Something New - a musical theatre podcast

Episode 601 -- Amy Jo Jackson: Unleashed!

September 02, 2019 Season 6 Episode 1
Something New - a musical theatre podcast
Episode 601 -- Amy Jo Jackson: Unleashed!
Chapters
00:00:00
Opening Monologue
00:05:00
Interview Starts
00:44:22
Song: "It Could Be So Much Worse"
Something New - a musical theatre podcast
Episode 601 -- Amy Jo Jackson: Unleashed!
Sep 02, 2019 Season 6 Episode 1
Amy Jo Jackson
My 2019 interview with Amy Jo Jackson, star of Monkey Trouble Unleashed!
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We're back, dear listeners! (For five episodes. But still!) Each Monday leading up to the October 6th concert premiere of Monkey Trouble Unleashed! at the Duplex Cabaret Theatre, I'm releasing a brand new episode of Something New: A Musical Theatre Podcast, featuring interviews with the cast and songs from the show.

Get your tickets to the premiere of Monkey Trouble Unleashed! before we sell out! Do it! Do it, I say!

Episode 601: Amy Jo Jackson is an actor/singer/kabarettist and glitter alien based in New York City. The recipient of the 2019 Denovan Fellowship in Cabaret, Amy Jo has sung at many venues in NYC and across the country, most notably Feinstein's/54 Below (where she's performed several solo concerts as well as produced and hosted such events as The Broadway Villains Party and 54 Sings Annie Lennox), Joe's Pub, the Bell House, the Green Room 42, the Knitting Factory, The Duplex, the Slipper Room, Caveat, the Laurie Beechman, Union Hall, the Metropolitan Room, and Boston's Club Café. Selected acting credits include Alison in FUN HOME (SpeakEasy Stage - IRNE nom), Ursula in THE LITTLE MERMAID (Arkansas Rep), Almira Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West in THE WIZARD OF OZ (Syracuse Stage), and multiple shows with Exit, Pursued by a Bear. Visit amyjojackson.com for additional information.



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Speaker 1:
0:13
Hello, dear listeners, this is Joel being new and you're listening to something new, a musical theater podcast. My chance to talk with the savviest professionals in the industry here, their stories, premiere brand new original songs and get to the heart of what makes them the working multifaceted artists that have come to be welcome back. You are welcome back me a welcome back us if you're listening to this on release day. Good for you. I hope your Labor Day is anything but laborious. I am recording this intro from the comfort of my home in a story with the dog sleeping by my side, the dumbo coffee mug warming itself here with some nonsense creamer within its contents because I'm pretending to do whole 30 or as I like to call it half ass 30 this is episode six oh one of an incredibly short self-promoting season of something new.
Speaker 1:
1:20
I am in the middle of getting ready for the world premier concert of monkey trouble unleashed a violent musical comedy. It is an absurd parody hybrid of two critically obscure movies. You don't need to have seen either of them to appreciate the show. Bt Dubs, but just in case you have seen them, those movies were and are 1990 fours monkey trouble starring a capuchin monkey and 2000 fives unleashed, starring gently, uh, for the five weeks prior to the show, which is Sunday, October 6th at 6:30 PM at the duplex in New York City. I will be releasing a new episode featuring members of the cast and creative team every week for tickets, visit [inaudible] dot com slash monkey again, that's Jovi new.com/. Monkey. I'm pushing the universe for an off Broadway premiere in 2021 because if I don't say it, no one will, uh, don't you want to be someone who can say, I saw that ridiculous show the duplex on.
Speaker 1:
2:25
I loved every minute of it. I can't wait to get tickets for the off-broadway run. I know. I would want to be that person and I will be and I hope you'll join me. Our first guest back on the show is a returning guest, the one and only Amy Joe Jackson. I previously interviewed her on the show in episode two oh five in which she premiered cute white boy in a long black coat pole dancing on the one train. As you do. We've done tons of things since, both on and off the podcast. Just in case you don't have a chance to listen back to our first interview. Here's a few footnotes for today's conversation. She was the dialect coach for Kinky boots on Broadway and she was doing a show called suicide at the time, and that show's title actually has a question mark in it, so it's suicide hints.
Speaker 1:
3:24
You'll hear that lilt in our conversation in today's song premiere, which is one of her character songs in monkey trouble unleashed. I do bleep a few choice four letter words because that is my prerogative as podcast producer, but when you come see the show on October six at the duplex, I assure you there will be no bleeping. Okay. All right. I think that about does it remember to check back in every Monday for the next five weeks for brand new episodes? We're still on apple podcasts of course, and we're on Spotify now. I don't know if anyone gets that accent reference, but if you've ever seen drop dead gorgeous and there's that commercial playing in it where a previous pageant winner is showing this factory that makes pork products and at the very end, just like, in fact I work here and now. So that's, that was the reference I was just making. We're on Spotify. No, you're welcome. Basically, I just love that accent a lot, which is apropos for today's episode with a professional dialect coach and actor and cabaret artist. One last plug, visit [inaudible] dot com slash monkey for tickets to the October six premiere and bring all of your friends like all of them, all of them, all of them. Without any further ado, here is episode six oh one with Amy Joe Jackson.
