Monday, October 23, 2006

I am in New York doing my show, Letting Go of God. Tonight I’m doing something different: I'm at Joe’s Pub with Jill Sobule. My mother is in town with me, helping to babysit Mulan while I am on stage.

Yesterday I had a matinee and afterwards my mother and Mulan and I went on a tour of the city on one of those Grey Line tours where you sit on the second story of the bus. I really didn’t want to go. I have lived in New York for years at a time. But it was super, super fun. I mean I am SO into it now. Today I’m going to make Mulan take the Brooklyn tour.

The audiences in New York have been amazing. Saturday night, Massimo Pigliucci came to the show. I mention him in my show and quote him in his defense of evolution over intelligent design. It was great to see him again. I had met him before at a conference, but he had only heard other people telling him that he was mentioned in my show. Anyway, now he’s seen it. I was so glad.

There was a New York Times critic in the audience on Saturday. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I think my CD ordering off my website to the general public is going to be delayed by one week. I will know more today. It’s just tricky coordinating all these things. I had no idea. But it’s all sooooooo close. I am so excited. The response I’ve been getting from the CD is really nice. And the book too. I am so happy I took a long time and made it just the way I wanted to.

My mother’s friend, Joy, came from Spokane just to see the show. She was also raised Catholic and after she began teaching Sunday school and had to teach the Old Testament, she left the church and she’s now an atheist! We got to have a spirited debate with my mother after Joy saw the show. My mother says she enjoys believing in God. And so that is that. And you know, I think that’s what most people think. I don’t feel any hostility towards my mother, in fact we are getting along better now than ever. But I keep mulling that over in my mind, enjoying believing in God. Yeah, I think I enjoyed it too. But I think you can only enjoy it if you don’t think about it too deeply or look at it too closely.


Anonymous said...


I saw your performance on Saturday night at Arse Nova in NYC. The show is fabulous and so are you! Ironically I was reading Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" and mentioned to a friend how your show "Letting Go of God" is quoted in his book. To my shock, my friend said, 'Oh, I'm seeing her show on Saturday night!' He got me a ticket and the rest is history. It's like a miracle!....not.

After 12 years of catholic school I'm finally coming to the realization that I'm an atheist. I turned 40 this year, so yes, it took awhile.

Your show is so smart and funny that I would recommend it to ANYONE...evangelical, non-believer, whoever...

Scott Starr

Smartypants said...

Julia - Speaking of Times critics, did you notice that you are the top-rated off-off-bway show, according to their online reader poll?

Granted, there have only been six votes (including mine for five stars), but obviously, those came from very discerning theatergoers! ;-D

Anonymous said...

My mother-in-law is the same way as your mother, Julia. She likes, needs, and enjoys being part of the church. She even converted to Catholicism from Lutheran about 13 years ago because she liked the added formality and structure of the services.

When my wife "came out" to her mom after my father-in-law died, my MIL's first reaction was that she "didn't want to be converted" to atheism. We tried to tell her we don't want her to give up her faith. We understand it's important to her, and for such a strong woman, she would fall apart without it.

So, we just realized we can't really talk about it too much. Even hinting that there are people who don't believe in a god that belong to her family sends her into a tizzy because we won't be joining her in heaven.

Joe said...

I love bus tours when traveling but as a NYC resident I never took those Manhattan bus tours. Always see them ... should take it sometime. Sounds like a b'day idea.

The Staten Island ferry is great though ... and if you are a woman, you can pretend you are Melanie Griffith in "Working Girl!"

Sheldon said...

Hey Joe, we can all pretend to be Melanie Griffith in "Working Girl" if we really try hard. : )

-- Shel

Sheldon said...

P.S. Am I the Head Cheerleader mentioned above? I really, really hope I am! LOL

Anonymous said...

Can I be a cheerleader, too, Sheldon? Go Julia! Go Julia! Yaa-aa-aa-aay atheism!

: )

Anonymous said...

"enjoying beliving in God" that keeps going through my head. Like you said, what's so wrong? I like beliving in the fact I'm living in the greatest country on earth, that I'm a loving husband and father, loving to ny pets and plants. I guess I'm in love with the idea of loving. Seems so unclutered, as long as I tell the story about who I think I'm. But the tune sure changes when other people chime in, could they be heretics?

Anonymous said...

Dear Julia,

I enthusiastically shared "God Said Ha" with so many friends in the past several years and was so excited when I learned of your recent show. Your writing is both sharp and soft, economic and expansive. I saw "Letting Go of God" at the Sanders theater and I was enraptured by the telling of your story, especially the last half. When I turned 40 I decided to go back to school to become a middle school science teacher - perhaps because I wanted to finally learn the middle school science curriculum but on a larger level because I had arrived at the notion that science and the scientific community's ability to admit being wrong in the hopes of better understanding the world appealed to me on a deep level. I relished you composition where you wove scientific knowledge into your personal landscpe. I respect your deep inquiry into the existence of God and although our points of departure were very different, I being from a world of conservative judaism, we've landed at a similar place - at a similar time in our lives. I am 44 and find myself stuffing handfuls of new found scientific knowledge into my being as best I can. I find my wonder in the natural world and have questioned the existence of God since I could begin to understand what I was being asked to accept. I applaud your ability to articulate your journey with such light and depth. I thank you for being so open and generous with what seems both so personal and so universal. I admire you and am inspired to seek a more authentic me having seen how you have sought a more authentic you. Thank you Julia.

Barbara Nislick Gates

Joe said...

I guess we can ... or Joan Cusack. Your call.

btw listened to the Mulan CD. The use of "Joe" to stand for a generic guy was amusing. Lol.