We had the good fortune of connecting with Juli Crockett and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Juli, how do you think about risk?
I’ve made a lot of creative/career/life decisions based on an embrace of a certain kind of risk-taking which manifests as the thought, “If my life was a book or movie, what would the reader/viewer not see coming right now? What would surprise or delight them.” This enables some wild leaps into the unknown. Of course, I am both the reader and the book in this metaphor, and it’s fun to surprise myself.

So much of making art, or living life, is a succession of faith-based leaps into the unknown. We can delude ourselves with fantasies of security, however, life continually demonstrates that it is unpredictable, unfathomable, and oftentimes ridiculous.

When I became a boxer, for example, I had no empirical reason to believe that I’d be good at it. By trying something completely outside of my idea of myself, I expanded the sense of who I am and what I am capable of. In some ways, it’s seemingly the opposite of the “know thyself” axiom… Don’t assume that you know yourself, and give yourself the opportunity to surprise yourself. These are my favorite kinds of risks; the uncalculated kind — a leap, not knowing where the landing may be.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In creative matters, the shortest distance between two points isn’t necessarily a straight line. Thankfully, the crooked one is fascinating. Theater has been a consistent through-line of my creative life, ever since my first play in kindergarten. I attended a performing arts high school, studied theater at NYU, and went on to get a MFA in Directing at CalArts. I’m a published playwright, and my plays have been performed in Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Boston, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

Simultaneous with my entry into CalArts, I began competing as an amateur boxer, winning the Los Angeles District title two years in a row, followed by the Blue & Gold National title. After graduation, I turned pro, enjoying a short but impressive undefeated boxing career of 3-0, two KOs in the 135 lb. lightweight division. After an injury (*from running), I retired from boxing and started a county-funk-folk band, The Evangenitals, for which I am the lead vocalist and principal songwriter. Our songs have been featured in films, TV shows, podcasts, and plays. We even got to play aboard the Melissa Etheridge cruise!

I’m also a mom.

Making a living as an artist isn’t easy, of course, so I’ve had lots of jobby-jobs. Employment-wise, I have been the marketing director for a sex toy company, the “June Carter” for a Johnny Cash cover band, and am currently a regulatory compliance consultant for cannabis companies. All of these I consider to be extravagant works of performance art.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have lived in Northeast Los Angeles since 2001, and am a huge fan of this area. One of my favorite views is looking at downtown LA from Deb’s Park, where you can stand by a pond surrounded by trees and see the cityscape in the distance. My NELA tour includes: visiting the Chicken Boy statue, taco brunch at Homestate, movies at Highland Park theater, pupusas at El Buen Sabor. Check out the tunnel entrance of the Southwest Museum, the victorian house tour at Heritage Square. My band got our start at Mr T’s Bowl (shoutout to Arlo’s open mic!), which is very different now, but still an important historical landmark of musical history, so some bands and bowling for old time’s sake. Then, ART: Check out cool smaller art spots like Rock Rose and Ave 50 Gallery, then jump on the gold line to Little Tokyo to see the Japanese American museum and the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Though I will spend the rest of my natural life paying off student loans, I am deeply grateful for my educational journey, and the ongoing relationships with those institutions of higher learning. So much of who I am as an artist, thinker, and student of life was activated, validated, honed, and celebrated during my studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (Playwrights Horizons), CalArts, and The European Graduate School. Fingers crossed for student loan debt forgiveness and universal education for all.

Website: http://www.julicrockett.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juliocrockett/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julicrockett/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julicrockett

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julicrockett

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/evangenitals

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.