I am so excited about this Friday’s feature- lets hear it for Julie Merkle!!
Julie is a St Louis photographer who has had the pleasure of shooting in some of the coolest places. Most recently, she has been on staff at the Muny on the Media team. When not behind the lens, Julie is helping out area high schools make their theatre companies the best they can be!
Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
Woosh, back in middle school! I had just broken my leg and couldn’t play basketball anymore, so I turned to theatre to pass the time and I fell in love. I’ve been stage-crafting ever since. My first time shooting a show was my very last show in high school, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; fell in love with that just as quickly.
Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?
I have two answers : The first was, “stay in college, you’ll never make it otherwise.” It was a heartbreaking sentence to hear at a time when that was the last thing I needed to hear. Spoiler: I didn’t stay in college; while I don’t know what defines “making it” I’m humbled to say I’ve lived a fantastic life in the theatre and through photography so far. It’s been the greatest joy to mix the two loves. (Shoutout to the MUNY!) The second piece of advice actually comes from R&H’s Cinderella, “Go! With the promise of possibility!” It’s been a driving force to put myself out there and see what becomes of it all.
Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.
Uhhh…ummm…well….I forgot a SD card once to shoot backstage? There’s probably been a fair amount of shooting on stage and having to dodge a set piece or scene change.
Q: What is your dream role/show?
For this shutter clicker, anything dance heavy. West Side, Anything Goes, 42nd Street, Chorus Line, Lion King… I could shoot Newsies everyday and be so fulfilled. Once was not enough.
Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?
Will and Grace reruns. It’s been a binge at my house in preparation for the reboot!
Thank you SO much Julie- how cool to hear from a theatre photographer!
Grace Austin is an STL area director and educator.
See her work at gracemaustin.com