Speaker 2:
4:54
You're watching.
Speaker 1:
5:04
Well Ladies and gentlemen, I am sitting here with my dear friend Amy Joe Jackson.
Speaker 2:
5:09
Hello. How's it going? Fantastic. Um, I can't believe I'm
Speaker 1:
5:15
back at this. Yes, it's been a bit of a hiatus. Yes. I took two years off and um, learns that I missed it a little bit. Oh Great. I'm working on this new show and I figured it was a great way to come back to the podcast and introduced this new show and um, chat with some, some friends, old and new [inaudible] something you exactly. Yeah, that was a good non joke. I see what we did there. Yes. Yes. I just love that you're my first interview back. It's nice to see a familiar face. Yeah, it feels, I feel like the pressure is off a little bit. I mean, unless you tell me otherwise. I don't know. I mean we're like, I think recorded we recorded before. Not at your,
Speaker 3:
5:59
it wasn't Mike Petrie's apartment in a story. So that was different too because we were recording in someone else's space, which was lovely. But this is different. Where at your apartment where I've been to before, now you know, we're actually home your dog. You will hear the dog's nails clacking on the wood every once in a while. Um, so not my nails as the dogs. Can you imagine needs some serious intervention. So I'm going to just interview you every five years. Does that sound great? Great ticket. It's like the Linklater movie. Huh? Nice. Nice. I'm playing. I'm picking up what you picked out. Thank you very much. It's been five years since I've sat with you in this forum. What's you been up to? The biggest thing would be like I, that I considered myself a cabaret artists now, which was not something I was doing then.
Speaker 3:
6:49
You know, I did my first solo show. Um, and set September 5th, 2014. What was the impetus to, to dabble into the, Oh, I'd always wanted every world I, when I first moved to the city, it was something I wanted to do, but I didn't really know how. And um, I'm not really into astrology, but I will say that I'm a classic Gemini and I love beginning projects, but my follow through isn't always there. You know, there's many an abandoned project in a closet and metaphorical end and quite literal. I was like, I don't, I'm never gonna use these knitting needles. I got to get rid of these knitting needles, that kind of thing. Minor right here.
Speaker 3:
7:29
Are they long abandoned or use abandoned years. So you understand. Yes. Last time I picked them up, a friend and I were binge watching the original Lord of the rings trilogy. Extended edition. Yes. Director's cuts. Yes. Oh, years and years ago before she had a child. And now I think she has a three, four year old. So I feel like you haven't needed money, scarves. I'm just gonna know. It's about half a pot holder. Yeah, it's not all I managed. So anyway, no, I, I'd always like, oh, I want to read a cabaret. But I also like when I first moved to the city, wasn't like seeing a ton of cabaret. I was like trying to see what I could, but just also, you know, you're working at Starbucks and then I was working retail, you know, I'm not necessarily like, you know, what I'm going to do is go seek out this blah, blah, blah, blah. Like I was trying to see whatever, like Broadway and off Broadway shows I could see. And then I started going to more cabaret. And basically that solo show came about because I did an event at 54 below. I hosted, I hosted a night of like a gender bending at 54 below through an like someone else's producing it. And they asked like, would you like to cohost this? I said, yes, please. So I did that. So my first appearance on the stage at 54 below, I sang, I've grown accustomed to her face.
Speaker 4:
8:56
[inaudible]
Speaker 3:
8:56
I've been accustomed to a face
Speaker 4:
9:03
[inaudible]
Speaker 3:
9:03
almost [inaudible] custody into the two. Listen nine, you doubt second. [inaudible] and then like it gets funny from Sweeney Todd. Yes. You know that epiphany. Um, so then, then I did an event in, I think it was like that may, that was, uh, people who worked on kinky boots and worked out at Mark Fisher fitness. We did like a, a like a, a coke pro, if you will. It was a joint. Uh, it was a joint fundraiser for Broadway bears. Um, and so I sang on that. And the guy who put that together, well known, Yada, like reached out to me less than a week later saying, Hey, I'm interested in like helping you, like build a cabaret around you, what's your interest? And I was like, hi. It was very high. Um, and so that was really useful because I'd never had someone like basically be like, I'll pitch this thing for you.
