EP 37: Alissa Tucker (autogenerated)
Dane Reis: [00:00:00] You booked it, episode 37, Hey, entertainers and performers of the world. I’m your host, Dane Reis, and welcome to you. Booked it. Where I chat with inspiring entertainers, seven days a week by digging into their journey. We’re going to discover everything you need to do to be a successful entertainer, you know?
[00:00:25] Cause. Training, usually skips that part about how to actually make your skills work for you in the real world. Fellow entertainers, my drive here at you booked it is to share the inspiring and incredible journeys of successful entertainers. We are here to support your journey. So go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join the, you booked it, email community, where we dig deep into truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you book that next audition, submission or gig.
[00:00:59] If you enjoy this free podcast, please show your support and search for you. Booked it on Apple podcast or your favorite podcast app, where you can subscribe. So you don’t miss an episode, leave a rating and review and to show our appreciation for your fingers crossed five star rating and review. I will give you a shout out on an upcoming episode at now.
[00:01:22] Let’s do this. All righty. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Alyssa Tucker, are you ready for this Alyssa? Fantastic. A Montana native Alyssa is a professional dancer, actor and singer currently based out of Los Angeles at 18 Alyssa moved to New York city to intern and train at Broadway dance center with some of the biggest names in the industry.
[00:01:52] While living in New York, Alyssa had the privilege of performing in New York cities fashion week. off-Broadway with Coco and the vanity Vixens and in several regional theater productions, some favorites include West side story. Peter pan cats, 42nd street singing in the rain Disney’s Tarzan and the regional premiere of Saturday night.
[00:02:13] Eva with over 10 years of professional dance experience, spanning from coast to coast. Alyssa has done it. Everything from musical theater to music, videos, film commercials, and cruise ships. As a NASM certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, yoga teacher and master trainer. Hey Katie.
[00:02:35] Alyssa has trained celebrities, such as Alicia keys, Hilary Duff, Nicole shares, zinger, Dakota, fanning, and Sherry Appleby. Alyssa also has a passion for teaching dance and sharing her knowledge and experience with the next generation of artists. She has had the joy of teaching all over the country as a master teacher and choreographing multiple award winning competition numbers since making the move to Los Angeles, Alyssa has performed in Joseph and the amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with so you think you can dance choreographer.
[00:03:06] Dave Scott and Lama rod is production of South Pacific. Most recently, Alyssa appeared in the Netflix movie, musical Christmas on the square with a lifelong idle and legend Dolly. Pardon? Alyssa. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
[00:03:28] Fill in the gaps. If you will, a little bit more about you and what you do as a professional. In the entertainment industry.
[00:03:36] Alissa Tucker: [00:03:36] I am originally from Missoula, Montana, but I was born in Tokyo, Japan, and I started dancing when I was six years old. my parents got a three month coupons or dance classes and that’s how it started.
[00:03:51]and then from there they pretty much said I’d never walked anywhere. I danced everywhere I went. and that hasn’t really changed. And then, yeah, I’m in New York right after high school and change some more there. And then from there I just started working professionally. And mostly regional theater, but then some of those other things that you mentioned, and now I live in LA and I love it here.
[00:04:16]And I mean, as a. Performer in general, I it’s our job to audition. So I do shows here and there when I get them, which is awesome. But then in the times in between I’m auditioning and I’m training and, I, and lucky to have a job that I love my survival job, I guess, but as a trainer, I’m with AKT, which is a really wonderful company that I’ve been with four or five years.
[00:04:47]now moved up to be a master trainer with them. So I helped train all the new trainers and all that locations that are opening up around the world and travel to do popups and events. And yeah, it’s really great because it combines like my passions with dance and health and fitness and teaching and yeah.
[00:05:06] And I guess that’s pretty much it.
[00:05:07] Dane Reis: [00:05:07] I love it. Thank you. Well, let’s move on to this next section here and Alyssa, I am a sucker for a good quote. What’s your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone.
