Julia is like a firecracker wrapped in cashmere! I’m not sure how else to describe her underlying determination and drive veiled by the loveliest, sweetest demeanor you could ever imagine. She’s absolute perfection but it’s evident that her strength and beauty exude from the inside out and come from a strong will and passion for her craft. Julia is mind, body, and spirit Fit for Broadway!
Note from Julia: Hello, I’m Julia! I’m super excited to be featured on the Fit for Broadway page. Right now I am playing Christine Daae in the Phantom of the Opera, after having the chance to tour the US for a year playing the same role in the new US tour of Phantom! I grew up in Voorhees, NJ, and moved to the city when I was 18 to pursue my dream. Besides performing, I love to cook, spend time with my family,(especially my niece and nephew), go on dates with my boyfriend, explore NYC, and try new workout classes!
(click HERE or click the picture!)
Q: Yay Julia!! It’s no secret that Christine is my favorite female role! Last week I featured Rachel Zatcoff and now you so I’m in serious Phangirl mode! 🙂 What was your journey to Broadway?
A: I just love that and Rachel is the best! I feel so lucky that this show brought us together to become friends! Uh oh this may be a long answer…
My journey to Broadway started with my first ballet class when I was 4, to my first voice lesson when I was 9, and every show that I was a part of from that day forward has inspired me in some way to pursue this as a career. I continued to dance my whole life, and did Nutcrackers, Spring ballets, and recitals for about 15 years. I did all of my school musicals and usually a community theater production in the summer. I was so fortunate to grow up in an area where there was a huge appreciation for the arts and we had a wonderful drama program in school. After high school I attended PSU for musical theater for one semester, when I started to feel that there might be a better path for me. I left college, moved to NYC and created my own program and took all of the classes I possibly could. I auditioned and enrolled in an acting class a T. Schreiber studios and The Barrow Group. At the same time, I did ‘professional semester’ at Broadway Dance Center, and continued to take voice lessons every week. After auditioning for about a year and a half, the first thing I got was a guest role on a Law and Order episode. A few months later, I was cast as Christine in the New US tour of the Phantom of the Opera. From there, I auditioned for the Broadway production, and here I am!
Q: I loved hearing ballet came first for you and singing second! What are your top 3 tips for vocal health?
A :Yes! Ballet was, (and still is) my foundation, and I’m so grateful for that! I started singing when I was about 9 or 10. My top three tips for vocal health are:
- Don’t strain. Make sure you are singing healthily, and find a great vocal teacher you can connect to, and who can help you with any problems that arise. Also, don’t try to talk loudly to be heard in noisy restaurants or bars…OUCH!
- Stay super hydrated. That always helps my voice from fatiguing quickly. I don’t know if that’s scientifically proven…but my voice definitely feels its best when I am drinking tons of water and tea with honey.
Q: How did fitness weave it’s way into your journey and what workouts keep you Fit for Broadway?
A: Growing up, dance class was always my workout, and besides that I would go to yoga. I still try to make it to as many dance classes as possible, because it is a great workout, and it’s a skill that I want to make sure I keep up on for the future! In the past year I have started taking Pilates mat classes, which I love. It keeps my core strong and isn’t hard on my joints! Which brings me to running…not the best for my joints. I have a love hate relationship with running. I always feel energized and great after a good run…. but I can’t say that I enjoy the actual process of doing it. I’d say I do that once a week. I have found that I need a good balance of different workouts so that I don’t get bored with doing the same thing every day. Also, it’s trial and error to see how much I can exert myself during the day and still feel good during the show at night.
Q: Most valuable lesson you’ve learned since being on Broadway?
A: Balance. In every part of my life, I have found that I need to find a balance, whether that is physical, emotional, food-related or career-related. That has been very important for me since performing on Broadway. It’s easy to get caught up in classes, auditions, performances, and the hustle and bustle of NYC. Sometimes it can be just as important to take a day off and see family, or just relax. I’ve learned that I have to listen to my heart and be sensitive to my needs.
Q: You mentioned going through a really big transition with your nutrition and diet in the last year. What was that like and how has it affected you as a performer?
A: Yes! I come from a large Italian family and my favorite meal is Spaghetti and meatballs, or basically, lots of pasta, bread, and cheese! In the past year I have transitioned to eating mostly plant-based foods. I can’t call myself a vegan, because when I’m craving a cheese stick, I go for it. I’d say I eat vegan 80 percent of the time, and 20 percent of the time, I eat whatever I want.Usually on days when I am performing, I stick to a vegan diet. I actually came across a wonderful vegan and gluten free meal delivery service called Sakara life. They have really turned my eating habits upside down, and I have never felt better, especially during the show! I’ve seen changes in my energy level, my skin, and my overall mood. The cool thing is, they only deliver Monday through Friday, and on the weekends you can eat what you want, so that is what I have been doing. I can’t wait for Sundays when I can eat some spaghetti and meatballs ;). Also, I don’t feel so bad for indulging when I know I’ve eaten clean all week!
Q: Every performer’s nightmare is getting sick (plus, winter is always the season everyone seems to catch something!) What are your top 3 tips for maintaining a strong immune system?
- SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP. I cannot stress this enough. Most of us are more prone to getting sick when we feel tired and run down.
- Eat healthy foods. Food is medicine, and can build up your immune system and help you fight off sickness. Also, take vitamins!! (Airborne, Vitamin C ESTER, zicam, oil of oregano, etc) are part of my daily routine.
- Try to avoid sick people (I can be sort of a crazy person this way sometimes :x) and wash your hands!!
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: My family, and my teachers! My family grounds me and brings me back to earth when I get too caught up in things. I come from a very large family; I have about 30 cousins just on my mom’s side. It’s really refreshing and fun whenever I am able to go home and relax and just be me! I’m the most inspired to perform when I’m surrounded by people who I love and who make me feel happy inside. My voice teacher motivates and inspires me with every lesson I go to, as well as the former directors who I’ve worked with. For me, it’s inspiring to learn new things and set new goals and to challenge myself and see improvements.
Q: What’s your advice for performers who are pursing a career on Broadway?
A: Work hard to take every possible class you can take, and never let yourself stop learning. You have to love the hard work and the ‘journey’, because it never stops. Also, recognize that everyone’s path is different; it’s important to find the right one for you.
Next, stay HUMBLE. There is always someone in this business that can do something you can’t do. People want to work with people who are easy to work with, positive, and kind. Have confidence in your craft and don’t be afraid of rejection. It is a tough business, but be persistent, and keep working hard no matter how many ‘No’s you may hear.