R. Eric Thomas: Here for It with Michelle Collins
Where: Books Are Magic
225 Smith St.
718-246-2665 Price: Free
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R. Eric Thomas didn’t know he was different until the world told him so. Everywhere he went—whether it was his rich, mostly white, suburban high school, his conservative black church, or his Ivy League college in a big city—he found himself on the outside looking in.
In essays by turns hysterical and heartfelt, Eric redefines what it means to be an “other” through the lens of his own life experience. He explores the two worlds of his childhood: the barren urban landscape where his parents’ house was an anomalous bright spot, and the verdant school they sent him to in white suburbia. He writes about struggling to reconcile his Christian identity with his sexuality, about the exhaustion of code-switching in college, accidentally getting famous on the internet (for the wrong reason), and the surreal experience of covering the 2016 election as well as the seismic change that came thereafter. Ultimately, Eric seeks the answer to the ever more relevant question: Is the future worth it? Why do we bother when everything seems to be getting worse? As the world continues to shift in unpredictable ways, Eric finds the answers to these questions by re-envisioning what “normal” means, and in the powerful alchemy that occurs when you at last place yourself at the center of your own story.
R. Eric Thomas (he/him/his) is a senior staff writer at Elle online where he has written the daily pop culture and politics humor column “Eric Reads the News” since 2016. He’s also been published by The New York Times, among many other publications. As a playwright, his work has been seen on stages around the country; he won the Barrymore Award and the Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award and was a finalist for the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Association New Play Award. Off the page, he is the long-running host of The Moth StorySlams in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. He lives in Baltimore with his extraordinary husband, the Reverend David Norse Thomas, and an out-of-control collection of succulents, candles, and tote bags. Here for It is his first book.
Michelle Collins is a comedian and host of her own SiriusXM talk show The Michelle Collins Show, a pop culture, news and celebrity interview show which airs every weekday on SiriusXM Stars from 7 to 10AM. You may remember Michelle from her one daring season on The View, before their famed revolving door could hit her on the way out. Or perhaps you know her from the one of millions of aftershows she’s hosted: 90 Day Live, the 90 Day Fiance aftershow on TLC; ABC’s After Paradise; and Little Talk Live for Lifetime. She has also driven for work, amazingly not for Uber but as the host of VH1’s Walk of Shame Shuttle, and has also hosted Eurovision for Logo, and most recently the hilarious Facebook Watch show Relationship Rehab with Adam Rippon for Cosmopolitan. But all of these credits are frankly meaningless because the one place she truly thrives is under a live captive audience. Time Out New York called Michelle Collins “the fastest mind in comedy,” the New York Times says “If you’ve seen her live, then you know how quick and fast her comedy is,” and Dr. Phil once said “I know this woman… this is a safe bet right here.” You can see her live at her monthly show at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater and follow her on Instagram @michcoll for stand-up comedy touring dates.
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