"Mornings are sacred time for me... I like to start at a slow pace. My world moves so fast that sometimes the mornings are the only time I have to really feel myself breathe."

About Alison Araya – actress, teacher, and writer

Photo credit: Daniela Ciuiffa photography

Alison Araya’s passion has always been story.

A graduate of the Academia Internazionale d’arte Dramatica, Silvio D’Amico in Rome, Alison’s career has spanned the globe, performing with the Teatro Navile in Bologna, and the New Theatre Company in Sydney. Since making Vancouver her home in 2006 the Australian/Chilean actress has built a solid career in Film and TV. Most recently joining the cast of “Ties that Bind” as Detective Victoria Hernandez.

As a teacher Alison has found her voice, sharing the work of her mentor Anthony Meindl, and currently is a master teacher of AMAW Vancouver. The work challenges traditional approaches and defies convention, hence earning the label of a “non technique” technique. Letting go of control and allowing vulnerability are at the core of Tony’s technique, as well as a deep respect for listening. In her words, “It’s not about teaching you how to act, it’s about freeing yourself to BE”. This work has been transformative for Alison as both an actress and a teacher.

In 2014 Alison cofounded GlitterSpank Productions. A company built to voice female stories of empowerment and transformation.

This year, she and her creative partner, Justine Warrington are taking on the competitive challenge of CineCoup 2015, with a feature film adaption of their award winning Crazy 8’s short Film, Earthlickers.

Earthlickers is not just a movie but a movement. Reported to be “Kinkier than Barbarella”, this film bridges the gap between Spirit Science and Entertainment! Alison is tickled PINK to be bringing this inspired story of love and an awakening of the divine feminine to the screen.

This feature has reached the TOP 60 in the Cinecoup film competition – $1 Million in production financing will go to one team to bring their movie to Cineplex Theatres, but they need YOUR help!
To check out their film promo for Earthlickers and vote – CLICK HERE!

Coming up Alison appears on the ABC network drama The Whispers, TNT’s Proof and CW’s Arrow.No rest for the lick-ed! 😉

The Interview

1. What is the force that drives you forward? What fuels your ambition?

That drive comes from a curiosity that runs deep in my core, to know myself. Intimately. In the light and in the shadows. Every experience, adventure and circumstance reveal new parts of my psyche. That’s a lifelong journey. It’s that journey that drives me forward, that fuels my ambition.

2. Can you talk about your greatest “failure”? (something that led to your most significant shift in consciousness, and made you who you are today).

At the time I believed the end of my 9 year relationship was my greatest failure. As a younger woman I thought that getting a relationship “right” was the most important mission in my life. Coming from a broken home it’s easy to see why I held onto that belief. 2 years after the fact, my failure has been my greatest gift. It’s not been an easy transition but being a single woman has taught me more about myself than any other experience. I have found strength and wisdom I didn’t know I had in me. It’s quite wonderful.

3. Are you happy? What does happiness mean to you?

Yes, very happy. And I’ve never experienced this kind of happiness before. It comes from within me. It’s not related to an “other” fulfilling a need in me, for the first time I can say, I am the source of my happiness. It’s an empowering place to be. And if I don’t feel happy I know I have the power to shift that. It’s on me.

4. What do you think is your greatest strength? On the reverse, can you identify a personal challenge (something you currently struggle with)?

I would say my strengths are my vulnerability and resilience. That may seem contradictory but it’s the duality of being that is so wonderfully human.

My struggle is catching the “stories” I tell myself of why, I can’t or shouldn’t do this, that or the other…Sometimes they are loud and easy to catch and other they are convert, subtle and slippery to catch… But I am always looking out for them!

5. When did you first realize that you wanted to be an artist? Can you talk about that moment or time in your life?
Photo credit: Daniela Ciuiffa photography

I can’t ever remember wanting to be anything else. My mother tells me when I was born, she knew I’d be an artist. I started acting when I was a child, I danced and directed the annual nativity play in the neighborhood, getting all the local kids involved. I just knew this is the world that felt like home to me.

6. Habits, routine, morning rituals — What are the positive things you do daily that have had the most significant impact on your life and work?

Making my bed is part of my morning ritual. It’s a silly thing but there is something very zen and grounding about that process for me.

I also allow myself time to contemplate. I allow my mind time to settle and come back into the world. Mornings are sacred time for me, I like to start my days at a slow pace. My world moves so fast that sometimes the mornings are the only time I have to really feel myself breathe.

7. How do you deal with doubt? Where do you go for support?

If doubt creeps into my world, I start by asking myself do I really feel this way or am I hormonal? No joke, hormones can wreak havoc on your emotional self and it’s easy to dismiss the effect of hormones on your mood. If I am hormonal I just let it run it’s course, I won’t let myself be dragged by the wave. If I am really in doubt and fear has me caught in a loop, I always – and will always  – turn to my mum.

My mum has a way of listening to me that puts me at ease and even when she tells me the things I don’t want to hear, her love and wisdom always shine through.

8. What, in your opinion, are the qualities of someone who is a “great” artist (in whatever discipline)?

Authenticity and Passion. If you honor and reveal yourself through your art there is no greater gift, and if you share it freely and with passion, you light up the world. That’s what I strive toward. And if the world doesn’t present you with opportunities to be authentic and share your passion it’s on you to create those possibilities.

9. Any advice for artists on a similar path? (Perhaps advice you wish you’d been given when you were first starting out).

Don’t waste another moment thinking about it, dreaming about it, wishing for it… Get out there and DO IT! Whatever it is, just do it.

Then inspire someone else to do just the same.

10. Could you talk a little bit about your relationship to money? This is a less specific question, but I’m just curious about your thoughts on the topic. Has your relationship to money changed over the years?

Good question… It’s the focus of my “work on self” at the moment. I believe there is an energetic relationship to money. You have to understand the energetic relationship and then “the story” you have around money can shift.

I never worry about money, in that I know there is plenty out there and I can always make more. But, I always find my self scraping the penny jar before the coffers fill with gold again and that story is old! So I am working on shifting that – it ties into also embracing your self worth and owning that unconditionally.

11. Ever experience flow/being in the zone? What does it feel like for you, and can you tell us about a time when you experienced it?

The bliss! I experience that when I am acting. Sometimes on set, sometimes in an audition, sometimes in class – those moments where the outside world ceases to exist. The only thing that matters is the moment and the absolute surrender to that moment. Exercise, laughter and sex can certainly take me there too, but for me it’s the bridge between surrender and creation that fulfills.

12. What is your favourite book? 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I have read that book at least once a year for the last 15 years. I have read it in English, Spanish and Italian.

My goal is to read it in French this year. I love it because it reminds me always… it’s the journey that matters because it is written.

Follow Alison

VOTE for Earthlickers in the Cinecoup Competition by  CLICKING HERE!
(voting opens at 6pm on April 20th).

You can also follow Earthlickers on Twitter: @Earthlickers

Follow Alison on her personal accounts: 

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Hire Alison as a coach through BIZ STUDIOS.

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“If the world doesn’t present you with opportunities to be authentic… create those possibilities” – An interview with Alison Araya
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Christine Bissonnette

I'm a spoken word artist and writer originally from Nova Scotia. In addition to my own private writing practice, I also works with adults and teens by facilitating the writing of their own spoken word poetry. Topics which fire me up are voice, perfectionism, and those parts of growth that don't follow a list. You can learn more about me at 9creativelives.com