Speaker 3:
10:11
I know how to do this. I've done this plenty of times as a director and a curator and he and his twin brother have a cabaret Yak. They do all over the world, you know, so as someone who is like doing that aspect of it was nothing to him. And to me that was so daunting and I didn't know what that was like. So, um, that was the reason it finally happened was because I had a deadline and someone who was like, let's have a meeting and talk about what you want to sing and what kinds of things you're interested in. And then I, you know, went away, made my playlist and did that. And now, now that I've done it, it is very, I don't want to say easy because self producing I find is always a bit of fun trial. Yes. But like once you've done it, you know you can do it soon, you know what's going to happen.
Speaker 3:
10:58
Yeah. And I know [inaudible] out on myself. No. Like, and if there's something, there's always, I'm sure you've experienced on the, as my flight out, the audience probably will because it's New York City, but I met usually like two weeks to a week before the thing. I'm always like, why did I decide I wanted to do another one of these like every single time and then it happens and it's wonderful, you know? I mean, and then you just forget all about all of the strife. Yeah. Yeah. I remember the Annie Lennox Concert I produced last year at 54 below with, with Brian Nash as the MD
Speaker 4:
12:00
[inaudible]
Speaker 3:
12:02
like I hadn't done like a full blown lots of people concert where there was also a full band before and that we both nearly died a week of just like stress of, okay, we've got to get everybody in. This person went over the, this person was late because the da blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you know, and then trying to run every three went one through a very short sound check and yeah, and then it ended up being, you are, you were being amazing. Like I had a great time and the audience, uh, cause I sourced a lot of singers who are not like from the traditional 54 below as well as some who are, you know, it was, it was a really exciting evening, but Brian emerged like we did. We did it kid. Ah, I'm so happy because I need to go home and sleep for two days.
Speaker 1:
12:52
I was re listening to our episode from 2014 and let's see, you were, you were doing suicide. And, um, and I forgot about this fact that the part that you played was originally written for a man and gender bending has, I don't know if it's become like a common thread throughout your, your career from here to then
Speaker 3:
13:20
or what's been since I was like five, like I've always been tall so I, and there were never enough boys so I would always play boy parts from seriously like being a kid. Um, and then yeah, it's some, it's, I've done a lot of it and then I do a lot of Shakespeare is much more common in Shakespeare, right? Like the up until recently I played far more men in Shakespeare than women. But what's great about Shakespeare too is there's a much more accepted convention of just like gender neutral casting. Like we accept the convention of this person has this body that presents this particular way, but we're not necessarily going to adjust the language or ideas around it unless it is a character that is doing drag. I'll a 12th night situation or, or something that where you have like a girl dressing up as a boy.
Speaker 3:
14:06
Like unless it's something like that that's explicit in the text, most of the time it's just like you just suggest something that leans a little more masculine or a little more feminine and people just accept it as, as a human being. And yeah, I mean like gender is something, you know, when you like are you get enough of a body of work and a point of view about what you do to be able to look back and, and see what some of the threads are where before you just doing what you need to do in order to like survive and feel validated. Um, I can look back into like, Oh yeah, I've always been like, I've always been interested in, in playing around with gender and I think when I was younger I just thought, oh, it's because I'm tall and like, you know, strong and, and, and can come in and kind of take up space in that way.
Speaker 3:
14:51
But like looking back on it that's like know something about you, not just that you were tall. You know, I've a, I've said that I love playing male roles in Shakespeare, particularly because the language in, in all Shakespeare is, is very robust. But there's something about like giving yourself permission to have that much power and authority, um, and swagger and have it just be an accepted fact on, you know, you play someone like lady m and she also has that, but she's still like attached to Macbeth, who's the one with the power, you know what I mean? I mean, you can, it can have all sorts of tablework discussions about that and the power dynamics and the relationship itself. But in the society, he's the one with it. So it's just fun to be like, Oh yeah, I'm going to go play King Henry the fourth and we'll still use words like father and, and he, but I will be wearing a full dress with a train, you know, but I'm still playing it like in my brain.
Speaker 3:
15:46
I'm a man. And then, yeah, I mean it's a thing that I've, I, I use she and they pronouns. I am very interested in Androgyny just like in life and, and like gender play and, and just not being quite so like stuck to binary, um, ways of thinking. So it's definitely something I actively bring to the forefront in my work now that I've realized like, oh no, this is the thing that you're interested in, in a thing about what you have, something to say to bring it to the piece that I'm working on with you right now. Monkey trouble unleashed. Um, the villain of the piece is loosely based on Bob Hoskins character and I knew from the get go I was like, I want Amy Jo to play this part. I love that you think of me and Bob Hoskins on say like, I love Bob Husky, so that feels right.