[00:05:20]Alissa Tucker: [00:05:20] that is a hard question for me because I just feel like depending on the day it could be a different one.
[00:05:27] I am also a sucker for a good quote, but one that has, been a favorite of mine for a while now is a Maya Angelou quote. And it’s, I’ve learned that people will forget what you’ve said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
[00:05:42] Dane Reis: [00:05:42] I love that. And how have you applied that to your career and your daily life?
[00:05:48] Alissa Tucker: [00:05:48] Yeah. I think it’s, I think it actually works really well with the performing industry, because it really is so much about. Relationships and, you get hired back and people like working with you, and if they don’t like working with you, they, you don’t get hired back. but even more than that, it’s just important.
[00:06:08] I think, to be a good person and to just to care about other people and to realize that other people have different experiences that we don’t really necessarily know anything about. So just kind of leading with that with all of my actions,
[00:06:21] Dane Reis: [00:06:21] for sure. And I love that you talked about how. So much of this industry is relationship based.
[00:06:28] And I think it’s really about creating longevity in your career. If you want that you need to develop those relationships. Cause you know, it’s one thing to book that first contract, it’s a whole nother thing to, to keep booking
[00:06:40] Alissa Tucker: [00:06:40] them. Right. 100%. Exactly. And yeah, I know a lot of the jobs that I’ve gotten to do have been rehired at like the same theater with the same choreographer who then remembers me when they’re doing another.
[00:06:53] Job. And then they’re like, Oh, I remember working with her. And so it’s great. You never know, you never know what a relationship might lead to.
[00:07:01] Dane Reis: [00:07:01] Absolutely. Well, let’s move on to this next section and Alyssa, of course you are an entertainer. I’m an entertainer. And I think you’d agree that this industry is one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally, emotional industries existence.
[00:07:20] And you know, as well as I. That in order to create and to have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while yeah, of course there is not radius amount of fun and excitement being on stage being in those videos. There are also our, their share of obstacles and challenges and failures.
[00:07:43] We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through if we want to continue doing this at a professional level. So tell us what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career? How did you come out the other side better because of it?
[00:08:02] Alissa Tucker: [00:08:02] Yes. I agree with everything you just said.
[00:08:05]one thing that was really challenging for me was when I was living in New York and I was auditioning for musical theater. This is probably Oh, four years ago, maybe five years ago now. And I had just started teaching fitness. And so I was teaching a lot of fitness and I was okay. I found that I was good at it right away.
[00:08:27] Like it was just something that kind of, I mean, I’d been teaching dance forever, so, It just kind of came a little bit naturally to me and I. Because of that, they were like, Oh, here, here’s another class for you. Here’s another client for you. Oh, here’s another client. And my day is just got so, so full of teaching fitness.
[00:08:45] And it was like, I was doing six workouts a day, which was also physically doing the workout. But other than that, it’s also like speaking the entire time and like yelling. And so what happened was I totally lost my voice and my body was in constant pain. Okay. All the time. I never actually, like I got it checked, but I think I had nodes.
[00:09:11] Okay. I didn’t have a voice for a year. wow. Yeah, it was really rough if not only because I was like auditioning for musical theater. So. In those dance auditions and not feeling like I wasn’t performing the way that I, no, that I physically could because of the pain that my body was in. But then also I’d get called back and have to sing and then I’d have no voice.
[00:09:33] So it was really rough. But then the other thing was like the depo dancing and singing have always been a big part of my like emotional release and basically therapy to me. So to not have to not be able to do those things. It was really like emotionally taxing too.
[00:09:51] Dane Reis: [00:09:51] Absolutely. And ultimately, where did that, how did that resolve and how did you, yeah.
