Who is Juli Crockett?
Alabama-born Juli Crockett is a bona fide Renaissance woman: singer, songwriter, playwright, theater director, retired (undefeated) professional boxer, and amateur champion, ordained minister, Doctor of Philosophy (summa cum laude), and leader of the alt-country/Americana genre-defying band The Evangenitals.
As a playwright/director, Crockett is best known for her adaptations of classic works of literature and philosophy. Her work has been presented at the REDCAT and 24th Street Theatre (Los Angeles), TENT group (Portland, Maine), and Red Room (New York); festivals: Downtown Film Festival's Sustainable LA and Edge of the World Festival (Los Angeles), Los Angeles Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Venue 13, Scotland.) Having recently completed her PhD in the Philosophy of Media and Communication at The European Graduate School, Crockett has also received a BFA in Acting at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and an MFA in Directing at the California Institute of the Arts.
Her music career centers on writing songs and performing with her band The Evangenitals. Founded in 2003 with her best friend Lisa Dee, the Evangenitals have produced 4 albums and frequently tour the US. The band has received notable media attention for their singular brand of “hillbilly truck stop lullabies” and continues to contribute a unique presence in the neo-folk/freak-folk movement. Crockett’s music has been used in several films, theater productions, and is currently in rotation on radio stations worldwide.
Moby Dick: or, The Album, the band’s debut album with Fluff & Gravy Records (March 18. 2014), is a musical swirl of immaculately crafted songs, each interpreting an aspect of Melville’s masterpiece with an approach that tacks between intricate arrangement and the deceptively simple country-inflected tunes for which the band is best known. At times the songs are lushly poetic, at others, coarsely powerful. Joined by such notable guest artists as: folk legend Jim Kweskin (of Jug Band fame), acclaimed avant-garde performer Dorian Wood, and composer Jeremy Zuckerman (“Avatar: The Last Airbender” and recent #1 iTunes Soundtrack “Legend of Korra”), among others, the band has crafted a timeless record that will resonate equally with fans of the classic Melville novel, and those who have yet to discover it.
Asked why she turned to Melville’s novel as the point of departure for her songs, Crockett pointed to the precedent of her adaption of the same material for theater a dozen years earlier. “Moby Dick,” she says, “is one of those iconic texts that have a life beyond its pages. People who have never read the book still have an understanding of its themes and its characters. Much like Don Quixote, characters like Captain Ahab and the White Whale transcend literature and enter the realm of the symbolic. Great works of art aren’t satisfied with being passively received; we are meant to engage, challenge, and play with them. The greatness of great literature is in its ability to respond with resiliency to the times, over ages and eons. Without changing a word, they somehow manage to consistently change our lives.”
Unique to her career, Crockett was a pro boxer who was featured in Sports Illustrated, US News and Music Connection Magazine due to her connection to Jerry Boyd (aka F.X. Toole) who was her cut man & author of the short story “Million Dollar Baby” on which the film was based. Crockett retired professionally in 2002, undefeated at 3-0 (2 KO's).
Writing is the central theme of her varied interests. Her band keeps her creating continuously, with many of the lyrics derived from her poetry, stories, and life experiences. Currently, Juli is working on two new albums, a collection of short stories for strange children, a screenplay based on the Book of Job, a musical about the Devil, the outline of a true fictional autobiography, and theatrical adaptations of Kierkegaard's Either/Or and the life and sufferings of Saint Simone Weil.
Published works include Void Creation: Theater and the Faith of Signifying Nothing (Atropos Press) and excerpts of a new play, Saint Simone, appear in the collection I Might Be the Person You Are Talking To (Padua Playwrights Press). She lives in Montecito Heights, CA with her husband, composer Michael Feldman, their son Thelonious, a tortoise, and the family cat, Žižek.