A citizen artist from the neighborhood aims for Broadway but never forgets where she’s from.
From St. Bridget’s at age 5 to the Kimmel Center, Allison Boyle has followed her singing talent to bigger challenges and performance spaces (anyone remember the national anthem before last year’s Notre Dame/Temple game? That was Allison and her sister Jess bringing down the house). She’s now planning her biggest move yet — relocating to New York City to pursue her Broadway dream — while reflecting on how she got here, where she’s from, and what it means.
Since May, Allison has been back on Bowman Street in her parents’ house having graduated Temple University as a Musical Theatre major. Like characters in many of the musicals she’s been in, she’s looking for her big break.
Unlike them, she’s not waiting for a bit of stage magic to make it happen.
A tireless worker, she’s been in professional productions in and around Philly and New Jersey, constantly honing her craft while engaging her community as a citizen artist. (No diva here, but someone committed to sharing her talent and helping make her community better.)
Where did this drive come from? Easy answer – it started in the same house on Bowman in a neighborhood she calls her playground and safe haven. She’s proud to be from the Falls (a third generation Fallser) and credits the neighborhood with making her what she is today. “I learned my love of music and theater at St. Bridget’s (with a lot of help from Elise Malizia and my mom Michele). Without East Falls I don’t think I would’ve taken the career path I have.”
That path began at St. Bridget’s school in the Cherub Choir. Only 5 years old, Allison fell in love with singing and performing, eventually playing the Archangel Gabriel in the Kindergarten Nativity Scene. She sang often at home too until she felt she was ready for her first solo performance. Her mom told her she had a good voice but said she wouldn’t get her shot until she felt confident enough to ask her music teacher at St. Bridget’s, Elise Malizia.
She did and earned her first spotlight. It felt so great that to this day she wishes she could “just walk up to every casting director in New York city and say, ‘Excuse me, I would like to be cast in your show’ in the hopes that I’d get as lucky as I did when I was 5. Maybe someday that will work,” she laughs.
Until then she’s doing it the old-fashioned way, one audition at a time in New York city. “I go up a few times a month. It’s hard to get noticed, but nothing you do to improve your craft is a waste of time.” She believes that every audition she takes is a step in the right direction. And each one makes her better. “Auditions are really important because they help me work on staying positive and channel my nervous energy into creative energy.” The way she looks at it, being nervous “means I care about the work.”
Has she thought about what it’ll feel like to land her first NYC role? “Sure I have. I can’t imagine how great that’ll feel, but I think the journey will always be more interesting.”
In preparation for the 4th annual East Falls Caroling event this month (Allison and her sister Jessica have been “ringers” in our crew of enthusiastic amateur carolers every year and boy do we need em), we asked Allison about some of her favorite holiday memories in the Falls.
Favorite performances in the Falls?
My favorites are singing at St. Bridget’s Christmas Eve Mass every year and also being a part of the plays at St. Bridget’s School when I was a kid. Those plays were magical and my favorite part of going to school.
What are some of your favorite holiday songs? Why?
“O Holy Night” because I get to sing it every year on Christmas Eve with my sister, Jessica. I can’t think of many more special things then being able to sing this song with my one and only sister. I look forward to it every year. I also love “Joy to the World” because it was one of the first songs I ever learned how to sing. Lastly, I love “The Christmas Song” because it’s the first song I need to hear to get into the holiday spirit.
Join Allison, Jess, and the rest of the door-to-door carolers this year for some holiday spirit! Follow Come Caroling East Falls on Facebook for directions and how to add your house to the carolers’ route. We’ve got the perfect neighborhood for walking & singing your heart out. All ages, all welcome.
NYC or Bust!
You may wonder how Allie funds those train tickets to NYC for auditions (or is saving up the big $$$ to live in the Big Apple). Here are just a few —
- Performance gigs. Weddings, funerals, church singing, and more. Hire Allie to make your event special. Discounted rate for East Falls residents.
- Singing Lessons and Audition Coaching. Allison teaches voice lessons (at the Willson Vocal Academy in Bryn Mawr) and provides audition coaching for elementary to high school level students. East Falls kids get first lesson free of charge.
- Disney Vacation Planning Expert (Ears of Experience). Allie’s loved Disney World since she was a kid, so become a planning expert for the Magic Kingdom was a snap. In booking a Disney trip with her, you’ll get a seamless trip that enhances the magic, family time, and fun but minimizes the lines, crowds, and other stressful elements of planning a Disney vacation. Best of all, her travel agent services are FREE! (There is a small fee for concierge services.) East Falls special: Get a free “Ears of Experience” hat at the time of booking plus Allie’s guarantee that if any new promotions come out, she’ll match them and get you the best price.
Help Allie get to NYC!