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Erica Slutsky (Singer/Songwriter)
New York, NY
Erica Slutsky is a writer, singer, and songwriter in New York City. Highlights Include: Placing as a finalist in various TV and playwriting contests, teaching voice, piano, bass, and guitar at Girls Rock! Chicago, being paid to write, discovering Zumba, covering Solomon Burke at the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, and having written and performed at some of Chicago’s best theatres, comedy theatres, sketch Festivals, cabarets, and jazz and rock clubs.
Interests: Music, theatre, soul, jazz, rock, coffee.
Recent Activity
A holiday party playlist of the best non-Mariah songs By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) I refuse to believe that there is a War on Christmas, because I am a total Christmas Jew, which is to say that I know far more about Christmas music than I will ever admit in public: I’ve seen the 2003 American Idol Christmas Special (Watch at your own peril: Tamyra sang the Mariah song, not Kelly.). I listen to Bruce Springsteen cover “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and spend every December hoping Clarence (er, Jake) will get a new saxophone. I drive people crazy every... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2016 at Crazytown
Obama, I see you! By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) I’ve watched a ton of political documentaries over the last year and a half, and I keep coming back to Jesse Jackson and Julian Bond. Both tried to be the first Black President, and both failed due to similar factors outside of their control: Youthfulness, a lack of government experience, ties to specific cultural organizations, youth appeal, and the overall fear of putting a minority in charge. It’s strange to think that even fictional portrayals of Presidents were just as reticent to cast a Black actor in the role before President Barack... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2016 at Crazytown
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A ton of people, both Republicans and Democrats, really miss George W. Bush. But why? By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) I don’t know if anyone under 30 knows this feeling now, but being a young Democrat in the early 2000s was like being the fan of a sports team that constantly lost despite great odds. There were a lot of television episodes and movies from that not-too-recent era that carried the unmistakable sentiment of “Rigged!” and most of them took the high road by not even showing then-President George W. Bush as a character (See: Recount). We felt like we were... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2016 at Crazytown
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What happens when a loved one is (gasp!) a Republican? By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) There’s this great episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where gleefully offensive hero Larry David is allowed a hall pass to cheat on his wife. He gets seduced by Tony winner Cady Huffman (playing herself), but then sees a photo of George W. Bush on her table and realizes that he can’t sleep with her because she’s a Republican. Skittishness about Republicanism has been around since the Reagan era’s Family Ties, which featured a lovable young Republican going against his hippie parents. But, in the twenty-first century,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2016 at Crazytown
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Did The Simpsons really predict the Drumpfinator’s rise? A lifelong fan investigates. By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) I’m happy to announce that “Chewing on Freedom,” my pop culture review of the recent election, has been approved as a CrazyTown serial, updated on Fridays! If you have any suggestions for future columns, put them in the comments – the only rules are 1. No documentaries and 2. Nothing that could be read as propaganda. And now for (Hot Shots) Part Deux! Since the denouement of Decision 2016: Neverending Story 4, I’ve listened to a lot of opinions. The two most frequent comments... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2016 at Crazytown
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Therapeutic post-Election TV recommendations that aren't Veep or House of Cards By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) It is an understatement to say that many of us are feeling vulnerable right now. Maybe it’s the raging ulcer I’ve been fighting since Tuesday, or the compulsion to advocate for my beliefs, but I think I finally understand what the term “fire in the belly” means. In between giving and receiving empathy, I’ve tried to find safe spaces to laugh, smile, and share in between the other thoughts I’ve had on this election. While every case is different, Americans on both sides are nevertheless... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2016 at Crazytown
Hey, Geoffrey! This post really articulated a lot of feelings I've been having about Whitney and Bobbi lately. It's why I couldn't follow through on my promise to very publicly learn a Whitney song this year...it just felt cheap and exploitative. I think, every death is tragic and, when special people pass on, we need to pay our respects, even if everyone doesn't see. Major props for writing this!
Toggle Commented Feb 16, 2015 on REMEMBERING WHITNEY HOUSTON at Crazytown
I'd say to have a "Sacred Circle" of 4 or 5 people you show your work to - the people who really support you in your journey but keep you grounded. Otherwise, my work would be as much on lockdown as the director's cut of "I'll Do Anything."
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2014 on CREATIVITY EXERCISES FOR 2015 at Crazytown
You forgot the best thing about "Go" - it inspired the Simpsons episode "Trilogy of Error!" This year's Simpsons Christmas episode involved Homer going to a Christmas rave. Hmm...
Toggle Commented Dec 12, 2014 on A FEW OF MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS FILMS at Crazytown
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You've got no room in your bag for regret. By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) When I started writing and performing my own songs, the Groovelily influence was very, very obvious. It wasn’t where I expected to be a decade after I saw that show. But, once expectations pervaded my writing and acting, I started hating the process. While those artistic choices were what I’d planned half my life around, they just weren’t where my heart lived. Looking over my old answers in countless therapy and career planning books to research this serial, I’m shocked at how little I mentioned theatre and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at Crazytown
Obligatory Simpsons quote! Nobody knows Grand Funk? The wild, shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner? The bong-rattling bass of Mel Chakra? The competent drumwork of Don Brewer? OH MAN!
