Allie Gonino Acts And Sings Her Way To Your Heart
Allie Gonino is the rare actress and singer that’s actually good at both jobs. She’s starred all over television, first in The Lying Game, and now on Sundance’s Red Road all while writing and releasing her EP, Hollywood High. Allie grew up in Rockwall, Texas, and has a sense of determination that only a Texan could– “I have a very clear idea of the message I want to get across, and I’m usually able to accomplish that with ease,” she said. Allie’s been on tour with Justin Bieber, but now, she’ll spend the summer writing music and playing with alt-folk trio, The Good Mad. Get to know Allie, then catch her at a show—or on a television—near you.
I loved the Citrus Sessions video of “Vamp”! What was the process of writing that song?
Thank you! I believe that was the second song I wrote on the baby Taylor [guitar] I have now. I’d been playing “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash, then I started playing that first groove of “Vamp”. The melody and lyrics kind of just flowed really naturally. The song really wrote itself.
I’m curious about the title of your EP as well—where does “Hollywood High” come from?
Hollywood High is the ego, essentially. I think it’s easy to see myself, and entertainers as two dimensional characters sometimes. Like, ‘this is who I am in the public eye’, as opposed to seeing everyone as human beings. I think for a really long time I didn’t realize how I was ignoring my own soul, my own heart, and the ego makes it easy to project our insecurities onto others. I still struggle with it. The song “Hollywood High” is me making a conscious commitment to myself to see myself as a human being, to honor myself as a person, not just a Hollywood character.
Do you prefer music to acting, or vice versa? Does working in either field affect the other?
I really enjoy music as a whole. I love creating it, I love listening to it, I love playing it. Acting is actually pretty similar to music. Both mediums have to do with story telling and connecting the audience to the soul. So far, I’ve been able to balance both, which has been great. But since I’m not making money from music yet, I wouldn’t be able to produce music if it wasn’t for my acting career. I’m really grateful that I’ve been able to make a living as an actress.
What was touring with The Stunners and Justin Bieber like? What were some highlights and lowlights?
Touring with The Stunners was awesome. It was like summer camp on the road, and you get to live in a tour bus, and play for thousands of people every night! The highlight for me was performing. The energy of the crowds was always insane. The lowlight was probably our tour bus breaking down a few times. We eventually had to get a new bus, which turned out to be better anyway.
How does being from Texas affect your music? How about your acting?
Ha! I don’t know? I’d say the musicians I’ve listened to have influenced my music more than anything. You could say Texans have very strong ideals, and we stick to our beliefs. That has probably influenced the way I write songs and the way I approach my characters. I have a very clear idea of the message I want to get across, and I’m usually able to accomplish that with ease.
Which music festival would you like to go to most?
I’d have to say Glastonbury, although, I’m going to Sasquatch in a couple weeks, and I’m pretty stoked for that!
What’s your favorite part about working on a television show?
Particularly with ‘The Red Road’ I love getting to live in Atlanta for a portion of the year. I’ve really fallen in love with the vibe of that city, and any chance to get a break from L.A. is appreciated. Artistically speaking, it’s been wonderful because I’ve had the opportunity to work with actors and writing that I really admire.
Who’s your favorite female rapper?
What’s a bad habit you have?
What are you most excited for this summer?
Playing shows with The Good Mad, traveling, and making new music!
Photos courtesy of Simon Simock