I first came to know Alicia Minshew from "All My Children" when she made her debut in a big way. She burst into the court room and looked "Erica Kane" in the eyes and said, "Hello Erica," to which "Erica," in typical fashion, slapped "Kendall" right across the face. It was that moment, I knew Alicia was going to be a welcomed addition to the cast! As her popularity grew, a fan club was started for her and I became a fan. From the fan events, I got to know Alicia. Now to have the opportunity to interview her, is a real honor. We had a lot of fun catching up and chatting about what's next.
Two-time Daytime Emmy and Soap Opera Digest Award nominee Alicia Minshew was born and raised in South Florida. After graduating high school, Alicia received a musical theatre scholarship to Indian River College. She acted in several plays and musicals including "Grease," "Kiss Me Kate," "Godspell," and "Nunsense." She also hosted a satellite music program, "The Music Zone," where she introduced videos and broadcasted live reports. After college, Alicia began working as a model in Miami and shot her first commercial. She was soon invited to audition for "All My Children" in New York. She wasn’t cast at this time, but the experience pushed her to take the leap and relocate to the big apple. Once in New York City, she signed with a talent agent and a commercial agent, joined SAG, and quickly booked two national commercials. Alicia built an impressive acting and modeling resume, appearing in numerous national commercials, voiceovers, and print ads. On the New York stage, Alicia has starred in productions of "Beggar on Horseback" and "Of Love and Betrayal."
Alicia’s big break came when she was cast in the leading role of "Kendall Hart" on "All My Children," filling the shoes of Sarah Michelle Gellar. Alicia’s portrayal of "Kendall" soon became a fan-favorite, earning her more screen time with a pivotal storyline. Her portrayal of "Kendall" earned her two Daytime Emmy and Soap Opera Digest Awards nominations, as well as a huge fan base.
Alicia's other film and television credits include "Celebrity Death Match," "Hit and Runway," "The Caprice," and a starring role in "Game Day."
In addition to her performing, Alicia has become a holistic living, fitness, and healthy food advocate. To date, she has been featured in Allure, TV Guide, Soap Opera Digest, People, Soap Opera Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, CelebrityBabyScoop, and the cover of Pregnancy, to name a few. She has also appeared on "The View," "Entertainment Tonight," "Extra," "E! Online," and "Gayle King." Alicia is also a philanthropist and has recently committed a great deal of her time, energy, and resources to charities that help children, including the AmeriCorps program City Year. In her free time, she enjoys long distance running, weight training, pilates, dancing, and writing.
Now that "All My Children" is off the air, Alicia's work continues on. She did a guest spot on Oxygen's "Jersey Couture" and is about to start shooting an independent film later this spring. Alicia will also be appearing at the Brokerage Comedy Club on April 14 at 2pm and Uncle Vinnie's Comedy Club on April 15 at 11:30am with Jordi Vilasuso to greet fans, sign photos, and participate in a Q&A. Alicia is entering the next phase of her career and I am (along with her allegence of fans) looking forward to what's in store.
For more on Alicia be sure to visit http://aliciaminshewofficial.com!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I would have to say that this is something I've wanted to do since I was very little. My grandfather was a vaudeville performer, and I used to watch his shows and I just knew that's what I wanted to do. My sister and I put on shows which were fun, I had my mom put me in classes, I was a dancer for a while, and I did community theatre shows and it all just sort of evolved from there.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I would love to work with Paul Rudd. I've seen several of his movies and he can do anything. He can do drama. He can do comedy. He's in all these great movies and he's so funny that I feel he doesn't get enough attention for how great he is. I recently saw his movie "Wanderlust" and laughed my ass off. I was watching him do these scenes and I'm sure he had to ad-lib in some of them. I think to get to work with him and ad-lib with him would be a riot. I think he's comic genius.
Me: I think you guys would work well together. You have great comedic skills.
Alicia: Oh thanks. It's so funny you say that because I'm actually taking comedy classes right now. I didn't get to do that on "All My Children." For 10 years, I was mostly crying over something. So to have a chance to do something completely different, would be very fun for me.
Me: Are you taking comedy classes for stand-up comedy or comedy for acting.
