No Dream Is Impossible

Julia Adams - Hollywood, California
As heard on The Bob Edwards Show, September 25, 2009
Julia Adams

As a young girl growing up in Arkansas, Julia Adams longed to be an actress. Even though the odds were against her, she believed in the inner voice that encouraged her towards her dream – and it ultimately helped her find success in movies and television.

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From the time I can remember, I have wanted to be an actress. No one in my entire family had ever had artistic yearnings, so they looked upon my girlish dreams as a rather silly and impractical phase, which I would surely outgrow and then settle down in Arkansas like my more sensible cousins. But the dreams were still there when I reached the age of twenty, and I came to a rather shaky decision that I had to try it.

In the five years since that day, I’ve come to realize that whatever part of myself forced me to strike out rather haphazardly for Hollywood is the only real wisdom I possess. That part of me seemed to know that no matter how difficult achieving my goal might be, or even if I never achieved it, I would be happier striving toward my dream than if I tried to find security in a life I was unsuited for. This knowledge and quiet surety came from within me, and yet seemed to have its source far beyond comprehension of my wavering and indecisive personality. It alone kept me from quitting during that first year in which I discovered how right my family was in warning of the difficulties in store for me with no financial backing.

I found expensive dramatic lessons and living costs left almost nothing from my check as a secretary, with the very necessary clothes for studio interviews. But of course what really made me feel like catching the next bus for Arkansas was that in all the offices I managed to invade, not one casting man had looked at me with sudden interest and exclaimed, “That girl has something.” My lovely air castles were quickly shattered, and I was forced to listen to the wiser, inner voice again. This time it had a new message: “Look at yourself honestly.” Well this seemed simple enough, but it turned out to be very unpleasant indeed. One honest glance told me that only by unglamorous hard work over quite a few years would this gangling, unsure Arkansas girl be transformed into my dream of a fine actress.

After I recovered from the first shock of this discovery, to my surprise I began to feel stronger and more hopeful about the future. Since then I’ve found this inner voice always spoke the truth or made me try to find it for myself. Of course, I wandered away from it at times or rebelled when it said “no” to something I wanted very much at that moment. But these excursions away from my wiser self led only to confusion and unhappiness. Strangely enough, now that I’ve climbed a couple of rungs of the long ladder up, sometimes I find it harder to listen to the inner voice than when I was alone and struggling. It’s a very quiet voice and is easily drowned out by outside babble. But one word from it is worth a book of advice from the best intentioned friends.

The voice seems very stern at times, as it makes me accept the responsibility for my failures and shortcomings, instead of excusing them or laying the blame elsewhere. But while it takes away petty egotism and silly pretensions, the voice whispers of things that send my thoughts and imagination soaring. It tells me no dream is impossible because faith in my inner self will guide me to its fulfillment. This belief in my inner self banishes fear and doubt and frees me to live and love and work to the fullest.

Television and film actress Julia Adams’ career has spanned more than 50 years. In addition to her role in “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” Adams co-starred with movie icons John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Charlton Heston and many others. More recently, she has appeared on TV shows “Lost” and “Cold Case.”