Speaker 3:
16:37
Yeah, it felt right to me too. And I think also since we last spoke like this, um, kinky boost has closed all the way, but only recently, like we closed in April. So solid run. It was, it was really a six. Yeah, we closed right after a six cause we opened April 4th, 2013 and then close in 2019. Is that six years? I can't do enough. I refuse. 19 minus 13 is sixth grade. Yes, definitely. Well it feels right. Yeah. We closed April 7th, so we had just past six years. I would say when we last spoke that I was more riding the wave of the dialect opportunities I got from kinky boots. Then I reached a point probably around late to mid 2015 I want to say. Yes, yes, that's exactly what it was. Um, I was working on Clinton, the musical off-broadway. Um, they had me working, um, with Carrie Butler on her Hillary Clinton Idi elect, which that's a dialect, uh, with the idiosyncrasies and the idiosyncrasies and the idiosyncratic way of speaking of a particular human.
Speaker 3:
17:52
Uh, so we were working on Hillary Clinton and then I also had the, the two guys who are playing bill. I kind of worked with them as well. So I was working on that and I was working on another show in development and it was great because I was in rehearsal all the time with really amazing artists and I was still like doing readings as an actor and I was really trying to keep it like 50, 50. And then I realized like, oh, that's not a good ratio for me. I, I need it to be a lot more acting than production coaching because the production coaching, while certainly preferable to being a no rehearsal rose was, was really taking up so much of my time. I was not going out and working regionally. I just had fewer windows of opportunity to even book anything in. And I, um, I think I also went through a period of time where I thought maybe this is what I'm supposed to do.
Speaker 3:
18:39
You know, maybe I'm supposed to be a dialect coach and it's my ego that's like telling me I should be an actor, you know? And then I kind of, I can't remember exactly what it was like if I did some gig or something or maybe it's a series of gigs and I just came to the realization, it's like, no, you're an actor and you're good at it and you love it and it makes you feel more yourself than anything. So maybe we need to get this into more of a 60, 40 than 70, 30 kind of ratio, you know? Um, so I s I made a decision like after this one project I was working on finished, I was like, I'm not going to accept any new production gigs that would require me to be in the rehearsal room all the time. Now I do a lot of consultation stuff where I'll all come in for like a weekend of rehearsals and then maybe they'll send me audio of a, of a designer run all, all the way, like a, um, a dance captain would get a video of a rehearsal and like note it from that if they're in it.
Speaker 3:
19:31
So I'll do a lot of that where it's like, okay, then I'll just spot check. Um, I'll do like facetime sessions with people. Ill, I'll do a lot of like more like I'm coming in and on the dialing coach from the production but I'm only in for a few days. I feel like we can't just skip over the fact that you talked to Carrie Butler. Hillary Clinton? No. Yes. Can you give me a little bit of that? No. Um, I can tell you what we did. Well it was also like four years ago, I don't even remember what we did. We basically just did a slightly larger IX. This was before Kate McKinnon did Hillary. So like bill's very easy to do, right? Anyone can do a Bill Clinton impression and even if it's bad, you'll know what it is. So like I worked with the guys, but like one of them had played Bill Clinton already.
Speaker 3:
20:21
You know, it was more just like, let's just use what you have and make sure you're both in the same world and how can I help you? Because it was like basically like good bill, bad bill where the two actors. So it's like, how can we also use like pitch and language and all this to storytell the two sides. And Carrie requested someone come on because she was like, I don't know what to do. Like how do I, how do I make this funny and have it make sense, you know? And so I think now the Kate McKinnon has done it. There's a better model. Um, cause Amy Poehler was, was funny, but I don't think she nailed the elect aspect of it and, and really any way, it was more just like kind of an attitude. So we, we also, cause it was the, it was sent in the early nineties.
Speaker 3:
21:03
Um, so we went back and kind of amped up our Chicago Midwestern sound and leaned into that and just like started really broadly from the top. She started with a monologue. And so we're just like, let's lean into that and then we'll, we'll shape that and make that consistent. Um, so that's what we built. I can't do it for you cause I honestly, I do not. It's like, ah, I don't have to recall that anymore out of the head. Got so much space in there. You've been working like a fiend. I mean I've just to name a couple of things like you've done, I don't know. I think all the dream, so many dream roles for me as a gay man, like you've been, um, miss gulch slash that we could push the West. You've been Ursula, you and you've done two productions of fun home.
Speaker 3:
21:49
It's the same production, but we brought it back basically. We did it in the fall. Yeah. And the way that they booked the theaters there, they couldn't just extend it. So they brought the whole cast back and we did it again. It just like put everything into storage and we threw it together in a week and did it for the month of June. So we did it for all of pride, which was tremendous. So like on the 50th anniversary of the stonewall riots where they're doing fun home, you know, with that scene in New York. Oh my gosh, we did it too. We sold out crowd on father's day and I, you know, I walk out there with my like boxes stuff to start the show and I looked around and I was like, oh, these people do or do they know what the show is? And they're artistic directors. Husband when I was asking about afterwards, he's like, you know what?
