Muscle Balance (and diet, tbh)., y’all.
If you’ve watched True Detective, How I Met Your Mother, Hart of Dixie, General Hospital, or Ballers, you’ll recognize actress Alyshia Ochse. But you might not know that she’s also an author, accomplished athlete, and host of her own podcast “That One Audition.” Alyshia and I met through mutual friends and I totally admire her sense of humor and tenacity, and wanted to learn more about Alyshia’s approach to her career, creative expression, and commitment to fitness even while on set.
Did you always want to act, and which came first for you: writing or acting?
I’ve always wanted to be an actress. One of the first memories I have as a child was daydreaming out the living room window making up stories about the people outside. Stories fascinated me, the people fascinated me. Movies allowed me to escape my reality. When I was learning how to write in kindergarten, I wrote a note saying “I want to be in the TV when I grow up.” Writing came later in my life. I started writing in a journal and writing poetry around 10 years old. My first poem was published when I was 11. Sitting in math class, words poured into my mind and I scribbled out a poem with words I didn’t even understand. Words that I had to look up and learn. Creativity knows no age and I am grateful for the opportunity to daydream about another reality for myself. Writing is now a tool I use to feel my way through a situation, to express myself and to be connected to the flow of pure creativity.
Hollywood is a funny place. It IS the place where storytelling dreams do come true. But the thing that I have learned about Hollywood is that your “dream” is another person’s long journey that they achieved with a set of goals. Typically, an actor’s dream becomes a reality about 10 to 15 years after they have been grinding at it. It is not for the weary. You must be resilient and remember that it is about climbing and staying the course. There is no overnight success. Only the press makes “overnight successes.” Many of those actors and storytellers have been working relentlessly not only on their craft but on many side jobs to keep the bills paid. My suggestion after surviving for 16 years is having a game plan and having annual goals that allow you to see your progress to help you from being discouraged.
You host a podcast called "That One Audition." Tell us about the inspiration behind starting your podcast and what the process is like.
“That One Audition” spawned out of a hilarious audition experience where I was running in a bikini and my own flatulence was THE show stopper that left a whole room speechless. I left that room and wondered how many other people had bombed auditions or how many auditions left the actors ‘ vulnerabilities exposed. After discussing the experience in my acting class, many other actors shared audition stories that were beyond hysterical and exposing.
At the time I was volunteering at Young Storytellers helping kids learn how to write a story. These kids held the acting profession in the highest esteem but for reasons that made actors not human, not capable of making mistakes. I wanted to expose the journey of an actor through various different audition stories that allowed others to see the amount of rejection, humility, vulnerability, excitement, serendipity and hope that transpires day to day in this profession.
The process for the podcast is simple. I find creative storytellers that excite me for their longevity in this business. Every conversation leaves me with an insane amount of insight into another creative’s journey, pure inspiration and tangible tips to improve not only my career but the career of every listener.
How does Studio LB fit in to your fitness and wellness routine while on set? Have you taken a strong interest in your health your whole life, or is it something you've focused on more as an adult?
Studio LB is my go to workout when I’m on set because very rarely do I shoot at home. I have done Studio LB in an airport, a hotel, in my trailer, and at midnight when I arrive to a new location. It keeps my jet legged body feeling strong, agile and in shape without having to search for the nearest gym. I am so much less stressed now when I travel or when I work because I know I just need my computer or phone to get in the workout that keeps my mind and body in flow. I’ve always been a person who loves to workout and keep my wellness in check. My body craves a good sweat! The best part of Studio LB for me is even on days when I don’t want to workout I can still motivate to do a 5 or 10 minute workout.
Do you have any methods for or ideas about creative expression to share?
I have daily practice to allow myself to be in the utmost, connected creative expression. Every morning I write three pages of just free flow, uninterrupted stream of consciousness that is not grammatically correct but just getting the thoughts out. These pages are a part of my ritual to get ideas out of my brain and flushed out. The pages also provide a safe space for me to work through any conflict or negative self talk that might be getting in the way of my art or life.
