Sunday, August 15, 2010


Although I sometimes make fun of myself because of my monkey length arms, the animal I more closely have resembled for most of my life is the "lone wolf". Solitude has never scared me, in fact I have always needed more of it than most people. Often when I tell others this, they are in shock - "YOU??? Why you're so outgoing! So friendly! I don't mean to be rude, Julie, but you're so talkative!" And while all those things are certainly true (good lord, sometimes I swear I can't shut myself up!!!), it has never taken away from the fact that I NEED, and I mean NEED to be alone.
I long ago made peace with this facet of my personality, and have quite happily bowed out of parties, outings, and social doings, to spend some quality time with me, myself, and I. One of the reasons I knew my husband was the man for me is because we could be together so many hours of the day on our first vacation together, and I never once felt the all too familiar "I GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE" suffocation I quite often get when around too many people, for too long a time. But as nourishing as these personal space breaks are, they have come at a price - I don't have a lot of friends. Now before you start saying, "Awwwwww, poor Julie" - I don't mean that to say I'm lonely, and no one emails, calls, or facebooks me (ironically, on facebook, I have more friends than I truely know what to do with). What I mean is that I never had a "pack of friends", I never did roadtrips with, or went out with that group know as "THE GIRLS". In fact that type of thing was as alien to me as people who don't like Diet Peach Snapple (unheard of in my world) or working out (I know these folks exist, but how can they possibly not like to get a good sweat on?????). Even folktales containing tight friendships never registered on own my story radar, and I scoffed at stories like the Haitian tale 'Tipingee" when I heard them told - all that female bonding, come on, I would believe that Rapunzel's hair was real, and not a weave before I would buy that one.
You see, in the tale of Tipingee, a mean stepmother (sorry stepmoms everywhere, I know you get a bum rap in storyland) makes a deal with an old man. If he carries her wood, she (the stepmom) will give him her stepdaughter, Tipingee for a wife. In order to recognize her, the old guy is told what color dress Tipingee will be wearing the next day. But when Tipingee overhears this, she rushes to her group of friends and begs them to all wear the same color dress she is so as to confuse her would be kidnapper. Not only do the girls all dress alike (and we all know how embarrassing it is to come to the party wearing what others are wearing!!!!!!), they also taunt the man, all claiming that they are Tipingee. Confused and overwhelmed, the man gives up and leaves. Typical person's response: OOOOOOH, how sweet!!! Mine: OOOOOOOH, I don't think so!!!!!
But then - and there's always a "but then" moment, isn't there - I went to yoga teacher training school, and met the most amazing, welcoming, fearless women I had ever met in my life. At first, I was like I always am in groups - friendly, but not deep. Flitting around from person to person, never staying very long in a conversation, never revealing too much about myself - bubbly, fun, but pretty surface. But yoga is a funny thing, it works on more levels than any of us can truely understand - sort of the way deep wisdom tales in storytelling do, so that somewhere along the way in that year of weekends with these women, I opened up to them, I let myself be seen, and I realy saw them. We laughed and talked and giggled, but we also shared in a way that I have done with very few people in my life. They became individuals I really wanted in my life, they became "THE GIRLS". So, whereas I turned down my nose at the story of Tipingee before, I am now welcoming it into my repetoire, and I feel as if I can perform it from a place of truth, and a place that knows what a group of friends actually feels like. And each time I perform it, I will dedicate it to those women, who taught me so much about what friendship is!

Upcoming Performances

The following list includes my public performances only. No school or private performances are listed here. Things change from time to time, so do be sure to check the schedule.

August 2010:
8/3: Fairfield Library, Fairfield, NJ 1PM
8/4: Franklin Lakes Library, Franklin Lakes, NJ 7PM
8/10: Franklin Lakes Library, Franklin Lakes, NJ 3PM
8/14: Hans Christian Anderson Statue, Central Park, NYC 11AM
8/21: Hans Christian Anderson Statue, Central Park, NYC 11AM
8/18: Brooklyn Public Library, Crown Heights Branch, NYC 3:30PM

September 2010:
9/10: Devotion Yoga, Hoboken, NJ (tales plus yoga class) 7PM
9/12: New Jersey Storytelling Festival, Hamilton, NJ time TBA
9/15: Maywood Library, Maywood, NJ 11AM
9/18: Afro-American Historical Society Museum, Jersey City, NJ 12PM

October 2010:
10/22: Devotion Yoga, Hoboken, NJ (tales plus yoga class) 7PM
10/23: Eastern Branch, Monmouth Library, Shrewsbury, NJ 11AM
10/23: Howell Branch, Monmouth Library, Howell, NJ 2PM

So,,, where is Julie when she’s not storytelling?
She might be….Performing as Dr. Ima Confused, her character for the Big Apple Circus Clown Care hospital program at Harlem Hospital for the pediatric patients and their families. She also might be…performing as any number of characters for the Big Apple Circus Vaudeville Caravan program at the Montrose and Castle Point Veterans Hospitals. And, of course, you might find her…teaching yoga at Devotion Yoga Studio in Hoboken, NJ (mostly Monday and Friday nights, but some other times as well). And, never forget that sometimes she’s cleaning chimneys – okay, not for real – but I just looking for an ending!!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


UPCOMING PERFORMANCES MANY OF MY PERFORMANCES ARE AT SCHOOLS,OR OTHER PRIVATE EVENTS, THAT I CAN'T INVITE THE PUBLIC TO. WHAT IS LISTED BELOW ARE SOME OPEN PERFORMANCES ANYONE CAN COME TO. AUGUST 2012: 8/1/12: Summit Library, NJ 3PM 8/30/12: Crown Heights Library, Brooklyn, NY 3:30PM SEPTEMBER 2012: Monroe Township Library, NJ 7PM FEBRUARY 2013: 2/23/13: Hempstead Library, NY 2PM APRIL 2013: Hoboken Library, NJ 2PM SO, WHERE'S JULIE, WHEN SHE'S NOT TELLING STORIES...WELL, SHE MIGHT BE Performing for the Big Apple Circus Clown Care hospital program bringing clowning and joy to hospitalized children, their families, and hospital staff. OR SHE MIGHT BE travelling to Haiti for Clowns Without Borders bringing physical comedy, clown, and circus skills to children and families in need. OR SHE MIGHT BE...teaching yoga at Devotion Yoga in Hoboken, NJ, OR SHE MIGHT BE walking stilts, clowning or dancing at all manner of special events. OR SHE MIGHT BE..drinking Diet Peach Snapple, her favorite beverage!!!