Published on February 22nd, 2019 | by Biz Books
Crazy8s2019: Actor Spotlight – Julie Bruns
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In this interview, we talked to Julie Bruns about acting in this year’s Crazy8s film, Ada.
Can you start by telling us a little bit about you and the Crazy8s film you are acting in?
I moved to Vancouver five years ago to pursue acting – it had always been a dream of mine, but it took a while to build the life that it takes to really delve into a career as an actor. Since then I’ve traveled to London to attend LAMDA, worked on a lot of independent film and started writing and directing as well.
I am acting in Ada, a film based on the life of Ada Byron Lovelace, the woman who wrote the world’s first computer program (100 years before computers existed). The film focuses on the desperate struggle that Ada went through trying to convince investors of the time to fund the world’s first computer. Of course, she comes up against plenty of opposition because it just wasn’t customary to listen to a woman in science and technology at the time. While thankfully there’s more women making an impact in science and technology now, it’s still a very relevant story for anyone who’s ever been told to give up or aim lower. There’s something powerful about finding the confidence and capability inside oneself, and trusting in that to guide you forward, no matter how challenging the road proves to be.
What kinds of preparation did you do to get into the role?
Because Ada is based on a true story, I did a lot of research into Ada herself, as well as the time period and customs. She left behind a lot of letters where her character shines through, she was a brilliant woman, but also had a fair share of ego, angst, frustration, wit, all things that just enriched and informed my process in preparing the character. I also booked a few sessions with a dialect expert to work on specifically an 1850s Oxbridge British accent; it has an exceptionally posh, high-class energy to it.
What was the most memorable moment for you in this production?
Right as I arrived on set the first day, seeing the hive of activity, all of the people who came out to make this project happen, it really was an inspirational moment. And of course the sets were all transformed into 1850s London and actors were wandering around in full Victorian costume; it was fairy surreal.
What would your advice be for actors who become part of a Crazy8s film in the future?
Prepare as much as you can beforehand, there’s never enough time in the three days you have to shoot. See if you can connect with the director ahead of time to get any one-on-one notes and work on fine-tuning performance to suit their vision before shooting days. Rehearsals are wonderful because everyone is focused solely on the performance and it gives you a chance to play in the role and discover what makes the character come alive in the scene.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career thus far?
Always be on time, be a good communicator, and honor your word. I guess that’s three things!
What books have been important for you as an actor so far in your career?
When I first decided to go into acting, a friend of mine who had retired from doing theatre in New York gave me Audition by Michael Shurtleff, so that book really accompanied the very start of my acting career. Once I arrived in Vancouver, I immediately stocked my shelves with Uta Hagen’s Respect for Acting, Stanislavski’s An Actor Prepares, Sanford Meisner on Acting, Self Management for Actors by Bonnie Gillespie, a lot of classic must-reads for actors starting out. These days I find myself bringing home a lot of books on filmmaking, cinematography, writing, story – I definitely picked up more of them when I started directing, but understanding how everything on a film set is built around telling a story, and how to collaborate in the best way possible really is important when acting, so I definitely try to read as much as I can on all of the facets that affect the work.
What other projects are you working on and where can we find out more about you?
I’m currently writing a series that I’d love to get started on this spring, finishing up editing a couple of projects I shot last year, and am looking forward to seeing what opportunities this year brings! You can follow along with my journey on my Instagram or Twitter.
Thanks to Julie Bruns for speaking with us!
You can check out Ada and the rest of the Crazy8s films on February 23rd as part of the Crazy8s2019 gala.
For more information, please visit Crazy8s.film.