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‘Catalyst Sessions’ recap: Alison Burns

Bill DeYoung



Alison Burns is the very definition of a triple threat, the theatrical term for someone who acts, sings and dances with equal skill. In fact, she can add choreographer, teacher, writer and podcaster to the list without batting a blue eye.

“Mamma Mia” in 2019, from left: Jennifer Byrne, Alison Burns and Becca McCoy. Photo: American Stage.

Tampa Bay audiences have seen her in five American Stage musicals in Demens Landing Park – including 2019’s Mamma Mia!, which broke all previous attendance records. She followed that triumph with a stint in Pippin at freeFall, and shortly thereafter was one of the four stars of Stageworks’ Ordinary Days.

When the COVID-19 curtain fell, Burns was directing and choreographing Shout: The Mod Musical for the Straz Center’s Jaeb Theater.

Thursday on The Catalyst Sessions, Burns discusses her professional career, which began auspiciously with the national tour of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent (she played the feisty Maureen, a role she repeated with American Stage in 2011).

She also talked about the comedy podcast 10K Dollar Day, which she began two years ago with her pal Lulu Picart.

“It is absolutely my passion project,” Burns said. “I never in a million years thought that I would be that person – but I am obsessed with this job with her. I work on it so many hours of every day, trying to make it better and better.”

10K Dollar Day is about “imaginary luxury travel”; in other words, how would these one-time starving artists spend $10,000 in one day in a destination of their choice?

Once Burns chooses a far-off destination, she looks up hotels, restaurants and all the other amenities before putting pen to paper (or fingers to computer keys, as it were).

“It’s real research,” she explains, “so if you had the money, you could use this as a travel guide and go spend your crazy money.”

10K Dollar Day is archived here.

Today on The Catalyst Sessions: Ray Roa of Creative Loafing Tampa.

Streaming weekdays at 7 p.m. on the Catalyst Facebook page.








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