Alicia Minshew was born and raised in South Florida. She was the third of four girls in a tight-knit family. Her mother, Lenore, is a Pilates instructor, and her father, James, is an Episcopal minister. Born with the acting bug, she has wanted to act professionally for as long as she can remember. After graduating high school, Minshew received a musical theatre scholarship to attend 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 broadcast live reports.
After college, Minshew began working as a model in Miami. She was soon invited to audition for All My Children in New York. She wasn’t cast at the time, but the experience pushed her to take the leap and relocate to the Big Apple. Minshew built an impressive acting and modeling resume, appearing in numerous national commercials, voiceovers, and print ads. Her big break came full-circle when she was cast in the role of Susan Lucci’s daughter, Kendall Hart on AMC, filling the shoes of Sarah Michelle Gellar. Minshew’s portrayal of Kendall soon became a fan-favorite, earning her a spot as a leading lady. She was recognized with two Daytime Emmy nominations for the role, and attracted a huge fan base. She also starred in the New York live stage productions of “Beggar on Horseback,” “Of Love and Betrayal” and most recently “My Big Gay Italian Wedding.”
Now that All My Children is off the air, Minshew is entering the next phase of her career. She recently made her mark back on TV with a guest role on the hit series Royal Pains. Minshew has also transitioned to the big screen, with two indie films under her belt. She showcased her talent in Desires of The Heart in the lead role of Madeline, a Savannah artist with a mysterious past who captures the heart of an Indian psychiatrist. The film won the award for Best Foreign Film at the La Femme Film Festival in Los Angeles and also screened at the Cannes Film Festival. She will also be seen with top billing and a pivotal role in Lies I Told My Little Sister. As the heart of the film, she plays Sarah, the oldest and most and beloved sister whose untimely death triggers the entire plot of a family trying to figure out how to go on without her. The movie held its world premiere at the Gasparilla International Film Festival and is continuing its festival run.
Minshew is also keeping busy exploring new mediums in the industry. She was most recently seen with a lead role in the political web-series Beacon Hill, which is streaming now. Fans can also look forward to seeing her in the highly-anticipated Tainted Dreams, which will give viewers a behind the scenes look at the making of a soap opera. The series has already received critical acclaim with a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding New Approaches Drama Series category. Her latest one-hour dramedy series, Surviving Sam, was also just picked up by the new TVtibi.com network.
Outside of acting, Minshew has established herself as holistic living, fitness, and healthy food advocate. She has maintained a presence in the press and to date has been featured in Allure, TV Guide, Soap Opera Digest, People, Soaps in Depth, The Hollywood Reporter, E! Online, CelebrityBabyScoop, and the cover of Pregnancy, to name a few. She has also appeared on The View, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Gayle King, Showbiz Tonight, and most recently HLN’s Dr. Drew On Call. A passionate philanthropist, she has committed a great deal of her time, energy, and resources to charities that help children, including AmeriCorps City Year and The Trisomy 18 Foundation. In her free time, she enjoys long distance running, weight training, Pilates, dancing, and writing. She also loves spending time with her young daughter, Willow Lenora, and husband, Richie Herschenfeld.
Hi Alicia, please can you tell us a little about you?
I am a proud mommy to my 5 year old daughter Willow, loving wife to restaurant owner Richie Herschenfeld and a blessed actress to continue being able to do what I love. I am originally from Florida but now live in the best city in the world, New York City, of course! I was lucky to play the super fun role of Kendall Hart on All My Children for 10 years until it went off the air. That job helped give me the life I have today. I enjoy finding the balance of being a mommy and doing new and exciting acting jobs.
How did you get in the industry?
I have always wanted to act ever since I could remember. It all started with a high school play that gave me the acting bug! I wanted to do musicals and Broadway as I used to sing and dance as well. I started out by doing local plays and community theatre in Florida. It then escalated to doing commercials in Miami and hosting a music show as well. Ultimately, I chose to make the move to NYC at the age of 21 years old (with my parents blessing) and that is really what changed my life. I got an agent and manager, studied at a great acting school and started going on many auditions. After working on some indie films and commercials, I then booked AMC (All My Children)! That is when the reality began.
What’s the best part of being an actress?
There are so many great parts of being an actress. One of them is meeting and connecting with so many different and interesting people. You get to really connect with the other actors. Each experience is unique. But I always love meeting and working with new people. Each cast becomes like a family, which is really special. I also think getting to express yourself is another huge reason for me. It is such a great emotional outlet. I love making people “feel”, whether it is crying or laughing. Lastly, it is just so damn fun to play dress up and become someone else for a while!
Can you describe a typical day in your life?
