Julia is cofounder and president of Eventbrite and is responsible for the overall vision and strategy of the company. She is a former television network executive and comes to Eventbrite by way of Hollywood. During her tenure in the television industry, Julia was a creative executive at FX Networks and helped to supervise “The Shield,” “Nascar Drivers: 360,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Rescue Me,” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Prior to FX Networks, she was in creative development at MTV Networks, where she was fortunate enough to work on several popular shows such as “Jackass.” Julia holds a BA from Pepperdine University and lives in San Francisco with her husband Kevin and their young daughter.
SM: Julia, let’s go back to your story’s beginning. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
JH: I grew up in Santa Cruz. My parents divorced when I was two, but they remained good friends and always lived within blocks of each other. My mother was remarried when I was five. I had one of those idyllic childhoods on the beach. I had no worries about safety like we do today. I was very focused on dance and spent four to five hours a day preparing for competitive dancing in multiple genres. I focused on jazz, but I did tap and ballet as well. Ballet offered the base training, and everything else was layered on top of that.
I went to competitions, and now that I am a mother of a girl I can see why it is villainized these days. We were just at Disneyland, and these girls walked by who must have been eight, and they were in full makeup with very skimpy costumes. The world I was in has blown into a pageant world where all the girls are over sexualized. I was in that world when it was focused on talent.
SM: I grew up as a dancer as well, and makeup was part of being on stage.
JH: It was, but it was to deal with lighting. I remember the false eyelashes, but it was more about the form. I remember being annoyed by makeup. Like everything else, my views have shifted.
SM: The pace at which children grow up is faster today. That is not a good thing.
JH: Exactly. I had more time to be a child, and I loved it. When I was seventeen I had a decision to make – to pursue a dance career or to go to college. My parents really did not give me any choice but to go to college, and that was something that I really wanted to do as well. Interestingly enough, my dance partner went the other route and she is now on Broadway. Every six months or so I go and see her in a new show. It is fun to see where she has ended up. We feel that we have both been fulfilled on the two paths we have taken, which is amazing. It is very satisfying to see that.
I went to Pepperdine for college. I went to public school because there was no other alternative. I wanted to go to a private school for college. I wanted to be with twelve to fifteen students in a classroom. I got to choose my own major, which when you are seventeen is very early. I thought that I wanted to be a broadcast journalist, which is one of the reasons I chose Pepperdine. They have a very nice journalism school and their own studio.
I went and sat in my first day of broadcasting 101, and I looked around and saw a bunch of Texas debutantes. Pepperdine itself is an amalgamation of people from overseas and people from all over the United States. Most people are very, very wealthy. I was from a middle-class family. I had worked since middle school. I was the only person I knew who had a job in college.