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And you may pay for what you get... By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) I know the title of this serial comes from a song with these inspirational lyrics, but this is the hardest part for me to recount. Image: The Columbus Dispatch By 25, musical theatre, for me, was like this Pippinesque fire pit I’d jumped in and somehow survived with numerous burns intact. Every time I tried to avoid it, I always came back. But then, I’d remember flawed logic like the fact that I couldn’t make it past callbacks for a cappella in college (I’d also said no at... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2014 at Crazytown
That is nuts!!! Way to go!
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And you may rise above it all... By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) It’s a little hard to describe Striking 12 to anyone who hasn’t seen it, although it’s definitely not for everyone. The indie pop-soul-jazz band Groovelily cowrote Striking 12 with Rachel Sheinkin as a cross between a holiday musical and a Groovelily concert. The three members of the band play various characters in a fourth-wall-shattering, seriocomic narrative that combines The Little Match Girl, a Grumpy Guy in NYC on New Year’s Eve, the band’s relationships, screwed-up people making great art, and seasonal depression. There are moments of release, moments of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2014 at Crazytown
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You make a choice, you make a call... By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) So, after a birthday pre-game theatre binge that encompassed Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, Allegro, Pippin, and The Last Ship, and coming to terms with a lot of Big Life Issues as a result, I’ve decided to post something a little deeper and empathetic instead of the usual snarky takes on life as an ah-tist. Conclusions reached: I was a far better actor/singer in the past than I realized; being an actor/singer is much harder than most people give us credit for; I hated doing it exactly as much... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2014 at Crazytown
I don't see a back-up plan as any sort of fallback. Once I turned 25, I kind of wished I'd planned more around one that I enjoyed doing and could make a stable income from - and, once I did, I basically fought tooth and nail to not do what I hated doing anymore as a crutch.
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2014 on BACK-UP PLANS NEED NOT APPLY at Crazytown
This is hysterical!! So unlike every "how to play bass not like a guitarist" article out there.
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So you want to compose? You don’t play an instrument? That’s okay! By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) Also, go see Allegro at Classic Stage right now because acoustic guitars. First things first: If you’re learning any instrument (or recording or beat-making software, if you want to be like Lorde, Tune-Yards, or Reggie Watts), functionality is key! It took me forever to find a good guitar strap. Padded ones are too big for a woman’s shoulders and suede sheds. Gig bags are especially important if you carry a purse and use subway turnstiles. I put buttons on mine so I can tell... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2014 at Crazytown
Every highbrow writer I know is anti-"Family Guy," but this is one of my favorite cutaway gags ever: "At least I don't openly write at Starbucks."
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2014 on WRITER'S BLOCK: AN ABUSIVE LOVE STORY at Crazytown
I'd say the best advice is to just do it. If you have a thick skin, there's no wrong way. I think, as long as you know how to censor yourself and not cross a line. Even then, it is a formative experience for your writing to not go over well (as everyone who's been in a workshop will likely attest). Don't write offensively, but allow yourself to write badly even if no one ever sees it because that's creative freedom no matter what. And it allows you to grow.
Toggle Commented Nov 12, 2014 on CAN WRITING BE TAUGHT? at Crazytown
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Everybody's posting about what tools they use, so why can't I? By Erica Slutsky (Writer/Singer/Songwriter) Cue up the optimistic music. Kids, it’s hard to believe but, sometime around 2006-2007ish, like a clumsier, less hygienically sound Hannah Horvath, I, a non-English major with no connections in the publishing world, made money from my writing. Obligatory Lena Dunham gif #431! Cut to: Today, I try to write as much as I can without getting burned out or bitter. I still get paid assignments here and there, plus placing in contests and the occasional non-self-published triumph. However, the only time I was ever,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at Crazytown
Love that these are comedy/political satire - I could use more of that in my life and fewer, well, let's face it, cover songs. And, as promised, "What if Bo Burnham was on My Little Pony?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQFmaNlq2lk
Toggle Commented Nov 6, 2014 on WHAT TO WATCH ON YOUTUBE at Crazytown
If you're my age, you not only picture that Chips Ahoy commercial, but three(!) Bette Midlers singing "In the Mood!" And maybe Lisa Simpson's jazz band version of "Take Five!"
Toggle Commented Nov 4, 2014 on JAZZ YOU NEVER KNEW YOU KNEW at Crazytown
I remember when "Tiny Furniture" came out and I was in grad school - everyone I knew came up to me and said, "Someone is doing exactly what you do with their writing and making money from it!" I never thought that, years later, so many girls would not only relate to Lena, but they'd have the courage to try writing about the same things, too. "Girls" opened a LOT of doors, didn't it?
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2014 on BREAKING BUSHWICK at Crazytown
Hi, Sue! I was going to give an update in next week's blog. In short, life happened, and writing a musical just stopped being my biggest priority right now. When I started writing these posts, I assumed that I would be writing a musical but, I guess, things change and people adjust accordingly. If you are interested in the creative process of writing a musical, there are tons of other CrazyTown writers who do blogs on it - Greg Jacobs-Roseman, Julia Meinwald, Circle Songbook, and David Davila, to name a few. I have many different interests as a performer and writer and use this blog to write about them. But, as many bad experiences I've had in that field, I'm definitely not anti-musical theatre. I really hope I'm not coming across that way!
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2014 on COMMUNITY: PART 5 at Crazytown