Making A Scene with Aly!
One night, I couldn't sleep. At the time, I was stressed out about recent auditions and my dream of pursing acting as a career full-time. As my mind continued to race, I decided to flip on the television....
On my screen was James Franco live on David Letterman. He was discussing his role in the Broadway production of “Of Mice and Men” and how in his off time he had the desire to give back to students (referencing teaching at UCLA and opening LA School, Studio 4). I remember James saying, "teaching and giving back doesn't deplete me, rather it fills me up."
I had been a Franco fan for years but it was that moment my interest and respect for this man peaked, as I am a believer in balance, giving back and never being afraid to share your gifts or talents with others. The Letterman talk was inspiring, uplifting and exactly what I needed in that moment to snap out of my funk.
I was intrigued…I opened my laptop and began to research the actor, teacher, director, Oscar Nominee, Golden Globe Winner, writer, model, poet, painter, scholar...the list went on. I remember thinking: THIS is someone I need to learn from. THIS is my mentor. THIS is my push to get motivated and take action. Coincidentally, his LA school, Studio 4, was opening a new location in NYC. I took it as a sign from the Universe this was for me... And it was.
As I began to study Meisner, with teachers / working actors Victor Verhaeghe and Raymond Williams, walls were torn down, I was pushed out of my comfort zone, and knocked right back into the days when I was a fearless, creative little girl, with endless energy to dream, live truthfully and create. In class, I found my rhythm and outside of class was constantly meeting with other students to rehearse, collaborate on new ideas and scene work. As James would say, I found my “creative posse.”
Flash-forward to later that year, I received a phone call after an audition with the Studio 4-Rabbit Bandini Team, and was told that I was cast in James Franco's AOL Original Series, “Making A Scene.” I couldn't believe it ... I was filled with more excitement than words could EVER possibly describe.
The opportunity to be on set with James was a validating moment. It confirmed I was exactly where I was meant to be and my faith and dedication as an actor were all lining up for this new experience. Playing Monica in “Friendtervention,” Jessie Spano in “Saved By The Freaks,” and The Virgin Bride in “Modern Thrones” was a BLAST. The cast, crew, and especially filming with Katie the monkey in our “Friendtervention” episode (aka the "real Marcel") was incredible.
James is an extraordinary teacher, artist, role model, and someone who proves (with his tireless efforts, projects and ventures) that sleep is overrated. I am grateful for not only working with him and the opportunities he has afforded me, but his mission to give back to actors. He has created a community at Studio 4 that cultivates teamwork and fosters skills every great actor needs in their tool belt. My classroom and on-set experiences have provided me with the support and confidence necessary to continue on my journey as an actor.
As I continue to pursue my ultimate dream of one day holding an Oscar, I credit and thank James Franco, Studio 4 and everyone at Rabbit Bandini for the extraordinary gift of becoming SAG eligible! I have only wonderful things to say about my experiences, and only hope for the opportunity to work with the team again in the future- Fingers are crossed for “Making A Scene” SEASON 3!!!