(Insert Witty Thoughtful Title Here)

I’ve been putting off writing this blog for quite awhile because I wanted to wait until I knew what and how I was going to write an amazing blog talking about my next big adventure. But school starts next week and what I hope to do over the next year is write about my experience of going back to school to study Visual Communications at FIDM.

This was a bit of a quick decision to change career paths. At the beginning of October, I came across FIDM while looking up design schools in LA. By mid-October, I had taken a tour of the campus and had a meeting with an adviser. By the end of October, I had applied and created a  portfolio of some sort and was accepted starting the Winter Quarter of 2017. Whew!

I don’t know if I would say I’m altogether changing careers, more like adding more artistic tools to my toolbelt. I’ve been focused on acting for the last 20 years but have always wondered what it might be like to study another artform. I’ve always been interested and fascinated with interior design, style, and decor. I want to know why certain things work, and others don’t.

So I’ll keep this post short. Here on the eve of 2017, my hope is to weekly document my trek back into the school world and to write about this next adventure of mine.


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Two Cents


I’ve been meaning to write another blog for awhile now…but time just slips away (surprise surprise). However, after reading this article: “Is Parenthood the Enemy of Creativity”,  I just can’t help myself but to take a moment and write a few thoughts of my own on the subject.

Stop doing so damn much! We get sucked into busying ourselves within every sweet second of our life (I am a huge offender of this thing). Specially while living in LA and doing all the business of being an actor and trying to get my work out there and be seen and noticed. Then to add on top of that being a new mom, the list of “must dos” and “should dos” is staggering and even debilitating.

I’ve had to take a step back and really look at this long list of things I “need” to do. Who is telling me I need to do it? My society or my instinct? This goes for both actor things and mom things. Here’s an example – that is actually quite timely due to recent events: Actor workshops. I hate them with a passion. I did a few because I was told they were what you needed to do in order to get any “real” work in this town but every time I went to one, everything in me cringed. The desperation you feel in that room is just awful, and you can’t help but become a part of it. In a town where you already feel quite helpless, this was just another thing to put you in your place.

So I stopped. The money I would have spent on workshops I spent on my own projects. New filming equipment, money for crew (or at least feeding crew), for submission fees for festivals, for classes that actually helped my acting muscles, etc. And now I feel a heck of a lot less shame – and helpless!

This idea can continue on to other actor-y things: building a twitter following, a large Instagram or YouTube presence, sending postcard after postcard, sending out a million envelopes with your headshot and resume in them, going to a bunch of parties to mingle and make industry contacts…. You can get so caught up in all the things you’re supposed to do to help make your career and get you noticed as an artist, and yet if you don’t spend time and passion on you art, what have you got to give?

Nothing in this town is certain. You could win an Oscar one year and in the next people could be asking “whatever happened to…?” There are no guarantees. You can book a commercial or a t.v show, get excited and tell all your friends, and then get edited out! I think what it comes down to is the work itself. Are you doing work you love and are proud of? Or are you focusing on taking the steps for success -whether that be financial or social. What is important to you? If its popularity and success, then fine! Go for it. But the only thing I have time to focus on, care about, and know I have a little control in is my own work. That means in the scenes I put up in class, the short films I write, shoot, and put out into the world, and even taking time to see the world around me and enjoy it.

So now I switch gears (a bit) and go into my dealings with being a mom. I feel it is very similar in my approach. I can get so caught up in what society is telling me I need to do as a mom! The amount of books I’ve read is… pretty ridiculous. I also find it funny that I am drawn to books and articles that basically reinstate what I already thought was good parenting. Isn’t that what a lot of us do? We take a piece of this theory, or that style, or a new program for parenting  (kind of like how some people take their favorite bits and pieces of religions)  just so we can feel less guilty about what we’re doing. And that’s another thing: GUILT!  Oh dear Lord, the way we can pile on the shame and guilt! I think we like it! Because no one likes a cocky parent or a parent that says “I think I’m doing a great job!”. But why not? (now take that idea back to acting – no one likes a cocky actor either!)

