Interview: Ali Wiener-Dallas – Young Entertainer Awards

Tommy2: What’s up, it’s Tommy2 and this weekend we’ve got the 2nd Annual Young Entertainer Awards taking place at The Globe Theatre at Universal Studios and joining us to talk about the event we’ve got Ali Wiener-Dallas who’s President of the Young Entertainer Awards. How are you doing this morning?

Ali Wiener-Dallas: I’m great, thank you. Thanks for having me.

Tommy2: You bet! Now first off, I know you’ve grown up in the industry, why don’t you share a few of the highlights of your career, you know, give us a little background?

Ali Wiener-Dallas: So, I started off as a child actor myself, so of course started doing a ton of theater productions, but then went off and did a lot of commercials and TV. Back in the day I starred in the very first Latin Comedy series on USA Network called Sanchez of Bel-Air, then did reoccurring stuff on My 2 Dads and Blossom, and did guest appearances on Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Family Ties and all kinds of fun shows.

And then after high school I was a lead singer in a girl group called Nobody’s Angel that was signed to Hollywood Records / Disney. So we did a lot of stuff with Disney, so we did some stuff to kind of launch our album on Boy Meets World and we did a movie with Justin Timberlake called Model Behavior and then we got a Gold Record for two songs on the Princess Diaries Soundtrack. So we did a lot of stuff with Disney and then after that, when that ended I created and started, I’m like a Kindie Rocker – like an independent artist, pop artist for kids. So I created a web series and we have CD’s out and that shows called Twinkle Time and I’m actually in Texas doing that show currently. We’ve been doing that for the last nine days and I will be flying home the night before the Awards show to be at the Awards show and producing while I’m away at the same time.

Tommy2: Wow, crazy! So now how did the Young Entertainer Awards come together and how about sharing your roll in the organization?

Ali Wiener-Dallas: Sure, okay… so I come from a sort of entertainment family. My parents are not in show business, they’re teachers, but my brother who is an actor, voice over actor. He does like the voice of Spiderman and The Green Lantern and all kinds of fun stuff. Both my sisters are also in the entertainment industry and we’re all still in the entertainment… we grew up in the entertainment industry and still are in the entertainment industry. As a family my parents knew how hard it was as a family and how difficult kids actually work. I don’t think people realize how hard kids actually do work because not only filming and doing their shows, but there also having to maintain great grades in school and then it becomes kind of a family community where everybody, you know mom and dad have to take people to auditions and the managers are involved. So it’s like a team effort, that my parents wanted to do something to give back. So my parents are actually the founders and it’s like a day where everybody can come together and be recognized by their peers and have a really wonderful day as a community and have a memorable experience.

And also, our foundation, we totally are a firm believer in arts and music education so we do a scholarship. We award a scholarship and that award this year is going to be given to an a cappella group that was featured on America’s Got Talent called Musicality and they’re all the way from Chicago and we’re really happy and super lucky that they’re going to be there representing and performing and I’m the president of the awards show, so it’s kind of like a family organization, but besides family we also have really amazing advisory members and board of directors that are a part of our foundation in all aspects of the industry. We have like Emmy Award winning journalists, we have members of the Grammy Awards, members of the Emmy Awards and the Peabody Awards. So we have a really wonderful foundation.

Tommy2: And you’ve got a great cast of talent that’s going to be there on Sunday as well.

Ali Wiener-Dallas: Yes, so we just got confirmed that like a week and a half ago, it’s a brand new group, we’re calling them breakthrough artists. The breakout art, they’re called Jagmac, they’re six brothers and sisters coming from Baltimore, MD. They are currently on the road opening for Little Mix and they have a single that’s going to be releasing on Radio Disney next month called So Good, so they’re going to be performing.

I’m sure who everybody knows who Lady Gaga is… she won’t be there but one of her dancers, she’s been for her for the Super Bowl and Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and all kinds of other amazing things that Lady Gaga does. Her name is Lindsay Taylor, she’s going to be our opening number and she also choreographs for a lot of TV show and in Los Angeles she actually teaches children, so her and her kid dancers are going to put on a spectacular opening number.

Then we have the little girl from the Hairspray movie, she played Little Inez, in the live Hairspray that was on FOX and her name is Shahadi Wright and she also is a name within herself. She was one of the stars on Broadway’s School of Rock and Lion King and she’ll be performing, and Musicality, so those are our four performs that are going to be be performing.

Tommy2: Wow, that seems like quite a number you’ve got there. Now, you seem very passionate about this, which is great to hear. What’s one thing that you enjoy most about being involved the Young Entertainer Awards?

Ali Wiener-Dallas: Oh my goodness. Well, honestly it’s creating memories. This is a community, when I grew up in show business I am still friends with all of the people I actually grew up with as kids. Some of us aren’t in the entertainment industry, some of us have moved on to become entertainment lawyers or are out of the industry. Some of us are still writing, producing, directing, still performing. But, you establish long lasting lifetime relationships so that’s one I like to see for the new generation, but also again as a family who comes from this business and who’s still in the business, we are firm believers in arts and education and giving back and that’s what we’re super passionate about.

Tommy2: And in addition to Film and Television, we’re beginning to see nominations for those that are doing work online. Has that surprised you how much growth we’ve seen in that category over the past several years?

Ali Wiener-Dallas: You know, it actually has. But you know what, that’s the name of the game is always evolving with everything that’s happening now, like we have, we have YouTube sensations like Alisha Marie and Mia Stammer who will be attending. Both of them together have like over 9 million – 10 million followers on YouTube, so of course you have to be able to recognize that because you know,these YouTube sensations, it’s just like anything else, they put a lot of effort into building their brand and putting up daily blogs, and they’re producing and they’re editing their own content which is amazing and they ought to be recognized, not just from us but from the industry. I mean these kids are young entertainers are all getting deals from their YouTube channels, so you have to be able to recognize that, so yes we do have a Web Series category, Online category, we have quite a few YouTube sensations that will be also presenting like Alisha Marie and Mia Stammer. So yeah, we’re very excited.

Tommy2: Now for people that want to check out the awards, is there a way that we can see it online?

Ali Wiener-Dallas: Yes, okay so everybody has to go to Young Entertainer Awards Foundation on YouTube because we’ll be streaming it live. The show itself will be streamed live, so definitely check it out, subscribe to our YouTube channel. And then if you want to watch the red carpet, we’ll be streaming that live via Faceback on The Young Entertainer Awards on Facebook. Follow us on our social media because we’re going to obviously be very, very, very out there taking over the Snapchat which is yeaawards Snapchat and also our Instagram which is yeaawards too. We have all kinds of people, Lela B. from Radio Disney is going to be taking over the Radio Disney Snapchat, so defitinelty follow us because we’re going to be all over the place on Sunday.

Tommy2: That’s going to be interesting to see the list of all of those that take away an award on Sunday night. Ali, thanks a lot for checking in with us this morning and I hope Sunday’s event turn out awesome.

Ali Wiener-Dallas: Thank you so much, thank you. It was wonderful talking to you.