Teen Seen – Juliane Pettorossi

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For awhile now, I’ve wanted to start doing teen interviews.  I’ve had the urge to do this for a couple reasons. The first is that I’m fortunate enough to know some very amazing teens and they always astound me.  The more I learn about them–the more I want to learn.  In fact, I’m usually so impressed, I want to share them with the rest of the world.  

There is a second reason I decided to do this kind of an interview–I write for teens and I’m friends with a whole bunch of folks who do the same thing. *grin*  I know for a fact that they’re always looking for ways to get into the heads of young adults.  As YA writers, we always want to know teenagers as readers, but we also want to dissect them and use their parts in our writing. I mean this in a completely non-bloody, kinda nice way.

I hope you love what can happen when a teen can be seen…


Just like Taylor, our first Teen Seen, I also dance with Juliane.  She’s amazing and I LOVE to watch her tell a story as she moves across the floor.  She’s interesting, passionate and funny, but you’ll figure that out in just a moment…

Hi Kim!! Well my name is Juliane and I’ve lived here in Beacon my whole life. I grew up with the two best parents imaginable, my older sister and of course, my two pets. (I’m a huge animal lover!!) I’m seventeen years old and cannot wait to finally make my transformation into adulthood on June 20th. I’m a senior and am still hearing back from multiple colleges to date, but Manhattanville as of now remains my top choice for admission this fall where I will study communications in art/media/journalism.

If I were to describe myself, I would depict me as an "artsy" individual. My #1 interest, of course, is dance. I have been dancing at Yanarella for about 15 years now and plan to until the day I leave for college. Through all these years of studying classes such as ballet, jazz, modern, tap and hip hop, I have found it to truly be my top priority and passion. I used to be the kid who played every sport imaginable and was actually good at them, until I recently came to the conclusion that they did not fulfill me as performing did. There is nothing more I love than to be on a stage in front of a crowd, and hope to further pursue this love in some way, some how.

*Juliane in the role of Elphaba in the Yanrella School of Dance 2010 Recital
Choreographed by Mary Ritter
Photo Credit-Amy Miccio

Besides dance, I also love to write. I have been writing since as long as I could remember. Poems, stories, limericks, scenes, anything! I am hoping that my college life will consist of many oral presentations and news reporting through the journalism side of my major. I was always the creatve type, along with playing and taking lessons for piano for 12 years, painting, and also photography.

I had started a blog before to get some of my ideas and writings out of my head and onto a site for others to see, but have recently decided to detatch from it. Luckily though, I have had the opportunity to be inspired by the right people to stick with my aspirations and never give up on something I love, which always gives me hope that one day I could make a difference in this big world!

*Since we started this interview Juliane decided to give blogging another shot.  I’m so excited she believes in Second Chances.

Wow-I love these interviews. I thought I knew how talented you are and then poof-you sneak in a half dozen miscellaneous talents that I knew nothing about. LOL!

Congrats on Manhattanville. I remember those days, torn between soaking up every minute of being a senior and wanting desperately to reinvent myself. It’s an exciting time.

This is a weird question, but what do you want to change about yourself when you start over? What do you hope never changes?

I actually really love this question. This time where I get to leave these years behind and start all over is really important to me. Reinvent is the perfect word! There are some characteristics about me that I would surely change in a heartbeat, but luckily, many more that I wouldn’t. I hope to be a more demading person. I tend to let anyone say just about anything to me and have a hard time standing up for myself. I will do anything to avoid confrentation or any sort of argument. I like to be content with everyone, but I really wish to find myself stronger in that area. Let’s see.. I will NOT procrastinate!! (I say that now..) Sometimes I will admit, I wait until the last second to get work done. I hope that I will become a little more responsible in that as well. 
However, I can’t complain about who I am today. All of my choices and how I carry myself have shaped me into someone that I am actually proud of. I’m a little different than most teenagers in the sense of never going to parties, doing what the "stereotypical teen" does. Like I’ve said, dinner and some good conversation is the perfect night for me. I am independent and I know that trait will stay with me. I am also very determined and will not give up until I achieve my goals and ambitions. That is very important to me, and I hope these morals that I so strongly believe in never change.

