Category Archives: Brain Kitchen

Wild Yard Sale This Week Plus …Would You Like to Share an Apartment with a Co-Founder?

soundslikewoodstockThe Underground Multiplex moves from its current location, the Brain Kitchen, on Saturday!  History was made there as we’ve met with wonderful people, hosted jazz concerts, held interviews with TV news and radio stations, entertained partygoers with music and movies, and developed our philosophy of collectivism in art and art promotion.

The Brain Kitchen was a special place, but always a physically limited space, so we are off to plant roots in a new home TBD soon.

In the meantime, there are artifacts we will be selling in a wild and funky yard sale Wednesday 5/28 and Friday 5/30 from 3pm-8pm at our grand location at 1424 N Greenview in Chicago. Among the items being sold are Joe’s crazy artwork, some of my insanely cheap but interesting records. books, games, a super 8mm camcorder, a super 8 Sound FILM camera with telescoping mic and various other goodies.  However, please do note the following:

Please don’t ask what specifically we’ll be selling. I’m way too busy packing and working to reply. Just stop by.
NO, we are not selling marionettes.
NO, we are not selling Meinecke or related artwork.
No early birds. We begin promptly at 3pm. Early birds will be plucked and deep fried with a delicious golden brown beer battered coating.

Come on over and pick up a piece of Chicago newsmaker history!

PLUS–Lew, co-founder of TUGM, is still looking for a roommate for a West Logan Sq apartment sublet beginning June 1st – August 31st. Strongly preferring someone who will continue on with a lease on Sept. 1st. If you are serious and interested, email for more details.


Media Double Shot: Mediatrocites on Marionettes and HEAVEMedia Interview

by Legendary Lew

The latest episode of Mediatrocities (filmed and edited by Tyler Pistorius and Joseph R. Lewis) features a quick overview of how marionettes were used throughout history. The influence of marionette puppetry is all around you: movies, interpretive dance, TV, internet, video games, anime, comics. None would exist without marionettes.

Also, Dominick Suzanne-Mayer from HEAVEMedia interviews Joe Lewis, Tyler Pistorius and me.  Joe and I give the most in-depth interview yet on our campaign.  Please give a listen and tell others.


Emily NikkiNIKKI PIERCE stars as Emily, the lonely video game designer at the center of SCI FI SOL, the music video adventure series currently blasting from The Underground Multiplex.  She is an actress and improviser that has performed at such esteemed venues as The Annoyance Theatre and iO(formerly ImprovOlympic).  She has worked as a choreographer for Second City and her band, “Brunettes With Bangs” is too cool for you.  She also enjoyed a long run as producer and performer in the Reader-Recommended show “The Davenports”, an improvised soap opera about “Lincoln, Nebraska’s billionaire first family of dance”.   Her hero is Bo Jackson and she has a beautiful daughter that knows karate. Her blog, “Naked Lunches” is funny and strange, as are her tweets, which you can read @nikkinikkip

Emily Tunnel
How has living in Chicago shaped your career as an actress and comedienne?

After a class with Mark Sutton, I knew I wanted to move to Chicago to study at the Annoyance. I felt my sense of humor and his style of teaching really clicked, and I learned so much about myself and what I wanted to do. I also used to be horrendously uptight and lacked any sort of non-linear thinking. I wouldn’t say I’ve beat those weaknesses by any means, but I’ve learned to use them to my advantage rather than having them hinder my work.

What is Brunettes with Bangs?

Brunettes With Bangs is an electronic girl band consisting of four brunettes with bangs. Unfortunately, one of our members is modeling and acting successfully in LA, so we’re on hiatus right now. The other two members are pretty worthless, but our manager told us that four is the magic number when creating teen craze, so we went with it.

How would you describe Sci Fi Sol?

It’s like jumping into a fantasy world, but with less dragons and fairies, and more megapixels.

How was your experience playing the character of Emily?

The food was amazing. The cast and crew are still some of the most professional I’ve worked with to date. I’m a rambler, so when someone approaches me and says, “We’re going to need you to do this role without saying a word”, I thought, “Like, all day, or just while we’re shooting?” It was a fun challenge and an amazing skill to learn.  I found in process that you really have to bring your own personality and self through to the character. It wasn’t about creating an Emily. I was cast because someone saw Emily in me. I just had to feel the feelings and do work, son. Thank you, Big Black Boykin.

I did have a neurotic fear that someone would notice that my hair was getting longer, or was different from shot to shot. I spent usually an hour in the mirror looking at a picture of myself and making sure the two matched. They never did, and I’m sure no one is sitting anywhere thinking, ‘Man, check out that chick’s hair – what a big disappointment that this obviously wasn’t shot on the same day!”

