You know her as Miss Advised’s LA based dating journalist, however there’s so much more to Julia Allison, and her relationships, than television has time to show. She recently talked to me about her career, her Miss Advised experience, and her advice for writers everywhere.
TBB: Hello Julia. Some may say you are a real life “Carrie Bradshaw.” How long have you been a dating columnist? How did your interesting career unfold?
JA: Well it started when I was a student at Georgetown. I wrote a column called Sex on the Hilltop, which actually wasn’t about sex, it was about dating. I just thought I was Carrie Bradshaw! (laughs) Anyway, I wrote it for two years, then sold the rights to Aaron Spelling, who wanted to make it into a show. Of course, as is often the case, that got killed. I graduated shortly thereafter, moved to New York and started writing for Cosmopolitan and a variety of other publications, none of which paid a living wage. Suffice it to say, I was very, very poor.
TBB: Your Miss Advised co-star, Amy Laurent, told me that, although she wasn’t part of it, you were in the original pilot. How did the concept for Miss Advised develop?
JA: I had done eight pilots prior to Miss Advised, two of them for Bravo. The first one was called IT Girls, the second was for a talk show with Bethenny (Frankel). Then producers came to me in the early fall of 2010 and asked me to do a casting tape for a show featuring dating experts. At the time I said I wasn’t interested because I was starting a nationally syndicated technology column. I felt that the “dating expert” portion of my life was finished, but they convinced me to do the tape, and later, the pilot. I shot it in Chicago – it was me going on what I felt was a terribly boring blind date. When the show was picked up, I found out that I’d been cast with Amy and Emily (Morse). I had previously met Amy when I wrote a Time Out New York column about her matchmaking abilities – she actually matched me on two dates! I met Emily later on when I was on her radio show (Sex With Emily). I adored them both right away.
TBB: In the first episode you went on a date with a man you met on Craigslist. You actually had him pick you up at your home. Are you always so trusting of people?
JA: Yes, absolutely I am! I’ve gone on so many dates with men who have emailed me or that I’ve met on social media; it never creeps me out. I just don’t worry about things like that. I have a very good sixth sense about people. I’ve never been lead astray by someone I met on Facebook or Twitter or because they read my column.
TBB: Also in that first episode you mentioned your former boyfriend, Senator John McCain’s son, Jack. Then later you said a very non conservative statement about picking a first date dress. Have you always had such a dynamic personality?
JA: (laughs) I suppose so! Since I was quite young, I have had a terrible habit of saying the absolute least appropriate thing at any given moment! It drives my parents crazy and, quite honestly, it might be better if I didn’t do that, but what fun would that be?!
TBB: That’s a trait also characteristic of Bethenny.
JA: Yes, so I’ve noticed! Maybe one day they’ll get us back together. That would have been quite a talk show!
TBB: In episode 3 you were a little upset when you found out your date, William, had googled you. What advice do you have for daters with an active, traceable, internet history?
JA: In the past, when I feel the man has to know me as a person first, I’ve just told him my first name and that I’m a journalist. After they get to know me, they understand that everything posted about or from me needs to be taken with a grain of salt. I think it works better for women to not expose all of your information too soon anyway. I also think everyone has to worry about Facebook these days. Watch out for things like posting ridiculous pictures, really. Facebook is the easiest to control because you’re putting that information up there yourself!
TBB: Have you ever had anyone refuse to date you because they feared you would write about it?
JA: Yes, this has happened to me several times! One was a billionaire in New York. He agreed to a date, everything was set, the car service was on the way, and then he called me an hour before to cancel because he feared I’d write about him. That was a bummer. There are quite a few people who wouldn’t date me, which is one of the reasons I wanted to move on from writing a dating column.
TBB: What about former boyfriends and men you have dated, has writing or blogging about your experiences with them ever come back to haunt you?
JA: Well … I feel writing about former boyfriends only comes back at me when people who don’t know the entire story try to make generalizations about how I date. For example: making judgements that I fall in love too fast. Some people feel like they can say these things because I wrote about it, and it does – at times – make me wish I had kept my mouth shut. But overall, no, my past writing is remarkably regret free.
TBB: A good example would be your Miss Advised relationship with Andrew…
JA: Exactly! No one really knows what happens in a relationship other than the two people involved in it. With Andrew what happens on the show looks quite a bit shorter than it actually was. Our dalliance was certainly longer than two dates. We spent a little less than three months, including New Year’s and several other weekends, together. It’s definitely frustrating to have people judge my reaction to our breakup as disproportionate based on what they saw during the show.
TBB: We have seen on the show how aggressive you can be. It’s an interesting contrast to Amy’s more conservative, “men need to chase” rules. Have you and Amy ever debated about your different approaches to dating?
JA: Yes! Usually during interviews. That said, I used to be a “Rules Girl” like Amy, so I know where she’s coming from. I feel as if the rules are amazing training wheels – but eventually we take off the training wheels and begin to respond to the situations naturally. The rules are just guidelines – an attempt to create the idea of you having a happy, fulfilling life – a creation that may or may not be true. I believe that men can smell whatever the truth is. With Andrew I did quite a bit right, even though on the show it looks like I didn’t, but he still could tell that I wanted more from him than he wanted from me. “The rules” can also create the opposite problem. I know someone whose girlfriend was such a “Rules Girl” that he never really was sure how she felt. At a certain point you do need to let the guy know you like him.
TBB: You said in a Miss Advised scene that “anyone can be a blogger”, which is true. There is so much competition in the blogosphere, what is your advice to bloggers who want to stand out from the pack?
JA: I think having a very unique perspective is a must. You audience should know why they should listen to you above all others. What drew me to your blog is that you know more about Bravo than anyone! Every blogger, every writer needs to think, “What is it that I could say about my own story that will make people want to hear more about me?” You want an angle. You have to live and breathe it.
TBB: Thank you for talking with me today. Is there anything else you would like people to know?
JA: There is certainly a side of me that people don’t see on the show – a side that is much more business-oriented. I graduated from Georgetown with a degree in political science. I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve run my own business, I’ve produced over a hundred online talk show episodes, I’ve worked on Capitol Hill, I’ve been a commentator on CNN, MSNBC & Fox News, I’ve had a nationally syndicated technology column. But on the show it looks like I’m just boy crazy (which, admittedly, I can be!) There’s a lot that doesn’t come across about me. That said, I’m very grateful to Bravo for the opportunity to learn and grow – shooting the show, examining my issues up close, really did change my life. It is because of that that I’m now in a relationship and really, really happy. He is incredible. I had to work very hard, for a very long time to be the woman someone like him would want, but it was worth it.
To learn more about Julia:
-Follow her on twitter @JuliaAllison
-Check out the following sites:
BRAVO’s Miss Advised on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/miss-advised-season-1/id533946569
The official BRAVO Miss Advised site: http://bravotv.com/miss-advised
ELLE column, “Guinea Pig of Love”: http://on.elle.com/juliaallison
Behind the Scenes Blog for BRAVO: http://bit.ly/JuliaAllisonBlog
The Checklist: http://www.bravotv.com/miss-advised/season-1/julia-allisons-73-point-checklist
The Checklist Song (iTunes): http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-checklist-song-single/id547252630
The Checklist Song (video):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDgUhNONI-c&feature=share
The Today Show: http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/48285744#48285744
The Watermelon: http://www.beachbikes.net/index.php?p=product&id=1552&parent=212
-Photo by Michael Alan Hoy www.michaelalanhoy.com