Reveling in Their Mistakes: “Mistakes We Made” Panel Spins Great Tales

Lina Benich ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Section Editor

As the Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row Lit Fest was well under way, a group of friends took the Redeye Stage for a live-recorded version of their storytelling podcast “Mistakes We Made.” The creators of the podcast, Lenny Gilmore and Jessica Galliart, explained the premise of the podcast: in essence, that the mistakes in people’s lives make great stories after the fact. Then each of their friends told a short story about a mistake that they made in their life. Some funny, some embarrassing, some enormous, all of the stories served to show the audience that mistakes happen and success can follow, despite any circumstances indicating otherwise.

Justine Rowland, a Chicago event planner, was first to the microphone, telling the story of her first time being the production manager of a large event, and realizing she forgot to order walkie-talkies. This mistake was easily remedied, but not without comedy, as Rowland explained that all of her coworkers check now to see if she’s ordered walkie-talkies, multiple times. The story was all the more relevant, as Rowland was one of the organizers who was running the Lit Fest, and her contribution in the face of an old mistake was full of good humor.

Clinton, also known as Chicago rapper, ShowYouSuck, spoke next, talking about his time working at the food area of a Kmart. His story was not so much involved in his mistake but the events and setting leading up to the mistake, talking about his impact on kids who came to visit the “Kmart King” on Saturdays. In this case his mistake didn’t change his life drastically, as he continued to work toward his dreams and music.

Darryl Holliday, founder of Illustrated Press, told a story on a grand scale. While it started out simply enough, driving his car cross country with his friend, it soon became crazy as he unknowingly drove into Hurricane Katrina. While this was due to a lack of a map and minimal directions, Holliday turned out all right and said he still likes to travel without strong directions.

Emily Belden, author of the memoir “Eightysixed”, told an embarrassing tale of a doctor’s visit and a strange ultrasound experience. A natural storyteller, Belden made her tale expertly structured and funny the whole way through. Despite the embarrassing nature of the story, Belden was able to laugh about it and see the funny in even the strangest of circumstances.

Gilmore spoke last, telling the story of his first Photojournalist coverage for the Tribune, taking pictures at Lollapalooza. In photographing Foo Fighters, the torrential rain and bad crowds caused a very wet shoot, and his commitment to the pictures caused his lens to rust through. Now an accomplished photojournalist with Redeye, it was great to hear of a professional problem that didn’t hinder Gilmore’s success.

Check out “Mistakes We Made” on Soundcloud and iTunes.

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