So, now to tie the two of these things together and actually relate it back to the article I had read about how being a parent can decrease you artistic abilities… or be the enemy… or whatever. So far I have not found that being a parent has made me less of an artist. It has strengthened my passion for my art, and it has laser focused the precious time I get when I can work on my art. Yesterday I dropped my daughter off at daycare, headed to the theatre for  three hours to work on a one act I’m directing. I then enjoyed a quiet afternoon to focus and work on a one act I’m acting in, then proceeded to my two hour rehearsal before picking my daughter up at 5pm. This is not a typical day, but when I get a day like that I relish it!! I’ll admit I felt a twinge of guilt for a minute or two, but let it go. I’m spending all day today with my daughter, and now I can focus on her and not worry about the art I’m not doing.

Perhaps I’m not quite writing this out as well as I would like… but the point I’m trying to make is that being a parent has deepened my relationship with life and the world – and how can that not make you a stronger artist. Don’t look at the quantity of time you put towards your art, look at the quality.

So that’s my two cents on this early Wednesday morning. The sun is coming up and I hear my daughter waking. Time to get on with the day!


PS: I’m super excited to write more about how I’m letting go of my “identities” as mom, actor, wife, etc. ….. but that’s for another early morn.

In the mean time, check out this book: How to Wake Up by Toni Bernhard.


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Starting with the basics…again.

I did it. I put up  my first scene in class…. and lo and behold all that fiery passion for the craft has come back full force. It’s so weirdly addicting. I feel so at home on stage discovering a life and story on stage.

So now I’m learning about finding the balance and new ways of doing my homework for the scenes. It’s a bit difficult sitting and doing my imagination work on the story at home while also trying to keep Cordie out of the dog food (boy, does she love that stuff!). I have to work towards a new discipline of using my free time a bit more wisely. Also, I hope to become more efficient with my work. Instead of trying to work at getting the entire play believed, just starting with little parts, problems, situations, etc and letting it grow. I have a habit of trying to get everything from the very beginning.

I’m excited to work these muscles again and to see my confidence grow in my work that I put out into the world. Whether that be my own writing or what I bring into the audition room.

My overall career/game plan is still a bit fuzzy but let’s just start with the work. I think over the coming weeks more will clear up.

Mary Blair

PS: I’ve come across Mary Blair’s artwork, and I’m in love!

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Soul Searching on a Sunday Night

I’ve begun acting class again and it is stirring up quite a few soul searching questions for me.

How serious am I about being a professional working actor? Am I willing to make the sacrifices? What do those sacrifices mean? Does that mean I’m putting my husband and daughter second? Am I afraid of true success? Am I afraid of failure? What if I put in all this hard work and I actually am not that talented? Do I have actual goals? Something tangible to head towards? Am I flailing about aimlessly?!?

Do I still want this? 

That’s the biggest question I seem to keep coming back to. Do I still want to be an actor? And I honestly don’t know. But do I not know because I don’t get to act much anymore? Will that strong desire and passion come back once I get to perform again (even if it’s just in class at first)? Or have I given up on the hope and dream but continue to plug along out of sheer habit? I am scared to answer this question. I have found my identity in acting/as an actor for so long that I’m scared to have to go “find” myself if I let that go.

The last time I was in acting class was about 4 years ago. I was a single girl working 5 jobs (none of them acting) and trying to get work as an actor. Now I’ve come back after having moved to a different town (and back), married the love of my life, bought a home, and had a baby. All really awesome things! And pretty significant life changes.

I think I expected to go back to class and pick up where I left off…. but that place (and person) feel long gone. I know I will always love acting. But to what degree and how far do I want to go?

And now I just have the lyric from A Chorus Line going through my head: “Who am I anyway? Am I my resume? Or just a picture of a person I don’t know….”


I don’t know what I want. I don’t even know where to begin.

So I’ll just start with a scene. Put a scene up in class and take a look at what we’ve got.


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Opening and beyond!

I survived the opening of my show at Hollywood Fringe Festival!

