Alexis Carra: The Triple Threat

GA 15 | Becoming A Performing Artist

 

Alexis Carra @alexisacarra is a Latina dancer, actress, singer, choreographer, teacher, and business owner. Her family is from Cuba, Argentina, and Spain. She started dancing at 2 and was competing by 9. She went to Yale, took a semester off Yale to tour with Anne Reinking’s production of Fosse, then went back to graduate from Yale and shifted her focus to theater. After college, she moved to NY and was cast in musical theater productions on Broadway almost right away. Impressive much? Since moving to LA, she’s starred and guest starred on many television shows while always honoring her dance skills and teaching class all over LA. Alexis co-founded @broadwayartscommunity with her best friend. Together, they mentor students on the road to becoming performing artists. She’s brilliant, beautiful, dynamic, funny, and so warm. Her journey with all its ups and downs and in betweens is everything we love to hear about.

Listen to the podcast here:

Alexis Carra: The Triple Threat

I have Alexis Carra with me. I almost died because she’s a personal icon of mine. Dance is probably my first true love. She is a dancer, the stuff of dreams, Cyd Charisse or Ginger Rogers. She’s that good. She told me about her story of how she started in dance and pivoted to musical theater. She was on Broadway in New York. She came to LA and she booked shows. She was on Mixology. She was on Recovery Road. Her acting career halted and how she transformed that into coming back to dance, coming back to her roots. She is the most thoughtful, smart, lovely and passionate person. I hope she comes back. She has a lot of stuff going on. If you ever want to look her up, she’s on Instagram under @AlexisACarra.

She also has her own company that she’s cofounded with her best friend called the Broadway Arts Community. They’re also on Instagram. You can go take her classes at The Edge if you want to, but also there are other studios. If you look on her website, AlexisCarra.com, she talks about all the different place that she teaches. I’m going to be going to take her class now that she’s told me I don’t have to be that great a dancer to go. I hope you enjoy her episode and you’ll be inspired because I was. Welcome, Alexis Carra. You’re Argentinian, Cuban and Spanish. Do you and your husband speak Spanish? Do either of you?

Yes, he’s probably better than me. I pronounce way better than him. I want to make sure I’m giving him the credit. My family is bilingual. I would say I’m conversational. I forget words and I conjugate verbs incorrectly sometimes.

Do your parents speak Spanish to each other?

No, they don’t. My parents are divorced and my mom remarried a total gringo. I grew up in a family that would go in and out of Spanish, but my grandmother is my Abuela. We speak Spanish around each other. The predominant language is English.

You grew up in Florida?

I did, in Tampa.

Both of your parents are shrinks or war shrinks?

My dad is no longer practicing. He was a psychiatrist. My mom retired a few years ago. She was a clinical psychologist specializing in child psychology.

What an amazing mother to grow up with.

She’s pretty much superwoman. It’s a lot to live up to.

You’re a pretty much superwoman to me. You do it all, sing, dance, act.

Thank you for having me.

I am so honored to have you. We did a show together, a tiny production of The Vagina Monologues with our mutual friend directing, Kristina Mitchell. It was a beautiful production. I remember thinking, “She’s such a great actress. She’s so beautiful.” I thought a lot of the girls in the show were awesome. Kristina and I came down to San Diego to see you in A Chorus Line. This is where I had the moment of a full on WTF moment because I was like, “She sings, dances and acts.” You’d never know what that means because I act and dance. My dancing in college was probably good, but nowhere near whatever. We go down to San Diego. I saw you as Cassie in A Chorus Line and I lost my mind because you are incredible. Kristina, who knows you well, said to me, “I didn’t know that she could do that.” When did you start dancing?

When I was two and a half. My mom put me in dance class because she says I danced before I walked. It’s my soul. It’s my happy place. The thing that has defined me the most, which is something that is interesting that I’ve noticed that you talk a lot about on the show. You’ve interviewed such amazing people and one of the common themes that I’ve noticed is people talking about the twists and turns, identity and struggling with letting go of certain identities or returning to things. For me, dance has been something that has grounded me. Even though now at 38 and pregnant, I am still dancing a lot. For me, I can’t do nearly the things that I used to. It’s funny because if I’m looking at myself through the eyes of other people. It’s like, “You can do so much.” For me, it feels weird.

