Perhaps you’ve heard the name Julia Child, or maybe you knew the iconic chef as simply, Julia. A towering personality with a kind heart, and a boisterous attitude, Julia stood out from any crowd. I watched a movie called Julie and Julia, about Julia Child in my foods class last year, and was immediately drawn to the way Meryl Streep portrayed this passionate woman. Streep did a lot of research before taking on this role, so I knew that Julia must have been just as joyful and as deep of a person as she was depicted in the movie. After some further research, I fell in love with this woman, who I had never seen, even on TV. I, as an actress, am interested in how she maintained such a positive outlook on life, and her fanbase. I also want to learn more about the style of television which she starred on, where there was no editing.
From what I have learnt through my research, young Julia Child sounds a lot like I do. She didn’t really know what she wanted to do with her life until she was in her 30’s. She never had to cook for herself, so she was never interested in food. It wasn’t until she met her future husband that she learnt about fine dining, or food in general. Julia grew up playing sports, as I did. She even toyed with the idea of
becoming a performer. Julia, like myself, was fortunate enough to have both of her parents growing up. She also was part of a more upper-class family.
I don’t know that I see myself pursuing a career in foods, since it is not a hobby of mine. Julia didn’t know a thing about cooking until later on in her life, and still ended up becoming one of the most widely popular chef’s of her time; I suppose that I might be a chef one day.
Julia Child has been known to always choose the more challenging road in her life. She didn’t like people claiming that she had it easy. She was also someone who found value in making mistakes. She didn’t appreciate people using her cookbooks, or learning from her TV show, but not revealing their growth. The reason that she did not approve of Julie Powell’s popular mission to make every recipe in her cookbook in one year, was due to the fact that Powell never admitted her mistakes. Instead she wrote of her success, and hid any learning or discoveries that she made, from the public. Julia Child believed that, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” She was alarmed by Powell’s fear of making mistakes, and didn’t want the public to view her that way as well. I am worried that by trying to embody Julia Child, I might do a disservice to her. I don’t want to spend hours fretting over my speech, because it is not something Julie would do; at the same time, this is still a project, and I need to make an effort. It will be a fine line to balance on, between over doing it and undergoing it, but I am ready for that task.
I think that it will also be a challenge for me to impersonate Julia’s accent during my speech, without being offensive. This connects to my grade nine IEP goals, and how I learnt about different accents, but also to my grade ten acting goal. If I spend enough time perfecting her accent, I could easily put French accent down on my resume, which is not a bad thing if I am trying to get jobs.
This year, I went on the library trip for the first time. Last year I was sick, and had to go to the library closer to my home, so going to a seven floor building filled with books, was amazing. Before the library trip, I knew that I was either going to study Julia Child, or Ellen DeGeneres, but was in a real quandary on who I should pick. As soon as I got to the library, I looked up both of my contenders names on the research computers to see the kinds of books that they had under their names. After about two minutes, I realized just how much I wanted to do Julia. I still have a huge amount of respect for Ellen, but the information that was available on Julia was what left me awestruck. A whole section of the library was dedicated to my eminent person alone. Between autobiographies, biographies, cooking books, and novels Julia had written to accompany her television programs, the section was packed full. I hadn’t realized that Julia was an author though, which is what truly attracted me to her. I got four books, because I didn’t want to overwhelm myself, but I easily could have selected more titles. As I walked away from the trip, I, a) was ten times more confident in my project, and b) was engrossed in a biography by Laura Shapiro.
I am so ready for this project!
As Julia said, “Everything in moderation including moderation.” So I am not even making an attempt to control my excitement. HERE WE GO!