Happy 2014! How is it treating everyone so far? I’ve come tumbling into 2014: a wild roller-coaster ride of emotions ranging from pride to fear, hopefulness to frustration, and then all the way back to discouragement and fear. But also still excitement and a few pretty good laughs. Oh boy.
2014 is a blank slate for me. And that’s awesome. But blank slates need filling, and that means figuring out what to fill them with.
A goal for this year is to be more diligent and consistent in my writing, in a more public way, in order to flex that muscle more, get better, and hopefully start (and finish) some of the many ideas I have. I’ve also wanted to be able to test out certain ideas on a readership while still in shorter format. Writing a book is a long and arduous task, and though completely worth it, I would love to be able to test out nuggets of ideas on a readership.
The problem I run into is trading time for money, etc. How can I commit myself to regular, weekly writing, at a level ready for consumption, while also having it supported in some financial way that gives me the freedom to continue committing the time.
So there’s this website called Patreon. It’s sort of like Kickstarter but also completely different. Basically it allows content creators to build a subscription page for their work, and fans to support their favorite content creators. Musicians, YouTubers, Bloggers- all kinds of people use it.
So I had an idea. What if I were to build a subscription base for my writing. For $1 a week readers could subscribe to receive an essay of the week, exclusive to the subscribership, Guaranteed in length. Sometimes they might be fiction, samples from a book idea I’m testing. Sometimes they might be more personal essays, as in a sequel to my first book, only now you’d be able to read it almost as an on-going series. Also, your feedback after each week’s essay would help dictate to me what you like, and where I should continue to gear my writing. By sharing my work in essay form, it allows me to test ideas while also holding myself accountable to completing them at least to a standard that is suitable for a paying crowd. It’s accountability.
So my question for you is- who’s interested? Should I do it?
I’d like to gain a sense of support before I launch into this new and potentially time consuming venture. I think it could be very cool, and have ideas for a podcast element associated, but the fact is I wont be able to manage it if there isn’t a substantial support. It just comes down to trading hours for dollars, and sometimes you only have so many hours to trade.
SO. If you are interested, or even if your not- would you take this quick survey?
It would mean the world to me to even just see how much, if any, support there would be for me to launch a project like this.
Can’t wait to hear from you!
hugs and magic for you and this coming year!
No, seriously, thank you.
THIS. this. This means more than I can even begin to express. We content creators survive only on the support of our fans. More thoughts to come in a bigger post, but for now, please just read this, and thank you Emily for writing it.
What. A. Year. I want to apologize in advance, this might be LONG! please stick with me to the end :)
My resolution and anthem going into 2013 was “Why wait?”. I like creating resolutions because I think goal-setting is always good, but I also like assigning an anthem or theme for each coming year because I think it helps ground everything. It’s a “why” for the coming year, not just results oriented, but bigger picture of what I would like the year to both look and feel like.
Going into 2013 I wanted things to feel sweeter and fuller and just right. In the past I’ve driven myself to breaking points with themes like “2012 will be TOO BIG” and other big, BIG goal-oriented dreams and resolutions. This year, I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be a little bit more peaceful. And I wanted to be active… I wanted to actually DO the things I kept saying I was going to do.
I feel great about how 2013 and my anthems resolved. It’s nice to go through the year and remember what all you did, because sometimes it’s so easy to forget what happened and what you accomplished.
So, for me, 2013 looked like this:
January: Spent most of the month in New York City and was so grateful for that freedom. Spent my days working on a young adult novel in progress with Melissa Anelli, spent my nights rekindling my love for NY, remembering who I was and what I love, and having good times with great friends. It was a great month.
February: I spun. Literally. I got really into spinning (indoor cycling) and spent most of the month on a spin bike in bitter cold Chicago. This was also about the time that I learned I hadn’t been excepted to Grad School, and so much of that spinning time was also my mind spinning about “What do I do now?” and “Wait, WHAT am I doing with my life??” Spinning became more about therapy for me than exercise. That month was rough in some ways, but little did I know good stuff was on the way.
