Julie Boardman, Producer ‘An American in Paris’
Julie Boardman, an associate producer of An American in Paris and hails from Orange County! Broadway has become her lifelong passion. She performed on the National Tour of 42nd Street for a year, and quickly realized she wanted to be on the “other side of the table” producing and creating new musicals. Although she misses performing, she was thrilled to make her Broadway producing debut on An American in Paris, due at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on April 25th for a 2-week run.
1. You grew up in Irvine, can you tell us how you became interested in performing?
My neighbor was performing in a production of Annie — my parents took me to see it — I pointed the stage, and said, “Mom, that’s what I want to do!” After that my parents enrolled me in voice, acting & dance classes, and the first musical I did was The Sound of Music at the age of 5. I began performing every chance I could — I was in Allard Singers, Pacific Chorale Children’s Chorus, The Young Americans and performed in numerous musicals, as well as at Irvine High School: Irvine Singers, IHS Chorale, Dance Ensemble and I was the Narrator in Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat my senior year.
2. How did growing up in Orange County shape who you are today?
The arts flourish in Orange County, thanks to the Henry Segerstrom. I was really lucky to grow up where the arts are celebrated, and to have wonderful parents who allowed me to make musical theatre my life. I remember attending a rally in high school when our arts program was being threatened to be cut — we performed, hoping that would help the powers that be see how important the program was. I joined The Young Americans when I was 15, and saw firsthand many cities (outside of OC) where their arts programs had been cut — we were able to go in and teach kids how to sing, dance & act. The impact it made on their lives was profound.
3. Tell us about your education?
I grew up in Irvine, attending public school. After Irvine High School, I went to Loyola Marymount University for a year & a half on a vocal music scholarship, and transferred to USC halfway through my sophomore year. I was originally admitted to USC as a vocal jazz major, and later switched into the music industry program.
4. You moved to New York City to pursue your dreams. What was that like?
A week after I graduated USC, I moved to New York City & landed a job at SonyBMG in music licensing, thanks to the many internships I did while at USC, & then I worked at Jive Records. My first love has always been Broadway - I ended up going on an audition with my roommate, and booked the National Tour of 42nd Street. I quit my job & went on tour for a year.
5. How did you decide you wanted to become a producer, rather than a performer?
On 42nd Street I saw firsthand what went on behind-the-scenes, and when I got back to NYC I started taking classes & workshops in producing commercial theatre. It took a long time to figure out how to get into the tiny world that is Broadway, and be taken seriously. I've now co-produced 3 National Tours, 1 in the West End & my 4th Broadway show, Indecent, is about to open on April 18th.
6. Will you ever go back to performing?
7. You’ll be making your debut with An American Paris at Segerstrom Center on April 25 for a two-week run, how does that feel for you?
As a little girl I performed onstage at Segerstrom, so it's such a wonderful full-circle moment for me.
8. What are the day to day duties of producing a musical?
One of the things I love about producing is no day is like the next. I attend readings of new shows, meet with writers and directors, find source material, stay current on industry trends, meet with potential investors, and network within the industry—and I see a ton of theater.
9. What does “An American in Paris” mean to you?
"An American in Paris" will always hold a special place in my heart as it was how I made my Broadway debut. It is one of the most exquisite musicals I have ever seen.
10. What advice would give you someone interested in becoming a producer of musicals?
Learn the business from the ground up. If you say you’re going to do something, follow through.
11. What do you do love to do in your off time?
Now that I no longer perform, I began painting — mostly impressionistic, but some abstract.
12. What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m now co-producing my 4th Broadway show, Indecent — I feel so lucky and grateful that I’m living my dream.