Attending concerts, plays, and shows was really not on my radar my first year in Philly, so one of my goals this year was to see more live entertainment. While I have been doing a pretty good job cracking away and enjoying the scene, I am always looking for new and unique performances in our lovely city.
I’m excited to introduce you to Jen Jamula & Allison Goldberg, two honorary Philly Ladies You’ll Love who will be spending some time in Philadelphia over the next few weeks. I chatted with them about their hit NYC show, Blogologues, why they took the project to Philly, and their advice to young women.
HP: How did the two of you meet? What made you decide to start Blogologues?
JJ & AG: We met as undergrads at Yale, but the Blogologues story starts a few years after we graduated. We were both disillusioned with the theater scene and wanted to do something creative. One night, while we were editing footage for our first project, Why Are You On My Train?, Alli started reading a hysterical blog post out loud. About a paragraph in, she said “Jen, this is a monologue!” and Jen jokingly replied “It’s a blogologue”! It’s probably rare that you can pinpoint the exact moment that a project like this began, but that’s how it was! We immediately rented a theater, before we even had a script, just to make sure that we’d do it.
HP: Can you explain the concept of a Blogologues performance?
JJ & AG: All of the text we perform is pulled absolutely verbatim from the internet, and that’s our script. We don’t change a word as it goes from page to stage. Sources can be literally anywhere on the web: blogs, Craigslist, Yelp, and so on. We then brainstorm who these people could really be, why they’re saying this, where they are – and we choose unusual answers. The character performing in front of you will most likely never be a blogger typing a post – it will be a pirate on a journey to find gold, for example. We create new shows 3-4 times per year, and each show has new material and a different theme. We interact with the audience a lot, so the experience feels immediate. It’s a fun challenge to interact and adapt while staying true to the text.
HP: My life is a constant joke due to online dating. Do you touch on Tinder, OkCupid, etc. in the show?
JJ & AG: Funny you should mention that. This weekend and next, were bringing Blogologues: Dat A.S.S., our second-annual sex show, to Philly. In the show, we perform a scene comprised of real Tinder messages and an OkCupid profile that happens to be from Philadelphia . . . You’ll have to come see the show to learn more! 🙂
HP: Why did you choose Philly as your first new city?
JJ & AG: People have been telling us that we need to take the show on the road for a long time now, but it’s been a daunting task. We decided it was time to bite the bullet, and started discussing east coast cities. Philly quickly became the obvious answer: it has a great vibe, an arts scene, and a growing tech scene. The tech community in NYC has been extremely supportive of the project, so the tech element was a big draw for us in Philly.
HP: What are you most excited to do/see/eat in our fair city?
JJ & AG: Jen is excited to see her brother, who lives in Philly. Honestly, Alli hasn’t been since she was a kid and is pretty excited to see the Liberty Bell. Also, Yelp tells us that there are like a million awesome restaurants literally within blocks from the theater (we’ll be at Studio X, inside Theatre Exile), so we’re pretty excited about that. We are hoping to make it to this Indonesian place.
HP: What is one piece of advice you’d like to share with young women?
JJ & AG: Part of the impetus behind creating Blogologues stemmed from our disillusionment with the lack of diverse, meaty female parts for women in theater. We created Blogologues to be able to depict some of the millions of really unique, individual humans out there. In our productions, our cast of five plays about 5-10 different characters each, with a lot of gender-bending (primarily girls playing guys). Also of note, our productions feature three women and two men, in contrast to the typical NYC comedy show which features all men and maybe one “token female.”
So, our advice is this: We live in an incredible world where you can make your own fate. The tech community has been so inspiring to us; we call them “the new artists.” If there’s something they want to see in the world, they build it. They’ll start before they have any guarantee of funding. Be a female founder. We need way more of them.
Thanks to Jen and Allison such a great interview! Blogologues will be in Philly this Saturday, June 7th, next Friday, June 13th and Saturday June 14th. The performances are running at Theatre Exile (1340 South 13th Street) and are a quick walk away from East Passyunk, so buy your ticket and get excited. I’ll see you there!