Hello and welcome to the Coffee in the Green Room podcast. This is the show for rising talent, entertainment industry insiders, and those with a curiosity of what life is like in front of the camera. If you’ve ever struggled with getting started as a model, actor, or musician. Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to help you with. Today’s episode is hosted by Deneen White: Writer, author, publicist, and TV host. So, sit back, relax, grab your favorite cup of coffee and welcome to Coffee in the Green Room.
Deneen White: (00:46)
Hey everyone. My name is Deneen White and I am the host of Coffee in the Green Room. This is part of a series of interviews and podcasts that we did during quarantine due to the coronavirus. The reason that we’re doing this series is twofold: First of all, we want to bring inspiration to our listeners. Second of all, we want you to know that now is the time that you should be building and working towards your career as an actor, model, or musician.
Deneen White: (01:12)
Today, I am so excited to have Alysia Joy Powell on the show. She is one of the coaches for our VIP Elite Talent Academy, and I cannot wait for her to share her story with you. Alysia, thank you so much for being on the show today.
Alysia Joy Powell: (01:26)
Thank you for having me!
Deneen White: (01:28)
You are so welcome. So, I know you’re in New York City. So, what are you doing to keep yourself busy during this crazy quarantine we have going on?
Alysia Joy Powell: (01:38)
I’m finding the dye to color my hair.
Deneen White: (01:42)
It does look mighty nice, by the way. I love it.
Alysia Joy Powell: (01:46)
Thank you! Oh my gosh. I was like, how come beauty supplies are not one of those essential stores that need to be open?
Deneen White: (01:53)
I know, right? Like, I’m dying here. My roots are like- I found a powder. Otherwise you’d be like, ‘Well Deneen, you’re very silver today.’
Alysia Joy Powell: (02:02)
I was like, in a couple of more weeks, man. Some women, their significant others and their partners and their husbands and stuff. They’re gonna see a whole new person,
Deneen White: (02:18)
Right? Oh my gosh. It’s crazy.
Alysia Joy Powell: (02:20)
Running out of makeup. People not getting their nails done and their hair dyed.
Deneen White: (02:26)
I know there’s not going to be one touch up done after the quarantine, ever. It’s all going to be a full color, that’s for sure. I want to be, I should have been studying cosmetology during this time so I could.
Alysia Joy Powell: (02:40)
One of the things that I’ve been doing, though, is, during this time, I said, you know, what is it that I need to work on for me? So there’s a couple of things that I’ve been doing. I’m working on my one woman show, which I wrote right maybe four years ago. I dunno, what’s you know, holding me up.
Alysia Joy Powell: (02:59)
I’m getting to those pages. I’m also writing a script that’s been sitting for a while. I had the outline for about a year, and I wrote a script of it, and then I had to do rewrites. Rewrites are so hard. I had to totally take it apart and put it back together again. Now, I’m in rewrites with that. So, I chose to do that and also to figure out how to use my sewing machine. It has been in a box for three years. It’s brand new.
Deneen White: (03:35)
It’s awesome. Figure out, like, how to make your first apron or something like that. I think when I was in sewing class, I think I made an apron. I think that was like my pièce de résistance, um, with the sewing machine in like 10th grade,
Alysia Joy Powell: (03:46)
I’ll see what I can work out. I do have a pattern for a purse.
Deneen White: (03:51)
Alysia Joy Powell: (03:51)
Yeah. Let’s see if I can get that done.
Deneen White: (03:54)
That’s awesome. It’s really cool that you’re being so creative. I’ve been talking to a lot of people who are in the entertainment industry, and everyone is being so creative right now, because normally, you would think: Okay, you know what? We’re just all going to chill. But, the people who are successful in the industry are, all their creativity is bubbling. So, how cool is it for you to be working on all of these projects right now? Would you normally have the time to do this?
