I am a storyteller, not a comedian. But a lot of people at my gigs ask me if I do stand up. I don't tell jokes, but I make people laugh—especially in small settings. My stories are about family, parenting, growing up in rural Florida, and traveling with kids.
I also talk about writing, about creativity, about productivity.
I have two books I like to sell at gigs: Death by Children, and The Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats.
Here's my bio and a letter of recommendation.
Christopher "Bull" Garlington is the author of Death by Children: I Had Kids So You Don't Have To!; a syndicated humor columnist, whose work appears in various magazines, including Chicago Parent, and New York Parenting; he is co-author of the wildly popular foodie compendium, The Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats.
Garlington won the 2012 Silver and the 2013 Gold from the Parenting Media Association's annual award for best humor column. His book is a finalist for two prestigious book of the year awards. He lives in Chicago with his [Attorney] and two children. His features have appeared in newspapers and magazines since 1989.
Here is a letter of recommendation for Bull's program:
Dear Communications Professional:
I am writing this letter in recommendation of Christopher "Bull" Garlington, a talented and well-regarded syndicated humor columnist and speaker.
I am the 49th President of the Illinois Woman's Press Association, an organization of professional women and men pursuing careers across the communications spectrum. It was founded in 1885 by a group of 47 women throughout Illinois who saw a need to provide communication and support between women writers. In 1937, IWPA was the founding chapter of the National Federation of Press Women.
As a relatively new leader of our Association, one of my missions is to seek out additional value for our networking events, educational programming and collaborations with like-minded organizations. To that end, I have made a concerted effort to source speakers who might offer mentoring and a different perspective for our consortium of mostly journalists, marketing professionals and public relations experts.
On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Bull agreed to appear as the special guest of IWPA and Chicago Women in Publishing (CWIP) at a joint evening mixer in downtown Chicago. At the time I knew little of him outside of his published work syllabus and impressive biography. However, I had a suspicion that many of our members might be nurturing ambitions to moonlight in comedy, with no idea of how to get started, let alone where to access the internal courage to try something so outside their published comfort zone.
To say that Bull was a huge hit with the ladies is an understatement. Not only is Garlington as engaging and humorous in person as he is in print, but he is an unbelievably humble and generous tutor: sharing personal anecdotes (failures included) that inspired our group to grapple with their insecurities to try something new – whatever form that desire takes. Though he had another engagement to attend later in the evening, Bull patiently answered everyone's questions, posed for photos and signed copies of his successful books for the crowd - The Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats and Death by Children: I had kids so you don't have to!
It is not often the case that one so humorous has so much practical knowledge to offer. From writing an attention-grabbing query letter, to balancing career demands with a young family, to continuing to follow your dreams in the face of rejection, Bull was a true inspiration to the group. And the fact that he had us roaring with laughter as we soaked up his advice was just memorable icing on the cake.
If your organization has a need for a guaranteed mix of practical career content, entertainment and fellowship, get in touch with Bull Garlington. You'll be glad you did.
Rebecca "Becky" Sarwate?President?Illinois Woman's Press Association
Christopher "Bull" Garlington is the author of Death by Children: I Had Kids So You Don't Have To!; a syndicated humor columnist, whose work appears in various magazines, including Chicago Parent, and New York Parenting; he is co-author of the wildly popular foodie compendium, The Beat Cop's Guide to Chicago Eats. Garlington's features have appeared in newspapers and magazines since 1989. He won the 2013 Silver from the Parenting Media Association's annual award for best humor column. He lives in Chicago with his [Attorney] and two children.