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Ignited by Inner Beauty Episode #1: What does it mean to be ignited by inner beauty? Disney Cruise Performer Ali talks about her passion for performing

The following is an AI-generated transcript of Episode #1 of Ignited by Inner Beauty. There are likely mistakes and inaccuracies in what was said, so please refer to the audio version for any clarifications!

Hi guys and welcome to my very first show of Ignited by Inner Beauty. My name is Sarah and I've started this podcast to focus on body positivity, female empowerment, and self -love. These values are so important to me because like many people I've had experiences where I really struggled to love my body and love myself and when I was reflecting about my experiences I realized that body positive media has helped me so much in my healing process to really love myself and just realize my own self -worth.

I personally love body positive Instagram accounts that just celebrate and showcase people of all different shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities. Anytime I look at them I just feel really good about myself and I feel like I have this expanded view of what beauty truly is and I also just love reading books that teach me to reject diet culture and instead follow intuitive eating and really just listen to my body instead of you know these rules that diets make up.

So while I really love all these forms of media and they have just created so much healing for me I've also found so much joy in creating my own content that not only celebrates people for their outer beauty but also that empowers and inspires people to really see beauty as more than skin deep because you know in this culture you know the media we consume is so objectifying especially for women and you know I always feel the message that we're not pretty enough not good enough you know I'm not thin enough just not enough at all and I want to be a positive force in this world so I can talk more about how we truly are beautiful not only on the outside but truly beautiful on the inside, which really brings me to how I started this podcast and how I got the inspiration for Ignited by Inner Beauty.

So I am a graduate of Fordham University, go Rams, and it's a Jesuit school and you know Fordham really taught me that Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, famously said go forth and set the world on fire.

So as a proud alum, I want to do just that. I want to take my passion for body positivity, female empowerment, and self love and truly put them into action. I want you to listen to this podcast and become fired up and inspired by the words that you hear from these beautiful people that I will be interviewing and I also hope that it helps you reflect on what makes you beautiful inside and out and just makes you feel good after listening to the podcast.

And just as a media format, I think podcasts are a perfect way to exhibit what inner beauty truly is because while you won't be seeing the people that I'm interviewing, you will truly be able to see how these people are beautiful just by hearing their stories and experiences and getting to know them.

My first guest on this show is my very dear friend Ali and we actually met as random roommates when we did the Disney College program. So for those of you who don't know, it's a program that you can do when you're in college or if you just graduated, which is when Ali and I did it.

And you basically work for Disney World or for Disneyland for a period of time. And Ali and I became such close friends and she is such a beautiful person inside and out. I could not wait for her to be a guest on the pod and she did not disappoint.

I'm so excited for you guys to hear this episode. She talks about her passion for singing, dancing and acting, and also how her faith is such a big part of her life. I am super excited for you to hear this today because when I interviewed her, she actually talked about getting a call back for the Disney Cruise Line for auditioning for them.

And as we speak, she is actually singing and acting as the lead role of Anne Marie on the Disney Cruise Line show called An Enchanted Classic. So without further ado, this is the very beautiful Ali.

So I just think Allie is such a beautiful person inside and out and it just was so fitting to have her as a guest on the podcast. Thanks, my inner beauty is already rising because of you. Alrighty, so first thing I wanted to ask you was how are you ignited by inner beauty?

How do you define that? How do you kind of characterize yourself as beautiful on the inside? I totally think that it has to do with a lot of how you feel and how you perceive yourself. And personally, I feel like I get my inner beauty from the Lord and just how joyful I feel.

That's a lot from him. And yeah, just like, it's like, I mean everyone has bad days and stuff, but definitely how I feel, if I feel motivated, just like day by day, yeah, and just doing things that make me feel joyful, like performing and being with friends and just living in the moment is like a big one for me.

Awesome. Awesome. It's a great kind of overview. I would love to like hear more about, I know that you're like so into acting and singing and dancing and you've been to like so many auditions in New York and kind of everywhere and you've had other performances and I would love to hear how that kind of ties into what makes you beautiful, those dreams and those passions of like being into acting and performing and I guess kind of how you got into that as well as how it kind of is part of your inner beauty.