Alysia Joy Powell: (04:18)
No, I wouldn’t. So, that’s been interesting. And, also it’s so funny, because usually, when we’re working hard and everything, people always say: Oh my God, I wish I had a day to just sit at home and, you know, sleep, or do nothing, or watch TV, or something. I think we’re all over that right now because people are trying to find ways to get to work. I’ve been getting all these open calls from casting directors and stuff. So, everybody, obviously, is antsy and ready to get back to work in some kind of capacity.
Deneen White: (04:48)
Yeah. You know, it’s funny because we’ve actually been busier at VIP Ignite than we were before. What we did was: we decided to ramp up our online training because, obviously, it’s not safe for people to meet in person, face to face, at the moment. We can meet face to face online, like we’re doing right now, because we don’t have to wear a mask and gloves and be all awkward.
Deneen White: (05:08)
But it’s funny because people are like, yeah, you know, like, when is this going to be over? I’m like, when is what going to be over? Like, I understand like I can’t go to the grocery store at my free will, but like when is what going to be over?
Deneen White: (05:20)
Everyone I’ve talked to, like, you know Robert Galinsky – that’s how we met you – and he’s being super creative every night. Every night at 10 PM, he’s going live doing plays and interviewing people. But it’s just amazing to me how in the creative field, like, everyone is ramping it up so much.
Alysia Joy Powell: (05:39)
Yeah. The creatives are definitely being creative. Like, I saw a Teddy Riley concert for two whole hours, and then they’re gonna do a battle between Teddy Riley and Babyface this Saturday.
Deneen White: (05:54)
Oh wow. That sounds awesome.
Alysia Joy Powell: (05:56)
Yeah. There was a Def Comedy Jam concert for about two or three hours. Like, some of the biggest names in the business. People have been finding ways to get it done. I mean, Diddy just had a dance contest the other night. They raised $4 million for healthcare workers.
Deneen White: (06:13)
Alysia Joy Powell: (06:14)
People have not stopped. And, I don’t know, Zoom is getting the business cause I’ve been on all kinds of Zoom calls.
Deneen White: (06:21)
Yeah. Yeah. Me too. I feel like I spend 24/7 on Zoom. I’m like, okay, hold on another Zoom call. Okay, let’s do it. We got this. It’s funny because, as I’m talking to people to bring them to be a part of the Academy, they’re like, Deneen, What’s Zoom? I’m like, what do you mean ‘what’s Zoom?’ What’s THE Zoom?
Deneen White: (06:41)
It’s like my dad. Years ago, he was like, girl, I discovered something. It’s so awesome. I was like, what is it daddy? He was like, Google, I’m like, the Google? Oh, really? What’s the Google? He was like, no, like you can look up maps and different things like that. I’m like, Oh. And then like two days later he calls, he was like, you knew what the Google was! Were you making fun of me?! I was like, no dad, I wasn’t, but that’s how I feel about Zoom.
Deneen White: (07:04)
People are like, Oh, do you want to get in on a Zoom call? I’m like alright, it’s like for me, it’s like putting on my coat, you know? Okay, yeah, let’s go. But it’s amazing what technology has afforded us. Right? Like, if this were 15 years ago, we wouldn’t be having this conversation face to face from a couple hundred miles away.
Alysia Joy Powell: (07:24)
And you know, it’s a blessing and a curse cause nobody wants to be in the position that we’re in right now. Thank God for technology because it’s kept people together. It’s helped us to check in on each other and, you know, let’s be honest, everybody is not handling the situation too well.
Alysia Joy Powell: (07:45)
I just, not to be a downer, but you know, and this, especially with artists, because artists are very sensitive people. I had a friend who I had a posting on Facebook and I was like, Oh my gosh, okay, I need to get to her. You know, she was like, I don’t want to be here, you know. And I was able to talk her down.
Alysia Joy Powell: (08:03)
Having technology like that and to be able to check in on people because you know, we’re empaths, so we take in a lot. So, emotionally, a lot of us artists are not in a balanced place all the time. So it’s good to have a community that you can touch base with. Like the community that you guys are building. It’s pretty amazing because it’s like a family and you guys get to check in on each other. You could tell who is going through something. You actually see their faces.