March: An idea sprouted, and then started to take shape- we would re-mount The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, one of my long-time bucket list items. What started as a half-joking idea at the beginning of March became a fully mapped out Kickstarter and production plan by the end. March was spent planning that Kickstarter, fielding interest in the project, and generally freaking out that we would NEVER be able to meet our funding goal.
April: Judas Redux was funded. I was blown away. My dream was becoming a reality, and I really wasn’t waiting anymore. April I went back to NY for more writing and some auditions, also auditioned in Chicago, and reviewed tapes from friends in LA. April was all about casting, mapping out a production schedule, dividing up work, and getting down to business!
May/June: May and June blur together for me. I recall just a lot of Judas work, research, and reading the script one million times. I also recall one billion phone calls with Brian Rosenthal and Joey Richter, as well as Lauren and Corey. Oh also, Actors Equity. Just a blur of phone calls, emails, and paperwork. The end of June brought Leakycon Portland, where I had the honor of directing the opening ceremonies, which involved Anthony Rapp, 30+ cast members, 1.5 days of rehearsal, and a GIANT convention center to fill. That was certainly a “make it work” moment, as well as a “how did I get here?” moment. Corey and I also got to give a talk on creativity and business which went well! Another thing we’d been talking about doing forever. Overall, Leakycon was BEYOND a highlight.
July: Oh my gosh, we start rehearsals soon. I couldn’t believe that I was about to ACTUALLY begin working on this massive production. We scrambled to make sure we were ready, had a bunch of production meetings, and planned some pranks for people’s arrivals :) By the end of July the whole team had descended on Chicago and thus it began.
August: Rehearsals. All day every day. Then tech, all day everyday. Building sets by day, running rehearsals and tech by night. August was insane. And by the 23rd… we had a show. It was up. It was happening. I was very proud, but more than anything I couldn’t believe it was finally being checked off my list. Why wait, right?
September: Bittersweet as we closed the show and said goodbye to so many friends, but the work is never over. Now we had to wrap up all the business and finances, and begin work on the other half of the project- the documentary! Also in September we decided to finally tackle another long-dreamed project: THE MOMS. Lauren and I had been talking about re-writing and re-doing this show forever. Now was the time.
October: Writing, writing, writing for The Moms, and then back to NYC for that little novel I’m supposed to be writing with Melissa as well! Casting for The Moms happened somewhere in there, production planning and prepping, oh and that documentary… yeah… we need to edit that.
November: Editing. All day every day. Editing the Judas Redux doc, editing The Moms script, and then starting mid-month we began rehearsing for Moms at night. Life was moving so fast!
December: THE MOMS: FANNYPACKIN’ HEAT!! We did it. It was a real show, running in Chicago, and being prepped for live streaming and recording. It still feels surreal.
From September to now I also tackled another thing on my to-do list that I’d been avoiding for quite awhile. My weight. I want to preface this by saying that I am a huge advocate for good body-image and loving yourself exactly where you are. I also know, though, that we all recognize when we just don’t feel good in our bodies or healthy. I was there. Over the stresses of the past couple of years I had gained a lot of weight and even more bad habits. I loved myself, and could still look in the mirror and feel beautiful, but I didn’t feel good. So I embarked on a plan, and I’m happy to say I’ve lost 30 lbs. That may not seem like a lot for some people, but for me it felt like a huge accomplishment, as well as being able to keep it off as things got busy again with the show, etc. My default is to put my own health and wellness second when things get busy, and my greatest goal of 2013 was to fix this. It’s a still a journey, but I think I made huge progress this fall. I would encourage anyone who knows they want to make healthy changes to just go after it, let it take time, because before you know it you’ll be on the other side and so happy that you just started. Again, why wait?
WHAT. A. YEAR.
I have to do a little shameless plugging here of all these projects that took over my year.
The Moms- We did a live stream on Friday 12/20 and you can still buy a ticket and access the archive the watch the show HERE! If you are in the Chicago area we still have 3 more performances! Tickets available here and more info at www.themomsplay.com. Also we have some great MOM GEAR.