Do you feel that the pregnancy has slowed you down a little bit?

For my standards, yes and also the recovery time after.

You have a lot of blood pumping through your veins when you’re pregnant, double the amount of blood and you have to catch your breath more. That’s a real thing because it’s dense, thicker and the volume of the blood.

You feel like you can do so much when you see yourself from other people's eyes. Click To Tweet

I always forget about that. Dance is definitely the thing because I’ve been dancing since I was two.

Does either of your parents dance?

My great grandmother was a piano player and very musical. Music has been in my family, but dance, I don’t know.

Dance for me is the highest form of art. When people imagine themselves in their fantasy world singing in the shower at the Tony’s or winning an Oscar, for me, it’s dancing because that is the most incredible form of expression. Usually when I read about dancers, it’s often that it runs in the family. Julianne Hough, who is awesome and an incredible dancer came from a family of ballroom dancers, had generations of dancers in her family, her brother. Were Bob Fosse’s parents also dancers?

It’s crazy that I did Fosse/Verdon. He came from a background like Vaudeville.

You didn’t have dance in your family. You were touched by the gods that happened to you.

It’s by amazing teachers.

Your mom recognized that you are a mover and a shaker when you are a mini person. She put you in dance class. Was it ballet?

It was one of those combo classes. All my teachers were at my baby shower in Tampa. They were at our wedding. They are such mentors to me. Part of my focus has shifted so much to teaching. The story goes that my mom walked into the studio to sign me up and I walked into a class that was already going on, went up to the mirror and started posing. My teacher, who is Ms. Donna, remembered being in the studio and watching me walk in and posing in the mirror.

It went on from there. Did you do everything classical, ballet, jazz?

I did. I started getting serious about ballet when I was probably nine. My dad was around, but he was not a great dad. My mom was essentially a single mom because she was the breadwinner and doing everything. My grandparents were the people who stepped up and raised me. I did have a nanny as a kid because my mom was working and still an awesome mom. The reason why I bring that up is that I had the opportunity to go away a lot of summers and dance to ballet camps. It started off mostly with ballet. In high school, I started doing more modern and I went to Alvin Ailey for a summer. I started going to musical theater camps. My family was not rich. My mom worked her ass off to make these things happen for me.

At a certain age, everyone must have realized that not only did you love it, but you were great at it. Did you start to compete in things?

I did. I was a competitive dancer. I started competing around nine. It started to get serious around nine.

Having danced a lot in my life, but never to your level, I danced a lot and to be obsessed with dancers. I read about them, the discipline that it takes to finish your studies, do well in school, come take all the classes, do all the rehearsals. It also gives you an amazing foundation for life with how disciplined and organized with it you have to be because you went to a little school like Yale.

I do think it all went together, the discipline. Ironically, I don’t think I was a very disciplined person. With dance, I was. I got good at being efficient and being able to do as little possible to try to still get a good grade. That sounds terrible.

No, it doesn’t. I feel that efficiency. You’re working smarter.

GA 15 | Becoming A Performing Artist
Becoming A Performing Artist: Dancing is the most incredible form of expression.

 

It would bite me in the butt later because there are certain things in life that you can’t cut corners on. I don’t think I understood. I would say it’s harder to get into Yale than it is to stay in. Once you get there, there are many different ways, the way classes are structured that I felt like I had to manage my time at college, but it wasn’t like study nonstop.

You did well. You graduated from Yale. You had your own dance company while you were there, The Yale Dancer.

It has already started, but I choreographed and was a member. I don’t know if I was the artistic director at one point. I honestly can’t even remember, but I choreographed a lot, which was cool because it did spark my interest in choreography which I’ve always loved. I choreographed in high school for my studio as well and to choreograph at college. I took a semester off while I was in college to do my first job, which was the first national tour of Fosse.

It’s your junior year off. You deferred a year?

I took a semester off and my mom was like, “You’re going back to school to finish.” After that I was like, “I’m going to major in theater.” At that point, I hadn’t even declared a major. I hadn’t even decided what I was going to be taking.

You’re taking the basic classes? You went to Yale for Undergrad. You get a BA there.

