When MTV forgot to bring the moon-man awards to the first-ever Video Music Awards in 1984, Nili Yelin saved the day by delivering them in a cab.
Yelin has also appeared on Saturday Night Live, MTV programming, and has rubbed elbows with member of U2. And most recently, the big-apple actress has returned to her North Shore roots to become the area's self-proclaimed "Storybook Mom."
Today, Yelin works as a one-woman traveling act, touring the area and reading children's books to youngsters and their moms. '
At the BookMarket, 1950 Tower Road, Yelin's stage comes in the form of a big red couch in a room littered with stuffed animals and families captivated by her story telling.
"I feel like I've been preparing for it my whole life but didn't know what it was," she said.
And Yelin most definitely is not shy— One of many ways she entertains audiences by "being an adult, acting like a kid," Yelin often adds improvisational songs to her story telling.
"I feel like I incorporate all of my talents," she said.
The Storybook Mom is a distant role from Yelin's previous life in New York, she explained. "I went from being a total serious Shakespearean actress, to the height of pop-culture."
But when she married a fellow Northwestern graduate, she was convinced to move back to Chicago. After having children, Yelin longed for entertainment that both she and her children could enjoy together. So when a friend told her a local bookstore was looking for some grand-opening talent, Yelin went after (and landed) the gig.
Soon after, Yelin began performing all over, including her children's schools—until her daughter banned Yelin from performing when they were in the same place.
"She lost me a lot of gigs in the Wilmette school system," Yelin added with a laugh.
Now, Yelin performs one Thursday every month in Glenview. She landed the gig after an accidental conversation with manager Liz Weinstein while browsing the store's aisles.
"There are a lot of kids in the area and moms love to have free events that they can bring their kids to," Weinstein explained.
And moms agree.
"I thought it was great," said Jeanette Lincoln of Glenview, who attended a recent storybook reading with her son Aidan. "He loves books and we go to the library every week."
Up next, Yelin is working to publish her storytelling how-to book.
Editor's Note: See Yelin in action. Watch the video to the upper right.