The Formative Years:
I was born Julie Clare to Joseph Frank and Peggy Anne Myers in Memphis TN. I was their fifth and last child, a bit of an afterthought or possible mistake… as there was five years between myself and my older sister Dina. I’m told I was a precocious child, slightly hyper active, and physically adventurous. Apparently I was always tumbling or dancing to music, that was virtually always playing in our home, from the day I could stand holding onto the sides of my crib and playpen. As a five or six year old I mastered the technique of climbing up the walls of a hallway or door frame by using both my hands and feet to put pressure on the opposing sides. My mother took pleasure in my physical adventures and enrolled me in ballet, tap, and jazz dance classes when I was very young. Even before all that, I wanted to be on a stage badly enough that at five, I lied about my age at an audition to land the roll of the “Fairy” in Peter Pan. I can’t believe I made it in there because I couldn’t even say the name of the Catholic Private school, “Immaculate Conception”, I was supposedly attending as I had no front teeth! I was in Grade one when I brought my much older brother David to school to accompany me on guitar as I sang “I’m Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” at the school talent show. I won for the Grades 1 through 5 category and I’m not certain if I wasn’t allowed to enter again or why it is that I don’t remember another talent show in all my Grade School years. Perhaps they wanted to make sure more people had the opportunity to win these things and had rules to help make that happen. It wasn’t long before my mother added acrobatic and gymnastic classes on top of it all. I realized when I was older that my mother lived vicariously through my exploits of the things she got me involved in. My entire family was very supportive and I loved all that stuff. It was also years later that I found out that the reason my brother’s friends would ask me to do back hand-springs across the back yard all the time was because they would be on drugs and they loved the trippy effect of seeing that under the influence. I lived it all day long and dreamt about it every night. One of the things that stands out as a great memory is the Mid-South Fair. Here, some of my best friends and myself were doing all kinds of dance, dance mixed with acrobatics, and/or solo singing. It was all a big competition and I had to work hard to win a spot on these stages. Music and dance has always been huge in Memphis. One really great memory that stands out is a dance group I belonged to winning first place one year. Christmas shows, recitals, and performances were great and most of it came easy. I always looked forward to anything on a stage…except for gymnastic meets. They made me so very nervous. Maybe it was that there were bigger expectations on me than those I had of myself…I’m not sure. Music and dance proved to have the bigger pull on me and there was a lot of time when that was all I wanted to do.