LOL!  I have a few of those good and bad traits myself.  You’ve said you like to write…  I stopped writing when I was about your age because I was hyper aware of how vulnerable my words made me to other people. I didn’t have the internal fortitude to stand behind those thoughts. It took me a long time to gather that much courage, but it would be safe to say that it has saved my soul. When I didn’t write I repressed my voice and you can only push that stuff down so long before it starts to turn sour. Why do you write? What does it do for you? What happens when you don’t write? What is the best thing you’ve ever written? What do you want to write–have to write?  

Why do I write? Probably the same reason most people do. Expression. What better way to portray your thoughts than to get them down on paper in a creative and meaningful way? Writing is personalized. Each person has their own style, their own rhythem. That’s why I have loved it ever since I started way back in elementary school. It was the rarest, truest form of me and I loved every aspect of that.
However, I don’t really know where it all started. I have all these notebooks FILLED with stories, poems and song lyrics from when I was in my early childhood, and it really makes me wonder how I was thinking like that at such a young age. Some of the things I wrote were so meaningful and had such a deep message. Since I was so young, I know that all those ideas came straight from my head. It’s strange to think about!
I feel as if I have millions of ideas, every day. I compare and contrast certain things in my head and make connections that I am dieing to write about. No matter where, I usually always write them down. Whether it’s just small notes or turned into a story, I’ll post it somewhere even to use for later use. As for best thing I’ve ever written? It’s hard to say. I would say that my best work shines through my poetry. A lot of things I have written stay with me and are personal, but I hope to keep exposing them and someday become noticed. 
When I was younger, I loved one author, Jack Prelutsky. He’s a children’s poet and I had almost all of his books. I loved the way he flowed from line to line and how he put a surprising twist of irony at the end of each poem. One dream of mine has always been to publish a children’s poetry book. I find that although I do love deep poetry that doesn’t necessarily rhyme and makes you think, I also have thousands of more ideas for those quirky poems that make the reader laugh. That’s one thing I have to do, because I know that it is a possibility for me! 

Any chance we can see a sample of that poetry?
Well, this was my poem for Mary…

*Mary Ritter is our dance instructor, friend and inspiration.  She’s currently battling breast cancer and teaching us all about The Experience of a Lifetime…

Who am I to initiate 
To tell of a monster; a fall in fate
The whisper of sweet serenity
Pulled back so quick; but then we see,
The rise in lust for words of hope
Infatuations of grieve and mope
Should soon be swept away by choice,
That lures us in to pure rejoice.

My luck in life compared to most,
I don‘t believe; I can not host,
For I believed we made our own
To determine the lives we’d always known.
But a recent twist has circled the thought
A twist in life and all distraught
For a wave that crashes the flesh of many
Could not affect, you out of any.

Hearing one small thing can change your eyes
And how they view what the world defies
These obstacles we can’t escape
Can see right through our glass shined cape
To me, you are just that much stronger,
Your will to fight will survive much longer,
You’re a bulb just lit and will always shine,
For a keen remedy, you are next in line.

Just a chapter in life; a new story told,
Of a person whos book shall always be sold,
Inspiration has grew to a sturdy new level,
Nothing could destroy; dismantle; dishevel.
For the person I’ve grown to know and admire,
Will battle the monster way down to the wire,
For all we have done and all left to say,
She stays in my heart; and there she will stay.

*Mary Ritter and Juliane Pettorossi

That is beautiful…thank you for sharing it. *heart squish*

Writer’s love to read. It’s fun and it helps us to be a better writer. What are you reading?

Reading? To be honest, I am not as interested in reading as I am in writing. Currently I am not reading anything, but have finished a few books so far this school year. However, I do love authors like Mitch Albom, Sparks, Lowry, and Nicole Krauss, who write stories with strong moral messages that can relate to situations I may have faced. I’m hoping to explore the world of reading more this summer and expand my knowledge of it.

