SINGER, FORMER ACTRESS & DANCER
Alisan Porter is a dedicated and ardent go-getter. Having won season 10 of “The Voice,” she successfully balances motherhood with her rising music career.
This is Alisan Porter, and I'm so excited to be a part of the BCBGMAXAZRIA Contributor Program to inspire women to be inspirational.
Tell us a little bit about what you do. Most recently, I won season 10 of “The Voice,” which is just crazy. At first, I was doing music for myself. I wasn’t concerned with the outcome because I have children, and I was doing the stay-at-home mom thing. But I could tell there was something going on inside of me. I knew that I wasn’t done with my career. So I took a chance and auditioned for the show. Low and behold, I won. Now I’m working on my first major label album, which is incredible. I’m also continuing to be the best mom I can be and really focusing on what matters most, which is my children, my art and my family. It’s been really exciting.
How did you start your career? I actually started my career as a singer. When I was five years old, I was on “Star Search.” From there, I got a manager from “Star Search” and started my acting career. I did a bunch of movies when I was young. I would step away from the business, then I’d kind of inch my way back to it only to run away again. But I definitely think my upbringing helped prepare me for the time I was really ready to dive into a career on my own. Because I acted in the past, I knew that my true passion was always music. I love acting, singing and dancing, but writing, performing and music in general – that’s where my deepest soul resides. So it was undeniable that pursuing music was where I’d always want to go back to.
What words of advice would you give those who want to break into the industry? I’ve definitely gone through my fair share of struggles coming up in the entertainment business. I would say there’s no right or wrong way to be who you are. You have your conscious telling you where you should be, where you need to be and where you want to be, but it takes a long time to actually get there. Even when you’re there, other struggles and difficulties present themselves. Life is never a walk in the park. There will always be a couple of bumps. Accepting all of that stuff helps you focus on the things that are the most important to you. For me, that was music, performing, writing and being a recording artist. I never gave up on that, even when I thought I had. So I think the most important thing is just staying on course and knowing that eventually you’ll achieve your dreams.
Tell us a little bit about the importance of fashion to you as a performer. It plays a huge part in how I feel on the inside as well as the outside. I want to feel confident, and I also want to give off that feeling to others.
- "There needs to be balance between maintaining yourself as a mother and maintaining yourself as an artist."
There’s a power behind a look. There’s a power behind a dress. It breathes light into your performance. During “The Voice,” I was so hyper focused on every single look and every single outfit. It’s a stressful thing at any point in time to perform, especially in front of millions of people on live television. But the only time I had my mini meltdowns was if my hair, makeup or outfit wasn’t right. So to me, fashion is really one of the most important aspects to putting on a great show.
Tell us more about being a mother and an artist. Motherhood is something that you don’t go to school for. It’s something that you don’t necessarily know anything about until you do it. You can hear stories about it. You can be around your parents. You can babysit children. But until you have your own kids, you really don’t know what it means to be a mother or a parent.
For me, I was very lucky. I fell into motherhood naturally, but that’s not always the case. It can be a very lonely and isolating experience for a lot of women. I’ve definitely had my moments like that where your entire being and your entire life have become your children’s. However, there needs to be balance between maintaining yourself as a mother and maintaining yourself as an artist. There’s guilt when you’re a working mom. There’s guilt if you’re a stay-at-home mom. There’s all these things that you have to wrestle with. We need to remind ourselves, remind mothers, that there has to be a sacred space for just you and for what makes you feel like your authentic self.
Motherhood is a title, but that doesn’t mean it needs to take away from the importance of making your own journey. Don’t forget that you’re important too. You have a story to tell. You have a mark to leave onto the world, and in return, you’re showing your children what it means to take action and to be a contributing member of this world. I think Lubov Azria is a great example of that. I’ve learned so much from her and her family about being authentic and being true to who you are. I feel very honored to be in a position where I can speak that truth because it’s very important for moms to hear.
What are you most proud of? My journey in music is probably the most important thing for me. The first time I heard somebody sing a song that I wrote was incredible. During the finale of “The Voice,” we were able to do original songs. To be able to sing a song you’ve written in the finale, that to me was enough. I’m forever grateful for that moment because that’s what’s most important to me, the writing and the music.
What is your favorite quote?
“One day at a time,” is a really important quote to me. One moment at a time, sometimes one minute at a time. Living in the past or living in the future distracts you from what’s happening now. I think it’s so important to be in the now and to fully engage in the moment. It’s not always easy. It’s definitely easier said than done. That’s something I’m constantly reminding myself; acceptance, surrender and be in the moment.
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