Sunday, November 13, 2011


There was a movie, I guess about ten years ago – the name is escaping me – but it had Bruce Willis in it, and the kid who famously said, “I see dead people.” Remember that one? Well, the rest of the line was “And they don’t know their dead.” Recently, I have often had the urge to say, “I see storytellers, and they don’t know that they are!”
In a yoga workshop I was in, the teacher held the whole class in the palm of his hand by telling the stories behind some of the yoga poses and characters from Hindu and Indian mythology that loom large in yogic philosophy. In an English as a Second Language classroom I was about to enter, I watched the instructor bring to life the tale the students were struggling to read in this bizarre language known as English. And as I was getting my haircut, my hairdresser, Ruthie, in her divine use of Spanglish was telling one of the other customers a fascinating tale of the local parking situation on her block. Storytellers all – and they don’t know that they are.
People say all the time, “Everyone can sing!”, frankly, I REALLY disagree with that notion, but I will say that everyone, EVERYONE can tell a story. Some folks might not use dramatic gesture, or change voices, or ever be the person you would pay money to see – but all human beings do have the ability, and I would say, the NEED to tell their tales. When we arrive home at the end of the day, and recount the daily events – is that not storytelling? When we speak of our lives with friends – citing times from our past and upbringing - is that not storytelling? Storytelling is more about connecting than anything else, that’s why there is no fourth wall, that’s why each time I tell a story it is different, because I am communicating with that particular audience, at that particular time. We humans crave that connection, we want to be seen, we want to be heard, and storytelling in all it’s forms does that. Storytelling, now that I think about it, may be one of the few things that EVERYONE does – it is a real commonality amongst people wherever they come from. Sounds a little grandiose, but also, I think, quite true.
So, check it out, have your ears open, and maybe you, too, will hear people telling their stories, sometimes in the most unlikely places, like between downward facing dogs, or clipping off split ends. And maybe you’ll find the urge to say, with eyes wide, and your voice in a whisper, like that kid in that movie (what the heck is the name of it??) “I see storytellers!”

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Ah – it’s school time, again – and many of my performances are in classrooms, assemblies, and residencies, so I can’t invite the general public to those. But, here are the ones you can come to…

November 2011:
11/2: Roseville Branch, Newark, NJ 4PM
11/30: Springfield Branch, Newark, NJ 3:45PM

December 2011:
12/10: Scandinavian House, NYC 11AM
12/17: Kwanzaa Festival, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ TBA

February 2012
2/2: Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ 10:15, 11:15, 12:15
2/4: Elizabeth Public Library, Main Branch, NJ 11AM
2/4: Elizabeth Public Library, La Corte Branch, NJ 2PM
2/9: Hoboken Library, NJ 3:30 PM
2/14: North Plainfield Library, NJ 3:30PM
2/29: West Orange Library, NJ 7PM

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.(More info on the circus below) Or, you could catch her stilt walking at any number of special events. And, of course, you might find her…teaching yoga at Devotion Yoga Studio in Hoboken, NJ - mostly Monday, Tuesday, and Friday nights, but some other times as well (more info on Devotion Yoga below)And, never forget that sometimes she’s cleaning chimneys – okay, not for real – but I just looking for an ending!!!

Big Apple Circus Clown Care hospital program:
is a community outreach program of the Big Apple Circus, an
award winning presenter of live family entertainment and a leading
not-for-profit performing arts institution.
Using juggling, mime, magic, music, puppetry, storytelling and lots of
improvisation, we are specially trained “doctors of delight” who bring the
joy and excitement of the one ring circus to the bedsides of hospitalized
children one to five days each week, year round, nationwide. As Meredith
Vieira, our national spokesperson and honorary clown doctor, phrased it:
From ringside to bedside! Clown Care makes “clown rounds,” a parody of
medical rounds where humor is the prescribed treatment. As “clown doctors”,
we are professional performers who work one-on-one with the children, their
parents, and hospital staff to ease the stress of serious illness by
reintroducing laughter and fun as natural parts of life.
A national network of host hospitals, generous contributions and grants from
individuals, foundations and corporations support Clown Care.

Storytelling Arts: Here’s the organization I do a lot of storytelling residencies in schools with: They are dedicated to bringing the art of storytelling to underserved populations. Storytelling Arts works with schools and community organizations to bring the benefits of storytelling to a varied audience. Storytelling Arts programs serve to boost literacy and build community through:
• Classroom residencies in schools
• Professional development opportunities for teachers
• Programs in community organizations
• Educational services in juvenile detention centers
Devotion Yoga: Devotion Yoga is a community dedicated to creating a safe, peaceful, and non-competitive environment which offers individuals the opportunity to learn the practice of yoga through classes, workshops and related events. We are committed to providing high quality, inspiring, unique, and balanced programming that support our members in living a healthy and fulfilling life.