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

Hi Julia, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
Firstly, and most importantly, the choice to keep going or to give up is, and always will be, entirely up to you. If you give up, you will never fulfill your dreams. No one else is going to do the work for you. If you choose to keep going, then every day you give yourself another chance to make your dreams come true. Why not take as many chances as you can get? The question really isn’t, “how do you know when to give up,” it’s, “are you willing to give up on yourself?” It isn’t, “how do I know to keep going,” it’s, “are you ready to give up on yourself? Or will you fight to achieve what sets your soul on fire?” Working in any creative industry is a largely thankless career. Most of the time, the only person on your team is yourself. But the thing is, you don’t need other people to believe in your process to know that you are on the right path. Make the most out of your short time on this earth. Spend every day doing something you love, whether it’s a huge life changing project or a silly little game. Work on perfecting your craft. To fail is really to be given an opportunity to make changes, improve and keep learning. It’s okay if life doesn’t work out how you planned it, it hardly ever does. But it’s important that every day you’re making choices that validate and support your dreams, soul, well being, and core values. You are always your own biggest supporter. Life is short. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Why not try again?

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.
My passion project right now is my documentary “Monarch.” It’s definitely the thing I’m most proud of so far. We’re mostly finished filming (there’s a few more interviews I’d like to do if I can work it out in the budget) and I’ve moved into editing. It’s a documentary about a “therapeutic” boarding school I attended for a year in 2016. During my time at this school I was abused, hospitalized on multiple occasions, and suffered through trauma I will take with me for the rest of my life, all while watching the other 26 students at the school go through the same, if not worse. Five of my friends from this school have since passed away, and I am making this film in their memory and to tell our story, for better or worse. The owner of the school got away with too much and we are tired of being voiceless. One of the other students I went to the school is with is Daniel Stearns, who does his own work with Breaking Code Silence. I am so, so proud of him and everything he’s done. We’re still working on scheduling a time for his interview, but I definitely want his story in my documentary as well. Making this documentary has been extremely challenging. First and foremost, it was really hard to work through the emotions to even sit down and decide what I wanted to say. It was hard to find the right crew to support the project, and it was hard to gather everyones stories, since we live all across the US. But I wanted to make sure everyone who wanted to tell their story was heard. It took years to work through the trauma to the point that I could tell the story, and even longer to go through the pre production process. I had completed pre production just as covid hit, and then I had to wait even longer to film. Just as we were beginning filming, two of our friends from the school passed away unexpectedly, and the project was paused for us to fly out for the funeral. That again put an emotional strain on the project, and it’s just been a lot of emotional work to get it to where it is today.
To get where I am today professionally, that’s been a lifelong journey. I’ve loved, acting, editing, storytelling, all of it since I was a little kid. My dad was into film as well, although his main job was working on software for apple. He taught me how to use my first camera, and how to use iMovie when I was about seven years old. I would make my own projects at home, and the passion just grew from there. My dad passed away when I was in middle school, and I hope that I’m making him proud with how far I’ve come in my career as a filmmaker, whether its in front of the camera or behind.
It definitely hasn’t been easy. The main struggles have been continuing to pursue my passion while dealing with things in my personal life, and continuing to pursue my craft while in the troubled teen industry (where I would have no access to internet, music, most books, cameras, phones etc throughout my stay.) I overcame those by just enjoying what I could, when I could. I definitely don’t take the little things in life for granted.
I would want the world to know me as resilient, and most importantly, grateful. Some days are harder than others, but I am grateful for every single one. I’m grateful that I can do what I love every day, whether its just acting in silly Tik Toks or working on a feature film. I’m grateful that I am still here and I can tell our story for those in my Monarch family who have passed on. I’m grateful that this is just the beginning, and that I have so much more to do.

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.
Definitely I would start the day off at the Cow’s End Cafe. I used to live about a block from there and they have the best smoothies, and just overall great breakfast food. Moving on from there, it would really depend what my friend wanted to see. I think Libby, my best friend, would really enjoy just lounging around on the sunken gardens at my university. Otherwise I’d take her to Santa Monica to go to the promenade for shopping, and then probably to the beach. For lunch, (I know it its a chain I’m sorry) but I really love Cava. Realistically, she would probably want animal fries from in-n-out. For dinner, we’d probably go somewhere on Melrose so we could get dressed up (that’s half the fun) and then we’d finish by either going to bed at 8pm because were both lazy, or theoretically we could go out. If Brittany Broski and Sarah Schauer bring their VCG tour to Los Angeles, we’d definitely be watching that at Brea Improv (which, incidentally, is not on La Brea.)

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I definitely want to dedicate this shoutout to my agent, Ted. He’s been there for me since before and through Covid, and he helped me keep my career up and moving even when the world around us came to a grinding halt. He’s always super responsive when I have questions or need help with auditions, and he’s just overall such a kind and well rounded person. I am forever grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with him, and I’m so excited for what we will work on together in the future.

Website: www.juliaculbert.com

Instagram: @juliaculbert

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5x98peCynwyhfR5brmkT0A

Other: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10337250/?ref_=nm_mv_close

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.