Performance artist Taylor Mac sat down with Stephen Colbert to describe judy’s unique, all-encompassing 24-decade take on popular music throughout America’s history, a performance that is 24 hours long in its entirety.
Said Mac: “Sometimes when we’ve toured it we’ve done four six-hour shows over the course of two weeks but we did do a 24-hour concert from beginning to end about two years ago.”
Mac explained: “The whole show is about different communities that are building themselves because they’re being torn apart…1776 all the way to the present…like the AIDS epidemic, the queer community built itself because of the epidemic, and because of the government and how it was treating queers at the time. And so everyone had to rally together and build themselves…and so we just focus on a different community every decade.”
Mac identifies as judy: “Judy is my gender pronoun. I choose judy because I wanted a gender pronoun where if anyone roll their eyes it would immediately make them camp…you can’t say judy without emasculating yourself.”
Mac explained judy’s outfit: “This is kind of like a macaroni – those kind of giant things that the Yankee Doodle Dandies [wore]…it’s kind of like I’m saying there were queers back then too and we have proof of it.”
Mac added: “I feel like Donald Trump is the heckler in chief. Sometimes when I’m out on stage I’ll get a heckler out there. I think of Donald TRump as trying o steal the story of America away from America…I learned this in the clubs. If something is threatening to take the story away from the storyteller you have to incorporate that thing into the story at all costs. Otherwise, nobody pays attention to the story. So we have to incorporate Donald Trump into the story but we can’t let him be the lead. We’re the lead.”
Mac then performed Patti Smith’s “People Are The Power” because “I think until justice gets back into the world we should just be singing that to close every show.”