We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Perlman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, how do you think about risk?
As an artist/performer who has studied singing, dancing, and acting, I can confidently say that taking a risk is the best thing you can do to grow in your field. Depending on the specific art form, the risk you take could be the decision to hit that high note in a song you’re intimidated by, using your full capacity of movement for the choreography even if it feels wrong, or making a bold character choice that may seem like it’s too much in the monologue or scene. These examples all involve stepping out of your comfort zone. The worst thing that can happen in these instances is you look like a fool, but my argument is how will you ever know if you never try? Putting yourself in positions that can have great outcomes even though it may seem scary is how we conquer those thoughts of “what if?”
As someone who considers themselves a perfectionist, that quality can really take a toll on the learning and creative process. But when you’re willing to remove the pressure that is sometimes put there by yourself and not be picture-perfect, the moments born from letting those expectations go can be the most beautiful and feel the most rewarding. So far in my life, I’ve found that taking risks has 9/10 benefited me more than hurt me. By advocating myself for leadership positions in high school, at past jobs, signing up for classes that have seemed too difficult, and putting myself in rooms where there are people who are better than me, I proved to myself that I am capable of things I didn’t believe I was. Once you realize all it takes is that faith in yourself, it becomes easier to put yourself in those nerve-wracking situations. I think what helps me continue to take risks is knowing that by not going for it, whatever it is, I may regret not taking the chance later down the road.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue this art form professionally?
My goal original career goal was to be a commercial dancer. I’ve danced my whole life, and I really started to take it seriously in my junior year of high school, the time every kid starts to prepare for college applications. I applied to a couple of universities for their dance programs and was accepted, however, I chose to defer my college experience and instead apply to the Edge Performing Art Centers 2019-2020 certificate program for dancers looking to break into the commercial industry. I got into the program and I loved it. However, by March of 2020, what the whole world thought would be a two-week lockdown is where this whole plan of mine changed. Due to the pandemic and additional financial burdens, it was too difficult for the studio to get back on its feet, making it so the other dancers and I did not get to finish the program. It was a hard reality to face. No one knew how long we’d be in this state of limbo so I figured the best thing to do was to keep dancing independently and rack up credits at Glendale Community College (GCC) to eventually transfer out. I started off as a part-time student at GCC and enrolled in a theater history class just to dip my toe. I have always loved theater, but I credit this class as the match that lit the flame for my interest in it. Soon after that, I was taking private voice lessons and was encouraged by family friends to look into some dancing, acting, and other performance classes offered at Santa Monica College (SMC) too. Since everything was remote at that time, it seemed like a no-brainer to sign up for whatever online classes I could handle. Through my time at both GCC and SMC, I realized that I wanted to pursue all three of the major performing art forms, making theater and musical theater my interest. Simultaneously I was working on the side at a poke restaurant and later left that job to work at a local dance studio (a job where I felt much more in my element) to help pay for classes. Fast forward to the Summer of 2021, I had almost reached the number of credits needed to transfer, so it was time to think about applying to schools again. I applied to a number of theater and musical theater schools, all out of the state, and ultimately decided that Hofstra University in Long Island, New York would be my home for the next two years as a theater major!
Looking back to the start of this journey and comparing it to the present moment is really insane, and would have been unfathomable to 2020 Alex. There were many moments of frustration and doubt, but I found that focusing on a goal was my north star throughout this whole pandemic. If there is one thing I have learned and I’m sure many can relate to, it’s that life doesn’t always go as planned. But my decision to turn this closing of a door into redirection and instead make the best of my situation was the best decision I could have made. And because of that outlook, I was able to connect with so many other creatives and form friendships through these different art forms. I am eager to continue to grow my artistry as a performer as I move into the next chapter of my life!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many little holes in the wall in the LA area, so I would probably try to steer away from some of the mainstream food chains, but you can’t visit California without at least one In-N-Out burger. I would definitely make sure we spend a day in downtown LA to visit LACMA and then make a trip to the Grand Central Market. Also making a trip out to Santa Monica and the Malibu area is a must for spots like the Getty Museum, Sawtell Blvd. (because the nightlife there is fun), and of course, a beach trip to soak up some California sun.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve crossed paths with so many people who have influenced me for the better, however, there are a few that come to mind. I’d first like to thank my parents because without them and their support I wouldn’t be who I am. Secondly, my professors at Glendale Community College and Santa Monica College for all of their care in my interests and guidance in my academic and artistic journey. Because of them, I’ll be transferring to Hofstra University to study theater in the Fall of 2022. Lastly, to my friends who I have made through my creative and artistic experiences, I feel honored to have worked alongside and be able to view their growth as well. I am lucky to have my family, mentors, and friends in my corner, who inspire me to do my best. I hope they know I’ll always be a cheerleader for them too.x