Ali is passionate about singing

Yeah, I was in, I've been like singing and in choir since I was like fourth grade, third grade and then when I was in sixth grade my sister said like oh you should audition for the school musical and I did and then I ended I auditioned for like a really small role and was like would be like super happy with that like didn't even know if it was something that I wanted to do just was like trying an after -school activity out um and then I ended up getting like then one of the main roles in it um and then I was doing swimming at the time and apparently like chlorine is really bad for your voice so I went to a voice teacher and then she was saying like you can you know if you are seriously thinking seriously thinking about this you should stop swimming or just or pick which one you want to do whichever one you want to do is fine and I said to my dad I was like I'm still like a kid and like I don't want to give that up like I was on the swim team and that's where all my friends were and then the opening night of the performance is this something like Totally cliche to say, but the first night of the performance, I heard the applause at the curtain call and I told my parents, I was like, there's nothing like it.

And then I quit swimming and then I wasn't doing that. So that's how I got into it. My sister was the one who pushed me to do it. And yeah, and then like a big thing is that that auditions, like first, when I first auditioned, I remember being in pro studios in New York and you get there at like 6 AM and no one has like makeup on.

My glasses are still on, everyone's hair is like in a bun, like we go out and sweatpants, but then pack your audition dress and your makeup and everything. And then at like nine o 'clock, the call starts at 10, everyone starts getting dressed, putting their heels on, putting all their makeup on and like people look transformed.

I mean, if you can imagine and there was like so many girls that just have like so much makeup on and for a while I was like, is that like maybe I should be doing that too? Like I don't know, like maybe that's what they're looking for.

That's just like how you present yourself at auditions, like I don't know. And then I was like, wait, that's not right because in college, like they always told us to go in and be yourself because like casting directors aren't looking for a character, they're looking for like who you are.

And I was like, if I put on all that makeup, like that wouldn't be going in as myself and being truthful to myself. So I think a lot of inner beauty for me, especially for in performance comes from like confidence and just knowing that like the craft that I've like practiced for years and like prepared is enough and that it doesn't matter so much about looks, even though it is like a weird industry to be in that just like knowing that like my inner beauty just being joyful and being hardworking and passionate about the craft is enough.

Oh my gosh, I love that. I had never thought of it like that, I guess in a way, but like so much of what you're saying is really when you're performing like, I don't know, it's so much of yourself, I guess it's like who you are, you know, singing and acting is I always think of it as like being someone else, but just the way that you described it is kind of like, just you being you also like it doesn't take that away.

Have you found it difficult? I think of that industry and like acting and singing like so much focus on appearance. Has that been like a struggle for you? Yeah, definitely. Like, I know it just seems like all the dancers are like, you know, five seven and like super thin and and like really pretty have like great hair, like always have themselves put together and everything.

And so like, I mean, even now time to time, I'm like, oh my gosh, it's so easy to have comp, like if someone walks by like that, like I'm like, oh, that must be so easy to have confidence when they're just like so put together all the time.

But then like realizing that that's not reality, that's just like, like we all have good days, you know? And then also realizing that like me being short and just like more like the younger type is also not only like a type in the world, but it's a type of character in plays too.

So think that like that's comforting too and knowing that like there is just one of me and there's also like could be one of me that's like a similar character on stage too that they're looking for. I love that, yeah.

And I feel like even, you know, when we've seen, you know, like Broadway shows together, like especially in New York City, the cast is usually so diverse. I feel like they really are looking for people with like their skillset, you know, and that's what shines through not their appearance to me, you know, it just like the characters.

So that's kind of what stands out to me as well. So I kind of want to go into more of the female empowerment side of it too, whether that be through your career and like I said, you've been so dedicated to auditioning and even when you're roommates, I've always been so impressed how you're like always practicing singing your skills and stretching and dancing.

But, you know, tying into that empowerment, what is that drive that keeps you going, you know, keep wanting to pursue this as a career and what, you know, is probably known as a difficult field to get into what motivates you and what keeps you fighting.

for that? Yeah, I think that like ever since not that I always knew that I wanted to do this because I didn't like I didn't think it was a career at all like really until like I graduated college and I'm like, oh my gosh, okay, now, you know, like I studied for it.

Now I can actually make a go of this. But like, and I think the motivating force is just that like knowing that if God like gave me like, I feel like he gave me this talent. And that like, there's really like nothing else that I want to do.