[00:09:58] Alissa Tucker: [00:09:58] Yeah, I mean, it was a lesson in boundaries for me, for sure. I learned that I am person people pleaser. I think most people are. but I didn’t really ever notice that until then. And so I just realized like saying no is okay. And you have to sometimes. And I also finally started taking voice lessons more consistently after that so that I could learn how to properly use my voice.
[00:10:28]even when I’m teaching speaking, I tend to vocal fry, which I’m trying not to do at the moment, but that has also really helped me in my career for sure.
[00:10:38] Dane Reis: [00:10:38] Absolutely. You mentioned that you learned your boundaries. And I think as us as performers, not just, I think wanting to please people, especially since we love being in front of audiences and things that we really, I guess, to succeed and to make this industry work for you, you have to really do have to say yes or more than you say, no, you have to be up for everything and anything, but.
[00:11:03] As you found out, you know, you can also take the yeses a little bit too far and just being aware that that there’s a possibility and it does exist. I still think that you need to take, you need to say yes the majority of the time, but. Trying to be really in tune with what’s going on in your body. So you can make sure that you’re still making healthy decisions and healthy yeses.
[00:11:25] Alissa Tucker: [00:11:25] Absolutely. I think there’s, there’s a limit to what we can all do and learning those for ourselves. But like you said, with the yeses, that’s also how I booked my very first professional job. I know one of, both of our teachers, that was something that they, she really stressed Lisa dear with DCS and you you’re not later.
[00:11:47] So my first professional job, actually, I met a choreographer and he was like you. Yeah. And I’m not a great Tapper, but I’ve taken tap, like can tap, but it’s not that strong suit. But I said, yes, And they got a job from it.
[00:12:03] Dane Reis: [00:12:03] I love that. All right. Well, let’s move on to this next section now to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment that, well, one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for living or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer.
[00:12:26] Tell us about that.
[00:12:28] Alissa Tucker: [00:12:28] I love this part. Yes. it was when I was 18, my first trip to New York, I saw Chicago on Broadway in the second row and Charlotte Dan blah was Roxy. And that was the moment that I was. I realized that musical theater was my dream. That’s what I loved and that I wanted to be on Broadway before that I had never really scene.
[00:12:52] That level of dancing and musical theater. Yeah. And musical theater and seeing the level of dancing, but with the storytelling and not close, and Charlotte is just a legend. So that was definitely that moment for me. I
[00:13:08] Dane Reis: [00:13:08] love that. And let’s piggyback for a moment on that question and let’s talk about your number one, booked it.
[00:13:17] Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. Those were part of it. What was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite book?
[00:13:28] Alissa Tucker: [00:13:28] Yeah. so this was, the job was Christmas on the square, the Netflix movie that I got to do, which I think I filmed it’s like a year ago almost exactly.
[00:13:39] Which is kind of cool. And I remember getting. The audition email from my agents and it said, what did it say? Christmas movie musical with Dali. Pardon? And it was looking for like technically trained dancers who exude joy, something about like dancing technical dancers that are really joyous.
[00:14:07] Dane Reis: [00:14:07] I love audition descriptions.
[00:14:09] Alissa Tucker: [00:14:09] I know. Right. and I was just like, Oh my gosh, this is me. Aye. I grew up listening to Dolly. I know that that’s not a rare statement. A lot of people. True off listening to Delhi in Montana. It was just, my family was huge Dolly Parton fans. I remember listening to her records with my aunts at my grandparents’ house and just like singing along.
[00:14:33] So it was really, there was just something about it. Just the email. I was like, This is me. Like I, I have to book this so fast forward to the actual audition. I think it was on a Saturday and it was in Culver city, which is really weird. Most auditions are like in the Valley, which is where I live. But anyways, obviously I went and, I got there and there were so many people there.
[00:14:57] Isn’t unusual, but I thought it was kind of unusual because they were also looking for dancers who sing and then LA there’s not as many as there are in New York. Although there are still a lot of good theater performers that would be here, but I was just so shocked at how many people were there. And I honestly almost laughed.
