgeLakeshore Theater and The Edge Comedy Club in Chicago and Shock Therapy and Happy Hour at Bartini in New York City. 

As a producer, he has produced three seasons of the multimedia comedy show The Sarcastic Squad, two seasons of the performance and networking independent art event Art Haus, the sexy spectacle variety show Nightcaps as well as written and produced the full-length comedic play Mattress Matters and producing the short movies, I’m GayEverybody Is Having Sex But Me and Glitter Party.

He says, “I believe a good storyteller retells a journey and a great storyteller takes you on a journey with them. My first stories I told had little to do with my life—they were escapist and fantastical, sending me far away from my town of 4,000 people in Iowa. Beginning in my parents’ basement, I created epic sagas with a huge cast of action figures accompanied with character development, back stories and subplots. By middle school I was committing stories to paper with convoluted, over-wrought science fiction novellas.

I moved to Chicago for college and was a student for two years before dropping out and moving to Hawaii with no job or promise of a place to stay. Friends and family were confused as to how someone with so much passion would quit school, but I figured if I was going to have a hobby it might as well be an exciting one.

I lived in Hawaii for less than six months and in that time went from sleeping on the beach to working at one of the best restaurants in the world. I did interesting things and wrote the entire time

His situation fell apart in Hawaii. After moving back to Chicago within the year, he decided to have more stable, trustworthy living accommodations and moved into a college friend’s studio apartment for the last two months of her lease while she lived with her BF down the block. After a few weeks, the landlord thought Adam was party to an unofficial sublease and he was asked to leave. He didn’t tell any of his old college friends that he had no other place to stay and even told his BF at the time that he was going to go for a walk after a date and would stay up all night at diners, fill journals with stories on residential stoops or go home with strangers for a place to stay.

Within a month, Adam celebrated his 21st birthday asking people to buy him food instead of shots and still maintained his homelessness as a secret. Eventually, he began asking for help from friends–seeing if he could stay on their couches etc. After losing many friendships and his relationship because of his uncomfortable lack-of-living situation, Adam slept on a friends couch, found a job and has been gainfully employed and sheltered ever since. Although Adam mostly blames his homelessness on being stubborn, impulsive and stupid about money, he can appreciate the utter terror of homelessness and how it feels to be treated like a second class citizen because of unfortunate events.

COMEDY   saved him.You’re funny, you should do stand-up,” a friend of a friend said to me at a bar. I thanked her. “No, really, I run the comedy night here,” she insisted.

Within a week, I delivered thirty minutes of stand-up material. For those who aren’t familiar with stand-up, a comedian usually goes a year before collecting thirty minutes of material. My process of rapid writing and delivery became a staple of my style—sometimes writing material the day of a show to make sure my material was quirky, confident and raw. That confidence came from jumping head first into comedy.

Wednesday, August 31st –
Adam will perform at Center on Halsted!

We Are Halsted
is presented and hosted by Adam Guerino with the support of Center on Halsted and the Lakeview Safety and Inclusion Coalition and features music by gender bending belter Vallerie Dolls (Night of 100 Drag Queens), Manny Capozzi and Kyle Greer (Fatally Cool), comedy by Latina lesbian stand-up comedienne Gwen La Roka (Zanies, Amigas Latinas) and dance by a Jerri Blank celebrity impersonator.

We Are Halsted was created for everyone as a sensational, fabulous and affordable variety show. With $5 tickets, volunteer performers, raffle tickets and inexpensive donated beverages, We Are Halsted is a grass-roots fundraiser and an way to support our community’s homeless youth.

There are more than 15,000 + homeless and unaccompanied youth living in Chicago, and according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, more than 20% identify as LGBTQ.  It may come as a surprise to many that with so many youth facing these challenges there are only 189 shelter beds specifically provided for youth across the entire city.

We Are Halsted is a one-time special event created to bring our community together, to raise awareness about the challenges LGBTQ homeless youth face and to help support organizations doing such good work.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011     7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Center on Halsted (Hoover-Leppen Theatre)

7pm – 8pm – We Are Halsted pre-party

The We Are Halsted pre-party will take place outside on the rooftop overlooking the city. The pre-party will feature inexpensive donated cocktails and beer and will provide a casual setting for socializing and networking before the start of the show. This portion of the evening is limited to those who are 21+ years of age. IDs are required and will be checked at the door.


 Details  online