Phew! It got super tough near the end there. Turns out it’s pretty difficult trying to rehearse your show with a 4 month old at home. On Saturday night just after the show was finished I realized I hadn’t actually rehearsed the whole thing all the way through since I had last performed it almost a year ago. Holy smokes! My lighting and tech guy had never actually seen the whole show either due to some tech snafus during our tech rehearsal. But we did it and the audience seemed to have a good time.

Here’s a few snippets from the reviews I’ve received on the show:

” ‘Dear Hollywood’ is like a swig of champagne…bubbly, sparkling, and delightfully refreshing. See it.”

“Julisa demonstrates her silent film background with great success. Her movements are exact, well formulated, choreographed and everything plays to the house very well. Her character voices are spot on and has great range slipping several raspy octaves below her chest voice and nails every dialect that she goes for.”

“Julisa Wright may be the new Carol Burnett if her Dear Hollywood one woman show at the Ruby is a glimpse of more to come.”

“Julisa Wright is an incredibly gifted comedienne! Her timing is fantastic! Her characters are very amusing! Her versatile voice, facial expressions, and physical humor are remarkable! She is charming and witty. She is truly talented – and funny, funny, funny!”

You can see all the reviews HERE.

I also got to do a fun little interview with Ladies Lunch in LA if you want to check that out.

Two more shows to go. Next Monday (June 22nd) and Friday (June 26th). I have a pretty good amount of tickets sold for Monday’s show, and I hope Friday’s picks up soon.

I am so thankful that I get this opportunity to perform. I know I said I was finished with Dear Hollywood last year, but I’m thankful I pulled it out again so I could be onstage once again after having Cordie. It’s a lovely reminder that I will always be a performer and I don’t fit into just one category or title. I hope Cordie grows up seeing her mom do what she loves and I hope it inspires her to follow her dreams as well.

It’s also been really great seeing so many shows at the Fringe Festival. Big thanks to Eric watching Cordie in the evenings and on weekends and pushing me out the door to go out and do what I love. I am inspired by the LA Theatre community and I hope so very much to get more involved over this next year.

I’ll write more after the Fringe is done. The babe is asleep and I want to rehearse a few pieces of my show while I can!

If you’re in the LA area and want to catch one of the last two performance of DEAR HOLLYWOOD check out tickets HERE.




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The Bitter Sweetness of Doing Your Own Thing

In just about 3 weeks my show, Dear Hollywood, goes up once again.

I may have bitten off more than I can chew by producing this show all by myself while finally getting the hang of having a baby around. But I’ve missed performing and being on stage so much since I wasn’t able to do much during my pregnancy. And also because when living in LA and pursuing the professional acting career, actual performing tends to feel few and far between. I wish I were involved in a theatre company or any sort of ensemble company at all. I miss going to my acting studio classes. I miss being part of a cast and working as a team to create art.

So here I am trying to promote my show, rehearse, re-write, and stay motivated during Cordie’s naps. Sometimes I get an hour or more, sometimes just 30 minutes. She falls asleep and suddenly a long list of things that need to be done starts to run through my head. Do I send personal e-mails to invite more friends to my show? Do I try to rehearse one of the monologues? Do I try to figure out how to write a press release? Do I finally make lunch for myself? Go to the bathroom? Or do I start 5 things all at once and then get nowhere by the time Cordie wakes up again.

And it’s not easy asking for help. This has been a huge lesson to me these last couple months…well actually even when I was put on moderate bed rest. What I forget is that Eric and I are not the only ones who like to help others. We will quickly come to the aid of a friend or help back an artistic project we believe in. We love to see our friends succeed and to feel like we are doing something good for the world. And by not asking for help from others, I may in fact be robbing them of a chance to do what they love as well.

Here I’ll be open and honest. This is tough stuff doing a solo show. This is new territory for me and I find I’m fearing an empty house at my show. That is a possibility and I know it happens to other solo artists as well. Specially when you are first getting started. I need to remember that this is all laying down the groundwork and foundation to give me the skills and tenacity to continue to do this and write/produce more shows. I’m trying to make this show as easily accessible to people as well. The ticket prices are pay what you can. I would love to come close to at least breaking even on this and right now the only thing I could think of was creating a “GoFundMe” account (here) . What sucks is seeing it at $0.

