Published on October 30th, 2018 | by Padraic Coffey0
My Favourite Things – Erica Sigurdson
Erica Sigurdson is a comedian based in Vancouver, Canada. Her album Situational Feminist: You Get the Cheque is out now.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994, Frank Darabont)
*Warning: contains some spoilers for The Shawshank Redemption*
I’ve probably seen The Shawshank Redemption over a hundred times. I watch it every time it’s on television. When I flip through the channels and see that it’s on, I say, “Well, there goes my whole day. This is what I’m doing now. I’m sitting down and watching it.” I love that it has this story of great friendship, and of comeuppance when the warden eventually ends up getting framed by Andy, and the escape. It’s pretty amazing.
It was probably one of the first movies I watched with my husband, Jay, when we first met. He had it on VHS tape, and put it in, and instantly, we both loved it. Shawshank is kind of our movie, the one we’ll watch together over and over again.
I like some prison movies and TV shows. I liked Orange is the New Black, before this last season, which seems to be getting a little bit out of control. What I especially like about The Shawshank Redemption is that he is innocent in jail, which is not always the case with movies about prison. Being this kind of rule-follower, and a bit of a nerd, my worst fear is to get framed for something and then thrown in prison. It really makes you wonder what you would do in that case. Also, I have learned that if you ever have a dead body, you must call the police immediately. Don’t try to cover it up.
Jagged Little Pill (1995, Alanis Morissette)
Here’s the thing about me. I grew up in a really religious family, so the only music that was in the house was Christian music, or sometimes country music, so I don’t have a big attachment to music. It’s not that I have an album which I say was the anthem of my life, but I remember getting my first car, with a CD player, and then listening to Jagged Little Pill. As a young person, suddenly having your own freedom, it was such a huge, anthem-esque album for so many young women. I loved it and listened to it a trillion times: sun-roof open, gonna take over the world.
‘You Oughta Know’ is the song that women would scream angrily at the nightclub. When I hear that song, it takes me back to being in my Lada, which is a terrible Russian car. The fact that Alanis Morissette was Canadian was definitely an important part of it all. I remember her when she was just ‘Alanis’, when she was a bit nerdier, with her spiral perm and the bow in her hair. She sang more pop songs. That part also really resonated with me, because I felt, coming out from under quote-unquote “your parents’ control”, she had reinvented herself. I thought, “this is me too”, but I certainly was not as badass as she was, because I was still a bit of a nerd.
Kiss Me, Kill Me (2004, Ann Rule)
My favourite book is Kiss Me, Kill Me by Ann Rule. I’m a huge fan of true crime, and I’ve read it since I was young. Reading up on people who would murder their families. I remember when I was twelve, I got this book called Mad Family Murders, and my parents were very concerned about me. Maybe this is also why I like prison stories. I don’t want to murder anybody, obviously – I’m a nerd – but I’m really interested in getting into the human psyche that would make someone want to murder their own family. Through my love of true crime, I got hooked on reading Ann Rule’s books. She’s a Seattle true crime writer, one of the best, and when she’s involved in cases, she follows them right through the court system to the outcome. Kiss Me, Kill Me is almost exclusively stories of women who were murdered, or almost murdered. Some of them got away. The key thing that keeps coming back, with all these women, is that they knew something was wrong. It’s like Ted Bundy getting the girl to help them get in the van – every one of them had this gut feeling, but women are conditioned to be nice, and we don’t want people to think we’re rude, so these women went against their gut instinct and they ended up getting terribly murdered, sometimes by strangers, and sometimes by abusive partners. I’ve probably read the book five times, and I use it as my warning and reminder to all women in my life – when you have that feeling in your stomach, it’s for a reason. You need to get the hell out of there. Everyone should read it.
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