Julia Tulupova grew up in Kharkiv, Ukraine and the first spark between her and performing ignited when she was just five years old, and started attending a ballroom dance studio. Julia‘s parents say that they actually had to wait till she turned five because she’d been bugging them about dancing since she was three years of age. After five years of dancing Julia started attending musical school for piano and singing. At the age of 16, she became a student of The National University Of Theatre, Film and TV in Kiev followed by The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts In Los Angeles.
indieactivity: How did you become an actor?
Julia: The decision of becoming an actor came to me when I was 14 and started frequently attending shows at Kharkiv’s local theatre. Lots of people added to that – my fellow actors and artistic directors at theatres in Kiev and Kharkiv, friends, my grandmother, the amazing faculty of The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts and all other artists across the world whose work I was honored to see.
— Julia Tulupova (@JTulupova) November 4, 2016
indieactivity: What acting technique do you use?
Julia: I believe that every actor has its own technique. I also think that the more schools you know and study – the better since it gives you more tools to improve your own method. I’m Ukrainian and I can’t deny Stanislavski’s impact on acting world in Eastern Europe. To me he is the founder, the one who named the most important components of the performing process. I love The Method and respect it. I think it’s one of those higher level skills when you can just truly be present and experience your character’s journey in any given circumstances.
I’m also a huge fan of Chekhov and Meisner. But frankly… regardless of techniques you choose, nothing is more valuable than your personal experience.
indieactivity: What wrong impressions do actors hold about acting?
Julia: Acting is not an ego showcase. It’s hard and extremely responsible work. The art of storytelling cannot be underrated, it has all the power to change the world. So it’s better to do it consciously an skillfully.
indieactivity: Do you take courses to improve your craft?
Julia: Absolutely. Aside from workshops and classes I have my daily routine that includes observation diary, voice and speech exercises and yoga.
indieactivity: What acting books do you read?
Julia: The ones I usually have on my nightstand are Audition by Michael Shurtleff, No Acting Please by Joan Hotchkis and Eric Morris, On Acting by Sanford Meisner, On The Technique Of Acting by Michael Chekhov and of course An Actor’s Work by Konstantin Stanislavski.
indieactivity: How do you keep fit as an actor?
Julia: To be mentally fit as an actor I try to watch as much artwork as possible, observe and communicate with people and challenge myself with things I’ve never done before. Reading and writing down impressions is also very helpful. My physical routine includes yoga, hiking and jogging.
indieactivity: How do you prepare for a role when you get it?
Julia: It depends on so many things but in most cases I’m not a huge fan of endless rehearsals and read-throughs. That’s why it’s important to stay creatively fit every day and keep your imagination and emotional availability in a good shape so that when it comes to a script you can just read it once and bring it to life instantly without overthinking. But once again every case is different.
indieactivity: How do you create a character from a script into a person?
Julia: Research is the key. Then it depends on material but most of the time it takes three steps: observation, preparation and being in the moment.
indieactivity: How do you stay fresh on set?
Julia: Movie sets are different from stage and staying fresh becomes a real challenge. I think the best way is to keep yourself busy by working on your character. There’s always something you can add.
indieactivity: Describe a memorable character you played?
Julia: In 2009 I played Death in Alexander Pushkin’s A Feat In Time Of Plague. I loved that role because it had no lines but required 100% stage presence throughout the show and had very diverse physical and emotional choices.
indieactivity: Explain one creative choice you took on set?
Julia: I was once doing an emotional scene where I had to tell the man I dated that I just found out he was married. The script remark said I had to slap him in the face. The director wanted a real slap and since he liked to do quite a few extra takes and it was a single camera shot I felt really bad for my partner and offered to rehearse without a slap. The monologue followed by the end of the scene was so powerful that restraining myself from slapping my partner gave both of us such a strong emotional playground that the slap was eventually removed.
indieactivity: What do you want most from a director?
Julia: Knowing what’s the main idea behind the work we’re creating, “the message”. And trust.
indieactivity: What actors do you long to work with?
Julia: Oh… lot’s of them! Jake Gyllenhaal first comes to mind.
Julia: I really admire actors who do both screen and stage. He’s got some great movie roles under his belt and I just saw him on stage in Sunday In The Park With George. What an incredible versatility!
indieactivity: What advice would you give to actors?
Julia: Never stop working on your craft. Trust your instincts, explore and never ever give up.