Julie Goldman is a star on the rise. Or a star looking for a rise out of her audience -- with her audacious and intelligent comedy. Recently relocated to Los Angeles from New York, she has headlined in shows across the country, on cruises, and has starred in the last three seasons of Logo's Big Gay Sketch Show. Her long list of current projects includes her stand-up variety show Offensive Women, her web show In Your Box Office, and her attempts to procure funding for a lesbian romantic comedy she co-wrote called The Nicest Thing. There's a gay zombie movie in there too.
Julie is involved with the website autostraddle.com, a lesbian centered social community and content forum. With her writing partner Brandy Howard, she contribute articles, features, and a satirical webshow called In Your Box Office in which they re-enact and critique movies. Autostraddle is run entirely by volunteers and, while the founders are searching for funding, for now Goldman says "It's just existing on love." The site is modern and fresh. "The discourse is great and I love the debate. They're the most open lesbian community online."
In her attempts to contribute to a new trajectory for lesbians in Hollywood and the media, Goldman and Howard co-wrote what they feel is the first true mainstream lesbian romantic comedy. "We wrote The Nicest Thing as a vehicle for ourselves because we felt like there weren't any current lesbian characters written for women that are really that funny," she says.
They've had a hard time finding funding for the movie. When asked why she thought no one was biting, Goldman is honest about the not so naked truth of it. "It's not just that the economy is bad, but there's no sex in it. And anything that's lesbian driven at this point is sexual. I think the script we have is extremely mainstream. Nobody's struggling with their sexuality, nobody's having sex. It's glossy and pretty and romantic and sweet and funny." It just happens to be about lesbians.
Goldman believes Hollywood may still be afraid of any story line that's too gay. "At the end of the day people think that gay stuff won't make money. We keep saying that with romantic comedies or anything that is truly funny, women are going to go see it, whether they're gay or not," she says. "That's 50% of the population, so I don't know why we're holding out for what straight men like."
Performing since she was fifteen years old, Goldman has been inspired by such comedic kingpins as George Carlin, Mel Brooks, and Joan Rivers. "I love big opinions and huge personalities. I like seeing people take risks and putting their balls out," she says. "I don't always have to agree with it, but I appreciate the effort and that's what inspires me to keep going." As a comedian who has been known to push boundaries herself, she admits there’s a point where one can go too far. Of Tracy Morgan’s recent anti-gay rant, Goldman says, "I think he was trying to be funny and didn't realize how empowered the gay community is. He didn't put two and two together that that's just a sh**** thing to say and it's not funny. I think he's sorry, so I appreciate that he made an effort to apologize."
Always up for stepping outside her comfort zone, Goldman recently shot an episode of Ru Paul's Drag U (to premiere on July 11th). "I got a makeover and looked all drag-tastic. I got to wear high heels and that was totally different and weird but it was fun." When we spoke, Goldman was on her way to audition for a lesbian role on Showtime's Californication. Without disclosing much about the script, she let it be known it was one of those cringe-worthy lesbian parts she wasn't likely to get. "I can be sabotaging of myself because I want to rebel. But you want to go and meet every casting director."
Julie Goldman will be performing live at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center on July 30th. For information on her upcoming gigs go here.
For more on her film The Nicest Thing, go here.
Check out her work on www.autostraddle.com.