Deneen White: (08:38)
Is it that she’s not wearing makeup or she just is not doing well? Which one is it? No, no, no, you’re right. I have showed up to the calls like that. The other day, I showed up to a call with my glasses on. They’re like, what’s- are you okay? I’m like, I just needed, I need a contact-less day guys. I swear I’m okay. Stop being so judgy there, friends.
Deneen White: (09:03)
I love what you said because our community is really strong. I mean, we’re literally together. It’s like a part-time job almost. I feel like I’m on, I’m on calls with these guys at least 10 to 12 hours a week and it’s sometimes at the end of the week I’m like, I need a break.
Deneen White: (09:23)
I’m thank God we don’t do anything on Sundays. Thank God it’s a day of rest. But the awesome thing is it’s giving all of us the opportunity to really get to know each other. Because we do live in in-person events, which are amazing, but you get three days with people and then they go their separate ways. This is a little almost like, okay, you know what?
Deneen White: (09:41)
We’re all, we’re all under lockdown. I’m getting to know everyone so much better. Even you, like, you’ve spent a lot of times on calls even when you weren’t doing them right. So what’s that like for you?
Alysia Joy Powell: (09:53)
It’s been pretty awesome, you know? Especially, too, for artists. It keeps people accountable, you know? It helps them be accountable cause you can’t say you’re doing something and then we don’t see you. Somebody is going to call you and say, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ You know? So it helps you be accountable, especially when you can see who shows up, who’s not showing up. That kind of a thing.
Alysia Joy Powell: (10:17)
I love teaching, man. I love teaching and, like, the call we had last night, yeah. That sends me into another stratosphere. You know, I live by myself, just me and my baby here.
Deneen White: (10:29)
I saw the cat moving in the background. I thought, I was like, I saw- Did something move? Okay. You’re going crazy. You’ve been in the house too long. And then your cat was llicking its paw. I was like, okay, I’m not crazy. Thank God I haven’t gone off the deep end.
Alysia Joy Powell: (10:47)
Around this time of the day, they’re not crazy. They usually can get crazy in the morning. So right they’re napping a whole lot. Yeah. You know, it’s just me, and my family is in California. So, to have, uh, somebody inspire me because as much as I’m inspiring them, teaching inspires me.
Alysia Joy Powell: (11:08)
It’s like iron sharpens iron. I always tell people, just because you’re not on stage doesn’t mean that you’re not learning. Yeah. You should be learning just as much by watching or hearing and take it in as much as when you’re performing.
Deneen White: (11:26)
Yeah. And that’s honestly, that’s kind of a good segue because last night on your call, I loved the way that you were workshopping people. What I found is even the people that you didn’t give a critique to, because they didn’t perform, or for whatever reason, everyone was learning from what you were telling each and every person.
Deneen White: (11:45)
And please don’t tell any of the other coaches this, but it’s been a long time since I took notes on one of the calls, but even I was taking them down. I was like, darn, that’s good. So, um, I’m learning a lot too. So what does it mean for you to have had that opportunity to be teaching right now?
Alysia Joy Powell: (12:04)
Oh my gosh, it means a lot. I used to be heavily with the Galinskies. They’re my brothers. I love them, love them, love them. They’re my favorites. And we’ve been riding for a really long time. And I used to be on the panel of judges for the Manhattan Monologue Slam, and I used to do workshops with them as well. I had took a step back so I can concentrate more on my career and to get some things done. So I really missed my chance.
Alysia Joy Powell: (12:37)
So, I’ve been doing little privates with some young ones. I have a girlfriend who entrusted me with her precious brother, who was twelve when he first came to me, and I’ve been coaching him for about nine to ten months. And then I found a children’s theater group that, cause, I thought, for him to grow, he needed to be around the kids, you know, to kind of shine more. And so, I got him enrolled in that and I just got word that he got accepted into Dewey Performing Arts High School.
