Stolen Jokes, Stolen Songs: 2 Artists On What Happens When Works In Progress Are Lost To Thieves

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Beyond being touring performers on the rise, Beth Stelling and Amanda Shires don’t have a lot in common. Stelling, who plays Thalia Hall at 8 p.m. Thursday (thaliahallchicago.com), grew up in Ohio and began her stand-up comedy career in Chicago. Shires is a singer-songwriter from Texas who performs her own songs and also plays violin and sings in the 400 Unit, the band led by her husband, Jason Isbell.

But they do have one terrible experience in common: While each was performing in Chicago in recent years, they had vehicles broken into and lost backpacks full of material they were working on, all of it handwritten and not backed up.

Stelling lost the notebooks in which she kept her jokes and joke ideas. Shires lost songs in progress for a new record, plus a journal and poetry she had written for a college thesis project.

On one level, it’s just a horrible coincidence and probably not a sign that Chicago is plagued by a serial idea thief. On another, though, it likely happens more often in a performer’s life than people know about it. Ernest Hemingway, famously, lost a suitcase full of his earliest stories, and the fact that we know this testifies to how meaningful such an experience can be.

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Source : http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/museums/ct-ent-stelling-shires-stolen-backpacks-1207-story.html

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