These are more than just projects, they are a few of my long-awaited dreams coming true. I’m so happy we can share them with you, and I hope you’ll check them out.
It’s crazy. I’ve realized that if you just keep waking up each day and working a little harder, and believing a little firmer, that eventually you turn around and you’ve accomplished quite a lot. That was this year for me.
What’s in store for 2014?!? This is the first New Year’s I’ve gone into where I really feel like ANYTHING could happen. I have no idea! I can’t wait. I’ve got an idea for a little project I might want to venture on, which would involve my writing, and would greatly involve you all. A separate post to come about that, and to see what ya’ll think ;)
All to say, 2013 was a GOOD year. I can’t wait for 2014.
Let’s make our dreams happen, gang. Why wait?
The Moms: Fannypackin’ Heat streaming LIVE Online!!
This Friday 12/20, 7:30pm
Grab your tickets HERE!!
Running in Chicago through December 29th!!!
Get Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/even…
In a world where it’s all for the kids, and fanny packs reign supreme, six parents duke it out to see who’s got what it takes to rule the school district once and for all (the coming school year). Friendships are challenged, patience is tested, and the wine coolers run dry in The Moms: Fannypackin’ Heat. There’s just one question: are you Mom enough?
Full of 90’s nostalgia and mom-jeans galore, The Moms: Fannypackin’ Heat brings a quirky cast of seven together to see what happens when the ultimate prize is on the line: PTA President. Moms, Dads, and anyone who’s ever had a mom or dad can relate to the delightful and zany antics of these Applewood School District parents. 90 minute runtime, fanny packs and ugly sweaters encouraged.
Jaime Lyn Beatty
Play by Julia Albain & Lauren Lopez
Directed by Daniel Strauss
Scenic/Prop Design by Corey Lubowich
Costume Design by June Saito
Lighting Design/Production Management by Sarah Petty
Music Direction/Composed by Nick Gage
Stage Management by Kelsy Durkin
Script Consulting by Daniel Strauss
Produced by Julia Albain, Lauren Lopez, and Corey Lubowich
Thursday Dec 19: 7:30pm
Friday Dec 20: 7:30pm
Saturday Dec 21: 7:30pm
Sunday Dec 22: 2:00pm
Saturday Dec 28: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sunday Dec 29: 2:00pm
It is Friday, July 19 which means in exactly 10 days we will have our first rehearsal for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Between now and then a gaggle of out of town people will descend upon Chicago, the producing team will scramble to wrap up any last minute loose ends, and…
SO. MANY. PEOPLE. #wherewilltheyallsleep?
Wondering about Judas Redux??? Join us at our LeakyCon panel to find out more and get amped about the upcoming show!
See footage from the original 2008 production (featuring Darren Criss), behind the scenes photos and video, and hear about all of the thrills and challenges of producing independently, and why we felt so drawn to return to the play.
Featuring: Julia Albain, Corey Lubowich, Joey Richter, Brian Rosenthal, Lauren Lopez, Britney Coleman, Dylan Saunders, and Shashona Brooks, and moderated by Alex Carpenter!
HOLLA!! Im editing video as I type this. Im very talented at multi-tasking. I am IN Portland! In the calm before the storm of Leaky! And SO excited to meet all you reduxers and chat about all things Judas. Reblog if you are stopping by!
Dear Government People Who Make Rules:
I have been following your work on the issue of marriage equality. From what I’ve been seeing, your “defense of marriage” that results in equality laws being continually delayed and dismissed is mostly based in religious texts. I mean, honestly, the only thing in our existence and history that suggests that homosexuality might be wrong are religious texts. So of course, then, under the context of separation of Church and State, this all makes sense.
On this understanding, I think I get it! Marriage is a religious act in this country! Of course, how could I forget- in every marriage ceremony that happens a union with God is proclaimed, which is what earns marital rights! I understand now that since marriage and the rights it brings is SOLEY a religious act in this country that it might be inappropriate to offer that right to people who live a lifestyle that some people think God disapproves of.