I believe I have a good show. I want to share it and entertain people with it as well.

How do you keep your self confidence up when you see you have a total of 165 tickets to sell (all 3 shows included), you’ve “sold” 7 of them (mostly comped), you need about $800 to meet the costs of producing your show (and you’re at $0), and you’ve invited 100 people on Facebook and you see 7 say they are coming. I’m doing the Fringe on a rather small scale because anything bigger would scare me. This may all seem trivial, but it’s how I’m feeling. I look forward to writing about how this all turned out.

 No matter what, I get to do my show 3 more times. People will be there to see it (the numbers don’t really matter) and I will have learned many lessons about doing a solo show at a festival in the safety of a town I don’t have to travel to. And $800 is a rather small amount for producing a show. We’ll survive if we have to pay the entire thing out of pocket. 

I hope you don’t mind my candor with how I’m feeling leading up to my shows next month, but I doubt I am alone and it helps to know that. 

Thank you. 

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The First Six Weeks is Like a Stiff Cocktail…And now we’re at 3 months…

Just shy of our 6 week mark I am finally able to sit down and right a post post baby. We’ll see just how long it takes me to write this and publish it. Right now, it is 9:48am on Friday…

I like to think of the first six weeks like a stiff cocktail. Semi-sweet, bitter, a swift kick to the gut, and a cherry on top. Like a well done Manhattan.

They say that time flies when you first have your baby. To treasure every moment. It all goes by so fast and before you know they will be walking.

It hasn’t felt that way to me.

This time has lagged on so long for me. The first two weeks felt like a dark and scary cave. Here we were in our little condo with this tiny little human. No one knew how to communicate with each other (except for Eric and I) and many nights were spent trying to figure out how we could all sleep at the same time for more than 45 minutes. I’ll be extremely honest and admit there were quite a few times where I thought “when does it feel worth it?” And then would immediately cry feeling guilty for having such thoughts.

By the third week my parents came to town to help us out. I’m so glad Eric and I got to have the first two weeks to really get an idea of who we were as new parents and start to have opinions on things. Having the parents in town helped us catch up on a bit more sleep, helped me get through the days now that Eric was back to work, and gave us some good ideas for what could help Cordie when she got fussy. What it also did was help Eric and I discover we had opinions about how to take care of Cordie and that we actually were able to pick up on what she wanted or needed.

At the end of the fourth week Eric’s parents came into town as well. That was an epically crowded weekend. I’m glad all the new grandparents got to have time hanging out together, but dear lord our home was crowded and I’ve never been so happy to have to nurse Cordie and go into another room. A quiet, dark, room, with no one else in it.

My parents left after two weeks here. Eric’s mom is still in town till Sunday. And then, we’re “on our own”. It’s felt like 6 weeks of new parent bootcamp. Or at least what I would imagine bootcamp to be like.

So, here are some things I’ve discovered about myself and about parenting:

I kept reading that breastfeeding is magical and wonderful.

I freaking hated it. I’m getting the hang of it now, but I still don’t like it that much. It hurt, it’s annoying, and I have a time limit when I go anywhere away from her. Thankfully it’s starting to get easier – but you don’t believe it when you’re on day 3 and crying your eyes out. 

I’m no earth mamma

I try to eat organic and bathe organic and live organic… but it usually lasts a day or two. I’ll drink organic milk and then swiftly eat an overly processed Oreo cookie with it. I tried “healthy/safe” shampoo and it made my hair feel weird so I went to the chemically one I liked that made my hair soft. I’m surrounded by forums and posts with moms talking about chemically safe this and that and being opposed to pediatricians that tell them things they don’t like. They want organic cloth to surround their baby in, nature based cleaning things and wiping things and living things…. and I just can’t. I feel like I’ve entered a room I was supposed to go in but don’t feel like I belong. I just don’t have the patience or energy to try to minimize my footprint or chemical intake. I’ll just say an extra prayer of protection each night. 

“Formula is the devil!”

