Contemplating a big change in my life (long, but advice needed)

I’m faced with a dilemma: I have received a job offer in Chicago. An actual, “legit” job. One that would actually make my mother at least semi-proud to tell people. She’s never liked what I do for a living. So much so that I learned that she actually has been known to tell people that I’m unemployed. Not that I’m living my life for her, you understand. But there are good and bad things about this move, should I do it:


  1. Money-More of it, in theory. And a lot more stable, income-wise. I have no problem being a starving artist, but my cat likes to eat a bit more regularly. A steady income would solve this problem.

  2. Cubs baseball-I’m a huge fan, and love going to Wrigley Field every chance I get. Living in Chicago would enable me to see more games. Not just in person, but also on WGN, which I currently get on my local cable TV, and FoxSports Chicago, which I don’t.

  3. ChiDopes-I’d already be there, and could offer floor space to anyone who wanted or needed it.

  4. My social life-Or lack of it, to be honest. I figure that Chicago would help that aspect of things. Hell, they couldn’t get any worse, could they? Maybe I could play up the “new guy in town” aspect, too.

  5. Culture-Chicago has culture coming out the nutsack, and Louisville has almost NONE. I’m not a HUGE culture person, but it’s nice to know that I could take in a cultural experience if I so desired. Plus, my plan for Shakespeare (I’m planning on modernizing a play or two, and having all the characters speaking in heavy southern accents) would be better-suited to perform there, and my screenplay would probably thrive in a new setting.

  6. Chicago sounds MUCH cooler than Louisville when people ask where you live.

  7. I keep saying that I’d like to get to know the ChiDopers better (jarbaby, boli, Nymmy when she’s around, etc). This would be a perfect way to achieve this goal.


  1. Chicago’s more expensive than Louisville. I’m hoping the money increase would offset anything like that, but who really knows at this point? It’s all up in the air.

  2. The possibility that I’d have to start all over in my stand-up career. A big move at this point could be potentially suicidal, career-wise. I’d have to start all over, doing open mic nights and the like until I started getting my name out a little more. As much as I’d hate doing it, it could be very beneficial for me. I try to stay pretty humble anyway (not that I have a reason NOT to, you understand), and this would be a great way of keeping myself that way. Not just that, but strange crowds may make me feel a little scared again, and that can be good.

  3. My credit is less than stellar, so finding an apartment may be complicated. I may have to recruit the ChiDopers for assistance in finding a new Fortress of SoliDude

  4. Not knowing my way around anywhere. I realize that I’d learn it, in time. But I get impatient about things like that.

  5. Being away from my niece. Again, I’m not living my life for my family, but she IS only 18 months, and I’d like to see her more than I do now.

  6. Chicago winters. Need I say more?
    So…providing that this thing pans out, should I do it? Do the potential goods outweigh the possible minuses? I think so. In my mind, this seems like a good move all around. I’m not getting disillusioned with my stand-up, but I think I need to be re-energized. Like when bands play to smaller clubs to get their energy back. The fire that drove me to do it to begin with, if that makes sense. Plus, my dream in life is to make it to Saturday Night Live (misspelled Saturday just then…it came out Satyrday, which puts a whole new spin on the weekend). If I’m in Chicago, I’d have more chances to land at Second City, and possibly use it as a springboard…

Well, it sort of sounds to me like you’re already leaning toward Chicago. To me it’d come down to two things: Quality of life and career potential. It sounds like both would be better in Chicago. And from what you wrote it doesn’t sound like you have an SO to worry about, which’ll make things easier if you move.

Let us know what you decide!

Go for the big time. If it doesn’t pan out, what’s the worst that could happen? You’d go back to Louisville. When you’re starting from ground zero, you can only go up. And you’ll never know til you try.

[enuff cliches?]

Go to Chicago. Chicago friggin’ rocks. The only real downside is the winters. If you can, live in Boys’ Town (just about anywhere within ten blocks of the corner of Belmont and Halsted is good). :slight_smile:

Go where your gut tells you.


Dude, it’s pretty clear that you already know the answer and just need some nudges in the right direction.

:: nudge ::
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That out to get you as far as Indianapolis. Besides, what’s an action hero got to be afraid of? Kryptonite luggage?

Superdude, go to sweet home Chicago.

I was faced with a somewhat reversed choice eight months ago. Make upwards of 35K in Grand Rapids, Mich. or make 29K in Washington, DC.

Money’s nice, but I had been in Grand Rapids for three months by that point. The only thing I had learned about the city is: I hate it. (No offense to any GR Dopers).

