Interview by Dana Jacoviello
Many know Julie Caitlin Brown for different things, but one thing that makes it all come together is that she is a woman of many trades and talents.
She is much more than the entertainment business, which some may be surprised to know that are not already her fan in that arena. Julie also happens to exude love, truth, and honesty. To make a difference, and intertwine that in every aspect of her life.
Julie’s fan base is growing every single day, but not just in the con circuit, but as an inspiring woman to many.
Though most meet Julie within the con circuit where she makes sure she connects with the fans in every possible way she can, it is much more than a job.
Get to know a bit more about Julie in this interview where we talk about her work and much more.
First I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule.
You are certainly a woman with an extensive resume. You own your own company Illumina Productions LLC in which you are represent talent for appearances, an actress, (which include credits such as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek; The Next Generation, Babylon 5…), you write and sing your own songs, you are a coach…just to name a few of your job descriptions.
Dana Jacoviello: Let’s begin with Illumina Productions. What prompted you to start your own successful business?
Julie Caitlin Brown: After appearing at conventions in 1994-1996, I realized that this was an emerging market without any real infrastructure. I had been a manager for Rock Bands and high-level Comics in Northern California in my early twenties, so I applied that business acumen to the convention market.
DJ: What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your line of work?
JCB: Cancellations of actors getting jobs that conflict with conventions, bad shows where they are undercapitalized, inexperienced, or have not done their homework in terms of what it REALLY takes to run a convention so they cancel and hurt the fans and the actors!
DJ: What is the atmosphere like in working in the con circuit from behind the scenes?
JCB: Management is management. My job is to build, protect, and then grow the brand of my clients, while at the same time providing quality entertainment and connection to their fans. Simultaneously, it’s important to make sure that the promoters make a fair profit and to grow more shows around the world. It’s a business, sometimes a really fun and enjoyable one, sometimes lots of travel, long hours, difficult emotions to handle, but the balance is positive or I wouldn’t still be doing it after 20 years.
DJ: How do you deal with bullying or toxicity that comes along with managing clients where the fans within the fandoms can become pretty intense at times?
JCB: My greatest concern in conventions is the growing divisiveness of the fans. Like our political climate, it seems that “choosing sides” is becoming the norm, not the exception. To me, this is an extension of the fear in our society of “Us against Them”. This perspective is unfortunate and not what fandom is all about. The beauty of fandom 45 years ago was the vision that ALL people would eventually find peace and co-existence. This was the vision of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek.
I am privileged to have worked with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, as well as Patrick Stewart and many of the cast of Star Trek TNG and Deep Space Nine, and in our travels together, the Star Trek fandom was about INCLUSION. All ethnicities, gender, socio-economic, and religious factions were welcome. There is only ONE race. The HUMAN RACE.
Once we accept that we are all in this together and none of us are getting out alive, we might start to calm down and LISTEN to each other. To me, this is the greatest challenge of conventions in 2017. Can we sit and talk to each other in a reasonable manner? I feel that the intense energy from some fans is about their fear of being rejected, and so they create a dynamic that PROVES this belief, creating unnecessary drama. So when the actor can’t possibly give them the time and attention they crave, they threaten to self-harm or sadly, to commit suicide. This is emotional blackmail.
It is not okay, and I intend to work closely with my clients to help them manage anyone who does not respect their boundaries. Those who have a serious emotional issue will come to realize that these actors are not the solution, they can be a brief escape from the pain and insecurity, but they cannot “FIX” the problem. That is the work of the individual, to seek legitimate help from professionals for their issues and to stop trying to manipulate the actors into caring for them. The truth is, my clients are truly loving, kind, and compassionate people, but they are NOT therapists or mentors. They can only teach from example and the lessons that the fans take from their example is up to them.
DJ: In shifting to your music for a moment, you have written and performed your own songs. Is music something that has always been a passion of yours and something you plan to continue doing in the future?
JCB: I started singing in public at 6 years old, soloing at church at 10. Music and singing are my first love, happy to have 5 new songs just released on my website! I intend to do some performing soon and will post about it on my site.
DJ: You music seems very personal with a great deal of passion behind your lyrics. Where you do you pull your inspiration from when writing?
JCB: LIFE! Writing lyrics and creating a song are my way of working through my relationships and challenges.
DJ: In discussing another area of your work, your site also includes coaching and what you call Love First where you post pieces you write and personal stories or quotes that you have written. Where did you get the idea to come up with Love First, and what are your goals you hope to accomplish with it besides, of course, helping others?
JCB: Fandom inspired Love First. The one thing that I found around the world that was true for everyone I met was this: They all wanted to FEEL love. Not be loved, but be able to feel connection to other humans. Love First asks that you develop a loving relationship with YOURSELF, first, and then flow that love to those you meet. I believe that if we can start from appreciating the SELF, not in a self-centered way, but truly love who we are, we can then appreciate others and feel more connection. All of my work, even booking actors for conventions, is about this idea. To connect, uplift, and inspire those I meet to remember who they really are…pure LOVE in physical form.
DJ: On a quick personal note, what are some fun and interesting things people would be surprised to know about you?
JCB: I am an avid gardener, skier, (Love to go downhill FAST) I like to bake, I have won gold ribbons at State Fairs for sewing, and I am a politics junkie.
DJ: Are you able to share any upcoming plans you are working on or projects coming up aside from what you are currently doing now?
JCB: Working on new songs and re-recording some older ones to prepare for a concert later in the year in LA. Developing a foundation to encourage inclusion and discussion about social and political issues that will help opposing sides to find common ground, based in Love.
DJ: What are some works of wisdom or advice you like to give others out there struggling with trying to make it out there in the world doing what makes them happy without getting sidetracked by struggles that might be dealing with or facing into the future?
JCB: Be what you BE, you can’t be anyone else. When you take the time to know yourself, the good, the bad, the ugly, you will begin to see the opportunity to grow and change into the person you have always dreamed you want to be. Truth and self-awareness are the cornerstone of integrity, something NO ONE can take from you that one you have to sell. I hope that you will find the courage and self-love to honor who you are, with all of your struggles, and remember this, “We are non-physical energy having a human experience.” Be easy about it, be gentle with yourself and others, and when faced with the option, choose Love.
You can follow Julie on Twitter: @JulieCaitlinB