Actress Julie Piekarski's Mission: Dancing With The Stars
Julie Piekarski is on a mission. The former “Mouseketeer” and “Facts of Life” alum is on a quest to join the cast of the ABC hit show, “Dancing with the Stars”. Julie is no stranger to the art of the dance, having honed her chops from a very young age performing in front of huge audiences at The Muny, the nation’s largest outdoor theater located in St. Louis, Missouri.
In the mid-1980′s, Julie took time off from acting in order to marry and raise her three children, and keep the artistic talent they inherited from their Mother alive in their own way.
I had the opportunity to speak with this amazing woman as she prepares to become the first Mouseketeer to do the Fox Trot in prime time. In this interview, Julie discusses her career, including her time on “The Mickey Mouse Club” and “The Facts of Life”. She also talks about a certain celebrity she rebuffed for a date and why she believes now is the perfect opportunity to once again showcase her dancing talent.
goJimmygo (gJg): Tell me a little about yourself and how you got started in acting?
Julie Piekarski (JP): Growing up, my mom enrolled me in dance classes. When I was five, one of the ladies there thought I had potential, took me under her wing, and became my mentor. She saw that I was a quick learner and had that “X factor” gift that can’t be taught. I started participating in community theater and shows as well as professional venues like The Muny Opera.
gJg: How did you get involved with The Mickey Mouse Club?
Disney was doing a nationwide talent search for their new TV show and several of my relatives, friends, and teachers were asking me to try out. After sending in a resume and photo for the preliminary casting, I received an invite to come for an audition. I traveled to Chicago for a two-day audition. At the time, I remember thinking that I’d be really lucky if I could just be made an “Honorary” Mouseketeer and appear on the show just one time. Instead, after the auditions were complete, I got a call to go to a local TV station for an on-camera interview and eventually was chosen for the show! Out of the 15,000 kids auditioned, only 12 were picked.
gJg: That’s where you met Lisa Whelchel (Facts of Life) for the first time!
JP: Yes, Lisa was there too. There were eight people from the LA area and four of us from out-of-town. Lisa was from Texas and I was from St. Louis. We both bonded quite a bit during our time together. Since we were the out-of-state "Mice", we tried to get lodging near each other and do things together on the weekends or after work.Continued on the next page