And I feel like especially during college I was like, Oh, maybe I could not that I never stopped loving this, but I was like, Oh, maybe I can do like, maybe I could be like had a phase where I was like, I want to be a vet and I was thinking about volunteering and, and then I was like a chiropractor maybe and just like all these things that were just like think about and I felt like God would like put some sort of like artistic thing where there was a musical or something that I like danced that I saw on YouTube or a piece of music that I became like really passionate about and it felt like he was always like no no no no like this is what you're gonna do like you know and so so I feel like he's definitely been a good great motivating force where I just feel like this is exactly where I'm supposed to be I'm doing what I'm doing and then also just like loving I know a lot of people don't like practicing but I feel now practicing is like my only form of performance sometimes like in between gigs so like loving to practice and just like loving having that like hour or so of just like me time and like just like geeking out about music stuff to myself or um or like going back and reading like some of my vocal pedagogy book and like vocal anatomy from um from college and everything and like I also have my bed like planted right next to my keyboards like when I wake up I'm like I love that I love doing this that is so beautiful I love how you tie in your faith to it as well even when you kind of had doubts or wanted to go a different way it was just so clear and then even from um like getting into college um like for musical theater I like auditioned at a few different schools and then you know one was too expensive and I was like I don't know where I should go lord and I like the day I visited temple I prayed I was like please give me a sign of where I'm supposed to go because like I have no clue and the deadline was like creeping up and I sat in on a speech for the actor class and the lord's prayer came like over the loudspeaker And I was like, I don't remember if I told you this, but I was like, I don't know.

I don't think that was the sign. Like, I don't know. I think it's fine. And then it played like literally three or four more times. And then by the end of that day, I was like, I'm going here and this is perfect.

So he's always had like a hand and definitely like what I'm doing. Oh my gosh. That's, yeah, that's amazing. What, so they were just playing like, yeah, it was supposed to start. They had it played on like a CD player.

And it's funny because I took this class when I was in temple, like a few years later as an actor for, you know, a speech and it was a requirement and you had to say something that like either a poem or like the pledge of allegiance or something that you just knew like right off the bat and you would just, you said it how you normally said it.

And then you worked on your speech throughout the whole year and then they played it again at the end of the year, which is what I heard. Yeah, it's a lot of people pick the Lord's Prayer, yeah. Oh wow, that's so beautiful and such a clear call of what- I know, I'm like a slap on the head.

Got it. Great, I love that so much. I love, if you could talk, I know that faith is something that we have in common, that we've talked about, but kind of how it has guided you with your career in pursuing this, because I don't know if I would associate a lot of people in the acting, performing realm to be very devout, or that's probably just a stereotype of me not thinking of that industry, linking those two things together, but I was wondering what your perspective is on that, if you, kind of how you fit the two together.

Yeah, it is like, it's not like a stereotype, like you were saying, but it is kind of true, at least that's how I feel. But there have been some times like in, when I was in Hairspray in Temple, we, I don't even know how, oh, it started because the whole cast like got in a circle, and it wasn't the whole cast, it was just like whoever was in their costumes and had their mics on backstage ready to go, they, we all just like held hands and you squeezed each other's hand and they called it like an energy circle, and you just like squeeze each other's hand and just kind of, and the squeeze would go down the circle until everyone had it, and then you just like take a moment and breathe together and stuff, and before the, you know, before we went on stage, and I think one day I was like, do you mind if, like can I pray or something?

And they were like, yeah, sure, and then, so that happens like a few nights of the run. So that was cool, and so like, stuff like that moment, those moments are really special, but I think, think a lot of it is just like God giving me direction and then just like trusting him which is so hard to do especially in between gigs and I'm just like I like I really need something but I think a lot of times and also every morning like I'll read like a devotional and then it has like a few verses in the Bible and so a lot of them are just it feels like God's just motivating me and like pushing me and just like hanging there like I have something planned for you like you don't know what it is yet but and some of them hit like home so much like just when I so badly need it like it was I had a callback for Disney Cruise Line and then it was like the day of the callback of the day after my devotional said I am the foundation on which you can sing and And so I like screenshotted that and I was like, no, I'm checking this out.

But yeah, so like, I love moments like that where it's like, he's clearly like, here's everything that I'm going through, everything that I'm like working towards and just like trusting him. Oh my gosh.