But wait! If we are agreeing that marriage and the rights that follow is a religious act, then aren’t there some people who are slipping through the cracks of the system? What about the Atheists?! They don’t believe in God, therefore they can’t understand and accept the contract they are entering into with God. We must outlaw Atheistic marriage! This is against the religious texts! From here on out I suggest that atheistic marriage be forbidden and retroactively revoked.
Oh my goodness. I just realized something- Satanists. Across this country devil-worshipping women are marrying devil-worshipping men and they are dreaming of raising devil-worshipping children. This is TERRIBLE! We have to stop the Satanist Weddings!! Quickly! Same as the atheists: no more marriages, and let’s pull those old ones quickly. In fact, maybe we should take away their kids, too.
On the note of kids, there has been a big concern about how a same-sex couple might raise kids. I think this is a fair concern- the raising of our children equates to the future or our country! Accordingly, we should mandate nation-wide check-ins on EVERY family to make sure that ALL children are being raised well. If the rights of marriage are attached to how well we are able to raise the future generations of America, then family situations nationwide should be monitored closely.
You know what, just to be safe, I say that the rights of marriage and family come with some conditions. I mean, this is a contract with GOD after all, right? That’s what we’re all saying here? That’s why some people are entitled and some aren’t?
SO. First of all no more divorce. No excuses. LITERALLY no one can get divorced. YOU MADE A PROMISE TO GOD! That’s what we’re saying here, right? This is a religious institution, so I think some respect and discipline is due. Things are rough? Well, as I used to say to the kids I nanny’d for: you get what you get and you don’t get upset.
Second, if you are getting married and/or receiving the rights of marriage (Did you know that there are over 1,049 rights awarded with legal marriage? Incredible!) then I think you should be legally obligated to show proof that you are attending some form of religious service or ceremony weekly. We’ve established that the foundations of marriage in this country are embedded in religion and must be defended accordingly, and so I think it only makes sense that we ensure this foundation is adhered to in the married couples’ day to day lives.
Finally, as many argue that the point of marriage is to reproduce, I purpose that prospective married couple undergo examinations to prove that they are capable of reproducing. Also they must sign a contract that states they are intending to have children and will try. I mean, what’s the point of marriage, under the suggested religious understanding, if not to procreate?
I think this is a good start. I’m sure all the married, soon-to-be-married, and hopeful, straight, singles of the nation will fully embrace these purposed rules as an act of defending the constitution of marriage.
A) I hope if you are reading this you understand sarcasm.
B) If my point was not made clearly enough above, it is this: the only defense against allowing same-sex marriage is religious texts that have told us it is wrong, but the institution of marriage isn’t religious by law. Our hypocrisy is almost maddeningly obvious.
C) I identify myself as a spiritual person, a person of faith- GASP! A Christian. Thus, I get particularly heated around these issues which continually bring negative attention and reputation to a faith system I have found beauty in. I believe in marriage equality. I believe homosexuality is just another way of being, not wrong, and unique to the person, as any other quality is. My theology isn’t the point of this, but it needs to be said- the haters don’t represent us all. I’d like to to see a new culture in which we ask “What do you believe?” rather than “What’s your religion?”. I think it would change things drastically.
D) Even if you think homosexuality is wrong or a sin or whatever- it actually STILL behooves you to support same-sex marriage. GASP! Why? Well, because the marriage equality debate is actually a matter of church and state, and this separation is one we all should desire to see upheld.
But Julia?! Why wouldn’t I want Christianity to pervade government? It’s good! It would help our nation! I think the lines of church and state should be blurred.
Welp, here are some problems with that: You like the idea of the lines being blurred when it is your religion and freedom of it that is in the majority. What if we blur those lines, though, and then one day the tides turn and Islam (PURELY FOR EXAMPLE) is the predominate religion in this country and suddenly the precedent is set that the reigning faith dictates policy and rights and practice of it’s citizens. Suddenly you can’t go to church as you like, or celebrate holidays as you choose, or generally practice the religion you so ferociously based your belief system on because you voted to let the church and state lines blend, and then you ended up on the wrong side of that bet. Whats worse: stop to think for a second that some of these things I’ve mentioned above are actually true for some people in this country in the present.
