Fast Forward Friday with Julie Crosby

For this week’s Fast Forward Friday, we interviewed producer-manager Julie Crosby. She has worked on more than 100 productions for stage and screen.  She was honored with the Lilly Award for Outstanding Producer in 2013, and named to Forbes’ 40 Over 40 Women to Watch list in 2017. Julie is a member of Women Independent Producers and New York Women in Film & Television. For more information, visit www.showbizing.com.

Q: What are you currently working on? Tell us about it.

Aside from learning how to make biscuits, I’m focused on helping out people in the entertainment industry, which has been hit so hard by the pandemic. 

For the past three years, producer Jane Applegate and I have had a career coaching and production consulting business called Showbizing. We were hired by universities to prepare graduating students in filmmaking, directing, writing, acting, and so forth for the job market. It was a sort of bootcamp about how to navigate the industry, and we really enjoyed being able to share what we’ve learned over many decades in this crazy business.

This past April, we took Showbizing online. We now host a monthly workshop called Focus Your Lens for entertainment professionals, and we have workshops for those who wish to break into showbiz. The response has been wonderful, and it’s very gratifying to be of service right now.

Q: In this current time of unprecedented change and uncertainty, what do you believe your role is in this moment?

To mentor, guide, champion, and listen to artists and creative professionals.  

Q: Who are your artistic heroes – who have had an impact on you and your work?

My heroes are independent producers of film and theater. It is a miracle that anything gets produced outside of corporate and institutional settings. I greatly admire the careers of Elizabeth McCann, Nelle Nugent, and Margo Lion in the theater world. And in film, I am routinely dazzled by my colleagues in Women Independent Producers.

Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired?

Random, small, daily things keep me going — a romping squirrel, a gorgeous sunset, the smell of biscuits baking, laughing with a friend, a good slice of pizza — it doesn’t take much. 

Q: What other projects would you like to tell us about?

When the world rights itself again, I’ll be producing work with my fabulous partners at Cromono International

Q: What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision?

Hearing audience feedback, preferably positive.

Q: If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing? 

Traveling. COVID-19 has made it ill-advised, if not impossible, to see the world. I look forward to getting back on a plane. 

Q: What has been big your biggest obstacle in achieving your vision?

Producing a show for the stage or screen takes years. I still have to remind myself to enjoy the process and embrace the uncertainty that comes with it; otherwise, it can be pure agony. 

Q: What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?

Take a day off! Seriously, whenever I feel like my muse has ditched me, I know it’s time for a break.   

Q: If you could let go of something that has held you back, what would it be? 

I would love to worry less about people who hold political power. They are a major distraction.

Q: What is your favorite piece of art?

Dante’s Divine Comedy. The breadth and depth of the work are beyond comparison. 

Q: What person do you most admire, living or dead?

I’m too fickle for this question. I’m a huge fan of Laurie Anderson. She’s a brilliant artist and a lovely human being. Joni Mitchell and Alanis Morissette are balm for my soul at times. On the other hand, there’s Mother Theresa, Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, Stacey Abrams, Elizabeth Warren, and a host of other badass women to choose from!

Q: If you could be known and celebrated for one thing, what would it be?

Producing great shows.

Q: If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?

Good-humored.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?

Playing Spelling Bee in the New York Times. I can’t start my day until I make it to “Amazing.”

Q: If you could sit down with yourself 15 years ago, what would you say?

Take a day off!

Q: Where would you most like to live?

Manhattan in the fall. Buenos Aires in the winter. Paris in the spring. The Hamptons in the summer.

Q: What is your idea of success?

Manhattan in the fall. Buenos Aires in the winter. Paris in the spring. The Hamptons in the summer.

Q: What is your idea of happiness? 

Hanging out with my partner, Bruce. When possible, we take 10-15 mile walks to and through neighborhoods we don’t know in whatever city we’re in. Those days are priceless.

Q: Final thoughts?

Please wear a mask!

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