Speaker 3:
22:35
I think it's just w we all wanted to feel better about our own parents are. Um, but yeah, it was, I mean it was amazing. Yeah. Yeah. So one production but twice over six months break to like give it some time to really steep, you know, really just seem scared and I miss that fist. But at marinated in those Janine juices, Janine juices, I would give a lot of things to see you in that show. Thank you. Yeah. It really surprised me how excited people were to hear I was doing it because it's, it's really not the type of thing I get asked to do that often. Like wicked witch of the West. Ursula. Those are like much more like, Oh yeah, Don, you know, I feel like the role I am most well suited for across every spectrum of anything you can like measure is Ursula.
Speaker 3:
23:29
You know? And I found out from the woman who directed it that apparently when I came in and I was the first person they saw for it, they're like, they told me later like, oh yeah, well you booked it on the first line. I was like, what did you like? You used the liquid you to say Ursula? I was like, that's how am I not going to hire this person? I was like, Huh, how are you going to say Ursula? Not Say hello? He was like, well exactly, you're on t a Clo. I'm like, that's the only way to pronounce it. She's like, I recognize that and that's why I hired you. [inaudible]
Speaker 3:
24:15
but so like these big campy like real roles with like teeth and large ass, uh, cause I'm, I'm six feet tall and I take up a lot of space in my voices, big and Knox around a room loudly. You know, so to, to get this part, Alison was like, it was the first time I've gotten something and really truly genuinely gone. I do not know how I'm going to do this, you know, but I had I probably three or four months, three months I think in between booking it and rehearsal starting, which is great because you know, Alison Bechdel is a real person who also drew these very detailed graphic novels. So like I had all this research to do, she mentions all these books and the graphic novel, some just like drawn in panel, some like in the text. And I was like, well, I better start reading some of these books and I better start watching some interviews and just like really ground myself in this human and then worry about everything else after that.
Speaker 3:
25:17
And, and it wasn't until I was like closer to doing it, I was like, oh, you mean my obsessive anal retentive, laser focus, tunnel vision can, uh, can be useful in this character. Like that's how I worked on Ursula. But you don't actually need to know a lot about octopuses to play out like a fictional octopus. But I still did an unnecessary amount of research cause they make me feel better. But like for fun home, that was all very useful. And that's also the way into like that's how the characters looking at the events unfolding in front of them and I'm like, oh I see. Yes this is, this uses all this stuff. That's very true of me and the like non campy part of myself that I don't get hired for that frequently. Um, but it was, it took awhile for me to understand like why people would even be able to see me in it. It was a surprise to me when I booked in. I would, I would give a lot of things. Um, and I remember, I think it was your first 54 below show. Um, you saying say something I'm giving up on you and I had never heard that song before and you destroyed me. That's, I've gotten that feedback. [inaudible]
Speaker 3:
26:48
say something
Speaker 5:
26:55
[inaudible]
Speaker 3:
26:58
that's actually probably, yeah, closer to two. What would the end of fun home is like, but just like the complete emotional restraint of fun home. Yeah. Even that song that you're talking about, you can find it on youtube. Um, but it's uh, it's definitely very emotionally fall from the jump because that's just how I am as a person. So I was like, how am I supposed to play this person who like, it's in the, the forward like that you can't get emotional until x point. Really. I haven't read the script. There's a great, well it's a great forward, it's just about how to navigate it so that it's not overwrought in certain ways. At least the crone write that or, yeah, it was, it was a disoriented and chrome kind of like joint for people who are thinking of producing it. This is things to think about like media Malison is having a joyful experience coming out.
Speaker 3:
27:46
It's not until she looks back at it that she conflates it with like her father's suicide and equates it as like a cause and effect, thereby rendering it negative. If you play only the anxiety and the pain and knowing what's coming you, it won't work if you play it in hindsight. Yeah. Yeah. So stuff, stuff like that. And including like Alison really needs to keep everything repressed until like the end of telephone wire basically. Um, and where, where just like then it's like you, she needs to fall apart because this is the where it's going. Like it's very clearly laid out. Um, but for me when we did the, when we did the first read sing, I started crying at ring of keys and didn't stop until after it was over. Like fully couldn't phone eight doing parts of telephone wire because it's current. But I also knew, I was like, I know me, I'm going to have to burn some of this off. Yeah. I was like, so the read thing is the perfect time to do this and then I'll have a few times where it's way too much and then I'll be able to learn how to sit on it and where I need to like be less engaged. Cause that's also exactly what the character is trying to do. It's pretty well written. Um, it's good show, good show. It's pretty solid. You know, you got a future, those two. Yeah, I think they got something going on. That's pretty cool fashion. What was the impetus behind, um, [inaudible]?