They call them distribution requirements. It’s open and the liberal arts foundation that I could have majored in psychology or religious studies or theater. You don’t have to concentrate until later. My senior year, I ended up my senior thesis for theater studies. My roommate at the time, Kate McGovern, who’s a writer, we wrote together and she was the one who structured it, a one-woman show that I performed in and it was our concept. She directed me in it and that was my final grade.

That’s the best story. That’s the best way to get it, something that you completely invested in.

It was a very amazing experience.

You did the tour. You came back to Yale for your senior year. You knew that you wanted to do theater. That’s what you focused on. Did you move to New York?

I moved to New York and I pounded the pavement.

Did you work right away?

No, I worked for the guy who leased us our apartment. He worked for a broker company thing and I showed apartments for him. His name was Eric Fleming. He was cool and he was hilarious. Me and Kate, my roommate, worked for Eric Fleming. I got to know the city. It was enough of a side hustle to also allow time to audition.

You got to New York and were you auditioning for dance, theater or both?

It’s for musical theater by that point.

When did you also know you could sing? Did you always know?

I started singing in middle school and I started taking a little more seriously in high school.

By the time you were at Yale, you knew that you could sing.

It wasn’t my strength. I would say first was dance, acting and singing. It was the thing I was least confident in. When I got to New York, I worked on my voice.

Did you take voice class?

Yeah, I took voice lessons and I had great teachers. My very first show in New York was Fame. It was off Broadway, but it was on 42nd Street. We were off Broadway by one seat. It was 499 seats and you have to be 500 seats to be a Broadway show.

It’s still a huge production.

It was the first time Fame had ever been done in New York City. It was always a tour.

What was your role?

I was in the ensemble. I understudied two of the principal parts.

Did you get to go on?

Yeah, I went on all the time. I met two of my closest, dearest girlfriends in that production.

Is this one of the friends that you started Broadway Arts Camp with?

It’s not. I met her on Fosse, so before.

You met her on the Yale tour of Fosse?

Yeah. In 2001 is when I met Chrissy.

You’re in New York. When people go to New York and you’re fresh out of college, you’re taking voice lessons, you have a side hustle showing apartments. Did you get an agent right away? How did you go to the audition?

I had an introduction to an agent because the thing is, I had the advantage of having done a big credit like Fosse. I was in the right place at the right time. It was one of those examples where luck is when opportunity meets like skills. I had worked my butt off. I was prepared and the door opened. I was ready at the right time.

You had the Fosse credit?

It was big because I had my equity card and many people moved to New York don’t have your equity card. It made it so much easier for me to get into audition.

How did you get the Fosse show?

I went to Anne Ranking summer intensive Broadway Theater Project. It’s also a full circle for me.

GA 15 | Becoming A Performing Artist
Becoming A Performing Artist: You can do your best when you are completely invested in it.

 

In college or prior?

In college. It took me two to three years for her to see me and she pulled me into the stairwell. It’s like, “How would you like to join the first national tour of Fosse?”

You made it to New York. You had the credit, you had the chops, you had the agent.

I did get an agent eventually. I don’t think it was right away, but I had been in touch with one. Eventually, I got an agent.

I saw on your resume that you did several Broadway shows.

I did Wicked. That was my first Broadway show. I was the ensemble. I was a swing, not a swinger. It’s very different. As a swing on a Broadway show, you learn every single female track.

That sounds harder than having one role.

I was a swing on Fosse as well.

Did you ever have to go into a role or were you like, “Which one is it?” You’re in the middle of a number and you’re like, “Where do I go?”

Yeah. You would think I would be more organized at that point. I’m not by nature an organized person. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to learn that skillset. The organization skill, I do feel I had to learn that. When I learned it, when I realized that the actual extra step of taking the time to be organized because I like to do things so fast, creates less anxiety in the long run. I’ve learned to practice it and I’ve gotten so much better at time management and organization. I’m an adult now.

I won’t even say I’m good at it, but I’ve gotten better at it as I’ve gotten older and especially since becoming a mom. My time now is so limited that I have to be good about it and I have to treat it like it is the most precious resource. It took me probably longer than you. I’m a little bit better out on it, not great.

A little bit better is good.

You’re doing Broadway in New York, booking shows.

I was in Sweet Charity with Christina Applegate.

