Julia Silverman // a FemCity Interview
FemCity Founder, Violette de Ayala got a chance to get to know Julia Silverman, who’s recent film, American Pastoral also stars Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning. Making it from Pittsburgh to NYC, and keeping hold of her dreams, Julia shares her thoughts on dreaming big, keeping hold of dear friends and the mantra that kept her focused along the way.
How did you find your passion in acting?
I think from the time I was very young and watching plays, I had a desire to be up on the stage and be a storyteller. To be a part of amazing stories that move people.
How did you find the courage to move from Pittsburgh to NYC in order to pursue your dreams?
Moving to New York took little courage. I had fallen in love with New York long before I moved there. It was more of fulfilling a dream for me. And New York was all I had dreamt it would be, and more.
Did you ever feel like giving up on your dreams?
Yes. The “work” to get work can be hard and the competition is fierce. But “competition” in that there are so many wonderful talented people and everyone is delightfully individual. So the most important competition is within yourself. Are you willing to keep working to fulfill your personal dream? The promise you made to your talent and/or vision?
What is the biggest lesson that you can share to other FEMS to help them stay on track and to follow their dreams?
Keep a good support group. Keep listening to how your work is being received. I was told when I was starting out that you can hear when your work is no longer being praised. Listen to that. Keep yourself honest. Keep yourself from being isolated. Keep a solid group of friends.
When did you know you had “made it”?
In my world view, I have not yet “made it”. But I have achieved some success and done work in projects that I am very proud to have been a part. Perhaps, like a lovely necklace, you string those accomplishments together – each a facet of a long journey, and you make of your life something beautiful and unique.
Did you have a mentor while starting out in the acting industry?
Yes. And as I grew and changed, so did my mentors. I think it is wonderful to have a mentor. A teacher, a guide, who recognizes your talent and growth.
How do you find balance amongst it all?
Walking, wine, meditation and reading. Lots of reading.
What is your personal mantra?
I don’t necessarily have a personal mantra, however this quote inspires me: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” -Martha Graham
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Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Julia Silverman performed in several local theatres before earning her BFA from Ithaca College. Her first job out of college was an internship at Pittsburgh CLO where she was a driver for the legendary Margaret Hamilton. Julia acted in numerous off, and off-off Broadway theatres including LaMama Etc., as well as performing in theatrical collaborations with John-Michael Tebelak. Landing a small role in Mike Nichols’ Working Girl and being selected by Woody Allen to roller skate in Radio Days are among the highlights of those NY years. After moving to Los Angeles, Julia accrued many more Film, TV, and regional theatre credits. To date, Julia has appeared in over 90 plays, 24 films and 12 TV shows, among them the wildly popular Gray’s Anatomy, Parks and Recreation, Gilmore Girls and Ray Donovan. You may also have seen her in Brad Paisley’s music video, “Simple Things”, a delightful homage to When Harry Met Sally. Theatre Company memberships brought her some of her favorite theatrical experiences – among them the recent “A Thorn in the family Paw” by Garry Kluger, Jules Aaron’s “Equus” with Ian Buchanan, “The Mandrake” with Jessica Kubzansky, “The Paris Letter” (for which she received LA Scenie and Eddon awards. Her early studies with Michael Shurtleff and Alfred Molina’s Shakespeare tutelage are among her most memorable and defining experiences. Julia was most recently awarded Best Supporting Actress Featurette at the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema for her role in short film, Sienna’s Choice. She is currently in rehearsal for “The Man Who Saved Everything” at Theatre West, by Pittsburgh native, Benjamin Scuglia. For more information, please follow @actorjuliasilverman on Facebook, @silverman.julia on Instagram, and @julia_silverman on Twitter.