This goes along with my trouble with breastfeeding. The first night we brought Cordie home we ended up giving her a bit of formula – and instantly felt we had failed as parents. Bullshit. Now six weeks later I’ve eased up on myself. If I need to go run an errand and whoever is at home baby-sitting for me has to give her a couple ounces while I’m gone – fine. My baby will not become obese by a few ounces of formula – or if that’s the only thing I could give her she would be fine. 


And now here we are at the 3 month mark!

As you can see, me sitting down to write has not happened much since I began this post. But it’s nice to look over what I wrote and I’m happy to post it as well. Those first 6 weeks were really tough. At 3 months Eric and I feel like we are getting into a groove of our new normal. Cordelia (lately) has been going to bed between 7 and 8pm. She wakes at about 4am to feed, then sleeps until about 8am. I could not be happier.

I also now feel like I can play with her and she interacts with me. I love my days at home with her (something I never thought I would say!). This has been a gradual thing for me to love. Fortunately, the day before Mother’s Day I came home from a long day of workshops/meetings for The Fringe Festival and held Cordie in my arms and something clicked. Like the stories you hear from moms who hold their baby for the first time and instantly fall in love and know their lives will be forever changed and they could never imagine life without their little one…. ya, that happened to me. 12 weeks (to the day) after beginning my contractions with her. I am not ashamed to admit it. I hear other moms took some time falling in love with their babies, but you never seem to see it mentioned in our more public society.

I hope to write more soon. And I look forward to writing about the last improv show I did and prepping to do Dear Hollywood again. But goodness gracious, this post has taken me 6 weeks to finish and post. So here it is.


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A Great Reminder

How is it that I can so easily forget the wonderful at home feeling I get when I’m on stage?! Why does it take me so long to get back up there?!

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to perform improv again. It feels like it’s been ages. It was great to take the Groundlings class last fall but to perform in front of an audience again was thrilling. I love love love being on stage and falling into a character and playing out a scene. What was extra great was that I didn’t feel like a student anymore. I was playing with friends who’s work I’ve long admired and I didn’t feel pressure to try to be funny. Just honest. The desire to be “good” and “funny” and “the best” use to haunt me in class and when I used to be on a regular playing team a couple years ago. Perhaps it’s the changes that have occurred in my life over the past couple years that have helped me feel a little more settled and grounded. I still want to continue to improve in my skills but with a less frantic need to be perfect. I finally feel like I can slow down and learn from each experience. Failing in a scene doesn’t scare me nearly as much. All I want is to get better and that takes time. I’m ok with that.

It was really great performing one more time before Cordelia arrives. I was reminded of what makes my heart so happy. What makes me feel most alive. All of these months I’ve been so focused on the pregnancy and trying to make it to full term (no worries of that now) that I lost sight of something that is very deeply ingrained in me. I love performing and entertaining. I won’t lose that when Cordelia arrives. That will always be a part of me and I don’t ever have to give that up.

Long Hard Tuesday Promo

So thank you, my friends, for inviting me to play. I look forward to doing it again in the very near future.

Photos thanks to Stephanie Pressman














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We’re getting there…!


Well, here I am at 37 weeks pregnant. That in itself seems like a miracle considering where I was in my last post. More than anything my doctor wanted to make sure I at least made it to 32 weeks. Now little Cordelia is still growing and pretty much full term. Huzzah!

Since I last wrote it has been quite an interesting ride. I’ve rediscovered a new artistic side that I had put away for a very long time. Now that I wasn’t able to go out for auditions or work I had to find something to let my creative juices flow. Turns out I forgot how much I loved painting! In the last few months the paintings that I created just to amuse myself amused others and I sold a few! How neat is that? I’ve also learned how to knit and crochet, sew curtains, a table cloth, runner, and made a handful of scarves (some I’ve even sold!).

I’ve also started writing a new solo show about the adventures of pregnancy. It’s amazing how closely it follows the “Hero’s Journey” and all the steps. This show will probably include a panic attack in Babies ‘R Us, a boxing match of The Hospital vs. The Birthing Center, oh, and me crying over a burrito. ‘Cause that actually happened. If anything it has been rather helpful for me to write down all the funny crazy things that happen to you and since we don’t seem to talk about pregnancy much, what it’s like to discover this new land on your own. Just think of it as another coming of age story.