How did you come out to Los Angeles?

I always had an inkling to want to do TV and film, especially comedies and sitcoms and stuff. The truth of it is there was a boy. Not my husband. We met doing a show and he had a manager out in LA and he was like, “I’m going to go out in LA.” The show closed. All of it felt right and Wicked was doing a sit-down company in LA and they needed a vacation. They needed somebody to do a temporary replacement out here while somebody was on vacation. It was an injury. I ended up being able to come out here and see if I liked it. He was going to move out here. Long story short, we ended up moving out together and getting a place together and doing that whole thing.

Did it work out?

That didn’t work out. New York feels like home to me, but doing eight shows a week, a Broadway schedule is grueling and beyond anything is hard. I didn’t love that I didn’t get holidays and I didn’t get nights and weekends. I didn’t love the schedule. I got out here and I started to make a little bit of headway. I found a community of women that I’ve been now involved in for twelve years. I’m on the board with one of my best friends that I met through my ex-fiancé. I also met Kristina through the same guy. I met these amazing women through this man. I was supposed to be with him because I met two of my best friends. Brianna Brown, who’s one of my best friends, started this group ages ago called The New Hollywood. I’ve been a member for years now and I’m on the board. That community of women, I was like, “I don’t want to leave this community.”

What does that group do? You do a lot of good.

We do so much good. We spread good. It’s a goal group. It’s about accountability and helping people. We now have men accountable to their goals, but we also have initiatives like micro-grants and we do charitable events together.

Did you do a dance flash mob?

We’ve done a couple of dances, a benefit, but I don’t know if we did. I think we did a flash mob. We’re a group to help inspire socially conscious changemakers and filmmakers and anything involved in creation and that is trying to do good in the world.

We’ve had a few guests on and it’s such a great common theme that I’m glad has emerged. All of these people being so active for all different causes. It’s important to put your talent and your hard work and nothing is more worthy.

I won’t speak for her because she’s somebody who you should totally have on the show because what I will say is what made me want to stay in LA even though it’s so hard out here, it felt hard to be out here was that it was a community of women at that time. It was women that were not trying to compete against each other. Even though a lot of us do the same things and even though we’ve gone up and down as an organization, in the end, the women that are in this group that I’ve known for years, they were all in it together. Everyone’s rooting. We share each other’s successes. I do not think I could have made it in Los Angeles. I know I couldn’t without this group. There’s no way.

Community is everything.

I’d be with a needle in my arm, probably in Venice somewhere.

It’s crucial to have your tribe. You’ve booked two starring roles in series. There was Mixology. There was Recovery Road.

You did your research and you have to look at notes impressive.

Those were not dancing roles?

No, acting. I always thought I would teach. I started teaching at The Edge in 2010, 2011. The Edge is a dance studio in LA and there are way more intimidating studios now. The Edge is chill. I love it. I started teaching there and I’ve always kept my class up, but I put dance on the back burner. I focused on acting. It did pay off and I did get to do these two series. My goal was to come out here, get on a series, make a name for myself so that I could go back to Broadway and play a role. That’s always what I wanted to do. That was the plan. I haven’t gone back to Broadway yet, but I will. It could be also as a choreographer this time.

You’re talking like the stuff of my fantasy.

My dream was always to win a Tony. Choreography, that was what my dream was. It’s interesting how things are coming back to dance. I put dance on the side and I did these two TV series, which were incredible experiences. I worked with the creators of The Hangover, John Scott. Recovery Road was on ABC family as we switched to Freeform. I met some amazing people.

Mixology had one season.

They were one season each. I met my husband at the end of Mixology as Recovery Road is starting.

What does he do? Can we hear a little bit about him?

His name is Christopher Girbés. He’s a financial advisor and a CFP, Certified Financial Life planner.

GA 15 | Becoming A Performing Artist
Becoming A Performing Artist: Putting more worth on your talent and hard work is important.

 

You guys are a good balance. I don’t know about that stuff.

I didn’t either. I love learning about it. It’s very weird.

How did you meet him?

I met him doing this emotional intelligence leadership workshop called Mastery and Transformational Journey.

Were you both clients’ students?

