How two actresses spin the dregs of the Internet into comedy gold

blogologues blogologes

Hamlet. Waiting for Godot. The Glass Menagerie. Texts from Last Night. One of these things is not like the other. Luckily, not everyone thinks the line between live theater and digital low points is all that defined. Allison Goldberg and Jen Jamula are bringing the odds and ends of the Internet onto the stage with their inventive New York-based production Blogologues. The results show how even the silliest question you pose to Yahoo! Answers can turn into art in the right context. 

Blogologues takes posts from the Internet verbatim and remixes them into a performance piece. Sometimes the women take fictional bits from established sites and other times they’ll lift stuff from Reddit, Facebook, or more obscure forums. Goldberg says they pull from all over the Internet. “We pull blog posts, Craigslist posts, tweets and more to create our scripts,” she says. The first few shows used whatever material particularly tickled Goldberg and Jamula, but now they give each show a theme and search for monologues and dialogues that fit. 

The duo came up with the idea for Blogologues in 2011 and launched their first performance shortly thereafter at Under St. Mark’s, a small theater in the Village. Both women came to New York with intentions to be actresses after graduating from Yale, but also wanted to flex some creative writing muscle. The two were working on a different project when inspiration struck. “One night, we were editing footage, and I showed Jen Colin Nissan’s viral post ‘It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers,'” Goldberg recalls. “I was reading it out loud and said ‘Jen, this is a monologue!’ And she said ‘It’s a blogologue!'” 

“We are trying to explore identity and its expression in this crazy new digital world.”

Goldberg went into more detail about how they found raw material for their upcoming show,  Blogologues: New York F#cking City (If I can tweet it there, I’ll tweet it anywhere.) “We choose a theme and then we come up with a list of keywords, like cabs, cronuts, bars, etc. Then we basically start searching along those ideas. We try to pull some lesser-known material, and every now and then we’ll do a viral post that people might recognize. We also try to have a mix of voices from across the Internet, and we pull from a variety of sites. We do have a piece from Reddit in this next show… about having sex with pizza dough.” 

They write the original authors of the copy for permission to use their words. “So the scripts are all word-for-word from the Internet, then as an ensemble we create characters and scenarios,” Goldberg says. And sometimes the people who wrote the original material end up coming to the show. “It must be surreal for them,” Jamula explains. “They likely never expected to get an email asking permission for their work to be performed onstage… and there it is.” 

So far, the results have been excellent, with the duo receiving critical acclaim and shows enjoying high ticket sales. They’re actually looking for additional actors and team members to help them manage the responsibility of churning out unique material, directing it, and want to add some actors to keep the shows running on a monthly basis. 

And while the Internet remains a vast treasure trove of seemingly infinite weirdness, spinning it into a structured show is a lot of work. “It takes a very long time to find something both compelling and performable,” Jamula says.

The show is still currently running at Under St. Marks, but a new element is being added to the mix. Goldberg and Jamula also create short videos for the Web and have a steady gig from Time Out New York doing a “tweet of the week,” where they create a Vine video based on their favorite tweet, and they also use Vine to create videos representing the funniest comments for The Guardian. They’re not just remixing Internet content, they’re actively adding to it. 

Their project continues to grow, but Goldberg and Jamula don’t mind the grind. Beneath the show’s silly surface, they believe it has something important to say. “Although our show is ultimately comedic,” Goldberg explains, “We are trying to explore identity and its expression in this crazy new digital world.” Aren’t we all?

Social Media

Your Facebook newsfeed is getting a spring cleaning, and so is Messenger

Hows that newsfeed looking? Facebook has shared an update on efforts to clean up the newsfeed, as well as what tools are coming next. Facebook has new Trust Indicators, while Messenger gains badges for verified accounts.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now (April 2019)

Amazon Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be a major undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Skip the flowers and sunshine this spring and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Social Media

LinkedIn: Now you can express love, curiosity, and more with new Reactions

LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of Facebook (three years later!) with the rollout of new reactions that give users more ways to express themselves when responding to posts in their feed.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.