Even when you feel free, you should ferociously be on the lookout for others who’s freedom you can aid in, because that shit can come around FAST.
Fighting for basic true and fair human rights is not just good practice, it’s karma; an investment in humanity. Whether you agree with another person’s way of living or not, you should defend their basic rights within the system. Our country has prided itself on ‘freedom’ and ‘bravery’. I think the most free and brave practice we could have is to allow rights to people within a context where we might not understand, or even agree, but know that we owe it anyway. Do one better: learn. Take an opportunity to not only defend a strangers rights, but to possibly learn about them as well. I’ve found that typically the “stranger” aspect doesn’t last long past the “hi!”.
Marriage equality is an issue for everyone. Marriage equality is an issue for people like myself who are dreaming about attending loved-ones weddings and being auntie to their babies, but marriage equality should also be an issue for people who it doesn’t remotely effect, and even for people who might even disagree with homosexuality. It isn’t an issue of “naturalness” or “sin” or doctrine. It’s an issue of freedom. We should be unitedly fighting for this now, because there may be issues in the future in which we’d all hope to have support in return. If you don’t believe in homosexuality then don’t live your life that way. But don’t prohibit others freedom. One day you might turn around, and the tides may have turned, and you might find yourself fighting for you own freedoms, praying people would come along beside you.
I’ve had to accept a harsh reality recently: I am in the business of imaginary things.
I play pretend, create imaginary worlds and stories, and make things where there used to not be a thing.
This fits great with my personality in many ways because I have always had a mind that ran far and wide away from the present moment.
The trouble with being in the business of imaginary things, though, is that you have to adjust your understandings of what productivity looks like.
On the opposite side of having a mind that wanders, I also have hands and feet and a heart that get restless easily. I like to always be doing something, and my restlessness is appeased by seeing the fruits of how productive and busy I am able to be each day. I need physical evidence of accomplishments daily.
Here-in the problems arise.
Sometimes the business of imagining leaves you with no physical evidence, especially when it is in process. It is productive, no question, but sometimes the proof of productivity is only in your mind- in the space where you spend hours staring at a blank page with out putting any words down, but developing worlds and moments in your mind that did not exist before.
I’ve had to learn how to let go of my need for “productivity proof” in order that I can actually start producing things.
Today I sat at my computer and listened to music that inspired me and read bits and pieces of the script for the show I am working on and tossed around a koosh ball and looked at images and just THOUGHT. I just let my mind go where it needed to go.
What happens typically when I start to enter into this place is that the control freak part of me goes “You’re wasting time! What are you producing?” and so I panic and end up writing a bunch of useless emails or tinkering with spreadsheets that don’t need to be tinkered with all because that, though unnecessary, at least feels like physical proof of productivity.
Today though, I forced myself to stay in the THINKING place, though uncomfortable. I bounced on my yoga ball at my desk, and tossed around that koosh ball, and kept the music coming, and stared at the trees outside my window, and referenced text when I needed to, and I just thought.
And something amazing happened- nothing “physical” was created, but I produced more in a couple of hours than I have in days. I had an “aha” that made me realize that the time spent creating and discovering something, even if it is just in your mind, is time spent productively. I got necessary work done today.
The imagining of a thing is a part of the work. It might even be the most crucial phase. It is work. It is not time wasted. It is the business of imaginary things becoming real.
I’ve had so many discoveries lately about being a creative and a productive- the balance, the challenges, and everything in between.
Today I learned the art of letting myself think. I may never be the same!
A toast to all of your imaginary things- I hope you give them a chance!
Ps- THIS is the music that’s been rocking my world today
Hi Reduxers, Julia here!
It’s said that good directing is 80% casting the right actors. If I trust my instincts while working with actors in the audition room then I can allow and fully encourage them to trust their instincts in the rehearsal room.
Oh. Ok. So I have to do 80% of my work on this 5-month project in two weeks? Cool. No problem.
Casting. Not a job for the faint of heart.