We were both members’ clients. He had had a dear friend who’s very successful, Lewis Howes, who has a successful podcast. Lewis and Chris are very close. His nickname is Critter. That’s my husband’s nickname for years since he was a child. He said, “I’ve been doing this thing and you would love it.” My husband is a very open. He’s pretty feely for being like a financial jock guy. He’s a feeling money person. He loves listening to people talk about their lives and how he can support them in their financial wellness. It’s pretty amazing what he does. Lewis enrolled him in that and my boyfriend at the time told me about it. It’s very weird. I met my husband through my boyfriend.

Your boyfriend at the time said, “You should do this course.” You were like, “What a great thing.” You went there and you met future hubby and that’s it?

I was in a relationship and he was very respectful. We weren’t even close friends. We were acquaintances in the group, but we both had similar leadership styles and I respected him. We both bonded on the fact that we have crappy fathers. We had one great conversation about that. I looked up to him. The relationship I was in was probably the best breakup of my life. It was respectful. We should write a book about our breakup because it was never together and had all these mutual friends. It was still hard. It was ultimately very mutual. We all have the same friends. It was handled with so much integrity and respect. I’m so glad because otherwise, it would have been super messy.

I have an acquaintance who I went to college with. She’s an amazing writer and she went through a divorce and they co-parent. It was horrible in the beginning. They have worked through. They are now such good friends. They’re both with other people so happy. They co-parent their daughters and she said, “I have respect from my ex-husband all the time.”

I would say if it wasn’t for him introducing MITC to me, I wouldn’t have met my now husband.

This is a great story and your husband sounds amazing. You did the two shows. You meet your hubby.

My career went to crap.

After Recovery Road was canceled?

He was in this great job. He was a COO of a small RAAs, a small financial planning company. This woman that he worked for decided to sell it to a larger company. He didn’t want to work for a demand. He decided to start his own business and my show got canceled. We got married. It was like good timing. The first year of marriage was challenging for us.

You’re both in your professional lives struggling.

I have had so much to go back to what I said at the beginning about identity. I have had so much of my identity wrapped up in achievement and success meaning money, accolades and validation from the industry or people outside sources. Even though I intellectually understood that I wasn’t supposed to be receiving happiness or self-worth through that, I never understood how. It’s not something that you can teach people. I know my mom tried to teach me.

I don’t think that’s teachable. In theory, these outside sources and this validation from other people shouldn’t mean anything. It’s all inside your inner strength, your core, whatever. Until things go very wrong and you have to find it for yourself, how are you supposed to describe that? It’s like having a baby or going through a death or some grief.

It could be a divorce. My husband and I always say, “We’ve sat in the fire before.”

Luck is when opportunity meets skills. Click To Tweet

You’re one of marriage, which is supposed to be that bliss time.

Some people did say, “Your first year of marriage can be tough.” Our engagement was so easy and we got along so well. It did happen fast. We dated for six months, got engaged and married ten months later. It was fast. We got married in 2015.

Things were rough professionally. When did things start to turn around for you?

I wouldn’t say as an actor, it’s completely turned around because I haven’t been on another series since Recovery Road. If I’m measuring success based off of my bank account and as an actor, being on a TV series, unless you book a bunch of national commercials, which now is a whole different thing because it’s hard. I still haven’t been on another TV series. However, what’s turned around for me is that I started my own business. I’ve gone back to my roots of dance, choreography and teaching. I’ve had to let go of so much ego, bull honky. In terms of what’s turned around is that I have now some inkling of what it means to be happy from the inside out. I do think that has to do with why I got pregnant eventually.

Did you guys work at that for a while?

On and off. I took the stuff called Clomid. I needed some help with my ovulation.

We have had a fertility doctor. My podcast partner and I both went through IVF. It did not work for me. Both my children were conceived naturally. The reason we went through it is because my husband had cancer, so he had chemo. You took Clomid?

Yeah, that got my eggs flowing and I was happy. We had faced so many things. His business started turning around for him as well. There was less financial. I feel that part of what I’ve learned through the ups and downs and now being a very small business entrepreneur and part of it being about giving back and going back to my roots of being a teaching artist and mentorship and passing on what I’ve learned and how to make money doing that too. You’ve owned a studio before. You have to be able to pay for yourself. It’s hard.