Hmmmm I’ve got some good ones…we’ll talk. *grin*

I was wondering if you could tell me what you think the biggest misconception about your generation is today? 
I was also wondering if you either loved or hated anything in particular about how young adults are portrayed in fiction?

I think the biggest misconception of our reality is a mix between three things: Money, technology, and selfishness. I believe everyone now-a-days is over obsessed with worrying how much money they have to spend and how expensive everything is, when in actuality isn’t what brings us happiness in the end. Of course, we all like to have it in our back pocket, but I think too many people depend on money to fulfill their emotions that it simply cannot buy. I think that technology is a huge misconception because of how dependent we all are on it. If it weren’t for todays electronics such as cell phones, computers, cameras, gps’s, T.Vs, ipods, etc., I don’t think people would be able to normally live their lives! Even now with the increasing technology in necessities such as cars.. it is completely taking over our generation. Lastly, I think the majority of people out there believe in only doing things for themselves. People are more selfish than ever, and the want to help someone else is slowly diminishing. There’s no better feeling than giving someone a gift and feeling how thankful and appreciative they are!
It’s true; I do believe that in fiction, young adults are generally sterotyped. Not everyone at particular ages technically do the same things or think the same thoughts. Most fiction books I’ve read that include the actions of young adults always carry the same themes. The "general" actions of young adults are probably portrayed in a lot of these books because the author may feel that the reader can relate to them more, but I think they should broaden their ideas and find new issues for their plot that allow the public to realize that teens are something other than a typical stereotype.

Well said and I love it! It’s such a good feeling to know that there are young adults in the world who think much and feel deeply. *heart squish* 
What would make you pick up a YA book and read? Any topic in particular, or type of character that would make you say Hmmmmm?

For specifics when novels deal with teenage stereotypes, I think themes such as drugs, dating, sexuality, sex, partying, cliques, bullying, etc. are often emphasized. Some even go as far as to have the All Star football player and cheerleader as two main characters.. even though in most schools, couples like that barely even exist or aren’t a big deal. Although I have not seen much bullying in our school hallways lately, I know it still exists- more so on the internet. This is what kids undergo in today’s world, as opposed to, say ten years ago. It’s time to update!
I definitley tend to pick up books that have somewhat of a dark side. For some reason I often find myself picking up novels about the Holocaust and how people lived during that time. Besides that, I love stories that are about crimes and mysterys with a lot of forshadowing that leads to an ironic ending. Also, I like novels that tell the stories of a few peoples lives, and how they are all tied together through a certain event. Suspicion! For young adults like me, I always love to finish a book that leaves me with a good message. I like to learn morals and quotes through the things I read and even though many people my age might find that "boring," I certainly do not. (Tuesdays With Morrie.. always a favorite of that kind!)
Thank you SO MUCH Kim!! I appreciate you asking me to be a part of this! 

I loved interviewing you and sharing you with the world.  Don’t forget you can find Juliane on her blog…Second Chances. See you at dance on Tuesday.  *grin* 



7 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. I wish this came with a 'Mary Warning – do not read in the office!' Too late…

    Just simply fantastic… Can't wait for the next chapter from both of you!

  2. Awwwww Sorry about that Mary. <3 We just love you. (((((hugs)))))

  3. That's a lovely poem, Juliane. 🙂

    Kim, you find the best teens to interview, and ask such great questions!

  4. Thank you soooo much. <3

  5. Lovely interview! And lovely pictures too! Such a sweet smile, Juliane!
    Thanks for sharing, Kim! 😀

  6. Wow. I am shocked! A 17 year old girl like this is very rare.

    Keep it up, Juliane. You have the brightest future ahead. Kim, what a great person to interview! You are both very inspiring.

  7. Juliane, you really are amazing! Your beautiful poem brought me to tears. Everything about you shows what a wonderful person you are.
    Kim, I absolutely love your interview of Juliane. You did a wonderful job 🙂

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