Speaker 3:
29:18
Um, you just got a huge smile on yeah. Oh, I'm just, it's still so new and I'm really proud of it. Yeah. It's very different than anything I've made before. You know, I loved it. I'm so glad I laughed my ass off. I had a great date and Nico was my day. Um, and we, um, well that's my, that's my monkey. Yes. Your little, your little piece got a little piece. The glass I did. Yeah. Um, so tell me what that well, yeah. Okay. So it started, it truly started as a joke. Like I sent out an email you were probably on, like when I was just like, Hey, come see my show. I was like, like all great works of art. It began as a joke, which is 100% true. My husband and I are sitting around on the couch one day, like April of last year, I think.
Speaker 3:
30:07
Um, I don't remember why, but we are talking about Ethel Merman. Uh, we're talking about what of Ethel Merman played Amanda Wingfield in the Glass Menagerie and we're laughing about that. And then Jeff was like, oh yeah, you could call it the brass menagerie. And then we were just riffing and making jokes about basically mashing up Jim Gypsy and, and glass menagerie. We were like, wait a second. And I start making a playlist like w and we really were just joking about it for a little bit, but more and more we would talk about it and he's like, you should really do this. And like we were just coming up with bits. Like one of the earliest bits was like, what if for the Rose Tattoo I just sang bet Midler's the rose in a pronounced Italian accent. We're like, yes. Great. That's the thing. I'm really proud. I'm really proud of that.
Speaker 3:
30:54
Well cause it's like my favorite bit of that is like Brian Nash coming and I'm on third verse also with, with the gratuitously thick until you know, and everyone realizing that he's all syncing. Oh, he texted me the other day, um, he goes out, was, was walking down the street to the gym and just remembered Caroline and started laughing out loud. Uh, cause basically I, as I was then as I was putting it together, I was trying to see how much of Gypsy can I get into the glass master. Like truly how much of it can I fit. So when I was able to put in some of the farm sequence, that was the day I laughed so hard to myself alone while I was, I was like, oh my gosh, I'm going to get this into the show as well. And uh, that, that part always just like broke.
Speaker 3:
31:35
Brian and I up in rehearsal when I, I don't remember when I came up with all of the other things, a lot of it was just kind of trial and error. One of the first things I rewrote was back to before for Alexandra Delago in sweet bird of youth. But originally I wanted to do this big medley of different songs about aging and I just couldn't make them work and also make them fit with some of the original texts. Then I was like, what if I just did this? I mainly did the monologue, so it was just kind of a lot of trial and error. But I did it at the duplex because I had pitched it to someone who had approached me about doing a show down at caveat in the West village, West village in the lower east side. Um, which is a cool venue that has, um, like a PowerPoint that you can use.
Speaker 3:
32:18
Like it's a, they do a lot of them nights of like lectures with scientists, but with like a comedy bent to them there. Uh, and I was like, oh, this actually would work well there and then I could use graphics and that sort of thing to like tell the stories while I'm off stage, like maybe changing. And then that friend left the venue and I was like, okay, I don't care to push it enough. I'm going to go do fun home. And, um, I saw on playbill, these, um, acquaintances, friends of mine, um, run this residency called the Denevan residency and they posted on play like anyone who wants to apply it to cabaret residency. I was like, what the heck? And so I applied with this and I was like, I don't know if anyone is going gonna think this is, and they picked in, I was like, oh shoot, I've got to write it now.
Speaker 3:
33:00
And then the more I worked into, the more I realized like, I have to rewrite most of these lyrics. Like I didn't think I was going to initially. Then the more I was working, I was like, no, I have to. Yeah. But then it became something that I sculpted into something that was very different than anything. I've done them, very proud of it and I'm definitely doing it again. I mean, I just, I wanted that to be like first preview. I want to do it again and get it reviewed and take some video and I'd love to like take it to the Tennessee Williams festival in p town. Like it's very that God, yes. Um, it's very campy and, and gay and ridiculous and, and very niche. But for those in the niche, it is like, it hits, you know, it's like catnip. Oh yeah.
Speaker 3:
33:41
The audience was incredible. Like at you all were just so I'm generous and if, and I couldn't believe how, like everyone was like on top of every joke, every time an underscoring shift would happen and everyone would get it. It was just so satisfying. It was a wonderful, wonderful evening of theater, lyricist. Thank you. I'm, I'm an excellent, excellent parody lyricist. I add this a skill. Yeah, I am. I'm good at taking a structure that exists in playing with it and tried to write my own stuff. It's a harder to generate from scratch I find, but like parody lyrics I've been doing since like middle school, you know? Um, I've, I've really enjoyed it. Yeah. Well you're really good at it. I cannot wait to see it again. Yeah. I will see it again and pay money and same money. I will pay the money to see it again. Speaking of shows that are jokes [inaudible] I wrote a show. You sure did. I did, um, which kind of started as a joke as well, like all great works of art, great works of art. Can you see old adage goes? Yes.
