October 17, 2012
It’s no surprise that a woman who produces mainly chick flicks and romantic dramas would say to me regarding love, “I want Harry and Sally. I’ve been corrupted by a lot of movies.” She amends her statement: “I aspire to that idea but know that someone who can hang through the tough and the real is what I want.”
Alison’s from Boca Raton — or as she calls it, “The Long Island of the South.” She performed in a comedy group at the University of Pennsylvania and intended to go to law school. After an internship at a law firm, “I realized that is not going to be my path to happiness.” She moved to Los Angeles and found a job working for a producer, as his driver and sandwich maker. Even though she had no idea what she was doing, he began pulling her into pitches. This led to other jobs, which eventually landed her at her current production company, where she’s happily remained for the past 13 years. “Each challenge is sort of newer and better. I love most of it. I like the part of meeting creative people and figuring out how to get the best out of them, finding ideas, telling stories and the nuts and bolts of making a movie. I’m like a dude that way. I like hanging out with the crew.” She hates the politics of the job. “A setback on one thing means an advance on another … and [it took] a lot of blood and sweat to learn that lesson — otherwise I’d be completely bald with high blood pressure, but I’m not.”
She’s actually in really good shape. “I’m blessed with good genes; I’m careful, and I work out.” But it doesn’t stop her from eating. “I’m like the Jew who thinks at lunch what’s going to be for dinner — not because I’m anxious about it, but because I’m really obsessed about what’s for dinner.”
Her dad died three years ago after a five-year fight with ALS. “We were close to begin with and got even closer … and now I’m involved with ALS fundraising. It’s one of my big passions outside of work. And I guess I’m kind of a bellwether or advocate — whenever people get diagnosed, I find them the right doctor or drug. If I could quit my job and be independently wealthy I’d probably do that for a living … or professional karaoke singer — it’s a toss-up.” I love her for that joke.
I ask her about her hobbies. “When I’m not working, I love to read — people say that, but I actually do it. I have five books going at once. I do Pilates, I do tango for fun — we bought a project that’s set in Argentina about tango, and I thought, ‘I gotta do this.’ I’m hugely passionate — to my bank account’s detriment — [about] wine.”
I ask about men. “I tend to like people and men who are a little adventurous. Sophistication is not a negative. Neither is humor. That’s probably the biggest component to me — intellect and humor. That to me is more of a turn-on than looks. I like ambition. I like neuroses. I like character and a big heart. A lot of laughter, don’t sweat the small stuff, good partners, and when the chips are down you make a bad and appropriate joke. And then there’s just the undefinable certain something that defines whether you’ll click or not, but I can’t put my finger on it. I want to be married; I want to have kids — or a child — and yet still have fun, sexy chemistry with someone. I know that takes a lot of work, but I’m going to try my hardest to achieve it.”
Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.