Influencer: Rhody’s Own Maxim Cover Girl Semi-Finalist and Actress Julie Ann Dawson

Advice on following your dreams from North Providence native and URI grad


Congrats on placing within the top of the semi-finals of the Maxim Cover Girl competition. How does it feel? 

It’s pretty crazy to me that I beat out approximately 35,000 contestants, and that is something to be proud of! I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, friends, and fans. 


Growing up in North Providence and graduating from URI, do you find that a career in modeling and acting can begin here in Rhode Island? 

I highly recommend any actor or model who wishes to pursue the entertainment business as a full-time career get all the experience they can in their home state and region first before moving to a larger market. To me, Rhode Island was a great place to grow up, and since it is close in proximity to Boston and New York City, I would seek out job opportunities and drive an average 2,000 miles a month to work gigs up and down the East Coast. There were times I would drive from RI, have a gig or audition in NYC, then drive to Boston to work another gig, and finally end the night back at home in Rhode Island. There is definitely a lot of opportunity in the state, and surrounding areas, to start your career. 


What was your first film experience?

The first time I set foot on a movie set was Dan in Real Life, which was filmed in Providence. It just felt like magic to me. I was fascinated by all of the cast and crew working together to create something special for others. Rhode Island was a great place for me to start my career because at the time we had a film tax incentive, which allowed major films and TV shows tax breaks to film in our state.


Your bio mentions that you enjoy trap shooting! Tell us about that.

I enjoy trap shooting because that also means I get to spend time with my brother, Dan, and my uncles at the gun clubs whenever I am back home visiting from Los Angeles where I currently live. 


What else do you like to do when you’re back in Little Rhody?

My favorite places to shop, eat, and play in Providence include Hemenway’s, especially when there is a WaterFire going on, followed by bar hopping along the river. No trip to Providence is ever complete without a trip to Pastiche Fine Desserts or a walk down Thayer Street. 


Biggest piece of advice for creative hopefuls?

Most people have no idea how close they really are to achieving their dreams, and this is why you must never give up! 


Follow Dawson’s career on Instagram and TikTok at @juliedawson_ 


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