Come to the Party, it's Weird (Ep. 194 - Cheryl)

This Week’s Guest: Nick Schiarizzi

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How do you make friends as an adult? Without school to throw lots of people together in far greater combinations than a workplace, it's easy to feel stuck in the wrong group -- especially when other gays are hard to find. So my guest this week did something about that. Nick Schiarizzi is the co-founder of the brutally bizarre dance party Cheryl, where everyone comes expecting something weird and leaves having something even weirder. But you'd never guess it to look at him -- Nick is calm, deadpan, and for most of his life terrified to dance. But when he found himself feeling lonely and frustrated as a young adult, he decided to find a way to break through his inhibitions to he could finally find others like him.

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This Week’s Recommendation: Cheryl

Thanks again to Nick for joining me. I do heartily recommend those Cheryl parties. But if you're not in New York or a city where the party's on tour, you can experience a tiny taste of the next best thing by looking up their promo videos. Go to and click through the videos to find a lengthy collection spanning a decade of festive, colorful, and mystifying videos that capture the very strangest nocturnal queer culture that New York has to offer.

In those Cheryl videos you'll catch a glimpse of hundreds of people gathering together under cover of dark and buffeted by bass, dancing and partying and pushing boundaries for the sake of pushing boundaries. Sometimes art is meaningful, and other times the meaningless is the meaning. That, and kicking back to just enjoy yourself as extravagantly as possible while also spending as little money as possible. And what could be a more fundamental definition of queer culture than that?

So go -- watch some videos, get confused, get excited, and then find your way to creating something extremely peculiar of your own that definitely shouldn't exist, but does.

Stuff We Talked About