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Interview with Julie Fitzpatrick - Juror in Theatre

Recently I spoke with Julie Fitzpatrick, juror in the theatre category. Julie has judged Scholarship in the Arts for the past three years, and mentored Mary Darin who won the vocal music scholarship in 2019. Julie is an actress, writer, and acting coach. She studied at UPENN undergrad and then American Conservatory Theatre where she received her Master of Fine Arts degree.

AS: So to start off, what were some upsides/downsides to judging Scholarships in the Arts virtually this year?

JF: The audition and interview experience was different from the past years I have judged the program. It was definitely easier to judge in person. Virtually, we are not working with the participants in real space, which makes it harder to judge. The participants sent in recordings of their performance along with their essays, which were reviewed ahead of time before interviewing the participants.

AS: What were you looking for in the submissions?

JF: In the recordings of the performances, I was looking for participants who embodied the character they were portraying. To personalize the character and be expressive with it. In their essays, I read for the participants conscious of their talent and challenges they faced. Reading, I also looked for passion, joy and empathy towards theatre. It was also great to see how all these participants were committed to their work.

AS: How do you feel this program has an impact on its participants?

JF: I think the program has an impact on its participants because we are able to see and talk to the participants and validate their artistry. It gives them a good feeling to have people applauding their talent. The participants were very perceptive and thankful for the work us judges did, and our commitment we showed to them. It was good to see them have that feeling that people are rooting for them.

AS: What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to aspiring performers?

JF: To commit to your work. Give yourself over to the material, allow yourself to be obsessed with your work. Don’t hold back, and allow the artist within to come out. Practice and don’t just wing it. Know your work and honor it.

AS: Thank you for your time!


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