Alicia: I don't have the balls to do stand-up comedy. It's a comedic class for working actors or for actors who would like use their comic muscle to work on comic scripts. Since I've been doing drama for so long, this is a class for actors who would like to work on their comedy skills working with scripts. I've never taken a class like this, so it's cool for me to see other TV actors out there that are working on their comedy skills.
3. Speaking of "All My Children," what initally attracted you to "All My Children" and what was it like to step into the role of "Kendall," which was a character that fans were already attached to? I had never watched the show, but my very best friend from high school did and I remember her rushing home from school and her saying, "Come watch 'All My Children' with me." So I was kind of familiar with it and of course I knew who Susan Lucci was. My manager kept sending me out on these auditions to meet with "All My Children" for several years, I was being called in. For whatever reason, "All My Children's" casting director, Judy Wilson, liked me and was a big supporter of mine and ultimately she found the part she thought was perfect for me. To fill the shoes of Sarah Michelle Gellar was terrifying because I knew how great she was. It was very intimidating, but I said, "You know what, I've worked hard and this is where I'm supposed to be and I'm just going to try to make this character my own." It took me a while to feel comfortable with it and find my way with her, but once I did, I kind of discovered who "Kendall" was, and I kind of made her my own. It definitely was intimidating in the beginning, but Sarah was so nice and so gracious, she sent me a basket of flowers and cookies saying "Congratulations on playing 'Kendall,' it's a fun role, I hope you have fun with it." It was very gracious of her.
Me: If I remember correctly, your first scene on the show, was during a court room trial. You stormed into the court room.
Alicia: Yes, that's right. I still remember my first line, I said "Hello Erica" and Susan Lucci slapped me across the face.
Alicia: That was sort of like, "Welcome to daytime." I look back and I was like, "Wow, I'm a nervous wreck just trying to figure out who this character was." Now cut to 10 years later, I know her so well, I feel for her, and she's a part of me now. It was a fun transformation to go through.
Me: Now that you mention it, I remember watching you go through that transformation from being nervous to becoming so comfortable in role. It was fun to watch you go through it. I would just cheer for you as you became more confident in the role.
Alicia: Oh thank you. You know, I learned a lot as a person and an actor. It definitely was a fun ride, especially when the writers start to write for you, you get to experience so many things. It changed my life.
4. What did you learn from working on "All My Children" and from working with Susan Lucci? One thing about Susan is that she is the most professional, preparred person I ever met. She shows up always knowing her lines. She's kind to everybody from the stars of the show to the janitors. That's something everyone can learn when being on a set. Just be kind everybody. Treat everybody the same. Constantly be professional, no matter what. Even if you are tired or in a bad mood, just put on your game face. She was always so professional. I learned that. I also learned how to be emotional in the moment, from memorizing the scripts. I learned how to use my instincts and tap into my emotions quickly. You have to do that on a soap. It was a great thing for me to learn.
5. What's your most cherished memory from starring on "All My Children"? There are so many. Definitely getting to play Susan Lucci's daughter and sharing these really special bonding scenes with her was amazing. She's an icon and here I am playing her daughter, getting to bond with her during these emotional scenes where we are crying together was really special. One moment in particluar comes to mind when "Kendall" was helping "Erica" while "Erica" was reliving her rape and we were by the fireplace and "Kendall" was covering "Erica" with her robe and combing her wet hair. That was the moment where Susan and I became very close. Another great thing that came out of "All My Children" is my friendship with Rebecca Budig. She's one of my best friends now and that's because of the relationship "Kendall" and "Greenlee" had on the show. They hate each other, they love each other. They'd be enemies, they'd be best friends. As often as I got to work with Rebecca, it was great to form this real life freindship as well. I'm still friends with everyone I worked with on the show.
Alicia: You know what. I know you Adam. You have dark hair?
Alicia: I know you. I can picture your face perfectly. It's so cool to be talking to you and it's so great that you are doing this.
Me Oh thank you. It's awesome.
Alicia: I have pictures with you honey. It's so funny because when I heard your voice, I was like, "I know this Adam. I have pictures with this Adam. You are so cute!
Me: Oh thank you.
Alicia: This is so funny. You know how many years ago that was. That was like 8 or 9 years ago. How cool is this.