When things were rough and you weren’t booking shows, you went back into teaching. You were working all over.

I was desperate.

I want to say first of all that I love to dance. It is my favorite form of art but also of exercise. I want to come and take your class. I’m too intimidated because do you only have professional dancers in your class?

No, I have so many different levels. Some weeks, the combination may be harder than others.

If people suck, is that okay?

Kristina is not the best dancer and she will say it. She’s taken my class several times. I help people try and get at least one count of eight. She would nail one count of eight and the rest of it, she was giving you acting and performance, which can elevate a performance. I have all levels.

There is a teacher that I like and she teaches hip hop. She teaches on the West Side. I want to come over to take your class, but I take Frankie Fluoro. She teaches a class that’s so hard. I can barely keep up. It’s an awesome class. It’s a hip-hop class. She has all different levels of people who are so badass. She teaches at LA Dance Fit and More Dancing. The thing about the dance class, I would go every single day if I could. The fact that it’s cardio and it’s amazing. You’re sweating and your heart is pounding. Remembering steps is so good for your brain. All the studies show that the proprioception of the mind will keep your brain fresh. It’s supposed to be great and the mind-body connection, staving off any Alzheimer’s, the remembering of steps. I want to come and take your class now that you’ve told me people can be terrible. I have to hide behind people who know. When did you book Fosse/Verdon?

That was a dream. It’s been other than Fosse and Wicked. It’s a career highlight. I booked at the very end of 2018. I know Andy Blanken Bueller. He’s a mentor of mine. He’s a famous choreographer and choreographed Hamilton and The Heights. One of the things about this industry and what another common theme in your show is for me the best part are the relationships. Andy has been a mentor, friend and somebody who I have so much respect and I’ve learned so much from. When I found out he was choreographing the series, I emailed him and I was like, “I have to be involved in this.” He’s like, “You’ve got to come to New York to the dance call. There are going to be a couple of small rules here and there.” I was like, “I’m doing it.” I went to the dance call.

I love that you made your own luck there. You wrote him. You pull yourself to New York.

I went after it. I was in the call. It was me and my best friend, Chrissy, from Broadway Arts Camp, which we started. It’s called Broadway Arts Community now. We went and I was in this dance call with all twenty-year-olds. We’re the old ladies in the corner. I have never seen the dancing that I saw at that audition. It was the best in the world. I was like, “Andy, these people are amazing.”

GA 15 | Becoming A Performing Artist
Becoming A Performing Artist: The best part in being a dancer or an artist are the relationships you form with co-artists.

 

Was the audition hard?

We couldn’t walk the next day.

I loved Fosse/Verdon. I thought Michelle Williams was transcendent in that role. At that one scene where at the end she’s trying to keep up. She’s having trouble because she’s older. All the dancers are and she’s like, “I need a minute.” That’s me now.

I play the role of Sherry, which is based on the real person. They couldn’t find the role of Anne Ranking, even though I know that they had seen Margaret, who ended up playing the role was so perfect for the part. I was like, “I want to put myself on tape for it” My manager got on the horn with casting and was like, “She doesn’t have the right look but we see her.” They’re like, “Yeah.” I put myself on tape and they loved the tape. They were like, “She’s not ready for Anne Ranking, but I think there’s going to be a pretty great arc in an episode coming up.” They were still writing things and it worked out. It was so fine.

How long were you working on it?

We rehearsed for a week and shot on and off for ten, eleven days. I was in New York. It was so great. It was great to work in New York. Sam Rockwell is amazing. He was respectful and the director of the episode, Jessica Yu, who was nominated for an Emmy. I want it to win all the awards. It’s a great series. I remember Sam was nervous about the scene because it was a little aggressive. It was the subject matter. I feel like such a creep. I’m like, “You are.” He did a great job. We rehearsed and he was respectful.

Michelle Williams did an interview with IndieWire and she said what a phenomenal experience across the board working on the show is with the directors, the writers, Sam Rockwell, the choreographers, FX. She said top to bottom that it was the best.

It was an amazing experience for me too. It was fifteen degrees in New York City.

What is Broadway Arts Community?