Deneen White: (13:12)
Oh that’s awesome. That must have been a proud mama moment for you.
Alysia Joy Powell: (13:19)
I hooked them up with agents. I’ve had those little things, but not, you know like last night that was like a high for me.
Deneen White: (13:30)
Yeah, last night it was really cool just watching the way that you were able to speak to each and every person individually. But again, coach the whole group and there are a lot of really cool moments. I think that’s something that I love most about what we’re doing right now, too, is that there’s such a sense of community that you can feel free to truly coach people in a different way.
Deneen White: (13:52)
If we only had an hour because everyone was rushing off to something else. Or even if we were in person doing a workshop, like a lot of the times you wouldn’t have that ability or that time to get to know people the way that we do now. So, your coaching session last night, seriously, it was, it was amazing.
Deneen White: (14:09)
And again, I’m enjoying all of the coaching that we’re doing because I’m learning so much. Like, my head is like, I can’t imagine how these kids are. These kids, who were part of this program, like their dream is to be an actor or a model or a musician, and they’re getting so much information. And I’m, I’m sitting here just feverishly taking notes every night. So.
Alysia Joy Powell: (14:30)
The beauty of the students that you guys have is that they want to learn and they want to take it in. I’ve been, you know, at a place where you tell somebody something, or you try and coach them, and they don’t take it in or it takes all that you know, like, and you try to show them the difference.
Alysia Joy Powell: (14:53)
I’m not the kind of person where I need to be right. I’m not the kind of person where I’m just dictating. I get my joy off of when I can coach somebody and then see the change, you know? And I can see that they got it and that change happened and then other people see that change, too, and be like, see, you see what I’m saying?
Alysia Joy Powell: (15:17)
When they’re like, ‘Yeah! I think I get it, now!’ You know, that kind of thing.That is orgasmic. So, it’s just not like a dictatorship, where I’m dictating to somebody. I’m really invested in their soul and how they are taking in the information because I feel like if they’re not taking it in, you’re wasting my time, I wasted your time.
Alysia Joy Powell: (15:37)
It was so funny. I did a workshop one time with this girl, that child battled me, battled me, battled me. And you know what? I saw her do one of those ID episodes. Investigative Discovery, where they do reenactments.
Alysia Joy Powell: (16:03)
She did in my class exactly what she did on that show, and I was like, okay, see it was, you know, it was a lost cause.
Deneen White: (16:11)
It wasn’t me!
Alysia Joy Powell: (16:11)
I wasn’t going to change her mind, she was going to stick to what she knew and it was very character-y and very just not natural. I was trying to get her to come to another level where she could be more believable and more natural. And she was fighting me all the way. She was almost like saying, ‘I’ve been in the business long enough.’ I know, I said, yeah, but you’re on ID, baby, come on, now. We are trying to get you a co-star. Come one, like.
Deneen White: (16:36)
We don’t want you to reenact a murder victim. We want you to get a real role.
Alysia Joy Powell: (16:47)
Well, she was an expert on what she was doing. I was like, okay. And I saw the exact same thing she did in class and I was like, okay, I get it. And you can say, you know, you want to bring everybody to the water, but everybody’s not going to drink it. But that’s where I get my glory. It’s when I see somebody shine that I have coached or that I have brought through. And you see the metamorphosis happen, and you go, ‘Yes! I want another one!’
Deneen White: (17:19)
Yeah, and the thing is, I interview a lot of the people that we have that are a part of the VIP Elite Talent Academy. So, I’m looking for that, too, when I’m talking to them. I’m not just letting anyone in who has a credit card, honestly. Like, I want to know that they want to learn. I want to know. I like the questions. Literally, the questions I ask after I go through and make sure this is truly for them.