Adam: It means a lot to me. It really does.
Alicia: Oh, I'm so happy to be talking to you. Rebecca and I both know you. It's so funny because I think I have pictures with you, me, and Rebecca.
Me: Yes, we do. I love that you still have them.
Alicia: Oh my gosh, I totally still have them. I have a whole photo album. I love how this has come full circle and even though "All My Children" is off the air, I love how we are reconnecting. It's so great.
Me: Yes, it is wonderful.
Me: I actually got to interview Rebecca 2 or 2 1/2 years ago.
Alicia: That is so fantastic. Good for you! You know, Rebecca is my pal. She's here in LA with me. I will forever have this friendship her now because of the show.
Me: Both of you were always so nice to me. It's really a pleasure.
Alicia: Oh well, you're great. You're a good egg, we like you.
Me: So what do you like about the fan events, like the ones at the Brokerage Comedy Club (which you have one coming up on April 14 and on April 15 you will be at Uncle Vinnie's Comedy Club in Point Pleasant, NJ). Yes, I do, my friend. I have one with Jordi Vilasuso. Everyone is going to love him. As gorgeous as he is, no one knows, but he is really a funny, out going guy, but on the show he played this serious doctor. One of the things I love is connecting with the fans and finding out how it is we affect them and seeing who they are. It's cool to know you are in people's living room everyday, or wherever they watch you. The connection that the fans have with our characters is unbelieveable. I've had mothers come up to me and say, "You remind me of my daughter." Or people who lost their husbands would say, "When you did those scenes when "Zach" died, I felt your pain because I went through the same thing with my husand." To hear the real human stories of people that you're affecting is so awesome. I just love meeting people and having fun. I love being up on that stage and telling fun stories. For me, it's fun to do it and connect with the people. I can't wait. Even now with the show off the air, it's more important to connect with the fans and let them know that while the show maybe off the air, we appreciate them and want to reconnect with them and re-live the fun stories together.
7. Now that "All My Children" is over, what upcoming projects are you able to talk about and what direction to you hope or want your career to go in? That's an awesome question. Right now, I am doing an independent film that I'll be shooting in Savannah, GA at the end of April/beginning of May. The film is a romance/love story. I play a polite southern girl who is nothing like "Kendall," which is exciting. I've been working with a dialect coach on my southern accent which has been totally fun because it's not like anything I did on "All My Children." We are just starting to get the logistics of getting the cast together and shooting dates, but this is a completely different ball game than working on a soap script. I've had months and months to learn the script where on "All My Children," I usually had one night. I just love to work, so for me, this has been a great experience so far and I'm looking forward to getting to act with new people.
As far as how I want my career to go, I love to work. I would love to do some comedies, which I think would be refreshing for me. I would love to more film. I would love to do prime time. At this point, it's really what am I right for and what kind of characters are out there for me to play right now. I'm really open to whatever the universe will throw my way. It's an exciting time for me because I feel like the sky's the limit and whatever is meant to be will be and I'm ready for it. I'm out there auditioning for pilot season and meeting some great people. I'm really excited for this next chapter in my life. With that said, I really do miss "All My Children." Luckily, I'm still keeping in touch with everyone because they are my family.
Me: Do you think you might to come back to NY and do theatre?I would love that. Right now, I'm in LA and my husand and I are trying to figure out where we want to raise our daughter. We love NY so much, so if we do end up there, I would ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY love to do theatre or film/TV. As long as it's a fun character that I can play, I am really open to anything.
8. One show you recently guest starred on was "Jersey Couture" on the Oxygen network. That was a really fun time. It was a riot. I did that just a few months ago when I was in New York. One of the producers who I knew, is such a sweetie, reached out to me, and said that "Diane" the star of "Jersey Couture" is a HUGE "All My Children" fan and would I be willing to come on the show to suprise her. I thought, why not. I went there looking for a dress for the red carpet and I thought, "Oh, I'm never going to find a dress for the red carpet at this dress shop." But, low and behold, I got two beautiful dresses at this dress shop that they gave me, so I scored! It was really fun to surprise her and represent the show. I had never done any reality TV thing before, nor do I have any interest in doing it again, but because I knew she was a fan and I knew I would be surprising her, that's why I said I would do it. I had such a good time. They were so nice and so hilarious that I would send anybody to that dress shop anyday for sure.
