The Life and Times of FavouredWiles

(TL:DR – Janice needs help, go check out her Patreon page.) 

Have I ever told you about FavouredWiles? She was born on Twitter and was briefly semi-famous… famous? That’s seems like a reach. She was briefly semi-popular in a Shondaland corner of the internet in the early twenty-teens. Known for her musical three minute recaps of Scandal episodes. She was something special. And she was me. An alter-ego I created because I didn’t want my friends to help me. 

The year was 2013 and I had decided that if I couldn’t write for TV (yet), I would write about TV. So I started blogging about SCANDAL. But before I pressed “publish” on my first post, the faces of all my friends flashed before me and my pride said “They don’t want to read this. No one wants to read this. But your friends will because they feel bad for you.” And I felt bad about that. So I created a whole new internet persona, a writer that no one knew, who would rise or fall (most likely fall) completely on her own merit or lack thereof (most likely lack thereof). So FavouredWiles was born. And she started blogging. And she did okay. Actual people who didn’t actually know her actually read her blog and actually liked it. And then she/I had the idea of the three minute recaps… and actual people actually LOVED THEM.  

I remember it was a Tuesday when the third recap BLEW. UP. And I went from like fifty Twitter followers to nearly a thousand. And it was so surreal because I was going to hang out with some friends that night and my phone was just blowing up, my internet profile was on fire (in the best way possible) and almost no one in my real world had any idea. It was wild. Also wild, the fact that I STILL didn’t really want to tell friends about what I was doing, because then it felt like bragging. In the end, I was never fully able to integrate my two personas and eventually I deleted the FavouredWiles account, killed the alter-ego and gave up all those followers because I felt that they didn’t even really know me and we’re only following me because they felt bad for me… wait, what?! I don’t know. My self-sabotage is even more creative than I am. 

Long story short, in the end, I both created and killed a version of myself because I didn’t want anyone to feel obligated to help me.  

But now it’s 2020. And I need help. 

One of the last things FavouredWiles started working on was a ten-minute recap that turned into a full-length musical that JaniTheCat (FKA: FavouredChild) finished. It’s called SCANDUSICAL and it’s pretty fantastic. It’ll be playing for 4 nights at The PIT in March and then after that… I’d like to get it up and running for longer. But I can’t do it alone. Everything costs – rehearsal space, rehearsal snacks & water, printing scripts and sheet music, costumes, props, ACTORS, MUSICIANS and ASSISTANTS!! It would honestly be great to make money from my writing someday, but far above that and way before that (if ever), I want to be able to pay the people who are giving their time and talent to bring this show to life. I’m used to my writing costing me, I don’t mind; but I would really like for it not to be a burden on the people who are literal gifts to me. So I’ve started a Patreon for this project and this is me asking you to help me, by becoming a Patron. For a little as $3 a month you can help me defray some of the upfront costs which will leave me more room to pay all the people who are not me on the back end. And maybe (god-willing) I’ll break even one of these days!  

Listen, as someone who was once born, lived successfully and died on Twitter, and is now older and wiser in the real world, I am finally humble enough to proudly ask for help. From anyone and everyone – my friends, enemies, frenemies, strangers (with candy or without), YOUR friends, enemies and frenemies. Whosoever will, for whatever reason. If it’s because you feel bad for me – so be it. I’ll take it. My pride would prefer that it’s because you think I’m good at what I do and totally worth supporting, but at this point, I think I’m good at what I do and totally worth supporting, so I’m fine believing that for the both of us if need be.  

So please, take some time and visit my Patreon page and when you’re ready, for whatever reason –  become a patron of SCANDUSICAL. Make all of FavouredWiles’ dying wishes come true and let’s get this show on the road together. 

Thanks for everything, from every version of me. 

xx janice 


Tell your friends.

Janice Lagata was born in California, but born for New York. A writer, fighter, igniter and matron saint of cats; smirking is her favorite. She’s just a girl feeding herself to the world and asking it to love her – that’s a lyric from a song she wrote, you can probably find it and lots of other things she’s working on by asking the internets (insta/twitter/soundcloud/spotify/youtube/your mom) for @jani_the_cat.

WWJD? He Would Stop Trying To Be Like Jesus

My friend loves Friends. Loves it. That show was, is, and as far as I can see, always will be her jam. So in most any situation, at almost any time, she can relate a real life situation to some situation in that comedy, or one of her flesh and blood friends, to a character in the cast. “That is so Monica/Phoebe/Joey/Chandler/Ross/Rachel.” I could say that I’ve heard it all (and could I be any less enthused?) but I recently realized that I actually haven’t. There are two essential character I have NEVER heard her compare anyone to. Never has she ever said to me or anyone else, “You are being such a Marta Kauffman/David Crane right now.” Who and/or who? The creators of Friends. Who along with their production partner Kevin Bright were the joint force that spawned an entire pop culture. If Friends was a universe, (and let’s be honest: it is) it’s trinitarian god would be Bright-Kauffman-Crane. And S, knows that. She knows the bible of that show front to back, but she has never compared herself or anyone she knows to the gods of that gospel. 

And I really wish Christians would keep that same energy. 