Deneen White: (17:41)
I’m like, are you coachable? Are you willing to work hard? If I give you a crazy challenge like, hey, go out and do standup comedy even though you want to be a model, are you up for it? I’m like, I know that one’s hard to say yes to but go ahead. Just trust me. We really vet the people. We want to make sure that the people that are coming in are up for the challenge.
Deneen White: (18:00)
We want to make sure that they know what they’re getting into. We’re not somewhere where you’re paying a couple hundred dollars a week to be around people who don’t care. Like we care so much about our people and I think you can attest to how much I care about them. Like we truly care because you’re a part of our community. It’s not just a class to us, it’s a community.
Alysia Joy Powell: (18:28)
To just be taking money because of reviews or whatever. It’s like, you know, you’re successful because of the stories of success that brings by your path. If you have a plethora of talent and nobody’s making it. That’s not a success story for you guys, either. That’s not a good look.
Alysia Joy Powell: (18:47)
To have people say that they came from you, know, says something. I know an acting coach that I started out with in LA, she’s known for making stars. Yeah. People know when they come through there and they see her face, they know this is part of Hollywood.
Alysia Joy Powell: (19:06)
And like they have a showcase night on Thursday night and everybody who’s anybody, they’re looking for talent, but they know that when they come here, that’s where they can find it. Yeah. So, you guys can be that same, that same beacon. That when professionals come through, they know that they can find what they’re looking for.
Deneen White: (19:26)
I mean that’s our hope, honestly. With the Academy, our hope is that when we have a coach come in, if they’re a casting director or an agent, or even someone like yourself, like, if you’re writing a play or you’re writing a script, and you’re like: You know what? Deneen would be great for this part. And I know that she’s dedicated because she’s a part of this.
Deneen White: (19:43)
Like, our hope is that that’s where the connections are made, because you see their dedication. You see, you as a coach, see their dedication. You see their hard work. You see them showing up and you know that, because that’s what I expect from them, that they’re gonna do the same for you. So, lik,e that’s the whole goal of the Academy, is that we’ll have people like you who write scripts. Who are like, ‘Oh, you know that girl that was on that call last night? She’d be phenomenal for us. I wonder if she’d travel to New York to be a part of it?’ That’s the whole goal of the Academy.
Deneen White: (20:15)
Like, in a nutshell, we’re not managers. We’re not, as a company, like we have, we’re not talent managers, we’re not agents. We connect people with the people who are, we connect them with people like yourself. So, that’s our whole goal. And, the amazing thing is, we have a group of people who have been showing up twice a day for, like, the last month while they’re under quarantine, investing in themselves. And our whole goal is that, at the end of this, when the world opens up again, that we’re going to have a ton of success stories.
Alysia Joy Powell: (20:48)
Because they’ve been working, they’ve been cocooning and working hard.
Deneen White: (20:51)
Yeah, yeah. All of my little butterflies that open up in a couple months, it’s going to be amazing. I’m going to be sad when they all fly off. But there’ll be another, there’ll be another group of butterflies.
Alysia Joy Powell: (21:05)
There will be another crop that’ll come in. And the thing is, too, out in the world when they go out there, and they have, you know, their modeling, they got their book in order, they come to their appointments on time, or if they’re an actor, they come prepared for their audition, they’re showing up on time. Their professional word will get around. Oh you come from these people. Okay. And then there’s an expectation that you know when they come through the door they’re going to be a certain caliber of artist.
Deneen White: (21:33)
Yeah. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. Like, tomorrow night we actually have the former head of IMG Models, who is working on developing their books for them in the digital format. So, like exactly what you said is, that’s exactly what we’re looking for because I joke around with them all the time. I say, I have a question for you:
Deneen White: (21:51)
Do you want to watch Netflix or do you want to be on Netflix? Because, if you want to be on Netflix, this is where you need to be. If you want to watch Netflix, that’s awesome. Pop some corn and enjoy. But, this is like, this is the time to be working, to be on Netflix, not watching Netflix. You know what I mean? Like this is a season of preparation.
