Los Angeles-based actress, bestselling author (Life Letters), podcast host, entrepreneur, mother and wife.
Currently she stars in the Quibi series #FreeRayshawn from Antoine Fucqua, starring opposite Laurence Fishburne, Stephan James and Skeet Ulrich.
Previous credits include HBO’s True Detective, How I Met Your Mother, HBO’s Ballers, USA’s Satisfaction, amongst numerous others. Alyshia has also appeared starred as Cece in the feature film “The Other Woman,” opposite Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton, and serves as host to her podcast “That One Audition” , where she’s interviewed the likes of Jason Momoa, Peter Facinelli, Lucy Hale, Laurence Fishburne, etc., about their journey as an actor, the moment where their career took off, and what advice they have to impart on others looking to conquer their dreams.In addition to her work in front of the camera, Alysia is also author of “Life Letters,” which she wrote as a way to inspire others to look inward to truly understand our path and purpose. She initially wrote the book when she was experiencing a time in her life when she didn’t know herself or understand why certain things had occurred in her life. The book offers a guide to self fulfillment through letters written to one’s self and is available for purchase on her website. Alyshia is a tremendous advocate for overall wellness with an emphasis on emotional and mental well-being. She is firm believer in the power of positivity, and the effects of energy in our daily lives.
THIS IS THE Q&A
When did you start acting? Could you tell us about your first acting role and what it was like?
I knew I wanted to be “in the TV” before I could even write my name. I remember days of making up stories about people in my neighborhood from the living room window and staring in the mirror analyzing different feelings and emotions. Human beings, connection and body language have fascinated me my whole life. My first time stepping on a set was for the film Seabiscuit which they were filming in Kentucky. I marveled at the size of the production and fell head over heels in love with the long hours of pretending and fur coats. I moved to LA shortly after and dove deeper into the creative process figuring the business out as I moved along.
I learned on the job and while making several mistakes. I wish my podcast (That One Audition) was around when I started, there are so many things I had to learn through mistakes and without a mentor. I hustled and learned, but some of my early work is rough for me to watch. I had no idea, it was trial and error.
How would you describe your acting style?
Raw and in flow. I think that is a hard description to self-assess and give words too. Acting, to me, is when I am in my flow and connected to some other channel. My instrument is very empathetic and constantly curious.
In the future, are there any roles you would want to take on?
Ideally, I would love to jump into a role where I have to train physically for months. My athletic background would feel so satisfied if I could physically transform and enter a character through my body of work. Really, I want to just be pulled toward a character that scares me. Those are always my favourite.
You host the podcast, That One Audition, can you tell us what was the inspiration behind its creation?
Well, it started because my body betrayed me in an audition room. While running in a bikini next to a Supermodel, my buttocks made a trumpet sound. Flagellation is the inspiration behind my podcast. I passed gas not once, but twice. Needless to say, I didn’t get that audition. It was shocking, embarrassing and downright hilarious to say the least. I went to my acting class that evening and shared my experience. The whole class started sharing their stories of the front lines and auditioning in the trenches. It made me feel comforted and INSPIRED to know that many of us have failed at our jobs, but we would all do it again the next day. Then my idea spawned. I wanted to hear all actors and story tellers journeys from the highs to the lows and all the tricks they learned along the way.Then I birthed That One Audition Podcast.It’s the honest, humorous and inspirational conversations with your favorite on-screen storytellers and Hollywood influencers who reveal their most life changing audition tales and the survival skills they’ve collected along the way.
Back in 2014, you published the book Life Letters. In a nutshell, could you tell us what it is about?
Life Letters was a process that I created to help me through a difficult period in my life. I didn’t know who I was, and I certainly didn’t have self-love. Till then the majority of my life had been consumed with pleasing others and side stepping my own thoughts, desires, excitements, weaknesses, etc. After calling off a wedding, I knew I needed assistance to get through it and I gained it from my internal source of wisdom (God, Universe, big Self). Eventually, I made this process into a book because many of my dear friends saw a huge transformation in me after this year and requested the process. It is a quick 57 page self-motivational book to get you through a year of growth while learning to love and enhance parts of YOU.
Why did you pick out the title Life Letters?
These are the letters you write to have the life in authentic self. These letters will enhance your life by loving all the parts of you while discovering new interests.Do you plan on releasing another book?
We will see! I don’t like to put pressure on myself to generate another book. If the inspiration comes, I will follow. But yes, some writing has been happening for the past three years. Life Letters took me a month to write and seven years to feel comfortable putting it out in the world. It only birthed in this form because of the demand of others inquiring about the process I did to turn my life around.
Dealing with writer’s block is already a difficult feat itself, especially now that we’re in the time of Covid -19. What have you done to overcome it?
I am taking breaks where I need them. If anything, this time has taught me that sometimes it is necessary to pause instead of pushing productivity. We have relied on immediacy and increase demand to manufacture creativity. I am doing my best to let this time remind me that creativity spawns out of inspiration. A thought or message will haunt you into action. If writer’s block comes up right now, I accept it and go for a walk. Maybe tomorrow will be different. With permission (from the world shutting down), I’m allowing my block to “creating” or “writing” be present. Usually when I accept the block I will wake up in the middle of the night with the next creation or thought. I always love to create when there is fire or a spark of an idea. Then you are pulled and “inspired” to write.
What’s the best advice you can give to anyone on a journey of self-searching?
Remember to have forgiveness and patience, but mostly focus on stillness in your journey to discovering yourself. My biggest lesson was not to search for myself, but sit still and listen to what wants to be revealed.
Article by by Cyan Leigh