Jonathan Pillot and curly twins Stephanie and Suzanne Jones created Project Curly and the Curly Monologues, which of course resonates with us here at NaturallyCurly. We got to ask them all about the experience so far!
NaturallyCurly: Tell us a little bit about Project Curly!
Jonathan Pillot: I created Project Curly as a community-based platform for people (primarily women) to self-express about how curly hair has affected their lives in any and all respects, regardless of race, age, nationality, ethnicity, etc. It was clear to me intuitively and then confirmed by conversations with curly females, that almost all of them had alot to say on this subject, and there is power in sharing stories and feeling the bond and the similarities within the context of one's own personal experience. Connecting the individual to the general. I felt that this could be a wonderful media vehicle in a variety of platforms, from web to film/television to live events, as well as a platform for brands. It is in alignment with two professional missions: to "entertain and elevate" as well as to create content and projects that give voice to others, so that we listen, and they are heard.
Suzanne Jones: It’s a multi-platform initiative created to celebrate all things curly—whether curly hair or “curly” thinking—as in creating and living beyond the straight and narrow. It started when Jonathan Pillot created a short video piece with women of all ages and races sharing stories of their curly hair and then organized a couple of “flash mobs” for curly-haired people to meet and greet.
NaturallyCurly: What inspired the Curly Monologues?
Suzanne: The initial inspiration was to bring the curly video concept into a live show environment with real people telling their stories to an audience, somewhat in the vein of “The Vagina Monologues.” Jonathan then partnered with my sister Stephanie and I, who, as The Jones Twins, are performers, writers and producers who, among other things, create and curate theatrical projects. We partnered to create a live cabaret/real storytelling event featuring established professional performers here in NYC doing curly-inspired performances as well as real people telling their personal stories around their curly hair. The hope is to unite all types of people around the concept of celebrating difference and sharing experiences. And to entertain and uplift!
Stephanie Jones: It wasn’t hard to get behind the Curly Monologues idea, as a performer/producer of live events I thought it was a brilliant concept! The whole experience has been fab.
Jonathan: When I shot the initial interviews for the sizzle piece, I was looking in the eyes of each woman/girl and sensed that real stories, authentically told, could really work in a live event/"theater" format. I thought of theatrical pieces like "Love Letters" and "Love, Loss and What I Wore" and "The Vagina Monologues" and decided to thread out this notion to get feedback, spread the brand messaging, and see what might be possible, not just in one venue, but across cities and, possibly, countries.