Allie is best known for her recent role as a series regular star in the Sundance Channel original series, The Red Road, as Rachel Jensen. The highly successful series returned for season 2 in April 2015. Allie also released her debut solo project, “Hollywood High,” on April 7, 2015.
Born in Texas as the youngest of four, Allie knew what she wanted out of life, very early on. Although none of her siblings are in creative fields, the arts have always been a strong and varied passion for her. Growing up, she studied ballet, hip-hop, and jazz, and participated in school musicals regularly. She attended a private magnet school until seventh grade where she was surrounded by peers with driven spirits, and lofty goals, (Olympic champ Nastia Liuken was a classmate.)
At the ripe age of four, an unexpected encounter with the pre-fame country group Dixie Chicks was the trigger that jumpstarted Allie’s move into music. The meeting ignited a spark in her and after watching Martie Maguire play the fiddle, Allie asked her mom for violin lessons. At nine, Allie’s family friends noticed her exceptional singing voice and encouraged her to consider performing professionally. She auditioned at The Garland Opry (where LeAnn Rimes got her start), and was soon performing on stage. Over the next couple years, Allie joined the Dallas Youth Orchestra, and performed at various festivals, sporting events, and other venues around Texas. Allie knew music was in her blood and she says it is her biggest influence in every aspect of life.
Music wasn’t the only passion that came early to Allie. She credits the classic film, The Wizard of Oz, for her love for theater and acting. Her drive and talent grew past her hometown of Heath, and by the time she was sixteen, Allie and her mom decided to make the move to Los Angeles where The Stunners marked the next chapter in Allie’s career. In 2007, Allie’s representative received a phone call from Colleen Fitzpatrick, (a.k.a. pop singer Vitamin C), who was looking to start an all-girl singing and dancing pop group, and was very interested to have Allie as a member. The Stunners were signed to Columbia Records initially, then later to Universal Republic. During their run, they released an EP and four music videos (two of which they wrote, directed, and produced themselves – sans record label.) They performed on The Today Show and The Wendy Williams show, contributed to Nickelodeon’s iCarly soundtrack, and were played on numerous Top 40 radio stations. In summer 2010, they opened for the Justin Bieber. It was also at this time when Allie chose to turn down a starring role on the hit TV show Glee, to remain faithful to her music group.
However, The Stunners parted ways in 2011 when Allie booked the ABC Family series, The Lying Game and played Laurel Mercer. Her prior acting credits include: Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous, Disney’s The Suite Life: On Deck, Fox’s Lie to Me, and Lifetime’s Rita Rocks. She also was a recurring star on ABC Family’s series 10 Things I Hate About You. Recently, Allie was seen in the indie teen comedy Geography Club, based on Brett Hartinger’s young adult novel, produced by Michael Huffington.
On the music front, following The Stunners, Allie began writing new music and performing with The Good Mad, an alternative folk trio comprised of Adam Brooks, Andy Fischer-Price, and Allie Gonino. Formed in 2011, the band made its commercial debut on the ABC Family original series, The Lying Game, and has since released two EPs, a single, and licensed music to several films and television shows. Though they’ve been fortunate to capture the attention of the film industry, the band now intends to do the same with national radio, and tour the world. The Good Mad released their third EP, ‘Face Your Feels’, in early 2015 with the leading single, “Adelaide.” This EP helped move the band further outside the folk/Americana box, and into a more experimental direction.
After consistently working as part of a band, Allie released her debut solo project, “Hollywood High,” on April 7, 2015. Allie describes the music on her upcoming solo project as a blend of sounds that appeal to her. Others have described her sound as folky and bewitching, and have gone on to reference her music to that of Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple, and Stevie Nicks. It’s a melting pot of a lot of Allie’s influences, but best described as alternative. It has elements of folk, a little bit of jazz, and some pop in terms of arrangement — but genre-wise it is alternative.Allie wrote all of the music for her debut solo project, because she felt it was important for her fans to hear her stories, and her voice, for the first time. On her lead single “Vamp”; I chose it to be the first single because it has a sexy groove. It has a naughty, yet triumphant feel to it.
In addition to the violin, Allie plays mandolin, and guitar. Her musical influences include Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, The Beatles, The Dixie Chicks, Tchaikovsky, Metric, amongst others. When she isn’t working, Allie enjoys reading spiritual and fiction novels, hiking, yoga, and dancing. Causes close to her heart are spreading awareness about the world water crisis through The Thirst Project, and Avaaz, an organization that deals with crises around the world. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.
What has been your favorite role so far?
I have had the most fun playing Laurel Mercer on The Lying Game.
What is the scariest part of an audition?
They are not really scary.
If you could choose, what three actors/actress would you really want to work with?
Colin Firth, Kristin Wiig, Meryl Streep.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Courageous, imaginative, protective.
When and why did you start singing?
I started singing when I was about 4 just for fun, but then some family friends encouraged me to try out singing in front of people when I was 9 or so. I auditioned for a nearby opry theater and eventually started performing professionally.
Do you have any music influence?
Oh, gosh, lots. From The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Michael Jackson, Tchaikovsky, to more contemporary artists like Dixie Chicks, Fleet Foxes, Danger Mouse, Metric.
Tell us about “Hollywood High”
The songs from ‘Hollywood High’ came as the result of having a lot of time alone while filming on location without the other Good Mad members. There are two more chapters of music that are written that have not been recorded. Sonically, it is a return to my roots. There are a lot of folk elements, but it also feels very dramatic. I wrote all the songs and co-produced the EP with a friend of mine, Shachar Boussani. It was my first foray into producing and now that I got my feet wet, I want to produce a lot more.
Do you play any instrument?
Violin is my main squeeze, but I also play guitar and mandolin, and sometimes mess around a bit on ukulele.
What music we can find in your iPod?
Lately, I have been listening to Lana del Rey, Jenny Lewis, Father John Misty, Jungle, Milky Chance.
What do you prefer singing or acting?
They are both fun and challenging in different ways. I think because I have been doing music longer, and I personally feel more naturally gifted as a musician, I would say I enjoy making music more than acting. But hopefully with more experience, my confidence and passion for acting will continue to grow.
Name one your strengths?
I can burp really loud without having to drink any soda.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Producing music, working on the blueprint for my alternative dream school, and directing my first film.
How is a normal day in your life?
Depends on the day. Usually will partake in some sort of yoga or cardio exercise, spend time with my doggies, maybe study for or go to an audition, practice music.
What kind of music is your favorite? And which one isn’t?
I do not think I can pick a favorite, but my least favorite would definitely have to be heavy metal.
How would you describe your style?
Name 3 things you can not live without?
[Clean] Water, Music, Coconut.
Any future plans you want to share with us?
I plan to sign a recording contract pretty soon, if I can make the right deal. I just recently released that wish into the universe. I have been a bit scared to step back into that world since leaving The Stunners, but I am learning that it is damn near impossible to have the kind of musical career I desire without a big team with money to support me.
Where we can follow you?
Book: The Alchemist.
Quote: “Mankind is made great or little by its own will.” – Friedrich Schiller
Tv Series: Sex & the City.
Actor/Actress: Joaquin Phoenix, Vivien Leigh.
Travel Destination: Bali.
Festival: Holi Fest.
Photo credit: Isaac Sterling.