It's so beautiful how being in this field has brought you closer to your faith. Like you, you know, like said, testing like your trust and your patience like with God and always kind of, it's been like practicing that as you've kind of been in your field too.

And also just singing and dancing. Like, I love that. I also want to know, cause I especially so much of being a performer, it's all about like using your vocals and your body and acting. So what do you do to take care of yourself and kind of practice self care, whether that be like physically or spiritually, mentally, all the above?

Yeah. So definitely, whether I was a performer or not, I think I'd still do like devotionals. So that helps me spiritually for sure. And yeah, I'll have my, I mean, between like day jobs, I practice like whenever I can.

And I was reading a little, it's called a little book of talent that our professors recommended us get like after we graduate. And it was talking about deep practice. And it talks about basically like, you could practice for an hour and not have deep practice, but you could practice for 15 minutes and like, and make more new, like neuro pathways than you will in that like hour.

So like every time, I know I was like, this is amazing. So like every, something about, like every time you learn something new or even like trying to connect, like two ideas together, different, like their old pathways are breaking and they're making like different.

different ones, which is great for your brain to be active and stuff. Just trying to have deep practice when I'm practicing is a big thing. Working out whenever I can definitely did that more when I was in Florida and stuff.

I loved that. I definitely want to get back into that. That even helped me mentally, focusing on even thinking about different muscle groups while I was working on them. If you're doing a push -up, thinking about which muscles that you're using.

I read somewhere that if you tap, or my dance teacher told me that if you're doing a plie or something, and then you tap the back of your thighs or the bottom of your butt, it cues into the muscle to like know that it's supposed to be working and then you are more like conscious of it and feel it more.

And so I was like that's something cool. Oh yeah. I know yeah that was cool. And then I love stretching and listening to like calming music when I'm stretching just like the coffee shop music. I love that.

And then just like taking like nice showers like longer showers and by myself like a hair mask or like new moisturizer and stuff that type of thing. Yeah. Great. And baking. I love to bake too. Oh yes.

I know you're like always doing really cool experimental baking and like some pies and some really fun stuff as roommates. Yeah. No I love that. I feel like self -care is just so important and I feel like especially for you too to keep like your craft going.

Do you do things like for your voice as well? I know you said chlorine like isn't good for it but is there I don't really know what to do to like keep it going strong. Yeah I do like throat coat and it's a type of tea that's like specific for like a throat health and a lot of the singers use it.

And fun fact when Zachary Levi was in like first date he had to like drink like you know beer prop beer. So he did you get to pick like whatever you want to drink on stage and they did throat coat and they foamed up the top to make it look like beer.

And then I'll do like a lot of rest like vocal rest like anytime especially when I got home I'm like my parents are both very like on the louder side that's just like their personalities and so I like came home and I'll I was like, I can't like keep up with like the volume.

So I would just like listen more and like just rest more and not talk as much. Or like, if I had to say something, I'd try to like think about saying it in like a few words or if it was like, if it wasn't a really important comment, I just wouldn't say it.

Yeah, vocal rest is a good thing. Self care is so important. We don't do it enough today. No, I know. Cause everyone's so busy, but it's important to take a moment to be like, checking with your body and like, what do I need?

Right, right. That's great. And I love like the, even the devotionals, like how self care is like emotional and like, you know, keeping your spiritual health going. That's really nice. I'm sure it's a nice way to start your day.

Yeah. So also I was thinking about, you know, we talked a lot about your talents and like these gifts that you're going after, but what overall, would you say do you like most about yourself whether that be a character trait or maybe one of those gifts just anything at all oh I think I'm optimistic like I think I tend to think like hope more hope on the hopeful side that's great I definitely I can see that a lot because even when things are like uncertain and not sure like what path we're like and we're both you know so young and we're like where's future taking us and I feel like there's a lot of conversations lately like I don't know like what the next you know five years will look like or ten years but I definitely think you do have that positive attitude no I love that has it do you think that's something that you like always kind of been optimistic or do you do things to or is it like a learned trait that you've kind of like gotten better at um like as a kid I was always just like I never didn't really have like any fears when I was little like I was just crazy like I would throw my body around everywhere like I would get my parents that I would like I was like a little boy I would just like get hurt all the time and then walk up and then over the years then probably like high school I was like oh my gosh life is scary for years and then so now I think I'm like learning again like how to just like live that like fearless and like trust life and trust God more and just like have fun something else that I was wondering about as well is I feel like at a young age at least speaking for myself face a lot of like judgment from other people about like your career path or you should do this even in college like you should major in that just like all these different kind of pieces of advice or and or judgment like tied up into one kind of being grown at us of like where we should should take our lives and just kind of wondering like how I feel like my perspective is you've always like had that optimistic like trade about you and you're always like, yep, I'm going to do this and it's going to be great and I'm going to, you know, like you had your plan but has that ever like, has that been difficult for you?