What’s the most exciting news you’ve received recently?

I was really excited to hear that my main squeeze was getting promoted. My only squeeze, really…I don’t know why I said that. My daughter’s kicking ass in school and karate, and is just really shaping up to be an awesome little lady. I guess everything is going really well right now. I may also just be more open to realizing the good things that are happening, and not focusing or fretting on what may or may not be ahead.

What do you write about on your blog?

I hear random conversations between two people, log it mentally or sometimes jot it down, then write a character monologue based off of one of those people.  I am fascinated by other people and how they talk to each other. I find conversations particularly fascinating because I am pretty socially anxious. I grew up in the South and I was very shy, and was always afraid that anything I said was going to be taken the wrong way, or laughed at, or might hurt someone’s feelings.  So I usually stayed quiet. I know that sounds contradictory, as I said previously that I’m a rambler, but I ramble because I’m anxious. I end up thinking, “You’re being particularly boring or confusing, Pierce. Fix this.”  So I keep on talking, and then I’ve circled myself into a place where people probably think I’m really strange.

I try to enjoy it all and keep moving forward.

We understand that you suffer from Eurotarachnophobia*. How has this affliction affected your life?

I’m positive one day it will happen, and I will have to scream my way to the ED and explain to someone that it has happened, and have them laugh in my face while I cry and pray none of the inevitable 300 teeny spiders have set up home and need to be forcefully or chemically evicted. I mean, that has to be the worst possible thing that could happen to anyone ever.

See Nikki Pierce in a new episode of SCI FI SOL each week here at TUGM or ON THE BIG SCREEN as part of Wendesday Rewind at The Logan Theatre, Spring 2013.

*Fear of spiders coming out of your vagina
Nikki as Bo

Jazz Night at The Underground Multiplex Studios

Lindon and Mike of Prism jammin’.

So while many of you faced the wrath of the the weather gods during Lollapalooza, The Underground Multiplex hosted two jazz acts in our Brain Kitchen Theater: Fundamental and Prism. These are some amazingly talented guys and we were privileged to have them perform in our great intimate attic setting. Sorry about the quality of the photos. Fundamental has a CD available for purchase here.

Prism: Austin on piano, Lindon on guitar, Mike on bass

Prism: Mike on bass, Luke on drums, Spencer on sax

We’ll be having more live events like these–film screenings, live music, live podcasts, etc. Stay tuned!




Director Mike Gibisser presented his quietly disquieting movie FINALLY, LILLIAN & DAN in person at our Brain Kitchen Theatre last Friday night.

A gourmet BBQ was catered for us by Grillmaster MXMI, who also shared his tales of dangerous battles with mythic sea creatures. Laura Zinger (Director, ‘Proceed and Be Bold!‘) impressed all in attendance when she summoned a cloud of moths from a spigot. Once bellies were full and potions had been drank, We, the Mighty Beings of the Kingdom of Nawizopaati, ascended to the Brain Kitchen Theatre and partook in a screening/ancient sweatbox ritual meant to induce illumination.

Fevers, vomiting, impatience, and eventually, Nirvana ensued.

Watch the movie yourself 4FREE Below:

Finally, Lillian and Dan from mike gibisser on Vimeo.

As a prelude to our feature, we were proud to screen Episode One of the Four Eyed Monsters Podcast, by Arin Crumley and Susan Buice.  For those unfamiliar with Four-Eyed Monsters and it’s historic significance in the albeit abbreviated history of independent online film distribution, do investigate further.






Director Burke Lewis presented his lovely movie BILLY WAS A DEAF KID in person at our Brain Kitchen Theatre in May of 2012.

It was an intimate gathering of fellow filmmakers and movie lovers, including director Mike Gibisser (Finally Lillian and Dan) and author/cult leader Katie Rife (Everything is Terrible).  A rigorous and illuminating exchange of ideas and stories ensued.  We celebrate this inaugural assembly of the Mighty Beings of the Kingdom of Nawizopaati.

BILLY WAS A DEAF KID XOX from The Underground Multiplex on Vimeo.

Listen to the Director’s Q&A in its entirety right here:
Billy Was a Deaf Kid Q&A(appr. 100mb)

Special Thanks to director Kentucker Audley for curating BILLY WAS A DEAF KID at his site No Budge , a haven for the American Underground.

Watch the Movie in its entirety RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW FREE:

Billy Was a Deaf Kid from Rhett and Burke Lewis on Vimeo.