Fresh Faces :: Julia Sherman

Today we welcome August, and with it, a brand new Fresh Faces – a very, very special one at that.

You know how every so often you hear about those 80-year-old women who have been friends since childhood, and you find yourself wishing that you had that kind of amazing connection with someone? My August Fresh Face, Julia Sherman, IS that someone for me.  Thirteen years ago, we met in our 6th grade English class (would you believe our friendship began over an extremely heated argument about which one of us would be Aaron Carter’s girlfriend?!), and Julia’s been my soul sister ever since.

If it wasn’t instantly understood by the aforementioned argument, Julia has a penchant for drama. So it seems only fitting that after high school she moved to New York City to study theater at NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, and is now making her way in the big city as a writer and actress.

I don’t get to see her as often I would like anymore, but Julia is doing some really freakin’ cool things with her life and is so very deserving of everything that her talent and awesomeness is bringing her way (and I’m hoping that saying this will one day make me deserving of that guest ticket to the Emmy’s…).

Julia took some time to answer my questions about how she got into the business and what’s in her future. Even if you don’t have an interest in acting or writing, this is worth a read because, if anything, this chica can provide a good laugh. Fresh Faces, Julia Sherman

Tell us about your background in the industry. When did you start acting and why?
I was in the first grade when I did my first play at a local theater in Stafford,Texas but that probably had less to do with me wanting to be in a play, and more with my parents recognizing an opportunity to get me out of the house. But they instilled in me a real genuine love of the arts, so as I grew older, I think acting became my key into that community. The theater was my escape from a lot of that teenage angst stuff– it’s a place where individuality is applauded and vulnerability is encouraged, and I was (am) a weird kid with a loud voice and a lot of opinions, so I really thrived in that environment. It taught me that nobody could ever laugh at me if I was already laughing at myself.

How did you get into writing?
I started writing sketch comedy with some NYU buddies, originally as part of a friend’s senior project. It wasn’t until a year or so out of college that I started considering writing as a career path, though. My ego is way too fragile for the audition scene, and I was growing weary of waiting for roles that fit me. It made a lot more sense to utilize the friends and resources that I already had in place to create my own work than it did to keep waiting.

What are some projects you’ve worked on recently?
My biggest project lately has been developing my web series “Drunk Girls In Heels” into a full length show with my writing partner, Nora Fullmoon, and Richard Abate and Olivia Gerke from 3 Arts Entertainment. It’s been a very exciting introduction to the industry, and I’m excited to see where it goes. We started writing a second season of the web series with Keely Flaherty, and we’re aiming to go into production this fall.  We also developed three new web series’ with our fellow 3 Arts buddy Matt Wood, and I’d love to see one of them get produced this year. It’s been a lot of conceptual work lately, so I’m really looking forward to getting back into production mode.

We’ve talked before about Drunk Girls In Heels – can you talk a little bit more about what that experience was like?
It was like what I imagine getting in really great shape must feel like, but minus any of the health benefits.  I put a lot of work and time into the show, and I got a beautiful final product as a result of that. Experiencing that transformed everything about my life. Plus, there were literally 30 other brilliant minds collaborating on that thing. I don’t think it’s possible to walk away from something like that unchanged.

When you were 10 years old, was this what you thought you would be doing?
No. If 10-year-old Julia met me today, she would probably be disappointed that I haven’t married Leonardo DiCaprio or won an Oscar yet, and would be absolutely mortified to learn that I wrote a show about drunk people. She would, however, think it’s very cool that I write comedy in New York and have a good haircut.

Do you see this being your future? If not, what do you see yourself doing 5 years down the line?
Absolutely. I enjoy watching tv way too much to not make some kind of career out of it. I would like to do a little more of it out on the west coast in the coming years, though.

What is your favorite part about show writing and/or acting, directing, etc.?
My favorite part of being a writer is that it gives me an excuse to seek out stories and ask way too many questions. And sometimes that means having an in-depth conversation with a stranger about lost love on the subway, but sometimes it’s just seeing someone walking down the street and wondering about where they’re coming from or going to. And comedy writing is really just taking your own shit and synthesizing it through different characters, so everything I experience– good, bad, mundane– has meaning.

Are there any other up and coming writers/actors/directors that we should be paying closer attention to?
This is a tough one because I think all of my friends are going to be famous. Everyone who worked on Drunk Girls In Heels is doing incredible work in the industry, and you can access all their information and personal links on our web site. It’s a really exciting time for television right now, especially for young writers. All those Viacom networks– MTV, Comedy Central, VH1– have young comedians on their writing staff.

This can be a hard industry to be involved in. What keeps you motivated?
I have an extremely supportive family, and I couldn’t do it without them. My mom calls me almost weekly with her sitcom pitches. Being surrounded by other artists and their art is important, too. Whenever I hit a slump, it’s usually because I haven’t been seeking out art that excites me.

What advice do you have to give to anyone looking to get into the industry?
Make stuff that matters to you and then keep making it. If it doesn’t matter to you, then it won’t matter to anyone else, and you’ll burn out.

DGIH5

Fresh Faces, Julia Sherman

If you’re interested in keeping up with everything Julia has going on in her career, you can keep up with her at her website. Or, as I imagine is the more likely scenario, you are interested in becoming best friends with this amazing human being…well, too bad. While I understand why you would want the role, it’s already occupied…by me. So get in line, but plan to wait awhile because, as I already mentioned, we’ll be those 80-year-olds that you and your friend wish you were.