Have people been like, I don't know if I hope you don't surround yourself with negative people, but have you have you liked anything where people have been like, oh, you shouldn't go into like performance that's super unrealistic or or anything like that?

Yes, but thankfully they haven't been like close family or friends. Like my mom when she was younger, she wanted to be a hair stylist and her dad wanted her to go to instead of feet cosmetology school college.

So he was like, I'm not paying for it. So she was like, I, my dad didn't let me follow my dreams, but I went, you know, I did it anyway. So she always said that she wanted to encourage her kids to. you know, do theirs.

So thankfully, it hasn't come from my parents. But I think I work at, you know, like Innovations hair salon and Yardley and as a shampoo assistant. And I think a lot of people think that that's what I'm going for is cosmetology.

And when I tell them like, No, like this is just a day job, and then I'm going to New York for auditions. Like a lot of them are like, Oh, good luck. And other people are just like, Oh, and like sometimes it'll that like, it'll just end that.

Oh, okay. Like that's interesting. And then that'll be it. Thankfully, um, you know, and just because it is like Yardley is a wealthier area. So because I think a lot of business people and a lot of nine to highs and stuff there.

But, but yeah, not nothing to crazy judgmental. Yeah, no, that is great. I feel like that's a testament like having your core group, like your family and other friends are like being supportive of that.

I feel like that makes all the difference. Yeah, for sure. That's awesome. Because I feel like, especially if it's some random person, it's like, they're like, Why would you ever listen to that? You know, like if they were to say anything further, it's like, I don't know you, you don't know me like, right?

Yeah, you can more easily brush off as you should, you know, definitely. Yeah, kind of getting to the end here. I would love to hear about a time most recently when you felt beautiful. Oh, I like that question.

Yeah, I feel like we don't think about it enough. Yeah, yeah. And all such beautiful people and kind of need to recognize and think about that more of when do I feel beautiful? And yeah, probably when I had that call back on Friday, I finished the audition on the train at home from New York, I called my aunt, and she asked how it went.

And then the first thing she said was, Did you have fun? And but when she said that, like, did you have fun? That just like put it into complete perspective. So on Friday when I had the call back, like my goal was like just to like have fun.

And she's always like sing for Jesus, sing for the Lord. And I'm like, yes, you know what? That's what I do. And like I prepared enough. And so then I just like went in and I was like happy to be there.

And I did the materials that I had. And then they had me sing some other stuff. And it was more Disney stuff, more like Disney princesses. One was Rapunzel, one was Snow White. And it was just like sight reading music with the pianist and singing with him.

And I was like, this is just like so much fun. And I felt like so confident. And probably a little bit of that was that I was like getting good feedback that they wanted to hear more. So so like that gave me a little more like outside, you know, an outside force gave me a little more confidence.

But like I think just having the main thing just my aunt saying like just go in and have fun. And so I like walked in, I was so joyful before anything happened. And then by the time I left, I was like, that was a lot of fun.

Like I could say regardless of what happens, like that's, I haven't had that much fun and auditioned before. So I think that's where I felt most beautiful because I was just so confident. I love that.

That is awesome. Just like creating kind of seeing how that inner beauty and like that moment of like you feel, feeling beautiful relates to like doing something that you love, having fun. Like, you know, you're meant to do that and you feel confident like in your abilities.

I think that's just a great way to like, you know, sum it all up and just have like such a beautiful, beautiful moment. And also just kind of like expressing your inner beauty and kind of turning that outwards to the world.

And thank you so much for talking about, you know, your inner beauty and just kind of everything that you are. I'm like so inspired by how you go after your dreams and just really kind of know who you are and what you're meant to be.

That is really just like, I don't know, you radiate such a positive energy and I'm just so excited you could like share that with everyone today. Thanks, Sarah.


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