Tell me about yourself, I can't wait for the audience to get to know you!
Hello, there! My name is Julie Novak. I run an educational non-profit, children's youth theater, here in Austin, Texas. I taught theater and music in a school setting for many years and felt God calling me into the community to work with our local young people.
I have done work as a ghost writer, voice over artist, vocalist and speaker, and am with the john Maxwell Team, but my biggest love and passion is working with young people!
My husband and I have been married since I was a baby, as we ran off when I was very young. (part of why I am so passionate about helping young people stay on course, and be patient work hard and to reach for their dreams! I was able to do this, but it was much more difficult with three tiny babes. (Who have now grown up to be three beautiful adults) and I have three adorable grand-babies.
What do you like to do in your free time and what is one of your hobbies?
When I am not working with my theater, I love to write, speak, cook, entertain, throw theme parties, and sing on the worship band.
What are the three things that are most important to you?
Being there for (serving) God and my family (available, self- sacrificing, encouraging) (And, no, I am not always successful at the things in the parenthesis!)
Helping young people find that thing (their gift set) that makes them tick, that brings them contentment and makes them feel valued
Helping others see God's great plan of their life
Do you think it's important to set goals and dream big dream?
Absolutely. I think most people think too small. They don't realize what they are actually capable of. Many times its because they are comparing themselves to others (women especially) who are very different than themselves and who have gifts very different than their own. People have to make sure their dream is a dream that fits their gifts and one they can work towards obtaining. Otherwise, they will burn out and won't want want to do the work it takes to stay on course. They have to know their end desire, but recognize that the day to day steps are what get them to that ultimate goal.
Students will come into our program and want the lead role, even though they haven't developed their skills yet. They want to step past the work part and be placed in a great role without having done the necessary training. I always remind my students that no one gets to the top of the mountain without starting at the bottom. Self-government is the key.
What is your vision for your future?
My vision for my future is to grow CYT Austin to several locations in central Texas, to allow more students to not only be trained excellently in the arts, and grow their personal character, but to realize how much God values them and that he has their future in his hands. Directing and producing theater is a blast and watching the changes it makes in the student who participate is priceless.
To build my speaking and writing to a point where I can share the things I believe to be valuable to many people, on more consistent basis.
When did you know you were called to do this?
I have always been obsessed with words and stories. My earliest memory is of when I was 5, directing my neighborhood friends in my latest play, making them act out the different characters (roles) in the "show." I've always known I couldn't breath without creating, without dancing and singing, but I didn't know I would combine those gifts with a passion for young people. I didn't know I would become passionate about wanting to help them find what it is they want and who they were really meant be. I didn't know until
I was that young person, wondering around, with this weird gift set, but no understanding of how to use and no one to give me direction or a sub to do the work. I did know that when I figured it out, I was going to help other young people do the same.
What were the defining moments in your life that helped you realize you're calling? What steps did you take to make it to where you are today?
See above. :)
The steps I took, were to start at the beginning, grow my gifts, train in my gifts, and not be afraid of the work or be discouraged by the work it would take. I took every job opportunity that came my way and kept reminding myself not to despise small beginnings.
God began to open doors for me that I never dreamed would open and has given me so may fantastic opportunities to sue my gifts in this way and to speak life into young people.
Who is your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration was my father and today, is my husband.
My father was a very self-less man who was a fabulous Bible teacher/speaker/ pastor and the way he lived his life was an amazing example of how to Iive. he was my mentor. He always worked to make others seem like they were the most important thing in the world when he was with them and this is what I aspire to do and be like.
My husband is an outstanding leader and works to help people realize their dreams. He is self-less, encouraging, is passionate about others and has be a great man to deal with an artistic, melancholy - perfectionist all these years.
Who has influenced you the most and what is the greatest lesson you learned from them?
Definitely my father. The greatest lesson he taught me was to not be afraid to follow your dreams and believe in your gifts and abilities.
What does being a beauty queen mean to you?
Ha. I don't really consider myself a beauty queen, but I as I am getting older and aging, I am realizing that, although its wonderful to take care of yourself and care how you look and appear to others (and I am fashion fanatic - shallow, I know) that the greatest beauty is how you make others feel, not how you make them feel about yourself. Vanity doesn't allow for that consideration.
What inspires you to live with passion every single day?
As Joyce Meyer says, " You can think you can, or you can think you can't, and either way, you will be right."
My inspiration is when I wake up and know God has given me another day to do what I love and to help someone else find what they love and to help change their future, their attitude and give them hope. To get up and know I get to sing and dance and produce and work with today's youth is a fantastic motivation.
How did you use that passion to make your dreams come true?
I pictured myself doing what I loved in a larger spectrum. I saw myself where I wanted to be, so I could take the steps to get me there and I knew where I would end up. If you see it, you can achieve it.
What is a quote or saying that you live by?
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."
Success is 98% hard work and 2% talent. Everyone has talent, but not all have the commitment to work hard and stay the course.
Through the ups and downs of your life what is the greatest lesson that you have learned?
That the greatest leaders are servant leaders and don't lord over others. That all people just want to be valued and respected and I have that opportunity everyday I am alive, to pour that life into someone else.
What advice would you give the beauty queens reading this interview about following their dreams?
Define your dream (know your gift set) Decide your path (how will you get there.) Decline distraction. and do the work.
God has a unique set of gifts for every person. He gave them to you to find that perfect fit for them to be used. He does not gift you and then walk away and not equip you. Believe in what you are called to do and never give up. The end reward is worth every step.