Entries in reading (3)


Miami Memories

Miami Beach Fire Department (© 2014 Amber Drea)Nostalgia abounds this spring. I visited Miami for the first time since 2005, and the memories of my time living there in the late 1990s and early 2000s came flooding back. I stopped by Books & Books in Coral Gables, where I worked after graduating college, and took a stroll around the University of Miami campus, which is more beautiful than I even remember. My friend Taryn and I stayed on South Beach, where I spent many a night partying 'til the break o' dawn back in the day, and I sang and danced up a storm with friends in the Wynwood area, which has become the new hot spot since I called Miami home. I also drove by the first apartment I shared with my old bandmate and BFF Jessica, and it's still scary as shit. Despite that creepy flashback, I had a fun four days in Miami and hope to return again soon.

The night before I left for that trip, I read an excerpt from my memoir-in-progress, tentatively titled "Fighting Back," at the Freerange Reading Series in the Lower East Side. It was an amazing night with readings from "The Daily Show" cocreator, comedian and abortion rights activist Lyzz Winstead, poet Morgan Parker, author Cliff Thompson, essayist Melynda Fuller and my husband, Jeb Gleason-Allured. I've posted a video of my performance, which you can watch here (WARNING: The piece contains graphic descriptions of domestic violence). 

In other news, I launched Twitter and Instagram accounts for my lobster-focused blog Lobsterlover.me (which is powered by Tumblr). Follow me for updates on the latest lobster happenings in New York City and for recaps of my exciting lobster adventures, such as the first annual Lobster de Mayo, which took place a couple weeks ago. 

South Beach (© 2014 Amber Drea)


California Dreaming and Wintertime Scheming

Lucia Lodge in Big Sur, California (© 2013 Amber Drea)The last few months have been a blur of activity, both professional and personal. My husband and I started fall with a long vacation in California, driving down the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles and stopping in Big Sur along the way. Nothing beats drinking sparkling wine under the stars on the Pacific Ocean and waking up to the sounds of waves crashing on the cliffs below. 

While we could have stayed there forever (or at least another week), we had to get back to New York City for a slew of shows and readings, including the launch for David Moscovich's book You Are Make Very Important Bathtime and the October edition of Sideshow Goshko, which also featured Kerri Doherty of Geeking Out and Andy Ross of Real Characters. You can check out a video of my performance on the new Storytelling page along with videos of my appearances at The Moth and Local Stories. 

In addition, I published the short experimental humor piece "The Anatomy of a Mosh Pit" on McSweeney's Internet Tendency and the essay "I Was Stalked in High School" on Hypertextmag.com. Needless to say, 2013 has been a great year for me and I look forward to what 2014 holds. 

Sunset in Big Sur, California (© 2013 Amber Drea)


Springtime Shows and Shenanigans

Cherry blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (© 2013 Amber Drea)

Spring has been full of excitement. In April, my drinking-themed storytelling series, Another Round Storytelling, relaunched at LaunchPad in Crown Heights with comedian and performer John Flynn, host of "Oh, Hey Guys!" at UCBeast, and ginger-rum cookies from Spirited, a boozy bakery run by Kimberly Wetherell. This month's show on May 2nd featured Cammi Climaco of Ask Me Stories and Six x Six at the PIT, and June's edition will welcome the sexy storytelling of Jefferson, who hosts the Bare! and Spill! series. In addition, I'll be doing some storytelling of my own at Local Stories on Monday, May 20th, at Three of Cups in the East Village at 8:00 p.m. The theme is "elimination," and my tale will recount my breakup with religion. And on Thursday, May 30th, I'm reading a new piece of short fiction at Molasses Books in Bushwick alongside Ben Bush, Michael Thomsen, David Moscovich and Matthew Jent. Dubbed "Selfies: A Supergroup," the reading will deal with the concepts of image, self-consciousness and the individual in community. Stay posted on all my upcoming events here.

Blue heron sculpture at Ferran Park in Eustis, Florida (© 2013 Amber Drea)

On a personal note, I visited my uncle and cousins in Eustis, Florida, during a recent trip to Orlando for a work convention. I hadn't seen DJ in 12 years and was surprised that it seemed no time had passed. I always had a great relationship with him since I was a kid, and we grew especially close when he lived with my dad and me for a few months in 1992. His children, on the other hand, were only 1 and 5 the last time I saw them, and now they were teenagers. Soon-to-be-13 Stella, who was named after my grandmother, loves Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, particularly the nerdy intellectual Donatello (the one with the purple bandana—her favorite color). She also likes to punch her dad when he teases her. DJ's son, Austin, is impressively polite and hard-working for a 16-year-old whose Instagram handle is 420keepitreal—he puts 30+ hours a week in at his job at the car wash and has already saved up enough money to buy his own vehicle. When he graduates high school, Austin plans to enter the military and has even taken the large-gauge plugs out of his ear lobes so they'll be fully closed up by then. We had dinner at Copacabana Cuban Café in nearby Mount Dora, a quaint town that reminded me and DJ of Mystic, Connecticut—our hometown—but with more gun shops. My uncle and cousins had never eaten Cuban food before, so we tried nearly everything on the menu, and the bill totaled only $88! We were also serenaded by a couple of musicians playing traditional tunes on acoustic guitars. If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend going there. And say hi to DJ, Austin and Stella for me!

Stella, DJ and Austin on Dora Drawdy Way in Mount Dora, Florida (© 2013 Amber Drea)