Show Up and Do the Work

Alanna shares her experience as a New York-based Broadway actor–from growing up as a young performer in Seattle to getting her first gig almost immediately after graduating college, to now getting used to life without the constant audition hustle as our global crisis continues to impact theatre professionals. 

What’s inside: 

Key Quotes:

  • “[My theatre friends and I] know what unemployment looks like and we know how to take care of ourselves.”
  • “We’re not built to be separated this way.” 
  • “We’re always thinking about how to aid each other without getting in each other’s way.” 
  • “No choice is final.” 
  • “As you learn when you’re in this career longer–there are so many artists who have made their living for years as performers and you don’t know their name. People do make careers without becoming household names.”
  • “I had no expectations about anything, so [Peter Pan] was truly just a joy to do.”
  • “After Harry Potter ended, I felt very lost.”
  • “I was at the theatre 70 hours a week. It was all-consuming and I loved it, but my outside life fell apart a little bit.” 
  • “I didn’t quite know how to exist in the world.”
  • “I decided that I couldn’t get out of my own way–I was constantly worrying about what other people might or might not be thinking or feeling–I was consumed in everybody else’s thoughts.”
  • “Because of the retreat I was able to figure out myself so that way I could love myself.”
  • “I have to come back to myself; otherwise if you give with expectation, it will destroy you–it destroyed me.” 
  • “I learned what it is to live and love and not expect anything in return.”
  • “I suggest for all humans to go travel by yourself because there’s something to being truly by yourself, in a foreign place where you’re not comfortable that really allows you to figure out whatever you need to figure out.”
  • “I don’t really think there’s an end goal–a ‘made it.’”
  • “I’ve made a living doing this, but I’ve been unemployed probably just as much as I’ve been employed.”
  • “I always joke that every time I leave a job, I might never get work again.”
  • “Nothing means anything.” 
  • “Physical health is pretty much everything to me.”
  • “I will never take what my body can do for granted–I love feeling strong, I love what my body can do.” 
  • “My physical health directly coincides with my mental health. When I stop working out and being active, it’s amazing how quickly I deteriorate in my mental health.” 
  • “Physical fitness provides me with strength and the ability to move through the world with confidence.” 
  • “Spiritual strength has helped me set and cross mental and physical boundaries.” 
  • “You gotta do what feels right until it doesn’t feel right anymore.” 
  • “I’ve learned to be passionate and caring and thorough and to know that every decision is not final.” 
  • “Show up and do your job really well–be true to your artistic self and also professional” 
  • “Be yourself–no one is going to ask you to be anything but you, so be able to show up and do what you do to the best of your ability because you’ve prepped, done the work, put aside time.”
  • “The vast majority of the time it won’t be given to you, but you must be able to walk into a room and do the same thing–ground it in yourself.” 


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