I started in 2017 with my best friend, Chrissy Whitehead. It started because we both have a very similar teaching philosophy and we were running around teaching for other people. We were like, “Let’s create our own thing where we can focus on mentorship and a healthy mindset and passing on not like tools of singing, hacking to acting and dancing, but the soft skills that we’ve learned on the way.” It has grown. The reason why we changed it to community is because what we realized is it’s not a camp.

Can adults do it?

Yeah. A few years ago, we had three people from Sweden come that were adults. I teach in Sweden. We had somebody in her 50s come. It’s about creating a community of artists and giving people tools and tips to stay healthy in the business. Part of that is learning how to sing, act and dance and a better singer, dancer, actor but also the stuff that goes along with it being the industry.

You’re the perfect person with your best friend who I’m sure is also the co-chair, a perfect person to run this.

We’ve been doing for a few years. We have now workshops that we’re running. We’re calling the younger one Broadway Arts Camp still. It’s like Broadway Arts Camp junior for the little ones.

You’ll be back teaching?

Yeah. It’s my baby. It’s our thing. We love it. We’re going to be offering some online courses now. It’s expanding.

Can you find all of this on your website? On Instagram, you’re @AlexisACarra? Are you still under Triple Threat Teacher or no more?

You can go to that website but you can also go to BroadwayArtsCommunity.com. If you type Broadway Arts Camp, it takes you there anyway still because we’re in the middle of changing.

I feel like this is all feeding your steps toward getting a Tony for choreography.

I don’t know how it’s going to come together, but I have to say it’s feeling like it’s flowing.

I read on your website that you like Travis Elliott, his yoga classes. I wanted to say I’ve never taken his class, but his wife, Lauren, I love her meditation classes. I love her yoga classes. My husband has completed Vipassana twice. It’s the silent meditation for ten days. I cannot tell you how thankful I am that you came to do this with me. I hope you come back. I’m going to be at your classes now that you’ve given me you don’t have to be as good as you.

It’s for all ages and abilities.

Thank you. I love you. I’m so glad that we reconnected here.

Thank you.

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About Alexis Carra

GA 15 | Becoming A Performing Artist

I am a Latina woman, born and raised in Tampa Florida. I have Spanish, Argentine, and Cuban blood on both sides of my family. Emotion, opinions, passionate discussions, and raised voices, with everyone speaking at once, were a normal part of my childhood. NOTHING was private—we were all an open book. That may seem intrusive and perhaps chaotic to some, but to me, it felt like love. Making sacrifices for each other, and investing in one another is what my family was and still is all about. Oh…and both of my parents are “shrinks.”

From as early as I can remember, music and dance were a part of my heritage. My mom says I actually danced before I walked. I was just out of diapers and barely 2 when I started dance classes. By the time I was ten, I was dancing with Bay Ballet Theatre, concurrently with my childhood dance studio, Centerstage Dance Academy. During summers I studied dance in programs throughout the country: Alvin Ailey, Princeton Ballet, Nutmeg Ballet, Broadway Dance Center, and LA’s own Edge Performing Arts Center.

I danced a lot and studied a lot! I went to a prep school in Tampa where I learned how to study, be disciplined, and to love musical theatre. My Drama and Music teachers at Berkeley Prep still support and guide me. With a demanding academic schedule, I learned to carry books with me everywhere and studied in the car, in between dance classes, and managed to be accepted at Yale University where I graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Theatre Studies. Being at Yale was a spectacular experience intellectually, artistically, and emotionally.

While at Yale, I took a leave of absence during my Junior Year to tour the world with the First National Broadway Company of Ann Reinking’s Tony Award-winning musical review Fosse. That experience confirmed what I already knew – dance and theatre were essential to my future! Following graduation I was off to NYC where I performed in several Broadway shows, including, Wicked, Sweet Charity, Fame on 42nd Street, and The Pirate Queen. I transferred to LA with Wicked and the Southern California sunshine and landscape were so addicting that I never left. Making a transition from theatre to television and film was natural as I grew up watching Dick Van Dyke, Cyd Charisse, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and Leslie Caron in the classic movie musicals. It was a harsh reality to switch gears, but persistence and sheer grit have kept me going. Thank you, mom, thank you Berkeley, thank you Yale, and thank you, dear friends, on whose shoulders (and couches) I inevitably leaned hard—really hard.

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