The B-Styles Curvy Girl of the Day: “Alysia Joy Powell”
A couple of weeks ago there was this guest on “The Wendy Williams Show” who caught my attention. She was vibrant and outspoken and had a sass that was undeniable. I liked her TV presence right away. Then when she gave one of my fave plus-size retailers, “Ashley Stewart”, a shout-out, that sparked my attention even more. Come to find out her name is Alysia Joy Powell of the new hit movie, “The Sitter”. I immediately reached out to Alysia for an interview and she politely agreed and made my day. So ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you Ms. Alysia Joy Powell, whom I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of on the big screen soon……
Alysia hails from Los Angeles. Born of parents who met at an acting class, it was no wonder that she would have the gift. Some of those gifts are acting, singing, writing (poetry and screenwriting), stand up comedy, directing, and producing. She’s had a career in Film and TV including credits like: Desperate House Wives, a reoccurring role on Everybody Hates Chris, Scrubs, NYPD Blue, and The Shield, just to name a few. Four years ago, she got a deep passion for all things more true and cultural. That’s what brought her to NY and she has been on her grind ever since. She, now, reigns as the Two Time Manhattan Monologue Slam Champion. Alysia was in the amazing stage production of “Who Is A Virtuous Woman”, directed by the fabulous Wendy McKenzie and is in the 20th Century Fox Film, The Sitter with Jonah Hill and is working on a One Woman Show. Alysia, Just finished shooting “Excuse Me For Living” with the talented Tom Pelphrey from Guiding Light, Dick Cavett, Robert Vaughn, and Chistopher Lloyd, and is work- shopping at The Gotham Comedy Club with her stand-up skills. Did I mention, she has a beautiful jewelry line called My Diva-Tude. Please enjoy my Q & A with Ms. Alysia Joy Powell.
How did you get discovered in the acting world?
I grew up in the business. I wasn’t allowed to play, though. My parents met in an acting class. My Dad had a career in acting and I was his riding buddy. I went everywhere with him. I wanted to sing, act, and write. On movie and TV sets, on location, the theater, etc. I soaked it all up. I wrote plays when I was little and put them on at my school. Lol. My parents forbade me from doing anything more or deeper than that. I think my Dad was afraid for me to enter the entertainment business. It’s funny how God can bring you full circle with your gifts. I started out in my late 20’s singing Gospel and singing back up. I then started my own management co. I managed gospel artist with a business partner. It was after that that I had a calling to go into acting. A friend called out of the blue and gave me info to an acting class in the San Fernando Valley. Did I tell you, I’m from California. From that class, I got representation. My first gig, was a Co-starring role of The Shield. It’s been 14 years in the business for me. Perseverance is everything. I’ve been in NY for 5 years, now.
What has been your most challenging role yet?
I would have to say, working on Virtuous Woman. Wendy McKenzie of In The Wink OF An Eye cast it and directed it. I fell in love with this stage play because the characters were so rich and deep. I had to dig real deep for that one. The Trailer is on You-Tube. I regret that we didn’t take that show on the road or Off Broadway. It deserved a good run. The ensemble cast was so tight. It’s rare to be able to have a cast that is so equally talented and bring so much to it. That was the one that got away.
Do you feel any pressure from Hollywood being a full- figured woman on the big-screen?
I have been very blessed in my career. I have never been asked to lose weight or the change. Actually, the opposite. I’ve have been told not to change. I can’t speak for everybody, but I think if you’re comfortable in your own skin and you’re fabulous being you, what could they say. If you don’t know who you are, they will try and come up with something for you. I’ve had to say “No” a couple of times and had to turn down some project because it wasn’t right.
How did you land the role in “The Sitter”?
The old fashion way, I earned it. Lol.It was funny. I had a manager, at the time, that submitted me for the role opposite me that was a larger. I auditioned for it and did my thing but it didn’t feel right. Soon after that, I went to L.A. I still have my agent in L.A. He called me and told me he submitted me for this movie in NY. I told him I was in L.A. He said, I had better get my butt back and I did. I went in for the role and it just fit. The director was in the room. After I went through it twice, the director said,” OK, put down the script and give me something. “ I’m good off the top of my head. When I left there, I thought I had it but I didn’t hear anything. It was a month later that my agent called me and said I had it.
First, the script was very well written but I had a whole slew of curse words to say. So much so, I had to get an acting coach to help me. Needless, to say, I must not have been too convincing because they edited it all out. Lol
I recently saw you on” The Wendy Williams Show” and you shouted out clothing store Ashley Stewart. What is your fashion sense and what are your favorite stores?
Well I’ve been collecting fabric and designing wardrobe since I was in high school. I want to have my own clothing line one day. I, currently, have a jewelry line. I like to pattern styles from the 20s-30s and 50s- 60s. I love I Love Lucy for the fashions. I have a couple of designers in Brooklyn that I work with. My dress for the Red Carpet for The Sitter was a Monif C dress. But I, also, shop at Ashley Stewart and Lane Bryant. It has to be something that can fit my curves and looks good. I’m not the trendy type. I like to set trends and have all eyes on me when I enter a room. Somebody’s going to say, “ where did she get that!”
What projects are you working on for the near future?
I have a lot of irons in the fire. Some things on the acting side, producing and film packaging side, my jewelry, my stand up, writing, and I’m working on a One Woman Show. I am taking meeting and choosing very wisely.
Follow Alysia at: http://facebook.com/alysia.powell
Here’s the trailer for “The Sitter”: http://www.movieweb.com/movie/the-sitter/trailer-2