Now that we’re down to the last few days/weeks and I have no idea when Cordelia will decide it’s time to make her big entrance I find myself wondering what this new version of myself will be like. Here I am now, never having been a mother (or had much of a maternal instinct) and knowing that sometime soon I’m going to cross the threshold into a new world. I feel I’ve transformed a bit from who I was before being pregnant, but after baby I sometimes worry about just how much I’ll change. I know we all (hopefully) grow and learn as each year passes, but why am I so afraid of this change? Perhaps I’m worried I will turn in to someone who only posts things about how tired I am and how the baby did this or that cute/aggravating thing. My hope is that if anything, I’ll have a plethora of new comedic material to write and create from. I hope to still perform, direct, write, and continue to build on my artistic career. But I seem to be bombarded with a message from parents saying “good luck” with a smirk. There’s always the eye roll and “ya….”. Look, I know it will be a big change and adventure and hard work, but could you please make it not seem like me, Julisa, will die off. Yeesh.

And please no more warnings about labor. Dear Lord. I do not want to enter that experience full of fear. I have hopes and plans for what it will be like and I’m open to taking things as they come. I’ve done enough research and now it’s left up to just unfold how it will for me.

So, this post is the most pregnant-y post I’ll do. I’m sure I’ll have one post baby’s arrival.

In the meantime while I wait I continue to write and paint. I even am set up to do one more improv show next week. Who knows, I could go into labor on stage! Nothing like adding a little extra drama to a show.


And thank you, dear friends, for all of your support. I’ve had so many people come visit and hang out and send supportive messages. I love you all.




PS: Here are some of my goals for the upcoming year (And are totally possible!):

-Perform Dear Hollywood at the Hollywood Fringe
-Finish writing next solo show
-Perform second solo show
-Teach an improv or acting class again
-Direct a show/film
-Have my artwork in a boutique
-Sell at least one painting on Etsy
-Sing jazz at one venue
-Book one acting gig
-Take second level of Groundlings


Some of my crafty projects:

image10Charlie, Mary, Buster Marx Bros.Maleficent   PaintingsCurtainsHatsCowl Cowl 2Coasters







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Bed Rest Bound: what to do with so much time?!


I haven’t written in awhile mostly due to the fact that I didn’t know what to write about. Usually I like to write about things that come up along my path as an actor but something new has really thrown me a curve ball and it’s taken me awhile to adjust to it.

I am now 23 weeks into my pregnancy. The last 4 weeks I have been on bed rest and it looks like I may have to spend the rest of my pregnancy this way too. I was hesitant to say anything earlier because I didn’t think it would last this long.

The baby is healthy and fine, I’m just at a high-risk of pre-term labor so my one and only job right now is to stay relaxed, healthy, and happy. Not a bad gig unless you like being busy all the time like I do. Perhaps I should have seen this coming with my last post being about taking things easier and narrowing down my focus.

So what do I do with the next 3 months?! I had to stop beating myself up for not writing more or doing more creative job-like things for the first few weeks on bed-rest. Mostly I was just trying not to worry too much about possibly losing the baby.

Now that I see the next 3 months laid out ahead of me and not being able to go out into the working world I have to do something with this time. And since I won’t be able to do any acting gigs for awhile I will have to pour out my creativity elsewhere.

I’ve started painting and drawing again. I’ve picked up the flute and the ukulele (not simultaneously, duh). I’ve started an art journal to help me deal with all the fears, worries, hopes, and dreams for this baby and I. And I have quite a few stories and another one-woman show up my sleeve that I would like to write out.

This is the path my pregnancy has chosen, so I’m choosing to embrace it. I’m hoping that by turning my focus to other artistic outlets and getting used to the idea of becoming a mother this will in turn enrich my work as an actor.

So, I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and warm thoughts. I can honestly say I have felt them  give me peace each day.



20 weeks


(My reaction to seeing my profile as a pregnant woman for the first time – at 20 weeks. Yikes!)


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