Last night in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York, former child star-turned-author Mara Wilson hosted a hilarious, educational, and at moments extremely vulnerable night of storytelling about her and her comic friends’ deepest fears.
“What Are You Afraid Of?” takes places at Q.E.D. in Astoria monthly and explores the most deep-seated, unexpected fears of some of Gotham’s funniest stand-ups in a warm, friendly atmosphere that invites audience participation and sometimes results in the giveaway of free vegan brownies.
Thursday’s installment of the series saw The Chris Gethard Show’s Jo Firestone as a particular standout – her deeply frightening, laugh-out-loud outrageous recollection of her flirtation with a chess player recently released from prison had us gasping for air and also grimacing in horror.
Other guests included Will Miles, also of Gethard, who shared a fear of not knowing the end date of something – relationships, jobs, road trips – and learning to cope with the unplanned abyss that is post-grad life.
Lyssa Mandel, host of Q.E.D.’s The Bitch Seat, also performed, recalling a list of fears that included everything from “fear of all the smart people deciding not to have babies” to “fear of cutting my eyeball.”
Wilson’s fears included earthquakes, lobsters, getting too high, and most everything else, it turns out. Her fact-filled, goofy rapport with the audience made the night a true pleasure to attend. Wilson, who as a child had starring roles in films like Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire, will release her first full-length memoir in September, titled Where Am I Now?
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Check out “What Are You Afraid Of?”‘s event page here. It takes place every third Thursday of the month.