We had the good fortune of connecting with Jul Kohler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jul, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks has played a big role in my life. It all starts with a feeling in your gut, knowing this is what I have to do, and then the hard part is shutting off your brain when it starts to overthink. Before I talk about the two major life-changing risks I took in my life I want to tell you that I was born and raised in Berlin, Germany. I moved to the states about 13 years ago, and am now a dual citizen of the US and Germany. At age 17, while still in college I secretly submitted myself to the Theaterschool in Amsterdam, now known as The Academy of Theatre and Dance, I received an invitation in the mail to audition for them for their 4-year program. Now, I had to tell my parents, that I’m going to take the train to Amsterdam over the weekend, to audition for them. My parents were furious, but I was very stubborn. So I went, by myself, knowing that this is what I need to do. And I made it through to the call back two weeks later, and then was offered a scholarship. Of course, no one in my family was happy about this, that I would drop out of college, and move to Amsterdam by myself for 4 years. But this was my dream, my path. My second life-changing risk took me years to take action on it. I listened to the outside more than to my inside. At age 21 I visited LA for three months, dreaming of living and working here. But that time I listened to my parents and friends and my fears to not move here. I even got an offer from a big agency to help me with my visa BUT I also got offered a steady job in a musical in Germany. I didn’t listen to my gut. I listened to my fears and went back to Germany after three months. Nine years later I was smacked in the face by the universe. After my 5-year relationship ended, and I was very unhappy in my job ( I was a professional dancer back then), I needed a break and visited a friend in LA to take some time off. Well, from there it went pretty smoothly. From Visa to Green Card and now a dual citizen.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a trilingual professional dancer turned actress and filmmaker. I love creating, writing, and producing my own content: TV shows, and movies. Naturally, I’m drawn to dark and edgy stories that explore empathy and compassion. I like to dig deeper to find out what lies beneath the surface, exploring the darkness within us, and empowering women by telling their side of the story, however complex and layered those stories may be. The lessons I learned through my career or any advice I have: GO FOR IT!!! Just do it. I think we often overthink things and want perfection. Well, perfection doesn’t exist! Also, ask for help. You’ll be surprised at how many people want to help you. But if you don’t ask you’ll never know. Take it one step a day. Don’t overwhelm yourself. One page a day, one task a day, you’ll be amazed at what can happen within a month. You just need to start somewhere. Also, meditation and Kundalini Yoga help me tremendously to go within and overcome challenges, fears, and my inner demons. The most proud and excited I am about are 5 TV shows I have created/ still creating with amazing fellow female filmmakers and now looking for a home for them. As well as a short film I crowdfunded, and produced with a top-notch team: Western thriller BURY ME NOT, and also a short film I’m currently crowdfunding together with my soul sister called: CHRYSALIS – A psychological Thriller. I feel very blessed and grateful to have found amazing fellow filmmakers that I can create awesomeness with. It takes an army. Don’t walk the path alone. Find your tribe.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorites hikes: Batcaves – Bronson Caves, Griffith Park where the old zoo is, Griffith observatory Malibu hikes: Escondido, Grotto trail, Sandstone Peak. Restaurants: The Sherman in Sherman Oaks, Midici Pizza in Sherman Oaks, Moonshadows in Malibu. Beaches: El Matador Beach and Leo Carillo State Park. Paddleboarding in Marina Del Rey, Archery Range in Woodland Hills, Axe throwing at LAAX in North Hollywood, Roadtrip to Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, and Ojai and Wine tasting in Malibu at Malibu Wine Safaris
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Milly Trouerbach: My very first Jazz teacher, who encouraged me as a dancer, believed in me, and through her first Jazz class, I found my style. My parents Monika and Georg Kohler: Although they didn’t like my decisions, they are still my biggest fans. Eckart Tolle’s book: The Power of Now! I read it every few years. HIGHLY recommend this book. Abraham Hicks book: The Law Of Attraction! This book was my mantra while waiting in Germany for two weeks, praying for my Visa to go through. Also great to reread throughout your life.
Melanie Reisert Chris Evan