Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I must perform these two monologues.

Well, I just couldn’t stand it. I had to figure out a way to keep doing these shows! The good news is that I am going to be making both monologues into films in the next year. I have a great producer (I can’t announce his name just yet) and we are in the planning stages for filming. In the meantime, I wanted to keep both monologues alive in my head. And since I’m doing a benefit in Spokane, performing In The Family Way, on Oct. 7th, I figured I should call the Groundling Theater and figure out some dates where I could do my shows.

So, I’m going to do ten Sunday morning performances. Three of In The Family Way, and seven of Letting Go Of God. I know, it’s weird doing a Sunday morning matinee, but I really wanted to do it at the Groundling Theater (that place is like the house I grew up in, I feel so closely connected to it) and that’s the only time the theater really had for me. Plus, I will admit, I love that time of the day and that time of the weekend. (Maybe that's why Church's do so well...) In my case, I get up so early, and I often have other things I want to do on Sunday afternoons (like go to the Skeptic lectures in Pasadena at Cal Tech -- see and Sunday nights are hard because there's work and school the next day to get ready for, and well, to me a Sunday morning show is perfect. Also, I used to go to the eleven a.m. Sunset Five matinees years ago, and it sure seemed like there were a lot of us out there who enjoyed seeing something at that time of the weekend.

Also…I am less interested in bodies in the seats than I am in keeping my performance up and current in my brain. Also…(so many also’s…!) it gives me a chance to serve coffee and scones and drive my publicist crazy because of what a weird-ass idea it is to do shows on Sunday mornings. So, there you go.


And ALSO the parking is great on Sunday morning, no valet, plenty of street parking –and great places to go to brunch before or after. I will gather information on restaurants nearby over the next few weeks. I will be starting Sept. 25th and do sporadic Sundays through October, then pretty much every Sunday through the middle of December. And finally, two Sundays in January.

I am going to do Letting Go Of God in Palm Springs on March 11, 2006. I will have more details soon. Then, in May, Ira Glass and I are going to do a joint show in Seattle and in Austin. I will have more details about that soon too. In that case, I will be doing a one hour version of my show, and then questions and answers with Ira afterwards.

What else? Oh yes, I am going to be on a panel at TAM4 in Las Vegas in later January. For information go to or to And then I’m going to be speaking at TED this year. This conference is in Monterey, CA Feb. 22 – 25. For information on that, go to

That’s all I can announce right now. Whew. In the meantime, I am working at Desperate Housewives three days a week and on my book for two days a week. I know I said I was going to blog more, but…I have so much to say that I can’t actually SAY. ARGH. So, it’s hard. But I will try.

Mulan and I just went up to Spokane for five days last week. I have eight girlfriends who I've known my whole life, and we all got together last Wednesday to boat around Coeur'D Alene lake and drink margaritas and get caught up. We talked all day long. We could have been at it for a week, I think we all felt we were just scratching the surface. We all vowed to do this more often. We jumped off the roof of the houseboat we were in, and we drove past Camp Sweloken where many of us went to Camp Fire Girls Camp when we were young, and we even yelled out our old camp "call" and the current campers answered us back from the beach. It was heaven. The next day Mulan and I went boating with Darcy and her sister Dena, who are among my old pals. Darcy lives on the Spokane River. She water skis four times a week all summer. She works two days a week. Her life is AWESOME. I was inspired and jealous and felt lucky all at the same time.

Every minute I wanted to move back to Spokane. The whole time I was there, I was thinking, "You had the guts to move OUT of Spokane, but do you have the guts to move BACK?" Like it was the tag of a movie or something. Mulan and my mother and my niece and nephew and I went to the movie March Of The Penguins. We all also saw the Imax movie about the Nile. I try to see all the IMAX movies.

We went on the carousel downtown, we wandered through Riverfront park, we went to Auntie's bookstore and got books. The weather was perfect. We had a little wind storm that kept us in one night. WHAT AM I DOING HERE IN LOS ANGELES?

I kept reminding myself that I actually really like Los Angeles. And I really like my neighborhood and the schools and I love show business, too. But still...

One night I drove past my grandmother's house and sat outside for ten or fifteen minutes and fantasized about buying it, remodeling it, and then just...quilting and listening to the radio in it for the rest of my life.

I was recently talking to a writer friend about characters and their "drives." When you write on a show, you are always talking about what the character "wants" and what their "drive" is what they are willing to do to "get" what they want. All these words are so active. And my whole writing career I have had a hard time with it. When I write things on my own, my characters are very passive. Things happen TO them. They don't want very much. I mean, I have learned how to think in the "drive" mode, but this is not natural to me. It's hard for me to think of: plot. I am much better with character and characters reacting to things that happen.

Anyway, my friend said something that just blew my mind. It changed they way I approach much of my writing. He said, "Look. All I really want to do is read the newspaper. And everything that happens is my personal obstacle to getting to just sit down and read the paper. So that's all you need, that's all the drive you have to have."

I know this may seem so inconsequential, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. Yes. YES. That's exactly right. And that's true for me -- at least for the moment. All I really want to do is quilt and listen to the radio. That's all I want to do. I want that like some people want heroin. (I am taking a quilting class on Saturdays now...just so you know. I am making a quilt for my daughter's stuffed animal, Eddie, an object that she has not parted with since we got off the plane from China.)

So, I sat outside my grandmother's house, a house I have only happy and content and loving memories associated with, and I just wanted to buy that house and quilt and listen to the radio. For like...years and years. Till I was tired of it. Even though I couldn't imagine being tired of it.

Okay. Here I am wistfully going on about this when I'm also announcing all this performing. I guess I am full of contradictions, like, I suppose, we all are.

But still! Quilting and listening to the radio!


Anonymous said...

"Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then, I contradict myself;
(I am large—I contain multitudes.)"

Walt Whitman

Anonymous said...

Well Julia, life is complicated isn't it! I'm 56 raising an 8 year old, so I know the real fun you are having, honest!
An Admirer

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