Steve Julian: An LA Presence

steve julian footlightsThe City of Angeles is the land of the motored commute.  And so it’s not surprising that many in Los Angeles are accustomed to the radio sound of Steve Julian, the Morning Edition  host of Southern California’s NPR affiliate KPCC (89.3 FM).  His voice, after all, is boomed from the antenna atop Mt. Wilson and reaches all of Los Angeles and Orange Counties.  But many in Southern California also know Julian beyond his radio personality for he sits on the boards of several theater companies and is a passionate theater maker.  He is a writer, a director, and a regular participant in the Hollywood Fringe festival.  He was interviewed by Footlights in 2014 about Ribbon of Life, his Fringe production then onstage.

Unfortunately, for the past 6 weeks SoCal commuters have been deprived of Julian’s voice, the result of deteriorating health caused by a recently-diagnosed brain tumor.  Julian’s wife, Felicia Friesema, has been documenting their shared journey with this affliction.

The outpouring of support for Julian reflects the bonds he has forged wherever he went.  Locally, where he is known as something of a foodie, particularly about sandwiches, a local sandwich shop created the “Steve Julian,” a combination of smoked pork loin, jalapeno vinaigrette, pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, and bacon fat miso aioli, with half the sandwich’s cost being donated to assist in his medical expenses.  Nationally, Julian’s Morning Edition  colleagues sent well-wishes in the moving YouTube video below.  And now, Sunday, January 17, the Los Angeles based Coeurage Theatre Company is having a reading of Head over Heels in his honor, again with proceeds going to assist in medical bills.  Tickets for this event may be purchased via Coeurage’s website.

If you wish to help further defray Julian’s medical costs, there is a GiveForward account that has been set-up for that purpose.

It takes a large personality, full of life and love, to have a large a presence in this large metropolis.  At Footlights, we hope that Steve and Felicia know how appreciative his audiences are for both his over-the-air and onstage work.

About Kevin Delin

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Kevin Delin took a few writing courses (among other things) at MIT from playwright A.R. Gurney and author Frank Conroy. In addition to writing a monthly column for Footlights, he uses his extensive tech background, including a PhD in Physics, and work experience in both Silicon Valley and NASA to advise those who want to ground their entertainment in science. He's also contributed pieces about art and culture to American Theatre, LA Weekly, Script Magazine, and Stage Raw. You can follow him on Twitter @kdelin and find his other writings at kevindelin.com.

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