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Meet Alyse Marie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyse Marie.

Alyse, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a Georgia girl, born and raised, who had a dream of storytelling. My story starts with the Broadway classic, Once on this Island. My sister was in a school production of this musical when I was eleven, and watching this powerful story of stepping out on your own, trusting your instincts, and following your heart all incapsulated through beautiful, vibrant music changed the course of my life.

After that, I knew I had to have my chance on a stage. And once I got up, I never looked back. I began training and performing in school plays, monologue competitions, and auditioning professionally, landing my first commercial at 14. I knew there was more work to be done and more opportunity for me and I had to go find it. So naturally, when I told my parents I wanted to go to California, they said, “Do you have California money?”

And I sure did NOT. But I worked and believed and was determined that money wouldn’t stop me from following what I knew I had to do. Purpose. And with the support of my family, friends, and my own tenacious spirit, I went on to The University of Southern California – School of Dramatic Arts studying acting and producing in the Cinematic Arts School.

I landed short films, collaborating with my Trojan family, an independent feature, learned a great deal about the industry but the number of opportunities for me and many BIPOC artists were few and far between. The care about representation on and behind the screen was limited. In addition, I knew I had some of my own stories to tell and I couldn’t wait on permission to make it happen. In my senior year at USC, I started a production company that started with small projects, scenes and grew from there into longer, harder projects. I am currently producing a web series and short film that are slated for 2021 release dates and am so excited to show what I’ve been working on.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been many battles on my journey but I would not be who I am without them. I mention my parent’s response to California as a joke but the truth is that finances play a huge part in whether a dream becomes reality. Majority of the time, it is the very thing that stands between a yes and no. And that is even more true for people of color, unfortunately.

I didn’t get into USC the first time I applied. I fought for USC. I prayed for USC. I remember being in my first semester of college, at a school I despised, thinking, “There has to be more than this for me.” So, I did not give up. I worked to make sure they couldn’t say no again because I knew it was what I wanted and it could change my life. And it did.

Being in the entertainment industry, the rejection is laid on thick. And I don’t take it personally anymore, but some no’s hurt more than others. Along with that, dealing with the ups and downs of relationships, the health and loss of loved ones, my own health, handling the pressure that a school like USC applies to the neck, and battling anxiety and depression when they try to run up on me, can all become a lot. Self-doubt has the chance to creep in and make you question the abilities and talent you have. And while those moments may be few, it is in those moments that I had to remember why I am here, how I got here, and if I was not supposed to be here, I wouldn’t be.

Thankfully, I have not had to battle the majority of this alone. I have had the love and support of family and friends to lift me up and encourage me to press on and I could not be more grateful to have such amazing people in my life that are there when the obstacles seem tough to get over.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am an actress. Taking on a role, living in the character, and telling a story as authentically as I can is the thing I love most. When I get to add music to the storytelling, I am completely fulfilled. But the opportunities to do what I loved were few. The representation in front and behind the camera wasn’t there and I knew that I could have a hand in changing that.

Alyse Marie Productions is a company I created to tell some of my own stories. I had these visions of stories I wanted to tell, characters that needed to exist, and I wanted to see them come to life. My team and I have worked hard to put together passion projects and I cannot wait to be able to share them with everyone.

What I am most proud of individually and as a company is that although I recognize that the industry can be so competitive, I still believe it is important to celebrate the wins of other creative people. I mentioned rejection is heavy and that goes for most every artist, no matter the specific field. So when their big moments come, I lose nothing from congratulating and encouraging other creatives because there is room for all of us. It is something I look forward to doing more of.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as setting a goal, relentlessly going after it, and arriving at a result that is progress to the goal.

I was successful when I graduated high school. After the first no from USC, I was successful when I got in the next year. I was successful when I got my first agent. I was successful when I graduated from USC (shout out to the quarantined class of 2020!). Those were all goals I had set and reached. It would be a complete disservice to myself and everyone around me who supports me not to take those moments, look at all the work that went into them, and truly revel in what can be accomplished when you set out to do something. Despite the fact that you may want something more, stopping and looking at how far you’ve come is so important.

My next level of success looks different from those goals, yes, but I have been successful in my life and believe that if I am actively working on becoming better and stepping out to reach the goals that I set for myself, no matter who says I can’t or how many no’s pile up at my door, I will eventually get to where I’m going.

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