Sunsets and Sweatpants with Juliet Hope Wayne

We couldn’t wait to have Juliet Hope Wayne on Ask Me, we were like, “OMG, What is she going to do?” Then we were like, “Does it matter? It’s going to be amazing.” And it was. Juliet’s stories take you for a whirl, the hilarious and atrocious kind. She is a Moth GrandSlam winner, was named “The Best Storyteller in Philadelphia” and has been featured on the Moth Radio Hour and the Moth Podcast.

So, what are you going to do today?

I’m going to write from starbucks.

The lady who works here talks about her menopause constantly with any customer that will listen. So I sit right near the counter so I can hear every awkward interaction. Yesterday she told me mine is coming soon, so, “Don’t Worry!” I like a customer service representative that isn’t afraid to remind me of my impending mortality, or more specifically, the sun that is setting on my fertility.

That sounds promising. Do you think she’s some sort of oracle?

Yes. I’m relentlessly naive. Very maleable and prone to see “signs” everywhere. If the right song is playing you don’t even need to add water to the kool Aid. I’ll snort it.

Tell us, what are your thoughts on over-sharing and restraining orders anyway?

The more we overshare the faster we figure everything out. Let’s evolve!
But if I I share something on stage I would prefer if when I’m out months later talking to a group of people of mixed familiarity someone doesn’t walk up and say “Hey! You’re the girl who messed around with steroids when you were a landscaper!”

Or say it, I don’t care. If those people are worth talking to they’ll like me anyway. And if they are really worth talking to they’ll ask me what it was like and I’ll tell them about how I got to see the world through the eyes of a horny, violent man.

And it wasn’t so bad.

Have you ever put something out there that you were like, “Oh shit. I’m going to get the beat down for that.”?

I’ve said people’s real names before by accident.

There is one ex boyfriend who I’ve told stories about maybe even longer than we dated. He’s heard the one about him. When we see each other on the street we pretend we don’t know each other and it’s the only time we haven’t been pretending.

He still thinks he’s cooler than me, though, which is infuriating because I keep explaining it’s not true.

In a lot of your stories, there is sometimes a “rock bottom” aspect that is usually the most painful but the most hilarious. Has it ever happened that you’re on stage in the middle of your story and you have a moment of self realization, like you’ve been lying to yourself about some detail?

The first three years I told stories I was drinking. I used to have two shots of whiskey and three beers, as “a base,” an easy place to get on stage from. I don’t think I would have ever done it at all if not for drinking, so Thanks, Drinking!

But a lot of my stories were about how I USED to be messed up, how I’m not anymore. There were a lot of times where I watched video afterward and I could hear it was getting laughs but I felt like
“well, this actually isn’t ‘me’, but if people like it, who cares?”

When I quit drinking/using it was a lot harder. It still is. When I see other people in the show having a drink backstage it looks like the Elysium Fields. It doesn’t look like the Lady’s Hades it really is for me.

Now when I tell a story it’s more difficult because I accidently think about what I’m saying, instead of single mindedly targeting the laughs. Now I will sometimes have a second where I think about someone or a situation and think, “what happened there!?”

Which is tricky because the audience wants to know what happened, and a lot of time I have no idea. I trust the accuracy of my memories, the facts and details. But can’t always explain why I did certain things. Or explain people who, the more I try to figure them out, the further the camera pans away from a hedge maze that keeps growing.

Hey, while we are on the subject of desirability, how do you feel about hate-fucking?

Love’s tragedy is that to hate-fuck you have to hate each other the exact same amount. If one hates the other a little too much they’ll never agree to it, if one doesn’t hate enough they are going to get eaten alive. Every greek myth is about this fact.

And speaking of hate-fucking, when do you feel like you going to quit smoking?

I started smoking when I quit drinking. It’s been over two years and it’s time to stop.

Right now my brain is torturing me with insomnia because of quitting smoking. Usually before I fall asleep I see little dreamy trailers, moving pictures that quiet the brain and lead me into feature length dreams.

When I have insomnia my brain spells out “Insomnia” in different fonts. Just in case I forget what’s keeping me there wide awake.

“Insomnia” in broadway lights! “Insomnia” in a girlish cursive! When the “o” yawned I almost threw something across the room.

When you’re in a starbucks, do you enjoy sweatpants?

I couldn’t wear sweatpants if I was alone cleaning my bathroom. There is freedom at the bottom but I don’t need that much freedom.

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