Interview with Ali Axelrad
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was four years old my aunts took me to see Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. After the show I turned to my Mom and said “I want to do that” and later that year I made my stage debut in a local production of The Wizard of Oz. From there, I started doing professional musical theater in and around Los Angeles. when I was 10 years and moved to NYC after high school to continue perusing stage work. There I performed everything from Shakespeare to Chekhov (and still plenty of musical theater) off-broadway, toured nationally, and at the regional theater throughout the country.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
My first job when I moved from NYC to LA was getting cast in the Netflix reboot of Gilmore Girls (a year in the life) which was my favorite TV show growing up. I was one of the very few new cast members, as they brought back as many of the originals as possible. It was a dream come true!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I focus on my love and passion for the work.
It always brings me back to what matters, in an often chaotic industry.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
When I was 12 I enrolled at the Orange County High School for the Arts. That year, Susan Egan (Broadway’s original Belle in Beauty and the Beast) was the head of the theater program. Every student had to audition for her. My audition song was Home from the show (I sang it for everything, so it didn’t occur to me how intimidating it would be to sing for the person who originated it) and afterward, she asked me who my agent was. I said, “oh, I don’t have one, my parents think they are scams”. Later that day she spoke to my Mom and convinced her to let me meet her own Manager, Holly Lebid. Holly signed me and that is how I got my start as a professional! A whole lot of kismet and it is all thanks to Disney, in a way.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
When I’m not acting, I teach yoga. I am certified in 200 he Vinyasa, as well as a separate certification to teach children and another for children with special needs. I love holding a safe space for kids to learn to self-soothe.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
In Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet, he says “work is love made visible” and that always rings so true for me.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
My Instagram is @alialiaxelrad