Julia Culbert is a dancer, actress, and singer in Los Angeles. Her latest project Monarch is an autobiographical documentary into the rampant abuse in the Troubled Teen Industry. I recently sat down with this multifaceted young talent about her journey including new ventures for 2023.
Tell us how you got started in the industry.
I began acting at the age of seven in school theater and I absolutely loved it. Once I was pulled from treatment and turned eighteen, I was off to the first set I could find. My first project was actually working as an extra on Bumblebee, the transformers film with Hailee Steinfeld. From there, one of the costume designers put me in contact with the producers of 13 Reasons Why, and that’s where I got my first feature.
What is your process for preparing for a role?
I like to write up a background for the character. Obviously when you’re given a role, you get a breakdown of the characters history, their personality, etc., but I like to go even further and give it a “why.” For instance, if a character is very sarcastic, I like to write up a story about what in their childhood influenced them to be the way they are. It makes it a lot easier to make choices with the sides when you know the character inside and out, and you already know how they would react to things.
You are currently working on a documentary entitled Monarch. Can you tell us more about it?
I’m currently in post-production for a documentary about the abuse I endured while in the Troubled Teen Industry, specifically in the program “Monarch.” I go into depth through interviews with my peers about what really happened at that school, and why it was finally shut down.
What do you hope to accomplish with the release of Monarch?
I hope to bring awareness to the abuse that is legal in this country, so that no child has to go through what I went through for years.
How did you get started in Irish Dancing?
I began Irish dancing when I was three years old, because my family is Irish, and we always loved going to see Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. I stopped dancing when I went to middle school, and obviously I couldn’t dance while in treatment, but once I was out, I began dancing again, and I love it so much. Nothing clears your head as well as a hard dance lesson.
What is it like training with the renowned dance company Riverdance?
It is such an honor to train with Riverdance every summer, and it feels like I’ve come full circle, because the show was what initially made me fall in love with dance as a child. Everyone on the team is so kind and such wonderful teachers. I’d really love to go on tour with them one day once I’ve grown more as a dancer.
You are also a professional horse wrangler and skier when you’re not working. Those things are very different! What do you love about each of those activities?
I’ve been riding since I could walk, and I just absolutely love it. The same goes for skiing. I began skiing at three years old, and I always loved going up to the mountains on the weekends and exploring new terrain with my dad. I just love being outside, exploring the wilderness, and being in nature. With horses specifically, I love the partnership I develop and the connections I make with the animals I work with. With skiing, I love that I can constantly challenge myself, and that there’s always something new to learn.
What do you have coming up in 2023?
I’m super excited to be branching out into music in 2023. I’m recording my first single which will be out on all streaming platforms later this year.
Tell us something that would surprise us to know about you.
Where can we follow you on social media?
@juliaculbert on Instagram and Tik Tok!