A typical day? Well, it changes depending on if I am working or have auditions. If not, I am up at 6:30 am with my daughter, getting her dressed, fed and ready for school or in this case, summer camp. After she goes off to camp or school, I hit the gym and get my workout in then have some lunch and meditation time. And if I have an audition, I study and get ready for that. By the end of the day we are all beat and have an early dinner at around 5:30 pm. I am lucky that my hubby cooks! We always make sure we have reading time and silly fun time before bedtime. Now when I am out of town or working…then it all changes. When I work I usually leave the house before my kid does. Sometimes even before she is up which can be a bummer. I am lucky I have Richie to help out and really be there for her when I am not. He is very hands on. My goal is to be back from working in time to kiss her before bed.
How important was for you working on All My Children hit soap series?
AMC changed my life, so it was very important. It gave me a career. I learned so much as an actor and as a person on that show that has carried on into my life today. I also would have never met my hubby and had my little girl. So it really gave me the life I have today.
How did you got involved in this project?
My manager at the time kept sending me on Soap auditions. And the casting director from AMC, Judy Wilson, kept calling me back. Finally, she called me in for the role of Kendall and that is the one I landed!
And about your latest series Surviving Sam, tell us about it?
Surviving Sam is a dramedy for SilverTree Entertainment. It is the story of a divorced couple forced to live under the same roof with their 2 kids. All sorts of silly antics ensue. I play the bitchy high maintenance wife, Sam, and comedian Rob Magnotti plays my neurotic husband. We have a lot of fun together. It is a very funny cast full of comedians, which is refreshing for me. We shot the pilot in New Jersey and are gearing to shoot the remaining 11 episodes of Season One!
We heard your film Lies I Told My Little Sister just got a distribution deal? Can you tell us about your role and where fans can see it?
Yes we are excited to get distribution for Lies I Told My Little Sister. It is a lovely family film written by Judy White in which I have a cameo. It stars Lucy Walters from the Starz show “Power” and I play her older sister who is dying of cancer. You see me in all of her flashbacks. She is so amazing in this film, as well as the rest of the cast. It has done very well at several film festivals. It is being distributed by Arc Entertainment and will be released October 6th!
You recently got your third Daytime Emmy nomination for your role on the web series Beacon Hill. Congrats! Can you tell us about the series and your character? Where can people find it?
The Emmy nom for Beacon Hill was such a pleasant surprise. Beacon Hill is a political web-series that involves 2 gay women, who are former lovers. It deals with their relationship as well as politics and their opposing families.It is written by the ladies of Bella Books, produced by Crystal Chappell and has a ton of other known Soap stars in it. Lots of familiar faces! I play a reporter Sara, and Sarah Brown plays my ex-lover. Lots of drama ensues! You can watch it on beaconhilltheseries.com
We saw you now are taking on the producer hat as well as co-starring in the film This is Now. Can you tell us how you got involved and about the film/your role?
This is Now was a labor of love. This film script has been in my possession for many years. I am so glad we finally got it made with the perfect cast! It was written and directed by my very talented friend Markus Redmond. His last film did well at Sundance and this is sort of a sequel to that. It is the story of a group of people who went to high school together and they have come together years later to do a community theatre show. As this takes place -all sorts of emotions and secrets come out! I play Lorraine, the school drama queen. She dresses like she is stuck in the 1940’s, which was fun for me! I enjoyed the whole process of seeing it all come together. Markus and I are in the process of producing another one together!
Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
I would say my parents have made the biggest impact on my life. They have always been extremely supportive of me, my aspirations and my choices. They have raised me to be grounded and to always be grateful. I am trying to do the same with my daughter.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
3 words. Hmmmm….silly, sensitive and empathetic
Any loves other than acting?
I love dancing! I could dance all damn day. Oh and I love eating!!!
Name 3 things you can’t live without?
Can’t live without (well my hubby and daughter) obviously but they are people. 3 ‘things” would be—my facial moisturizer, my curl creme for my frizzy head, and my lip gloss!
Best advice ever given?
“Always be kind.”-from my parents.
Name one your strengths?
One of my strengths is comforting people by making them laugh. I’ve got a bag of silly tricks!
How do you spend your spare time?
Spare time-hanging with my daughter Willow!
What are guilty pleasures food wise?
Cookies, Carrot cake, and Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery. YUM!
Something people don’t know about you?
That I used to wear a head gear! hee hee!!
Do you support any charity?
I support a lot of charities. Most recently, the Trisomy 18 Foundation and City Year.
What do you think of the Social Media?
I think social media has its pros and cons. I will focus on the pros. I think it is a great way for people to stay connected and a great way to get information.
Where we can follow you?
@alicia_minshew on Twitter and my website aliciaminshew.com
Travel destination: Italy!
Quote: “I live to laugh!”
Favorite Music: Everything! (from Green Day to Madonna to Yanni! Ha)!
Drink: Coconut Water
Sports Team: Um, I have to say the Jets for my hubby.
TV Show: Impractical Jokers. Yup..I am deep.
Book: Letters to a Young Poet. That affected me profoundly.
Actor/Actress: Paul Rudd/Julianne Moore
Movie: Gone with the Wind and Ghost
Song: Pachabel ’s Canon in D….. Oh and Guns N Roses-Paradise City (how is that for range)?
Photo credit: Barry Hollywood