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.
It is 11:59 pm CDT on Monday April 1st, 2013 and as of a little bit ago our Judas Redux Kickstarter hit it’s goal. At the moment, we are at 778 backers and $36,387. Suffice it to say, I’m grasping for words.
I’m completely serious when I say I was deeply worried that we might not meet our goal in planning this Kickstarter. I truly thought that the aim was just too high, there was no way we’d be able to gather that much support and financing around this little play that we’ve talked about doing forever. At times I anxiously considered pulling the project: saving it for a later time, or just scrapping it entirely. The idea of launching a Kickstarter and failing sounded like a certain level of hell and misery I wasn’t interested in visiting.
In the end, though, we did the crazy thing- we launched. We set our goal as low as we could while still being able to actually pull off the show and just said “yes” to the whole insane adventure of it. Personally, I had to decide that I wanted this show more than I was afraid of it, or afraid of failing at it.
I was fully prepared to have to HUSTLE to get even close to reaching the goal by the end of the 30 days. A miracle happened, though- you all, and countless others, swept in and said “don’t worry juls, we got this”. And within about 80 hours of launching the campaign you did. You had it. More importantly though, you had my back and the team’s back, and I can’t tell you what that felt like- to take the leap and find a community of people there ready to catch.
You want to know the single most common thing said to me over these past four days by people on Twitter and Kickstarter, etc?
I’m proud of you!
People I’ve never met telling me they are proud of me. Reaching a hand out to say “you are doing good, and I support you.”. These interactions have felt like some of the most intimate I’ve had with this fan base and audience to date. To feel that I have made countless of you proud of me is a bigger reward than most I’ve had in the past few years.
In all of this, and in the past few weeks, I’ve found a few key truths to stand the test: 1) The people around you matter 2) When you most feel like giving up, it’s time to dig in- to do the crazy thing.
I can’t tell you how many mornings I would wake up after a day and night of stresses or worries or new roadblocks only to find texts and emails from the team pumping me up, reminding me of why this matters, reassuring me that they had my back, that they were their to help. That kind of energy is not just contagious, it’s unstoppable. Surrounding yourself with people who are so ready to come to your side is vital. It makes all the difference. I owe so much already to Lauren, Corey, Joey, and Brian for just being amped- for being down. For not just saying an immediate “Yes” to this whole thing, but to constantly be there to remind me why I said “Yes.” And we’re only just beginning!
In terms of doing the crazy thing- well, it’s exactly that: crazy. But when you know it’s right, it’s right. I think at some point you just have to decide to put your blinders on, dig in deep, and GO. If you want it you have to go after it, and you have to shut out all of the negative forces around you that could possibly cause you to even momentarily hesitate in the going.
I’m rambling, but that is because you have left me with too many sentiments and not enough time to process :). These past few days and weeks have been some of the fullest, toughest, but sweetest times I’ve had in a while, and I’m so thankful to you all for being a part of them.
So the journey begins! It is happening! And you made it possible. I hope if nothing else I can offer you in return the living proof that it actually does pay to do the crazy thing you’ve always said you would do.
Be one of the crazy ones.
Hello friends, supporters, and people who may know nothing about us but will soon be a part of our team!
Wanted to take a minute to answer some frequently asked questions that we’ve been getting via twitter, kickstarter, etc.
Will this show be on YouTube?
“The Last Days of Judas Iscariot”…
I have the image of the scene from “Bridesmaids” in my head- where Melissa McCarthy is smacking Kristin Wiig around and finally Kristin punches back.
I’ve never felt more intimately that feeling of being on the thin line between just laying down or popping back up with arms swinging than I have recently. And I’m happy to say that I think I found a bit of fight deep down that has eluded me before. What’s worth fighting for more than your own damn life, the essence of who you are and what you want your time here to be about?
You know how when you are in a fitness class or working out or something, and you feel like you absolutely are done, you need to give up, and then the teacher says “10 more seconds!” and you go “Oh! I can do that!”. Like, knowing that you are so close to the other side makes it really easy to hold on a little longer.
10 more seconds. You’re so close. Let’s all commit to holding on for those last 10 seconds. Fight for it. You got this.
A friend and I joked at our New Year’s Party that the theme of the year was “2012 is TOO Big”
…oh man, we didn’t realize what we were getting into by saying that.
2012 has certainly proven “too big”. But things getting bigger just mean you have to get better, and I’m all about that.
I’ve had a constant stream of work and projects since 1/1/2012 and I’ve tried to be constantly grateful, but sometimes in the hustle and bustle you lose sight of it all. What used to be just a dream has now become the daily work… It’s like in the midst of my stress one day I woke up and realized I was actually living what I daydreamed about 2 years ago
So thank YOU. Thank you for supporting, thank you for listening. And thank you to the Creator and Meaning behind it all… for being blessed, but also for being reminded to be humble, and to be a hustler.
Up next: APOCALYPTOUR! I am directing this tour again, which Im honored to do. The SPACE tour felt like the most impossible thing I’d ever been asked to do. Thank goodness I work with such bad-ass people. Now we’re doing it again, only this time coming directly off of Holy Musical Batman… no rest for the ambitious.
I am the kind of person who is constantly demanding more of myself, for better or worse. This tour I am determined to top what we did last time. The music so far is INCREDIBLE (Thank goodness for our music director Clark). New songs that we dont typically do, and so many new arrangements. We’re pushing the dance and choreo to be sharper and more exciting, and we’re adding new cast members and even a whole storyline. The world may be approaching doomsday (Apocalypse, anyone?) but maybe Team StarKid and the StarKid community can change that.
I’m throwing in a deal: For every venue that we sell-out between now and May 9th (the day we leave) I will dye a streak of purple into my hair. We’ve got one already (Philly) so it looks like I’ll be adding some purple to my world within the next week or so. Will there be more? We’ll see?
If you’d like to come out and see our labor of love and blood and sweat and tears, checkout the page below for dates, times, and ticket info.
You guys rock so much! Hope to see you in a city near you in May/ June!