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The Julia Salinger School of Acting


Welcome, prospective student! This page is dedicated to teaching people the acting techniques that make Julia Salinger such a master thespian. (For those of you who don't know, Julia Salinger is the character that Neve Campbell plays on Fox's Party of Five. Before the complaining starts, take note that we're not poking fun at Neve Campbell, but rather, her poor, misfortunate character Julia who belongs to a family whose highest ratings occur when they are afflicted by cancer, alcoholism, child neglect, and domestic violence.)

As content on this page expands, we will feature examples of Julia's acting, lessons, exercises, tests, and contests in which you can win Neve Campbell DVDs and VHS tapes. There will also be an on-line virtual translator: you give the translator a typical phrase, and it will tell you how to properly emote the phrase Julia Salinger style. For example, most people would say, "Don't touch me!" Julia Salinger would say, "don't...TOUCHME--GAWD!!!" (Example from Party of Five and Wild Things.) But the words alone aren't enough. You will also learn the dramatic Julia pause (derived from the Captain Kirk School of Acting), the art of the run-on sentence, the ability to squint and jawdrop effectively, and how to control excessive use of the words "like" and "God!"

Brush up on your Julia by watching re-runs of Party of Five on Fox and Lifetime. Additional skills may be gleaned by renting and watching Wild Things, Scream, and Scream 2, as Neve's characters of Suzie Toller and Sidney Prescott have certain traits indigenous to the Julia. (For example, Suzie squints and chokes in similar manner to Julia.)

To be notified by e-mail when more lessons and the contests start running, please join our Neve Campbell/Julia Salinger Mailing List. Remember, more content will be added to this page, so bookmark it. In the meanwhile, here are some additional exercises and diagrams to give you a head start of what to expect:

Although it looks like Julia is happy in this picture, this facial expression really embodies the unpredictable transitions Julia's temperment can take. From here, she could just as easily bust out with a rant about "how wrong everything is." Much sobbing and choking would accent the impending speech, along with the riff, "you just...[shake head] this is just something [sob] we are going to...to have toDEALwith..."

To master the Julia Salinger Art of Acting, you must be able to offer forlorn expressions of existential sadness while still looking crazy-sexy-cool. Think a self-aware James Dean cognizant and troubled by his own absolute mortality. You must also make your little sister get the same "short chic" haircut you have.

This is perhaps one of the cornerstone expressions of Julia Salinger Acting. Note the troubled look, the staring off into the distance, and the contraction of the neck. A pause and some heartfelt headshaking will ALWAYS follow this move. Eyes must shift back to the person you are speaking to before the first sentence is completed. Resort to this move when you are stuck for something to do, as it is a basic.

This shot from Wild Things depicts Neve's character Suzie Toller combining elements from the last two examples. Coolness is intact, as is the staring off into the distance. A head movement of some kind WILL follow and bring attention to itself, but scoffing defiance is substituted for self-pitying sorrow. Suzie received a B in the Julia Salinger School of Acting.

This shot from Scream is Neve's character Sidney Prescott. While Sidney has the Trembling Lip down cold, she makes the mistake of grabbing her neck with her left hand to exude panic (the operator is telling her the killer is CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE...AIGH!!!!!). Julia does not grab herself while she is emoting. Hands are usually kept desperately at the sides. Sidney received a C in the Julia Salinger School of Acting.

Neither does Julia remain on the verge of crying with a pursed lip. Here, Sidney is remarkably un-Julia. When Julia cries, she really turns on the waterworks, and the choking is ramped up exponentially. The riff "YOU CAN'T..." is usually repeated many times, along with what you can't do.

Here, Suzie is confronted by Kevin Bacon, and saves herself by resorting to her Julia Acting skills. Instead of kicking Bacon's ass and separating it six degrees from his body, she looks on with sad defiance. She might let him hit her a few times, but the minute he tries anything worse, she will call her brothers to beat the crap out of him.

Here, Suzie is pictured with significantly endowed Denise Richards. Although Julia is more given to screening her calls and ignoring her family, she would look like this if she chose to speak on the phone: defiant, wary, and ready to shake her head. However, Julia would do so with considerably less eyeliner, since she's not a slut.

This is Neve playing Julie Black in the movie 54. In this scene, Julie has mastered the Serious Moment. To keep audiences from gagging on sentimental bile, Julia Acting implements several defense mechanisms, including the dramatic pause, the run-on sentence that temporarily disorients viewers, and the Sideways Head Bow. When the head bow is combined with the Fluttering Eyes and Sympathetic Voice, it is particularly disarming, especially to males.

Here, Julia perpares to dish out the pain. Note that as in all the other Julia shots on this page, the mouth is never fully closed, emphasizing and exploiting the look of innocence. Julia's head will crane forward as she begins her next sentence, telling other people why things cannot be, or what they have done wrong, and why something cannot be done. Vicious squinting will occur when the problem itself is voiced.

In this final example, Julia is about to tell everyone why the responsibility is not hers. Note the hand on the hip, which is an indirect result of excessive Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, and Shawn Colvin being played in the background. This stance is good for placing blame. A likely dialogue to match this scene would be, "Griffin, I...I've been at...SCHOOLalldayGOD!"

To be notified when official classes begin and the contests start,
sign up for the Neve Campbell Mailing List.

The Julia Salinger School of Acting is conceived
and implemented by Michael Lee and Megan Daly.



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