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The Big Jewcy: Jill Soloway – Writer/Producer, Making Things Happen On LA’s East Side

Jill Soloway is as prolific a writer as she is funny. Besides penning episodes for Six Feet Under, Dirty Sexy Money, The Oblongs and Grey’s Anatomy, Jill was the executive producer and showrunner of The United States of Tara and has had two books published: the novella Jodi K and a collection of stories called Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants. Also, Jill and her sister Faith made a name for themselves with a show The Real Live Brady Bunch – live re-creations of Brady Bunch episodes – and for this, they are blessed. Currently living in LA, Jill created the storytelling show Sit n’ Spin, which draws some of LA’s top talent, and is involved with a group called East Side Jews – a collective of artists who throw Jew-centric get-togethers around the City of Angels.

Jill Soloway: doing it all, so we don’t have to.

What was the origin of East Side Jews?

A group of people who live in Silver Lake, Los Feliz and Echo Park recognized that the East Side was a veritable jew desert so we banded together to do something about it– reinventing ritual and cultural investigations at unlikely venues.

Sit n Spin has become something of an LA institution. What was surprising?

Someone smoked pot onstage once. A few years ago there was a disagreement between performers about whether or not it was okay to make fun of Anne Frank and there was an email threat that necessitated a call to the LAPD. Mostly the fact that 10 years later it’s still going strong.

Who are your favorite contemporary comedy writers?

Louis CK,  Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, Lena Dunham.

I read that Kathy Najimy is a role model of yours. Have you gotten the chance to tell her?

Of course! She’s now a good friend. She’s funny, she’s a feminist, she’s a superhero.

I know you’ve written a few episodes of The Oblongs. I loved that show. Are there particular challenges in writing for animation?

Just that sometimes the art would come back from Korea and it would be totally wrong and you would have to cut it rather than change it because you’d be out of time.

The Real Live Brady Bunch is such a genius idea. I would love to start the rumor of a revival. Do you and Faith have plans to bring any other TV shows to the stage? Or vice versa?

Faith and I tossed around some ideas for a musical yesterday. A few people came back from seeing Book of Mormon and told us it was not as good as the stuff we used to do. REVIVAL!

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