So here I am in DC, working in the field I’ve wanted to be in since I was 16, in the city I’ve wanted to do it in since I was 16. I’ve already been promoted once, so money is less of an issue than I thought it would be. Even when I have no one to hang out with on the weekends, there’s museums and other cultural events up the wazoo.

And you’re a Cubs fan, so the chance to more to Chicago from a city not anywhere near as cool as ChiTown should be a no-brainer.

As for where to live, only do Boys’ Town if you’re really comfortable being in a gay neighborhood (you may be gay, for all I know… haven’t read too many of your posts before). I say this because if you’re straight and looking to get a social life going on, a more conventional neighborhood might be a better choice (not that the El couldn’t get you where you need to go anyway). However, Market Days in that neighborhood (it’s around late summer, I think), is a fantastic time.

I’m pretty sure there’s room in Chicago for ya. Just let us know when you’ll be here so we can be ready, OK?

I think there comes a time in every super dude’s life where he has to move to the Big City, get a job as a
mild-mannered reporter and find a girlfriend with an alliterative name.

Go for it, or you’ll always wonder “what if.”

Second City would be a great springboard! It has launched many a career. Let us know if you ever join…I’d love to come see another show.

Side note, but what Shakespeare plays are you thinking of? We did a production of Comedy of Errors when I was in college and set it in Mardi Gras. It really was a great show. I love seeing Shakespeare done in creative ways.

Another vote for hells yeah. To give you an example, I never had comedy, acting, theater, or anything like it in mind when I came to the city 'o wind, and now a few years later I find myself being adopted into a teeming community of actors, comedians, and all-around creative folk.

There are scads of open-mic nights and performance opportunities. It’s inspiring to be at the hub of a great movement in improv and theater. Second City is here, but don’t overlook Improvolympic, where you can see and learn a style of long-form improvisation that is, IMHO, jaw-dropping.

If you like the Cubs (which shows a discerning taste and strength of character in itself), Wrigleyville is actually a pretty cheap and convenient place to live (relatively).

Best of luck with your decision…

Go to Chicago!

Go to Chicago!

I moved away from Louisville last year and I’ve never looked back. I don’t know how long you’ve been there, but it was only after I moved away that I realized how lousy Louisville really was. I had been there so long I was used to it. But now that I’ve gotten used to somewhere else, I wouldn’t go back to L’ville for anything. There’s the already mentioned lack of cultural opportunities, there’s the poor race relations, the regressionist attitudes, the humidity. . . Also, Louisville is not an especially inexpensive place to live. I don’t know how thoroughly you compared the two cities, but the financial aspect of this might not be as bad as you think.

There’s nothing on your ‘BAD’ list that indicates you will miss anything about Louisville itself at all. The only things I ever miss about Louisville are a couple of specific restaurants (Ernesto’s, Ramses Cafe. . .) and going to Otter Creek park for mountain biking. It’ll be a bummer being farther away from your niece, I can understand that as most of my family is still in KY. But like you said, you can’t live for your family. It really sounds like going to Chicago (. . . with an achin’ in your heart . . . ) is the best thing for you. Good luck!

I don’t think that Chicago currently has a super hero so the job is yours if you want it.

I lived in CHicago for three years and it was great. Really cool people and TONS of things to do. In the summer there is not cooler city in the U.S. Of course, the winters are a bit rough. Still, GO!

I’ve always lived in the Chicago area, and my son LOVES the city. He moved in with a buddy of his and HE DIDN’T EVEN HAVE A JOB! He’s a waiter, and there’s no shortage of tables in Chicago in the summertime! Rent will run you anywhere from $700 on up (unless you’re easier to please than I am–and I can live 'most anywhere).

DO IT! It is truly a friendly, fun, exciting, classy, down-to-earth city.

Needless to say, it appears your mind is made up. Just get in your car and take the plunge. Better to do it when the weather’s nice (cuz winter truly sucks in Chicago).

I had to move from Phoenix to a small town named Prescott three years ago. No bands play here, there are no night clubs, not much of a creative community (what there is is hippie-ish and ‘safe’). Phoenix ain’t much, but at least I could hear live music! I could dance! I could go to weird art things in weird art places!

Go to Chicago!

Sorry, no room here.

Aw, I’m just yanking yer chain. Come to Chicago. Please? I’ll buy you a beer!

Dude, just GO. Look at me, all the potential minuses for moving to the big bad USA, and I just did it.

You can’t get where you want to be by standing on the shore and gazing longingly.