[00:15:15] Which I’m so glad I didn’t. And that was a lesson that I, so I got out of the car and I started looking around at everybody that was there and I was, my mind was blown. It was literally, yeah. The people I grew up watching, like on. So you think you can dance. Okay. All of the dancers that I idolized as a younger dancer, Aye.
[00:15:40] I was like starstruck. I remember texting my sister and I was like, Oh my gosh, Lauren is here and I was dying. But then that kind of, I got in my head and I was like, Oh my gosh, they’re all here. Like, what are the chances anyways? It didn’t let that stop me. I went in, I learned the choreography. It was so me, it just, it felt so good.
[00:15:59] It was like technical and hard, but, and they were really all about like, it’s a Christmas musical. So it’s about the joy. And then I remember I was still like, in my head though, I was like looking around and just, yeah, it’s realizing how many incredible dancers were there and I’m talking like hundreds and hundreds.
[00:16:19] And then we went, we learned it in one room. Then we went to a separate room too, review it on our own. And then we went into the audition room and it was probably like an hour and a half once they had already learned. The combo that I was reviewing, it was two combos to actually And in that other room too, like I was just looking around and I was like, geez, all these people are so good.
[00:16:42] And I was like, kind of like letting that shrink myself a little bit, but then we got into the room to audition and Debbie Allen was there, which was. So cool. First of all, for me, I never see her met her only heard of her. and something just changed and I was like, I’m just going to go out there and do what I know aye do.
[00:17:06] And what I love to do. And I did. And. After, I don’t remember if it was the first combo or the second combo, but we improv like you normally do. Yup. Always turn to a split to the floor. And I rolled and I almost collided with this other girl. It was like almost disastrous, but we both in the moment just went with it and like started improving together kind of around each other.
[00:17:35] And Debbie, it was like cheered. And she said, yes, choreo. I honestly think that’s why I booked the job because in the moment, if something goes wrong, you have to be able to make it work, especially, I mean, in live theater, for sure. But even in. Okay. A film because you’re one of them, 50 dancers. Like they can’t stop the tape because you messed up.
[00:18:02] You need to make it work, you know? So anyways, that happened and then they lined us all up. This is a weird audition. They lined us all up and they told us that, Oh, they made a cut. That’s what they did. And then everybody that was left, they told us this, the job was filming in Atlanta. And they told us they already saw 700 dancers in Atlanta.
[00:18:25] Wow. 700. And that the competition was really, really hard and that, so then they asked if anybody would or could work as a local hire in Atlanta, meaning they could fly themselves out there. They had somewhere to stay, they had or whatever, or they would just figure it out and aye. One person raised their hand and then another person raised their hand.
[00:18:51] Every single person called back that made it to the end, raised their hand and said that they had local housing, that they’d be willing to get themselves there and how’s themselves except for me. And that was really hard for me to not put my hand up, but I knew that if I got there and other people, they didn’t have to get themselves there.
[00:19:14] And I was spending all of my. Checks that I’d be making on the travel arrangements. I just, I just knew that that wasn’t right. I knew that that, no, if they want me, like, they can pay for it. Like it’s a Netflix show. Come on. so I just stuck to that and I held strong and I was like, Nope, I’m not going to raise my hand.
[00:19:34] Cause I’m not going to stress myself out like that. And then I left that audition and thought, okay, well, I did really well. I did the best I could do. I feel really great about it, but the chances of okay, actually booking it at this point are slim, but that has nothing to do with me, whatever. And I let it go, which I think is the most important thing.
[00:19:56] When it comes to additions, you have to let it roll off your back, which took me a long time to learn. And it’s still sometimes harder than others, but then a few weeks later, or maybe a month later, I got a call. Or an email. I can’t remember now about my availability. They wanted to check my availability.
