Photo: Daniel A Swalec- www.dswalecphoto.com
For Christmas this year, I want to spend the day on a porch swing drinking sweet tea with Julie Johnson.
At least, I think I want to be drinking sweet tea. As a born and raised California girl, I have not yet had what I presume to be, the privilege of drinking sweet tea. But you can’t work on a show called MEMPHIS and not hear about sweet tea. You’d think that this many years into the project, I would have manifested the opportunity to have some sweet tea. Maybe when the tour comes back to Memphis, TN, for a return engagement at the Orpheum Theatre in April 23-28th 2013. Click here for tickets. I can make this moment happen: Me, Julie Johnson, and some sweet tea. A porch need not necessarily be involved but would be nice.
As our current tour “Mama,” I never have enough time with Julie. This interview, post-show socializing, pre-show dinners, emailing, all over the last year and it’s never enough time and I want more.
She has had such a life in show business that she starts these stories of such theatrical pizazz that I my brain becomes “fan girl hazy.” Stories that start with, “this one time, they had to fly me in on a private jet….” Also, the fact that she is on tour with her 14- year old son Trey, driving their Toyota Prius in between tour stops, homeschooling on the road while using the time in each city as inspiration for deeper learning, and you realize, you could literally be entertained all day by her stories.
Let me call the MEMPHIS press rep and start laying the groundwork for my day with Julie Johnson.
You’ll see. This Behind the Title will not be enough. You will come away wanting. It’s not my fault. There is just too much there to capture in this 15 minute snapshot of an interview.
And if you have seen her as “Mama” in the National Tour, don’t you agree that you want more? Maybe Joe and David can add a reprise of “Change Don’t Come Easy”- “Mama’s” 2nd Act song- just so we, the audience, can get another round of Julie Johnson super-riffing. Let’s just throw it into the curtain call and see what happens.
BEHIND THE TITLE: Julie Johnson
Delta or American
Window or Aisle:
Tea or Coffee:
Coffee…or Southern Iced Tea
Last movie you saw:
That Nicole Kidman movie about Ernest Hemingway ["Hemingway & Gellhorn”]
Current album you’ve been recommending to friends:
Bryan Fenkart’s newest album, “Simple & Grey”…seriously
Current book you’ve been recommending to friends:
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Are you OCD about anything?
Packing the car!
Favorite tour city (so far);
Pittsburgh! [She used words to describe the city like "fantastical," "beautiful," with "stunning architecture." And for someone from Texas who claims football makes her "mortal enemies with the Steelers", I think she was surprised to admit this!]
People say I remind them of:
I get Wynonna Judd a lot.
Favorite line in the show not by your character:
Felicia: “How we gonna have a baby?” Felicia’s delivery is great because it sets up a laugh line, but when you think about the question, it is a question that she should have never had to ask. There is a sadness behind the question because, at that time in history, the consequences of bringing a child of mixed race into the world were traumatic.
Skill/hobby picked up while on tour:
Packing a room in under 10 minutes
I wish I had more time for:
Sight seeing. And I miss having dinner in the evenings at a normal time, you know, like between 8-9:30pm!
I wish I had room to pack [blank] in my suitcase:
A jacuzzi tub!