To me, Valentines Day is about celebrating love, and not just romantic love. You can love a teacher, a mentor, a friend. The Ask Jules email below asked about one of my favorite Valentines for over five years now, my assistant and great friend, Kristy Sowin. Her story for how we met is an inspiring one. As the saying goes, everything happens for a reason! And I’m glad this one happened to us.
My name is Laurie, and first I want to tell you that I am a big fan of yours! I have a question for you. I would like to know how you and Kristy met and became such close friends? You have such a good friendship. 👯
Montreal, Canada 🇨🇦
Hey, Laurie! Kristy, here. A lot of people don’t know how Julianne and I met, so I’m glad you asked! It’s one of my favorite stories.
Right after college I began working at a brokerage fund. I had interned there all through college and during the summers and truly thought that was the job for me (in hindsight I think it’s because it came easy to me and paid well if we’re being truthful). Six months into working, my great uncle passed away and I took a week off to head to Florida for the funeral.
My Uncle Sonny was a man who actually lived every day to the fullest… his life story and legacy is nothing short of inspirational. It wasn’t until everyone asked me, “How’s your new job?!” that I realized how miserable I was. It was a wonderful firm with the kindest bosses, but I realized how uninspired I was.
My cousin Tarin is an Assistant Director in Film & TV and said if I was truly unhappy, I could move to Wilmington, NC. There was a room available and I could maybe get a part-time job on a movie that was about to begin filming. I had always looked up to my cousin’s job — I remember bragging to all my friends that I had a cool cousin who worked on movies.
What’s funny is that I majored in Economics, but ended up minoring in Film because I took so many film courses just for fun, that when I was graduating I realized I had enough in Film Studies to qualify for a minor! It’s funny how those things happen without us even noticing, right?
After the funeral and celebration of my uncle’s life I flew back to Connecticut. I remember the next morning I sat at the foot of my bed and cried because I was dreading going back to work. When I thought of my Uncle Sonny and how he lived his life, I knew I wasn’t living mine the right way. By the end of that week, I gave my two weeks’ notice, and decided I was going to drive to Wilmington and see if I had what it took to work on movies.
I gave up a generously-paying job with incredible benefits to move to a state I’d never been to with absolutely no job security. The weird thing was, I didn’t feel like I was giving up anything because I knew I was chasing a dream that was always there.
After a month in Wilmington, a spot finally opened up on “The Conjuring,” a film my cousin was working on. I began as a part-time production assistant, or a “day player” as they call it. Two months later, a movie called “Safe Haven” came into town and they needed a part-time production assistant for two weeks. My boss on “The Conjuring” happened to be working on “Safe Haven,” so he called me up and said they needed someone for two weeks. I was thrilled! By the end of the first week, I’d been bumped up to running first team, which involves the actors. This is how I met Julianne! 🙂
The first thing I noticed about Jules was that she went around and introduced herself to every single crew member, and then when I was showing her where the restrooms were, she was going over everyone’s name. That is Julianne in a nutshell — she cares about absolutely everyone, and holds every person in high regard. No matter who you are, she cares for you.
By the end of the film, we had created a great professional relationship. We were able to joke around in our down time, but when we needed to be working, that’s what we did. On the night of wrap, Julianne handed me this card, and I was over the moon.
Even though working in film had been my dream, I actually learned while working on them, it wasn’t what I wanted to do long term. After talking to Julianne and her assistant Jeffon, and learning what he did, I realized that was something I was really interested in doing. Four weeks later I was packing my bags and driving across the country again, to another state I had never been to. 2012 was a year of following my gut and taking risks!
So, the truth is our amazing friendship blossomed from a professional relationship. Julianne is without a doubt my best friend. She’s even more than that — she’s my family and always will be. Because we both respect each other and don’t take the other for granted, we’re able to balance our working and personal relationships.
On a personal level, I’ve never grown as much as I have the last five years that I’ve known her. The most special thing about Julianne is that she sees the light in others and helps bring it to the forefront if it isn’t there already. She is the epitome of joy and light, and has literally changed my life.
I accepted my job for her when I hardly knew her or even exactly what I was going to be doing, but I knew in my gut it was the right thing to do, because I knew she was a good soul.
There aren’t enough words to describe my love and loyalty for Jules, all I can say is “Thank You” because I’m living my best life, and she is a very big part of that.
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