An interview by Grant McGowen
Julissa Sabino airs a cool factor that many other artists want to emulate. She’s an independent, free-spirited, Dominican bombshell that is incredibly hard working and a constant learner of her profession. She’s always looking to be challenged and to discover the humanity in her work.
What’s been the biggest challenge for you up until this point in your career?
The biggest challenge would have to be finding what really works for me. You can study all you want, and try technique after technique, but finding your own formula is essential, and a bit time consuming. It’s definitely one of the hardest things to delve inside of yourself and leave yourself alone long enough to find out what moves you! Luckily, it’s also one of the most rewarding and fun parts about this career!
You also sing, write and play music. What or who is your biggest influence and where can we hear you?
I came to the world of music via musicals, really! That emotional connection of story telling has definitely influenced my song writing. My dad and brothers are spectacular guitar players and watching them jam all my life has had a pretty big impact. Not to mention bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Boston & The Police.
Eddie’s Attic is where I play most often! But all of that info can be found on julissasabino.com!
What kind of roles are you attracted to in the theatre?
Roles where the woman is a whole lot to handle! I’m drawn to characters that have a lot of fight in them, despite their mistakes and short-comings, an those who love hard, no matter how stupid it may seem! I like to go onstage and go through every emotion possible, some character types definitely facilitate that!
How do you prepare for a role?
I focus on exploring my emotions through real life. I find myself either trying to listen to music and watch shows that I think my character would. Writing in a journal really helps me as well. And of course, lots of Meisner reps.
How has Meisner and working at Pinch ‘n’ Ouch influenced you? What other training do you have?
Meisner has changed a lot for me. I came from studying Practical Aesthetics at Atlantic Theater Company at NYU. There, we really focused on what goes on inside of the person across from you and how that affects you, but Meisner really allowed me to identify with my own unique feelings and expression. It has been a gem. And the ensemble of actors here at Pinch ‘n’ Ouch have made me so much stronger! People work hard here and it just makes you want to do the same. There’s a definite thing that we try to accomplish at this theatre, and I think everyone helps create that!
You most recently performed as the free-spirited Tyler in Neil LaBute’s Some Girl(s). What can we expect of you in Scratching?
It’s funny, I think these two girls have some things in common. I would say that you could expect a lot more darkness. Brianna has a heavy emotional life, which is going to be fun to explore on stage! I would like to bring a heavy grounding and relentless will to win onto the stage for you guys. Brianna goes through a lot more (and that’s an understatement) than Tyler did, so you’re really going to get to see a whole emotional journey from me.
What qualities of Brianna are you the most attracted to?
I love Brianna’s bravery. She’s a woman who has been through a lot already at an early age, and she still doesn’t accept defeat! She finds herself in situations that I would absolutely cringe at, and she doesn’t even consider backing down as an option. She does what needs to be done so that both herself and those around her can have all that they deserve. I admire her, really.
What advice would you give a young actor trying to work in Atlanta?
Become a part of this theatre community!
And in the heart of James Lipton:
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on?
What turns you off?
What sound or noise do you love?
The sound when you open a beer.
What sound or noise do you hate?
What is your favorite curse word?
F—. In any combination.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I have a strange fascination with being a beachside yoga teacher. Or a florist. Or a magazine editor. Or…
What profession would you not like to do?
I would hate working at the DMV. No one ever seems happy there.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“Bar’s in the back! Hurry, you’re mom is doing a keg stand in 5!”
Grant McGowen is the Producing Artistic Director and a founding member of Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre. He is a playwright, director, acting teacher, and actor. At the theatre, he most recently performed in Assistance and directed his play Let’s Make It.
For more info on Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre visit: www.pnotheatre.org.