Hi! I'm Julia.

I'm a playwright and fiction writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Here's a bio for theatre:

"Julia Specht is a Brooklyn-based writer, originally from Massachusetts. Her plays include Down Cleghorn (Ensemble Studio Theatre), overpass (Cherry Lane Mentorship Project, finalist), and Allston Rat City (Warner International Play Competition, finalist). Her work has been produced in New York at Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Tank, New Ohio, and The Kraine. She's a proud member of Youngblood, Ensemble Studio Theatre's Obie award-winning writers group. She's also working on a Creative Writing MFA in fiction at Hunter College."

Here's an artistic statement:

Here is what writing is like for me: When I was 6, I tried to write a story in Microsoft Word about a clear blue salad bowl that was actually an alien. It’s one of my most vivid memories. I felt hopeless because the words on the screen weren’t matching the picture that was in my head, and squiggly red lines kept popping up because I couldn’t spell, and I cried because I was so frustrated. But I spent hours trying to get the words to work, because I felt like if I could get it right, it would crack something open. I had a persistent idea about this salad bowl’s internal life and I needed other people to understand it.

Here is why I continue to write even though it makes me cry all the time: I write as an act of service, which to me looks like radical honesty. I believe that finding honest words helps us understand hard things, and understanding makes it easier to be alive, and for me, the process of finding those words as an act of love. It helps other people feel seen and it’s a good thing in this world I can do well.

My work deconstructs stigma and redefines shame with stories and theatrical experiences that blow intimate situations up to a massive size and dig into the details. My primary goal is to validate the parts of being human that keep us up at night by diving, unflinching, into weird and private places and saying “See? Look! It’s like this for everybody.” I tell honest, character-driven stories about people struggling with their bodies and brains in a way that isn’t horrifically bleak. I want to explore the absurdity and beauty of being sick and sad, and I want audiences to leave my work feeling hopeful and connected to the world around them.

I love theatre because it's about creating a communal experience. You build not just a language, but a physical space. Every sense is activated, it's a bodily journey, and it's a bodily journey that you share with a room full of other people. I think that's magic.

I love fiction because it's intimate. It's a confessional, and a shakedown, and a hug. To read a book is to be alone with some words and that closeness enables a deeper connection with the work than any other medium. I love the one-on-one relationship between a writer and a reader.

A big part of writing, for me, is supporting other people. I love being a cheerleader because I am literally surrounded by geniuses all the time and holy shit how can you not get excited about that. I am made better by other people constantly and I've learned that I love to help other people feel good about their work too.

As of right this minute, in 2019, I'm telling stories about the contracts we have with our bodies, and the times when our bodies violate them. I'm thinking a lot about what it means to have a human body. I've also been writing about wealth inequality and how extreme wealth brings out the worst in people. I've been writing a lot of comedies and I'm doing a lot of magical realism right now.

Here are some writers whose work I love and think about all the time: Shirley Jackson, Paul Beatty, Kelly Link, Karen Russell, George Saunders, Rajiv Joseph, Dan Giles, Annie Baker, Diana Oh, Leah Nanako Winkler, Karin Tidbeck

Here are some pop culture things that I love and consider influences and think about all the time:

TV: Vanderpump Rules, Bojack Horseman, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Bob's Burgers, The Eric Andre Show, Key & Peele (literally all of it but especially this sketch and this sketch)

Movies: Creep, When Harry Met Sally, The VVitch, Hausu, the cat show documentary on Netflix, Green Room, The Transfiguration, Super Dark Times, They Came Together (like this)

If you want to talk about any of this stuff, or about something else, send me an email, I'd love to hear what you have to say: jaspecht@gmail.com

Photo by Neha Gautam (http://www.nehagautamnyc.com/)