Out/Spoken Performer Spotlight: Jud Lewis, Poet, Teacher, & Storyteller
Some storytellers have years of experience, and some are brand new to the stage. In this interview, newcomer Jud Lewis talks about his hopes for the Out/Spoken show, his own art, and his love for the Story District community!
How was your first experience with Story District’s coaching?
“Yesterday I had my first one-on-one coaching session with Amy (Saidman) and Mike (Boyd). I was really impressed with how supportive and caring they were and the quality of the coaching. They gave me home work and a lot of good suggestions for my story. Such honest feedback is rare, and I am grateful for it.”
How does your job as a teacher influence your personal storytelling?
“I teach public speaking at Northern Virginia Community College, and I love working with older students who have returned to school. It’s amazing. The variety of people who enroll in my class and the stories they have to tell – like an FBI agent, a Puerto Rican grandma...last week I heard a student give this amazing talk about Jim Morrison.”
Can you tell us about your poetry and art?
“Poetry is my passion, nonstop since I was a kid. Some of my most creative moments have come from darker and more dissonant days. One of my latest works is Meeting Minutes of the Log Cabin Republicans. I also produced The Encyclopedia Show –a themed variety show– where I first encountered Amy Saidman in the audience! I love the vibe of a storytelling audience. They’re much more receptive and welcoming than, say, a standup comedy crowd.”
Tell us about your role in Out/Spoken!
“I am SO EXCITED to be part of the 2016 Out/Spoken cast! I saw the Story District post for pitches on Facebook. I pitched this story once before but was just blown away when it was chosen for Out/Spoken. I’m especially impressed with Story District’s partnerships with both Capital Pride and the Human Rights Campaign. My story is about a trip to Fire Island -- The Gayest Place in the World! -- where I get off at the wrong stop. It’s hilarious, but I won’t give it away. It’s exciting, the 9:30 Club will be my biggest audience ever!
How does “coming out” on stage compare to “coming out” in person?
“To quote Joan Baez: ‘The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people. The hardest is with one.’”
To get more information on the June 4th show, or to get tickets, click the link below!
Out/Spoken: Queer, Questioning, Bold and Proud: True Stories thru an LGBT Lens