Also, in order to completely be of service to my creative process I have to do a daily ritual of mirror work. Louise Hay’s morning ritual of mirror work always allows the negative inner critic to take a back seat and allow the Universe/God to work through me. It is a three minute process of looking in the mirror and affirming my love for myself. Health and wealth of thoughts giveaway to the best creative expressions for me.
We’re in-between months and it’s the perfect time to explore the Studio before the May Program begins on Monday! Every week I connect with many of you who are traveling, returning from a hiatus, or have trouble following the weekly schedules because…Life. There are so many ways to use Studio LB and at the end of the day it should work for you whether it’s your main thing or your side piece.
You receive four new workouts each week, but you also have an extensive workout library that’s just shy of 500 workouts and there are SO many gems in there!
There’s a lot to explore, celebrate, and re-visit, and this week is an ideal starting point to showcase a few Studio LB favorites and DIY tips. The beauty of these tips is that they work regardless of workout style (Cardio, Sculpt Standing or Grounded) or season:
Know your Goals
Part of DIY’ing it is understanding what your personal goals are. From there, you can achieve your goals. For example, if one of your goals is fat loss, you’ll want to lift heavy during full length workouts (unless I say otherwise) and also choose workouts that target the large muscles of the lower body (fat burners). FYI: I create at two of these for you each week.
Make it Personal
If something isn’t working for you in a particular week, why head back to a favorite or peruse the Quick Burn library? There’s no reason to fear mixing it up. If you've been adding your favorite workouts to "My List" in Studio LB, this is a great place to start.
Don’t be afraid to go back in time
My workouts are always evolving, so something from 2017 or 2018 may feel really fresh. To jump back in time go to Series--> The Full Library--> choose a previous month from the drop down menu. (Note: we've greatly improved our audio quality over the past two years. The workouts were great in 2017, but the audio is not).
Play with Props
Do you always start with cardio or sculpt? Why not start from a new perspective and search a prop that speaks to you? By beginning with something you love or maybe something you haven’t done in a while like a dowel workout, your workout will feel more personal, fun, and revived.
Program with Purpose
Each week I make sure we’re balancing the body with a mixture of flexion, extension and rotation along with incorporating both standing and grounded work. You’ll also notice equal balance of weighted work, cardio and sculpt. Grouping movement together by function and purpose helps to give more context to the week. Once you start balancing things in this way, you’ll see what you have too much or too little of. Doing too much cardio or repeating the same workout everyday won’t get you very far or do you much good.
When you work from a place of balance, your weekly schedule will feel purposeful. If you don't want to think too hard, you can repeat an entire week from a previous month. I do my best to make sure nothing goes untouched, under or over-worked in a particular week, so you know it's always a safe bet to follow a full week.
Less is More
Quick Burn workouts really work in 30 minutes or less. With every workout, I make sure you are in the total-body zone so that you don’t create muscle imbalances. The art of programming is tricky to get right, and it’s easy to overwork or underwork parts of the body when you’re DIY’ing it. When you’re not following the weekly QB schedule, make sure you’re choosing a Cardio + Sculpt and Standing Abs workout each week. Lifting heavy will give you way more burn for the time.
Elevate what’s Pre-Existing
It’s amazing how a few small tweaks can unlock your workouts freshness and vitality. Something as simple as working with a 2 lb. heavier weight or adding ankle weight can make a huge impact.
Let it be a Work in Progress
Finally, it’s important to allow your workout and your progress to be a work in progress. You have to accept that fitness and progress takes time. It isn’t a race, and there’s no finish line, so try to relax and enjoy the process!
You’ve subscribed to Studio LB, you’ve texted the hotline, you’ve checked your email and the facebook group to see what’s in store for you this week, you have your leggings and sports bra laid out and ready to go, and your alarm is set (ok… your 6 iPhone alarms spaced exactly 4 minutes apart are set). You’ve totally got this. But then something in your brain stops you from getting up and getting moving with me.
While you know that exercise will ultimately make your day feel complete, often you’ll face mental blocks that stop you from getting your sweat on, and you literally have to make room for your practice in your life for it to actually happen. Here’s a few tips for manifesting your at-home practice. Lets make it happen!