Speaker 1:
34:48
Um, so to give a little backstory here, and I think you know how this show was created at least. So, yeah. So there was a movie called monkey trouble that was like early nineties. I was a little kid and started a very young Thora birch and a cocoon monkey. And it was one me and my sister's favorite movies growing up. And then in my twenties, a movie came out called unleashed starring Jet Lee and Bob Hoskins and Morgan Freeman. And, um, it was super violent and, but like when I saw it, I was like, oh my God, it's the same plot.
Speaker 3:
35:22
It's the exact, this is all I did with the brass menagerie was go, yeah. Oh, it's the same. Yeah. I just have to do a little cut and paste. And it's the same as gypsy. Yeah. And I was like, whoa. No one else has
Speaker 1:
35:35
probably seen both of these movies and remembered of them. Right.
Speaker 3:
35:39
And it's like they're there for different times in one's life. Yes. Yeah, yeah. Very different audiences, very different genres, very different areas of, of human history. And I was like, I have to put these together. Um, so I had the idea years ago and I just kept shelving it cause I was, I was like, oh, I have these other pieces and if I start something new that means that I've given up on them and you know, have that whole cycle sit and marinate in the Janine juice in the good Janine juice. Well, it's true. It's true. And then I mean, like I kid you not the same month that I started, right, this piece, um, motion sort of happening for another piece of mind and I was like, oh, okay. I was just having this conversation with someone earlier about, you know, my, my partner is off on a cruise gig and uh, we were like, oh, is he going to get tired?
Speaker 3:
36:31
I'm like, he really is. And he's just like so happy to be working on something like with people that he likes and on something that he's good at. I was like, and I was like, yeah, that affirmation is so important. And I think as artists we often wish we could be independent of it. Yeah. But we're not, you know, nothing. No one is, even if they claim to be or to some extent really are not 100%. It is impossible. You, you need a little affirmation and sometimes the energy that you get from that spills out into other things, you are a really delightful way. And it sustains you for so much longer for all through all the slogging, all the nose and all the silence. And I'm going to butcher JK Rowling quote, but she's said something. Um, I saw it in line at, um, the Harry Potter studios in London and it was something like, you know, like a story isn't a story unless someone's listening or something like that.
Speaker 3:
37:26
But truthfully, there's no one that was heavy. Harry Potter. I have a really real God that just blew my mind. Well, I'm deep though. Yeah. Um, but I, but I think about that quo. And so I'm, um, so I mean I wrote this show and I think four months or less, like I wrote it very quickly cause I knew exactly what it was. And we did a series of table reads. I did act one I think in March. And then I did a reading of the whole thing in May. And um, and it all started because I also reached out to the duplex and I was like, I need a deadline. Give me a deck space. I was like, I was like, I need something in nine months. And they gave me October six cause I've done tons of stuff for them. I was like, great.
Speaker 3:
38:11
And um, and here we are, I'm not going to do it. And I wrote this part for you, like with Amy Jo Jackson, voice in mind that the, or Sila and with the loud villainous scan says, yeah, I'm to expect, did you enjoy the first table reading? Yeah, that's, I mean it, it's definitely like release 80 and silly. And I always enjoy that. And then there's that character. I mean, I'm not gonna remember everything, but there's the character that the, the gentleman whose name I don't remember, cause I haven't met him before that night played there was the landlady. Oh Mrs the Plotnik. Oh, this subplot nick. I just like the, the confluence of, of those words and that actor playing them. I was like, ah, that's a really beautiful like actor meeting material in a way that like, clearly you were like, I can imagine this person saying this and I'm gonna write this so that it will just be so gloriously stupid.
Speaker 3:
39:14
I appreciate that you weren't able to do the table read effect to correct. I think it was, I was doing found out, man. So you don't know what happened. Don't you don't know your song. More drama. I imagine so high, high stakes. So many stakes. So many home-based t-boned rabbi, rabbi, yes. Ish. In all rare and well done. Overdone sometime Lik yes. And always arrives over. Done. Yup. That's monkey trouble only. Yes. Yes, for sure. Joe Jackson way as well. But uh, but we have for everyone's listening pleasure. Um, the first, the first demo of a song from the show called, it could be so much worse. A sung by Amy, Joe Jackson's character, Bart, whose name I did not change. That's great. Yeah. I didn't want to really force that or change it for it to make it like Barbara. Yeah. I was like, Bart. No.
