All of us have the ability to make a difference, and Tina Alexis Allen* is using her platform in the public to do just that. As a playwright and actress she is using her public profile to raise awareness for causes that matter to her and having fun along the way.
This year she was seen on the hit show on WGN called Outsiders---and that is only one part of what has made 2016 a year to remember.
At the beginning of the year Allen tweeted this: "Stop looking around for permission to do or be anything. Just act into it." Those words seem to be guiding her path, too.
I asked her how she was able to gain the boldness and courage it takes to do what you love and stay consistent with it. "I think I've always been a risk-taker," she told me. "I'm a big believer of doing whatever you want at any age. I just feel like we are so capable as human beings... Most of us don't know how much energy and ability is within us."
Talking about her home life and the optimism she has, Allen added: "I come from a place of everything is possible, you just have to get up and do it and not look for permission."
Being in an industry where there is so much competition, Allen says that she feels like a "blessed gal" to be a part of a cast and show like Outsiders. She told me that "Getting a job where I can work with people who are fantastic human beings and actors" is an amazing feeling. "There is something about the work that has always been at the core of what I love. It's the intimacy of interacting with other human beings on such high stakes and creating this magical world."
Outsiders has definitely been one of the shows this year that has taken social media and the world by storm. I asked her was it a surprise to see how people have taken to it. "I knew it was a great show," Allen says, adding "One can never tell how the public perception will be." Part of what she feels as though is driving the success is the fact that it is "touching on some important messages like what it means to be an outsider." While filming the show she told me that she thought "there's going to be a big group of people that will relate."
"I think the key that I've learned through this process is that we can start at any time," she told me. "We're here to help each other and love each other. That's really what feels the most satisfying."
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* Photos by Bobby Vuillard