Deneen White: (22:09)
That’s why I’m so excited about what we’re doing and having someone like you as a coach. Our people need words of wisdom spoken into them by someone who’s been in the industry for over 20 years, who’s been grinding it out and making it work and doing a fantastic job at it and who loves teaching them. So, yeah. So, I just want you to know how much we appreciate having you as a part of our team.
Alysia Joy Powell: (22:33)
I love being a part of your team. I’m trying to figure out how I can be more a part of your team! I love everybody connected to you guys. I really, really do. And like I said, I took a step back from doing this kind of thing because I wanted to concentrate on me. But, there’s so much joy and, and you know, connecting with you guys that I’m trying to figure out how I can help more.
Deneen White: (23:00)
I promise you, as soon as I think of something, you’ll be the first person that I call, I promise. No, but like we really do enjoy having you because yeah, your joy for serving people is obvious. And that’s, that’s what we want. Like, not only do we want our talent to be people who show up, are hardworking, determined, but we want to make sure that the coaches that we work with, like yourself, actually care about the people that they’re coaching.
Deneen White: (23:26)
We don’t want someone who’s like, ‘Oh yeah, you know, I need the money. So I’ll just say yes.’ No. Like we actually make sure that the people that we work with care and the referral from the Galinsky brothers. We know that if they say, ‘Hey, this person cares.’ Like the Galinskies. I know Phil a little bit, but Robert, I know a lot more. Like if he says someone cares, like that’s like for him, like that’s the highest compliment ever. So, we know that when he refers people to us that we can trust them. So, thank you so much for, um, being a part of our tribe.
Alysia Joy Powell: (23:57)
You’re welcome. You’re welcome. I’m so excited for you guys
Deneen White: (24:01)
Me, too. I’m excited for you, too. I can’t wait for all of these things that you’re working on to come out. I think I want to be at the premiere, so you have to let me know so I can show up. Okay. I’ll have a dress all ready. I promise.
Alysia Joy Powell: (24:13)
I just need this quarantine thing to be over. I was like, I’ve been praying. I have a movie coming out in August. Then I’m like, I do not want them to push this back. It’s definitely a theater release. You know, this is not a film that can go to DVD or online into a major film. I’m like, just praying that all this will be over so we can be on time with the release.
Deneen White: (24:37)
Yeah. Would be awesome. I can’t wait to hear all about that. So yeah, I’m ready for them to release us too because my hair really needs some help here. Just kidding. No, but seriously.
Alysia Joy Powell: (24:49)
You should have saw me a couple of days ago. My hair- I looked like I was representing the rainbow flag over here, like I was the LGBTQ community. It was all different colors. I was like, let me get it together.
Deneen White: (25:06)
Alysia Joy Powell: (25:09)
Six boxes of dye. I said, we’re good for the next two weeks.
Deneen White: (25:14)
I’m good until my powder runs out and I have to order more. But, it’s all smoke and mirrors over here. Awesome.
Alysia Joy Powell: (25:26)
You never know! You could get an endorsement for that. You never know where this could go.
Deneen White: (25:29)
I know, right? I just need to, I need to follow all the social media training that I’m sitting through, grow my followers. Put myself out there. I mean I’m learning everything I need to know. Why am I not following it? Jeeze.
Alysia Joy Powell: (25:39)
We need somebody at the helm, that’s why! You’re the big boss.
Deneen White: (25:46)
Awesome. Something like that. Sometimes I wonder if I’m the boss or the bossed, but awesome. Well Alysia, it’s been such a pleasure interviewing you for the podcast. Thank you so much and I look forward to seeing you on Friday night at variety hour. We’re going to have a blast.
Alysia Joy Powell: (26:02)
Yeah, it’s gonna be fun. I look forward to it.
Deneen White: (26:05)
Thank you. And stay safe and stay well and I’ll talk to you very soon.
Alysia Joy Powell: (26:09)
I will. Thank you.
Deneen White: (26:11)
You’re welcome. Bye.
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