For those of you who missed Alicia's appearance on the show, check it out below:
9. Prior to being on "All My Children," you worked in the modeling world. I did when I lived in Miami, not so much in NY. I'm a petite little thing, I'm not 6' tall. I did some fitness stuff and catalog work. I did a lot of commercials which was great because it paid my rent for several years. I was in some funny commercials...a maxipad commercial and a Coppertone commercial. It's funny now to think I could have a Coppertone commercial because I'm not tan anymore, but back then, I was tan. The maxipad commercial, I mean, I was the feminine hygenie girl. It was just hilarious, but don't knock 'em. They pay really, really well and are fun to do. That was a fun time for me and a different time in my life. I was younger and just getting out there. It was all about turning on the personality. Just turn on the personality in front of the camera and have your fun.
Here's one of Alicia's maxipad commercials from 1997, for "Always":
10. How do you feel you've stayed grounded in an industry which can lead others down a darker path? Number one is I have a really great support system. I'm very, very blessed to have an unbelieveable family who all supported me. I'm originally from Florida and I told them I wanted to go to NY, take classes, and be an actress, and they supported me and were there for me 100% when I was auditioning and not getting any work and had to borrow money. What goes around, comes around, because I was able to pay them back because of my success. If you don't have a great family, then to have the support of your friends is just as good. I think it's very important with who you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with good people, they will keep you grounded. In the end, it is just a job, it's not all of who I am. If you stay true to who you are, I think you'll be even more successful.
I also think it's important to be grateful for every opportunity you've been given. That is something I really try to do. I keep a gratitude journal and try to write what am I grateful for everyday. I think just having gratitude is something that will keep people grounded.
11. What's the best advice you've ever received? It's from my dad and it's actually a book that I'm reading now, but one of the things he said, "Don't sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff." The other piece of advice he gave me was to make sure you laugh everyday because laughter will help you get through the really crappy times. Maybe that's why I want to do a sitcom or something funny because something about laughing just makes the bad times bearable and makes the good times even better.
12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Hehehe...if I could dream about anyone, oh gosh, that's funny. Well, sometimes very often I dream of my husband because in the crazy world of being parents we are so often consumed with our child, which we love, but we miss each other. Very often I'll be like "Honey, I had a dream of you last night and it was just the two of us."
Alicia: Because you gave me peanut butter, didn't you?
Me: Yeah, I gave you peanut butter and a peanut butter cookbook.
Alicia: I have a picture with you of me holding up a jar of peanut butter, that's how I remember.
Me: So do you like crunchy or smooth? Crunchy baby. I need something to chow my teeth on.
14. Favorite way to spend my day off? Running around with my daughter and taking her out for lunch. Just having lunch with my husband and my daughter. A few years ago, I would have never said that, but when you have a child, it changes your life. When you run around with a two year old, it's so amazing because you get to see everything through their eyes. Everything is fun for them, which in turn, makes everything fun for you.
15. Favorite skin care product? Dr. Alkaitis. It's this organic skin care line. They have this day cream and night cream that is all organic oils and vitamins and beautiful flowers. It's so good for your skin and it smells good. Your skin is all glowy when you put it on. I swear by this. It totally agrees with my skin. I love it, LOVE IT! I order it online from NY because I have to have it. Hahaha.
16. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I was going to say read minds, but I don't think I really want to know what people are thinking. You know what I would love it to be, I would love to be able to fly.
Me: I have to tell you, I still have the picture that you signed for me from the last fan club event. When I was singing and I did that parody of "Material Girl" to plots of "All My Children" and you signed that picture, "Keep singing you rock star!" I still have that. It's hanging in my apartment and I look at it everyday.
Alicia: Oh, that's so sweet! I remember it. I'm so happy you are doing this. Congratulations to you! This is awesome! I feel as though our paths will cross again, if not at the fan events, then somewhere else.
Me: Thank you so much for your time.
Alicia: Oh my pleasure! I'm going to go have peanut butter now...this was so much fun!