There was a twitter flare up recently, re: slavery and the myth of the benevolent slaveholder. Because apparently present day United States is doing so well, some Christians on twitter (Christtwits?) are finding it hard to believe the horrific history of our nation was as horrific as some of us keep insisting. We’re at a 10 and they’d like us a negative two, but they’ll settle for a three. Protip: If the conversation is ever about slavery and you’re on the side saying it wasn’t that bad; kill yourself. (I’m sorry, is that mean? Okay, but it’s not that mean.) Anyway, white folks be whitefolkin’ and one of them said the reason some of us have a hard time believing in the myth of a benevolent slave owner is because we can’t conceive of a benevolent Father who calls us all slaves to his son… okay, Christtwit. 

Benevolent Father, I’m tired. All the women in me are tired. And all the slaves in me are tired… of Your shit, Dad! Let me go!

Whoops! That escalated quickly. But you know what, let’s go with it. Imagine with me, a slave saying that to their benevolent slave owner. Whether it was whispered through tears, shouted in anger or stated calmly through gritted teeth — what would the response have been? WWBD? What would Benevolence do? 

Obviously, Benevolence would turn in their bible to our very helpful text of the day: Romans 6:22. And having read such clear wisdom, Benevolence would immediately set their slave/child free. Immediately. They would have obviously have to, because they would read it and either: a) see themselves in the slave character and do unto others as they would want others to do to them or b) see themselves in the slave character, be honest about the fact that they don’t want to set their slave free, but accept that the mandate of a slave is to do things they don’t want to do. Either way, Christian benevolence begins and ends with the enslaved being freed. There’s no other option. Unless… No. No way. No one would do that. No one would read a bible verse involving God and slaves, and see themselves in the God position. That would be downright devilish. 

And yet here we are. With Christians likening slave owners to God, instead of humbly recognizing themselves as slaves to supremacy. 

Because a flaw in our theology has become a feature. We have made the goal of Christianity becoming Christlike. **record scratch** Wait… What’s so bad about that? Nothing when you say it like that because we’re used to hearing it like that, but let’s switch things up a little bit. Jesus Christ was God, right? So let’s go with that. Switch Christ with God — and now, when I say we have made the goal of Christianity becoming Godlike… yikes… it just hits different; right? Godlike. Like God. You will be like God… where have we heard that before? 

So what’s a Christian to do? Aren’t we supposed to be like Jesus? Wasn’t that the point? Isn’t that the point? I don’t know. Was it? Is it? Did He die to take our place? Maybe. Did He die to change places with us? Absolutely not. How do I know? Because He still alive. Remember? That’s the whole deal, right? He lived and died and rose from the dead and now *checks notes* He’s alive. So why would I ever ask myself What Would Jesus Do as if He’s missing in action and needs me to fill in for him? He’s present and accounted for. He’s got it covered. And yet we’re steadily out here trying to assume a role that is not open. Trying to become like a man who was God. And doing a terrible job of it. Because we just don’t have the range.  Jesus was man and is God. He can play both positions. We cannot. We never could. We were never meant to. We have only ever been meant to be man with God. We are best, when we are man with God. We are worst when are trying to be man and God. We need to stop trying to live like we’re Jesus, and start trying to live like we’re with him. 

What’s the difference? Let’s take a quick look at another two-character scene we’ve probably all heard a few sermons on — the Temptation of Christ. What are some of the common takeaways from that story: being led into the wilderness to be prepared, having your identity questioned, being hungry, being tempted, overcoming by knowing the word… cool cool cool. Message received. Narrator voice over: The message has not been received. Because again, we’re looking at this story and we’re just automatically seeing ourselves in the God position. Jesus hasn’t even died yet and we’re stepping into this scene like “Oh, this is my part!” But is it? Two characters were led into the desert, one following the other… be honest, which one are you more likely to be? The one not using their power to take shortcuts or the one trying anything and everything to talk Jesus into taking one? But how many of us have ever looked at the story and seen ourselves as anything other than Jesus. 

That’s a problem. 

We have literally lost sight of ourselves. And our view was never reliable to begin with. You realize that not one of us has ever actually truly seen ourselves, right? We’ve only ever seen reflections. So if my bad theology centers Jesus in me and tells me to see myself as Jesus in the world, the view can only grow more and more reflective. Not of Jesus, but of me. Because I am bad at recognizing myself. And that’s how we end up being able to imagine such a thing as a benevolent slave owning God. Because we want to be like Him, almighty, all powerful Him. At any cost. Including our own humanity. 

So we need to change the question, stop asking What Would Jesus Do and start asking Where Is Jesus Now and then be honest about where we are in relation to Him. Because while we can do bad all by ourselves and Jesus can do Jesus all by Jesus-self, we can only do Jesus badly. So let’s just stop. Please Christian, for God’s sake, stop trying to be like Jesus.


Tell your friends.

Janice Lagata was born in California, but born for New York. A writer, fighter, igniter and matron saint of cats; smirking is her favorite. She’s just a girl feeding herself to the world and asking it to love her – that’s a lyric from a song she wrote, you can probably find it and lots of other things she’s working on by asking the internets (insta/twitter/soundcloud/spotify/youtube/your mom) for @jani_the_cat.