Speaker 3:
40:13
So I think even in the stage where I was, I was like, Bart's like an evil woman with an evil man's name. Like I think it just [inaudible]. Yeah. I can also, like if I'm someone who's going to do mental gymnastics, it's like, maybe it's the last name. Maybe it's a shortening of stuff. I don't need it. I need all duplex. You're so deep in your two drink minimum. Like you're not going to be so deep in the, like, when are they bringing me my whiskey? Ginger. There's a lot of people who all showed up at the same time. Oh, her name's bar. Do you say great. I'm into it. Yes. Yes. And um, so this happens early in the show. Um, so we've met, um, why do you want to tell him a little bit about what your character is? Yeah. Um, cause I'd love to hear someone else say it for sure.
Speaker 3:
40:56
Now also, I've not read any rewrites, so I could be giving some erroneous info. But as I recall, uh, I'm an an evil mastermind who's trying to return some gum. I've already chewed. And the, the, there's, there's this like kind of routine that I'll do at these stores where I'm basically trying to get them to refund something that I've already, I've clearly chewed the columns. And then I have this, this, uh, monkey boy that I keep on Aaliyah shoes mad, but he's my little monkey and he's supposed to come in and, and uh, and seal the deal and, and, and kill, kill, kill. Um, but he, uh, what does that, he hears a piano. He sees a piano. He finds a piano at the super polymer. So his, his mother used to play the piano. And I know he's recently found a photograph of her that I thought I had like destroyed them or something like that.
Speaker 3:
41:56
And Oh no, he started to have a soul. And remember his mother, this is bad news for Poor Moi. Uh, and so he makes a fool of me, this department store and I find him back at home and I have to basically like squelch the desire to explore or think about his humanity, his mother, any desire to have anything other than the life that I've built. So I sing this song, uh, as, as a means of, uh, manipulation. Would you say that's accurate? I would say that's extremely accurate. So glad because it was several months ago while I wrote it even longer ago. So I'm like, great, we're both rashes and days. I'm so knee deep in orchestrations. I'm have to go back and make sure it actually makes sense. You'll be fresh. It'll be terrific. It'll be terrific. All right, so listen to the song. If you like the song and trust me, you will come here.
Speaker 3:
42:57
The rest of the show at the duplex monkey trouble unleashed concert premiere Sunday, October 6th at 6:30 PM. It's a nice, reasonable hour. Believe Kenny, Billy, you can even go downstairs afterwards and listen to probably Brian Nash playing till 4:00 AM. There you go in the downstairs piano box. Perfect. [inaudible] I'll be there. Um, yeah. If you want to know more about what we're doing, go to Amy, Joe jackson.com. Joby new.com. Um, you, you do do social media. I'm real big on Instagram. Twitter. I, I've discovered I'm just not funny, uh, in that way. So I'm on it and I retweet. But if you want to get in touch or see my nonsense, it's all the nonsense is on Instagram. So it's add Amy to Jackson. Terrific. All right, well they will follow you, I'm sure. And they'll come see the show. Um, that is, that's it. Can I say, hit the track? Go for it.
Speaker 4:
44:00
Trial
Speaker 3:
44:04
from my apartment and the story of this is Joel new. I'm Amy Joe Jackson saying, thank you for dropping by for something new.
Speaker 2:
44:19
[inaudible]
Speaker 4:
44:24
Danny, are you not happy?
Speaker 3:
44:30
It's not some never part.
Speaker 5:
44:33
Sorry. If that makes your bubble burst best. You hear rich from your Auntie who always puts a monkey mad food. Do you really think this better off? Sure. Better than the current one. You've gone, boy, you blow. Yes. [inaudible] oh, Danny. So watch this. No view hair. It can be slow. So there's no walls here. Just cheap chicken. Why here? It can be slow. So what? There's no way to say we knew what to say. Some things are best left with no salt. You Lessen the chance of upright pianos being dropped on your [inaudible]. That's what happened to your mom. She didn't want you. Oh, she wanted was to play the piano. But in the end it was the [inaudible] piano that played her. So what hits the gas? Smells like Robert Tire. It can be so much worse. So watch this. No exit. Try Samba. Maya. Nice a trick. [inaudible] oh, Anik Cup is so much worse. Do you know what her final words were too? She said, hell, Fiato just fell on me. But then she said, pressing your man. Hey, this isn't lots and lots of channels are not. What is it? John [inaudible].
Speaker 6:
47:09
[inaudible]
Speaker 5:
47:15
[inaudible]
Speaker 7:
47:21
we're on Spotify. No.
Opening Monologue
Interview Starts
Song: "It Could Be So Much Worse"
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