What’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6-cubic-foot refrigerators.
On the grill
Mark Chavez—originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and now living in East Vancouver. Superfans of the East Van Panto will recognize Chavez’s name as the writer of Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and Panto Come Home. You also might remember him from his appearances in Panto Come Home, Alice in Wonderland, and The Little Mermaid. If you don’t recognize him or remember his name from any of the above that either means you’re new to the Panto, or he is not very memorable. Or, OR! It means he’s so good at acting, such a chameleon, that you assumed it was different people playing all of these characters. That’s probably it.
Who are you
I am an actor, writer, and comedian and am currently on stage at the York Theatre performing as Señor Tamaki and the Skunk King in the East Van Panto: Beauty and the Beast (running until January 7). I also host a podcast on the CBC called Let’s Make a Horror, and can be seen every Sunday at the Fox Cabaret performing with my improv friends (I refuse to say “troupe”, but I guess I just did. I’m in an improv troupe) The Sunday Service.
I think the first concert I ever attended was Three Dog Night. They were performing at an outdoor concert in my hometown of Albuquerque. I don’t remember anything about the evening except the name of the band, and even that is iffy.
Three Dog Night. My parents brought me when I was three. Changed my life. I also remember seeing Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze (see below) in a bar in Santa Fe during a major snowstorm. Very few people made it out, and it was just him and, like, seven of us singing along. It was incredibly inspiring to watch a guy who had filled literal stadiums in his career perform with so much love and energy for a tiny group in a little pub. I think about that whenever I do shows for small houses.
Top three records
Squeeze Singles — 45’s and Under My older sister got me this cassette tape when I was nine because I loved the song “Cool for Cats”. When I played it (on her stereo—I didn’t have one yet) and heard the first track on Side A, “Take Me I’m Yours”, I was like, “Does this band only make bangers?” Turns out, no. But this tape led to a lifelong obsession with this band.
Eazy-E Eazy-Duz-It Oh man, there is zero filler in this record. I listened to it so much in college. I came to it a good 10 years after it was released (and a few years after Eazy-E died). I’m often a bit behind the times with music. Like, look at my next album pick.
That U2 album that they made us all have in our iTunes like 10 years ago Just kidding. I just wanted to be the only person in the world to say that this was their favourite album.
All-time favourite music video
Peter Gabriel “Sledgehammer” I like Peter Gabriel, but I loved this video when I was a kid. If you haven’t seen it, it’s all stop-motion animated backgrounds behind actual Peter Gabriel, who’s also stop-motion lip-syncing. I still have no idea what the song is about.
What’s in your fridge
An unwrapped Baby Bell cheese circle with a tiny bite out of it, in a clear, way-too-big for it plastic container. I don’t know how this always happens, but storage containers are always at a premium in this house. As a result, we have a constant “size of leftovers” to “size of container” discrepancy Also, will my two-year-old eat this cheese that he sampled when I pull it out for him later? No.
There are always, like, two sweaters in our freezer. Because we are at war with moths and this is how you kill their eggs. A great side effect is that a cold sweater is a great way to keep you cool on a hot summer day.
A bag of jalapeños. I have them chopped up most days with my lunch. Which is always cheese and crackers and hummus. And like, not good hummus—store hummus, which is kind of its own type of spread. I don’t know when this started happening, but it’s been going on for a long time. On occasion, I’ll make guacamole, which the jalapeños are great for as well.