[00:20:14] And so basically I was on hold for it. And then a couple of weeks later I found out I booked it. Yeah. My mind was blown. Right. Yeah. And even crazier, I get on the plane to go to this job and. Find out. One of the assistants is also there. I find out they only brought seven people from LA and I was the only girl.
[00:20:39] Yeah. I still like knowing everyone that was at that audition. I just like, my mind is blown. Yeah. These dancers were incredible, but it just goes to show. It’s not all about technique, even though I know I’m a technical dancer too, but like these other dancers that I’m talking about are insane. Okay. Also, I think there’s something about like, When I saw that audition post, I just knew I had a gut feeling.
[00:21:05] I was like, Ooh, like this one’s for me. That’s that’s my, my book DIT moment.
[00:21:11] Dane Reis: [00:21:11] I love that. That is such a good story as well. And to be the only girl hired out of LA. That’s crazy.
[00:21:17] Alissa Tucker: [00:21:17] Yeah. I still, I still don’t understand.
[00:21:20] Dane Reis: [00:21:20] Wow, that’s so good. I love it. Well, let’s take a moment to talk about the present.
[00:21:26] Alissa Tucker: [00:21:26] What
[00:21:27] Dane Reis: [00:21:27] projects are you working on now?
[00:21:28] What are you looking forward to? And of course we are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?
[00:21:39] Alissa Tucker: [00:21:39] Yes. Gotcha. It’s a great question. So currently I am actually doing a mentorship program, so I’m working on just training and getting ready for when auditions, hopefully start to happen again.
[00:21:54]it’s a mentorship program with Broadway arts community and it’s incredible. I’m just like finding a new love and excitement for doing the work and not just like. Prepping for the audition or prepping for the job, but just like finding the love and the joy in it again. So that’s been really cool to have the time to do that right now, for sure.
[00:22:19]And then, I don’t know. I think, I think things are definitely going more virtual. I think in the industry, like all of that virtual dance classes and stuff that have been happening, I think are, Oh, really cool opportunity to be able to train with anyone from all over the world. And I, I see that stuff probably continuing as hopefully in person things also start to open up as everything gets better.
[00:22:49] But yeah, I also think, we’ll see some, hopefully. Films TV shows plays about like things that are going on in the world right now. Social justice, justice, and more, more black artists represent represented in TV, Broadway, film, everything. Hopefully.
[00:23:11] Dane Reis: [00:23:11] Absolutely. I hope all those things as well. Yeah. Well, let’s move on to one of my favorite parts of the interview.
[00:23:18] I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Okay. Ready?
[00:23:32] Alissa Tucker: [00:23:32] I’m ready.
[00:23:33] Dane Reis: [00:23:33] All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?
[00:23:41] Alissa Tucker: [00:23:41] Yeah.
[00:23:43] Dane Reis: [00:23:43] Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
[00:23:50] Alissa Tucker: [00:23:50] I see you can see yourself doing anything else and being happy doing it, do it. Okay. And I couldn’t. Beautiful.
[00:23:58] Dane Reis: [00:23:58] And are you talking specifically with the arts or anything in life?
[00:24:02] Alissa Tucker: [00:24:02] Yeah, with the, with the art. Okay. Love
[00:24:06] Dane Reis: [00:24:06] it. Third question.
[00:24:08] What is something that is working for you now, or if you like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause
[00:24:18] Alissa Tucker: [00:24:18] meditation, dance class. I am
[00:24:22] Dane Reis: [00:24:22] such a meditation person. I love it. Do you use a specific app or do you just do your thing?
[00:24:27] Alissa Tucker: [00:24:27] I’ve been using insight timer.
[00:24:29] Dane Reis: [00:24:29] I love insight timer, so good.
[00:24:31] You know what I’ve been using recently? It is called a Nanda it’ll cost a few bucks, but it’s, it’s by neural beats. So you can, you know what that is? Yeah, it’s amazing. And it just, I don’t necessarily need guided meditations at this point. So I kind of do my own guiding if you will. And those. The different, the tones that you, you can use and choose from, man, they really like sync you into
[00:24:55] Alissa Tucker: [00:24:55] exactly what you need to be.
