PASSION POST - Q&A with Julissa

Aug 17, 2010


So, Julissa, instead of the typical “tell me about yourself” bit, I thought I would switch it up this time. Would you mind telling everyone an interesting fact that people may not know about you off bat?
Oh, curve ball lol! Well, most people think I’m mixed (half white/half black) but I’m actually first generation Dominican. My parents moved here already pregnant with me so I was raised VERY different from everyone else in my town. My parents didn’t even understand the concept of “Friday night”. But I’m glad that I grew up with my Hispanic influence because it’s made me appreciate so many things now in hindsight. Your heritage has so much to do with who you are; whether you like it or not. It’s in your blood. And you know what they say, “there’s nothing like family!”

On Twitter you have “Actor/Model/Singer” in your biography, but when asked which one you were most passionate about, you said “Acting, hands down”. When did you become interested in performing arts and how long have you been acting?
a. Wow, yeah, it’s been 12 years now since I began acting. I hadn’t actually thought about it till just now and it’s kind of shocking haha! I was eight years old and in the fourth grade. I remember every detail of my very first play. I was an elf & the play was entitled “Elfis” ( a spoof on Elvis). Good times.
b. I began to take it seriously in middle school though. Going to competitions with my school and starting an acting troupe. I had a teach Mrs. Barrett, who took me to a Star Search audition and everything. She was the first person to believe that I had talent. I’ll never forget her.
c. I continued in high school, doing over 20 plays in my four years there. I love it. There’s nothing better.


Are you going to school for theatre or had any professional training? If so, how do you think it has improved your skills?
I was lucky and blessed enough to get into New York University as a theatre major in 2008. There I attended the Atlantic Theater Company in Chelsea, NY. Most intensive six months of my life. They told me to forget the years of experience I had and to start from the bottom to work my way up again. Terrifying. But I had such a great and talented group of fellow actors around me going through the same thing. They became like family.

I can almost say that Atlantic taught me everything I know. To stop worrying about how the audience would perceive what I was doing on stage or in front of the camera. They always told us “It’s not about YOU. It’s not about how good of an actor you’re being. It’s about the other person on stage with you and what you’re trying to achieve in them through your character.” It all sounds wacky, but it works. Without that advice, I don’t think I would’ve ever made it very far.

What has been your favorite acting experience/job thus far?
Besides living in Manhattan and going to acting class for eight hours a day? Lol, kidding. I’d have to say, and don’t judge me now, but High School Musical On Stage. I was Sharpay (my school was thankfully very color blind in their casting) and my best friend Brantley played Ryan, my twin. We put on the entire show in two months. And let me you, between choreography and lines and songs and blocking, we were exhausted. But it’s probably my favorite because we sold out every single show. We had people sitting on the floor to see us. And it’s not about “Oh, people are here to see me”…not at all. But, I love acting because I get the chance to let people escape. For two hours, they can just sit and enjoy; get lost. No worrying about bills or their jobs...just pure entertainment. And hopefully they learn something at the end of it. So to see so many people so excited and just HAPPY was the best feeling I could ask for.


If given the opportunity to costar alongside ANY actor, I personally would pick Zoe Saldana and we’ll leave it at that, lol. Who would you choose and why?
Zoe would be a dream! Especially since she’s also Dominican! But if we’re talking costar, I would have to say Will Smith. Not because he’s a cutie, but because the man has made the kind of progress in his career that every actor dreams of. He went from nothing to one of the most talented and diverse actors that we have now. And sure, he’s made some mistakes, but he’s learned from them and gotten a million times better each time. You have to admire that. He really understands character development and to act alongside him would be so valuable. Plus, him and Rosario Dawson did such a great job in Seven Pounds that I’m tempted to top!


Do you have dream role that you would like to play someday? Either on stage or film?
I have dream shows more than dream roles. Entourage, In the Heights, Fellas, The Game ect. But what I would really want is a character who is dynamic and vulnerable. To play someone that people could learn from because the character is so similar to an everyday person. A female with lots of layers. If anyone want to write “her” let me know haha!

This is really random, but let’s say you landed a major gig, became really famous and made a lot of money. What would be one of the first things you would buy?
*knock on wood* This is going to sound really selfish I’m sure. Because I’m not going to say a car, or something for my parents, or pay off my school bills. That’d all come second. And I’ve thought about this long and hard now lol: a condo in Manhattan. Only so that I could always go to the place where I’m the happiest without any worries.


Are there any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to tell us about?
YES! Glad you asked. My website’s finally up (check it out here)! It will soon be, but all in God’s time. All of my info and recent work is on there. There’s a link to my Youtube channel, which you should subscribe to lol, with some music video’s and songs. I’m actually in a music video this Saturday for Marquis Daniels off of the Boston Celtics, so I’m pretty excited about that! I’ll post it as soon as I get it back. Also, I’m currently working on a demo so keep your eyes open for that! Follow me on Twitter (@julisabino) to stay tuned. And if anyone out there had some projects they’re interested in doing, let me know. I’m always looking to collaborate with other talented people!
Thank you love for the opportunity to do this interview! It’s been great. I wish you all the best. Stay in touch and stay blessed!



Anonymous said...

she's very pretty!

Don't watch me, w-w-watch my feet....