Actions must match desires
So, you really want this, right? You have to believe in you, your practice, and the results that are coming your way, but you also have to work with the universe to facilitate receiving. It won’t happen overnight, but if you’re diligent with taking action you should be all in within 30 days.
Pick your environment
Maybe carving out a corner of your bedroom so you can literally roll out of bed onto the mat and start stretching is best for you. Or perhaps your bedroom is solely a sleeping sanctuary and you prefer the biggest screen in the living room with the coffee table pushed out of the way as your at-home studio. Whether it’s your bedroom’s natural light that motivates you, or you prefer to have a spot for your little one to safely play while you do CCS, ask yourself what type of environment will be most conducive to your performance. Once you’ve determined this, stick with it and make it your spot moving forward.
Set the stage
In each of my workouts, I’ll list in the notes what you need for equipment like light or heavy weights, a mat, loops, or nothing at all. Making sure you have the necessary accessories before pressing play means you won’t have to pause and run around the house searching for your gear mid-workout. I also cannot stress enough how important it is to have a full-length mirror to the right or left of your screen so that you can check your form.
No negative self-talk
Try not to speak poorly of yourself, your life, or your body. Never say, “I’m not good at this,” or “I can’t exercise at home”. These negative phrases should not exist in your world.
Don’t be afraid to fail
Of course, you want to master each move on your first go around, but that’s not realistic. Don’t get frustrated if you make a mistake during a cardio sequence during the breakdown. I make mistakes too! A fear of failure can hold you back from making huge physical and mental gains using my program. Keep moving, keep trying, and trust that change will happen when you’re a little outside of your comfort zone.
Last but definitely not least, I’m here for you to answer any questions or jut to give a morale boost, and I truly want to see you succeed. Text me and the team on the Studio LB hotline 424-327-5470 with any questions or feedback!
Your overwhelming response from International Women’s Day has inspired us to look within our community and recognize some insanely talented Studio LB members here on the blog. First up, we wanted to share a recent Q & A with Linny Giffin, a Studio LB member and multidisciplinary artist living and working in Washington, D.C. Seeing her creativity and and ability to balance form and function in her space, we needed to know more about what drives Linny in her work, her home and her health.
Can you tell us about your work as a fiber artist and about The Lemon Collective?
As a fiber artist, I do a lot of work with embroidery, weaving, quilting and soft sculpture. I've translated the medium to large scale installation art, creating bespoke pieces for restaurants and homes in D.C. and beyond. Last year I created a loom on the storefront of my studio and wove flowers through it, I called in the Living Loom.
In 2015, I co-founded The Lemon Collective with two other D.C.-based artists. It originally started as an art studio for us, but quickly morphed into much more. Now, it is more of a brand and creative community that celebrates artists across a range of mediums in a city where creativity isn't always a priority. Our brick and mortar hosts workshops and other events, providing a space for small business owners to exhibit their expertise in anything from jewelry making and flower arranging to embroidery and business development. We're building an online community that connects artists and celebrates the importance of creativity.
You live and work in a 350 square foot space in Washington, D.C. In what ways do you find this space limiting or liberating?
Of course, living and working in a 350 square foot apartment is extremely limiting. However, just by opening up the door to my fire escape, I feel a part of the city. The view is amazing and I live on the best street in D.C., there are cafes, restaurants, shops and an independent movie theater right outside my front door. Plus, the small space allowed me to design the apartment very intentionally so no square foot was left neglected. I think that makes the apartment feel liberating.
Do you practice Studio LB at home or elsewhere?
I practice at home! I just roll out my mat in the middle of my living room floor. One of the many things I love about Studio LB is it doesn't require equipment and I can do it anywhere even my tiny apartment.
Linny is currently working on an outdoor installation series around D.C. and Northern Virginia, and you can find her on instagram at @linnyfriend and online at https://www.linnyinc.com. To sign up for the Lemon Collective’s monthly newsletter for news and goings-on in the art world, visit https://www.wearethelemoncollective.com.
Photography by Laura Metzler