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As I’m typing this, I’m fainting a thousand times over and over again. On March 24th, Alex Borstein is gracing the stage at Boom Chicago as she tours “Alex Borstein & The Amstergang” around Europe. Our technical director mentioned in November that this was a possibility and I immediately started to sweat.

Alex is a huge comedic influence for me. Growing up, I was such a fan girl of her MADtv characters. I impersonated many of her original characters and have memorized several sketches (especially Shaunda, the Las Vegas Ladies Room Lounge Singer). Soon after that, I was listening to her in my home every night as Lois on Family Guy. After being such a fan of hers for many years, the icing on the cake has been The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Not only is she dynamic in the role of Susie Myerson, but she plays a vulnerable sidekick – something rarely seen in television. Alex oozes talent and personality and I will likely drop dead when I see her next month. I was lucky enough to ask her some questions and here are her answers below:

  • When did you realize you wanted to pursue the arts?

I don’t think it was something I ever decided. It was just the only thing I wasn’t super shitty at.

  • What’s your ideal work environment?

I like working with grown-ups. People of a certain age are much more confident and there isn’t a lot of bullshit drama that they bring to work with them everyday.

  • What type of projects do you most enjoy doing?

I love being creative. Amstergang is pure joy because it’s three friends making music and comedy in front of a live audience. Getting that feedback live is amazing. It’s like great sex or a drug, or great sex while on drugs.

  • Have you ever survived an “actors’ nightmare” (forgetting lines, costume mishap, etc)?

We performed in LA recently and I completely forgot half of one of our songs. Just blanked right in the middle of the song. Pure terror in my eyes and the guys who couldn’t believe it was happening.

  • What jobs have you done other than being an artist? 

I worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency. I did telemarketing. I worked at The Disney Store. I was a waitress. I worked in a fitting room at a clothing store. I was a babysitter. I have designed and made clothing items. 

  • When you have a busy schedule, what keeps you centered / relaxed? 

Nothing keeps me relaxed. I’ve never been relaxed, even when sleeping I’m anxious. My kids keep me centered. They also keep me anxious 😉 

  • What food, drink or song inspires you? 

All food, drink and music inspires me. I love sushi, steak, pizza, eggplant… I love rue whiskey with one ice cube… and all music is mercy to me. Currently loving Nadine Shah. 

  • If anything and everything was possible, what would your dream project be? 

Right now I’m doing it: Amstergang • God of Carnage (play in BCN) • Mrs Maisel• Family Guy • 

  • If you had a superpower, what would it be? 

Eat anything without getting diarrhea or fat. 

  • What’s the best (or worst) piece of advice you’ve been given? 

Best: Don’t have kids until you are ready. 

  • What is your favorite Chicago chain for deep dish pizza? 

Giordano’s (but I haven’t been to Chicago in a while…) 

Alex Borstein & The Amstergang Boom Chicago

Note that this show has been cancelled.

a woman wearing a white shirt and black hairby Stacey Smith

Stacey is a loud New Yorker that’s thrilled to be performing at Boom Chicago. She just recently relocated from Chicago, where she’s been teaching and performing for the past decade. When in Chicago, she teaches at Second City and iO, where she performs weekly with The Musical Armando and The Deltones. Stacey has performed in many theatricals at The Second City, including Life Hacks, #DateMe and two cruise contracts on The Norwegian Breakaway.

Stacey has run comedy training centers at both CSz Chicago and ImprovBoston, where she was also seen in the Mainstage casts. She’s been lucky enough to headline comedy festivals all over the globe, touring her solo musical improv show “Stacejam.” Be her friend! Check her out on social @staceysmithcomedy or visit her website.