Diving off a digital platform
(c) 2013 by Kandie Delley
Tinsel Town has expanded its idea of what’s “interesting”. So much so, that the whimsical, sometimes clumsy, blond bombshell, damsel in distress, the lead female role is finding much-needed competition.
Although there are hurdles to leap to integrate relatable roles for women in the film industry, recent movies, and prime time television programming have definitely pooled talent from a slightly bigger ocean. This includes edgy, strong, complex and character driven roles for women of color and older female leads. Take the hot new series, Scandal,starring Kerry Washington or the gripping, Body of Proof starring Dana Delaney.
At one time, these women could have been boxed into character or supporting roles. Yet, in a world where Hollywood is competing with independent film-making, reality television, and the internet, well…there is a fine line between talent and marketability.
It is a breath of fresh air when you have multi-talented, multi-ethnic women carrying the torch for others. They seek better roles and better pay in a male-dominated industry. More women are transitioning behind the scenes to create opportunities for others, such as the incomparable actress, model, host, and filmmaker, Alisa Reyes.
Where so many child actors have walked a destructive path, dipped out of the spotlight, or sacrificed their integrity to keep a full-time presence in the entertainment industry, Alisa has transitioned into a perceptive and versatile adult actor with no regrets. Her business acumen and strategic planning have garnered her one robust and steady career.
Still, even actors with the variety of talents that Alisa exhibits can run the risk of being typecast. In the case of this charming and innovative Latina, she’s has had her share of the tough girl, single mom, or gang member. Regardless of what Hollywood decides is “normal”, Alisa has a solid stance in her optimism.
“I can play anything! I am Irish, Italian and Dominican mixed with Caribbean Indian…I’m like the United Nations,” Reyes laughs. “But a choice is a great power to have. You have to know what you want and choose the best roles for you. I don’t mind playing edgy roles, where they teach a lesson and ones where I can be a role model for my ethnicity.”
However, getting respect as a woman in the industry still proves a challenging task.
Child stars like Alisa, have to re-educate themselves about digital branding and work from various platforms of social media and filmmaking. They must embrace technology without losing the authenticity of their craft.
“Everything has changed…,” Ms. Reyes continues, “…it’s hard to remember what old Hollywood was like. That is why the movie“The Artist” was so amazing. I was so happy to see it win for best picture this year. We tend to lose what Art is and are caught up in actuality.”
The sassy brunette should know since she started modeling and acting at the age of eight when she acquired a national commercial ad for Honey Nut Cheerios.
“That was the best day ever,” says Reyes. “It was amazing to be on set doing what I loved. It was amazing that I was able to pursue my career at such a young age and have the support of my mother, who was my rock.”
Reyes continued her career and eventually attended The Professional Performing Arts School, where she focused on musical theater. Best known for her role on Nickelodeon’s All That, this outdoorsy and versatile beauty has guest starred in the award-winning television shows such as NYPD Blue, Law & Order, ER, Without a Trace, Six Feet Under, and the controversial Trina on Boston Public. She is best known for making families laugh across America as the voice of LaCienega Boulevardez in the animated series and film, The Proud Family.
“My dream role is to act in a time period piece where I get to speak with an English accent like in the Tudor era. I love films that take us to another time. To play the queen of Spain or someone with royalty or even a simple farm girl would be incredible. In fact, I would have loved to act in episodes of The Tudors, The Borgias, or even the American Horror Story. OMG, I love that show! I am glad it was picked up for another season.”
Alisa has great projects coming up and a new music!
WATCH ALISA’S ACTOR’S REEL
Lessons Learned by Alisa
Lesson #1: Know when to let things go…
“You have to learn to let things go,” says the spirited brunette. “Once you audition or have a meeting for something, you need to let it go and not worry or stress about it. I am a big believer in manifestation. What you put out comes back to you,” she continues.
Lesson #2: Have a strong spiritual foundation...
“I’ve had meetings and auditions that weren’t what I thought they should be and I ended up getting that gig. In the long run, God, who is a big part of my life, already has our destiny planned. so no matter what, what’s meant is meant.”
Lesson #3: Diversify your talents and skill sets
Her flexibility and ability to transition between performing and producing, and now, authoring books, has provided Ms. Reyes’s a more secure footing in the industry. When she’s not setting a path for others to follow in TV and film, she hikes, bowls, sings in her church choir and supports the arts community.
Acknowledging the privilege, she’s been given, and the access to a seemingly untouchable dreamland for others, Ms. Reyes does not take her position lightly. She knows she’s a voice and role model for so many.
Lesson # 4: Be willing to fail…
“We all make mistakes,” she says. “That’s how one learns. But, when it comes to my career, I really do not have any regrets. I am very particular about my roles and being a positive role model. I feel every day is a learning process and I am looking forward to my future as I embark on my transition into adulthood.”
Ms. Reyes reflects genuine compassion and humility and states that she does not take anything or anyone for granted. She is ever faithful in connecting and interacting with her fans.
“When my mother was alive, and I was a little girl she and I wrote a children’s book for me. After she passed, I found the book and restored it. I want to publish it so that it can touch others as it did to me. The fact that my mother and I shared this together is very special and I would hope that it would do the same to another family like it did mine.”
Lesson #5: Pay it forward…
“I think it is vital to be involved in charity work. Giving back and paying it forward is so vital.”
Bonus Lesson (#6) : Keep up with the times…
“Social media is a biggie. It’s the platform that can increase your digital brand, and connect you to a larger audience. I love my Twitter and Facebook friends. A lot of things wouldn’t be possible without them.”
Currently, Ms. Reyes has wrapped production for an original scripted television situation comedy, Grow Up Already, created by actress-producer, Karan Ashley, and also starring Wesley Johnathan, and Anneilisa Van Dor Pol. The show is a cross between “Three’s Company” meets “Friends”.
“There is a need for this type of show, because think of Family Matters, Full House , Fresh Prince of Bell Air, Saved by the Bell, One World, Blossom, and other ’90s shows like these. That’s a generational gap that is not appealed to in programming today,” Ms. Reyes relays passionately. “I feel that television programming has changed, but I plan to capitalize on new trends and platforms while incorporating older ideals to create a new blend of programming. There’s room for all unique types of shows.”
Alisa has great projects coming up and a new music!
Update Mar 2016//
Alisa’s new website www.alisareyes.com designed by Kandie so check it out.