[00:24:56] Dane Reis: [00:24:56] It’s really great.
[00:24:57] Alissa Tucker: [00:24:57] Totally. I’ve experienced that too. I love that. I’ll have to check that out though.
[00:25:02] Dane Reis: [00:25:02] Nanda. Yeah, really good. Alright. And the fourth question. Well, what is the best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, a podcast, maybe a piece of technology you found is helping your career right now.
[00:25:20] Alissa Tucker: [00:25:20] Yes. Lacey Phillips has a company called Tubby magnetic and it is a manifestation process, I guess. And there’s a lot of meditation involved. She also has a podcast called the expanded podcasts. Highly recommend.
[00:25:35] Dane Reis: [00:25:35] Beautiful. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in the industry, what would you do or not do?
[00:25:50] Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?
[00:25:54] Alissa Tucker: [00:25:54] I would have started taking, singing and acting more seriously sooner.
[00:26:01] Dane Reis: [00:26:01] Absolutely. Yeah. When you get into that musical theater world, there’s you really realize how triple threat in a way it is. We throw around that idea of being a triple threat, triple threat.
[00:26:11] But my goodness, when you really get into it, yeah. Each one lives and feeds off the next one.
[00:26:18] Alissa Tucker: [00:26:18] Right. Our teachers knew what they were talking about when they told us that.
[00:26:22] Dane Reis: [00:26:22] Yep. It turns out. All right. And the last question. What is the golden nugget knowledge drop you have learned from your successful career in the industry that you’d like to leave with the listeners?
[00:26:37] Alissa Tucker: [00:26:37] This is something that is. So re it’s very recent. I was watching the, the smash reunion concerts and that the cast had a little talk back during intermission is during pandemic time. And Megan Hilty said every day onset, she was terrified that someone was going to come up to her and say, okay, Wait, what are you doing here?
[00:27:03] And I just thought that was so great to hear. I mean, it’s not great really, but we all experienced that and it was important for me to hear it from somebody at her level, just to know that, like, we all have that imposter syndrome sometimes. And to not let it stop you because we wouldn’t do anything. We did.
[00:27:24] Dane Reis: [00:27:24] Okay. Absolutely. And I think that that is such a good point too, to bring up because I’ve tried it with a few people now that have had a similar. Realization that even at the highest levels of this industry, people are still self-conscious. And it’s not a thing that goes away because you made it to Broadway or you made it, you know, in a alias movie or something like that.
[00:27:49] It’s something that is, that sticks with people. And it’s not something to get discouraged about. And just to know that it. Exists to learn how to work through that.
[00:27:58] Alissa Tucker: [00:27:58] Exactly. That feel the fear, but do it anyways. Exactly.
[00:28:02] Dane Reis: [00:28:02] And to wrap up this interview, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you?
[00:28:09] How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?
[00:28:14] Alissa Tucker: [00:28:14] Sure. So you can follow me on Instagram Tucker underscore Alyssa SSA. you can also work out with me at home on AKT go, and you can see me hopefully and Christmas on this square coming to Netflix, this wall.
[00:28:34] Dane Reis: [00:28:34] Fantastic.
[00:28:35] Alyssa, thank you so much for joining me today. It has been. Brilliant to have you on.
[00:28:40] Alissa Tucker: [00:28:40] Thank you so much for having me. This was so great.
[00:28:45] Dane Reis: [00:28:45] Thank you so much for joining us today. My one call to action for you is to go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join our free email community. Where we dig deep into a continually growing resource of truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you advance your entertainment career.
[00:29:06] Don’t miss an episode. We have a new guest, seven days a week search for you, booked it on Apple podcast or your favorite podcast app and subscribe today. All the best to you. We’ll see you tomorrow.