|Volume XXVIII Issue 9||October 31, 2002|
Stoffer discusses reality post-‘Real World’
Mary-Haden Britton - Reporter
"‘The Real World’ was a great experience. It was kind of like high school—something I am really glad I did, but glad it’s over," Julie Stoffer said last Friday night in McKinnon Hall, at an event hosted by Elon’s Student Union Board. Julie’s laughter, coupled with that of the audience, rang throughout the room as she spoke about vital issues. She answered critical "Real World" questions from die-hard fans. Her comical manner won the hearts of many, as she discussed many of her own personal experiences, ambitions and moral and ethical beliefs.
Stoffer was recently named the national spokesperson for sexual abstinence. She travels around the country talking about issues such as drugs, alcohol and sexual abstinence. After the "Real World," Julie initially had a hard time dealing with her newfound fame. "The hardest part about being on the ‘Real World’ was the overnight fame. It was weird, and I did have a hard time dealing with it." However, this did not last long. After she realized she could not go back to her school, she got heavily involved with the Truth Organization (anti-tobacco campaign), completed Bush’s Points of Light Program for public speaking and went after one of her strongest passions: music.
After "Real World-New Orleans," Stoffer did not want to follow in the path of many other "Real World" alumni and become intrigued with acting. Instead, she stayed true to her passion of music, and in 2000, started her own band named Bunk Bed Incident (named for Julie’s boyfriend, Gabe, also in the band, who once accidentally fell from a bunk bed). The band has started to get attention, as it continues to increase in popularity. "We get the best reception from college students and people from the South, especially Georgia. They love us there," she said.
Over the course of the night, Julie was faced with many questions that dealt with her opinion of the show and the current "Real World-Las Vegas."
"I feel that the show in general is extremely over dramatized. Personally, I know they added much heated drama to my role alone and exaggerated aspects of my life like my relationship with my family." Julie is outraged with the status of "Real World" She said she has tried to confront MTV producers about how she feels with the show.
"‘Real World’ is not based on real world events. We base ‘Real World’ on the real world everyone wants to see," Stoffer said was the producers’ reaction in defense to her frustration. Julie compares the new "Real World-Las Vegas" to the "Jerry Springer Show."
"I don’t really appreciate the show; if I was on it, I would be ashamed." She strongly believes that people need to take responsibility for what they are watching. "We have to be more responsible with our influence over the media, and take advantage of our opportunities. Instead of letting it control us, people need to realize we control them."
In society today, the music world is bombarded with pop stars and the popularity of sounds that generate toward American youth. Stoffer considers herself to be a musical hippie, trying to purify the country because of the growing problem of talented bands going undiscovered. "Our world would be a better place if our music was better," she said
Stoffer’s future looks bright. Her band, Bunkbed Incident just finished its second CD and Stoffer has plans to go back to school. "My ultimate plan for the future is to get married and have kiddos and keep playing with my band. I do not have aspirations of being on MTV, since I already have."
Stoffer’s exposure has made her come to many realizations in life. She knows that the particular MTV lifestyle is not the scene she is looking for and considers herself lucky to be able to evaluate a situation like that and realize what makes her most happy in life.
Stoffer has made it her mission to create awareness to the student body around the country, visiting universities and trying to make a difference. She wants to stimulate various ways of thinking.
"Some people tend to get stuck in one frame of mind and that is just unhealthy," she said. "I wake up everyday and question my morals and beliefs all in effort to become a better person."
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