If you’ve spent any time watching Netflix this year (um, who hasn’t?) you may have run across the hilarious sitcom, Family Reunion. You may not have realized it, but one of its stars, Lance Alexander, hails from our very own West Chester.
In 2017, Alexander began taking acting classes. He participated in a talent showcase and quickly drew interest from both a talent agent and manager from Los Angeles. As soon as Alexander hit Hollywood, bookings in commercials and TV shows followed, culminating in landing the part of Elvis, a recurring role in Family Reunion, which is now in production of its second season.
The fifteen-year-old Alexander and his family now live in Los Angeles full-time. He stays busy—when he’s not acting, he volunteers with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Best Buddies. If all that wasn’t enough, he also creates comedy videos for TikTok and has amassed more than 357k followers and 20 million views.
We recently talked with Alexander about his wild ride from West Chester to LA to TikTok stardom.
Cincinnati Refined: How did you develop an interest in acting and performing?
Lance Alexander: For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to entertain... I discovered I had a special way with people; I liked them, and they liked me back!
CR: What are you working on now?
LA: I am extremely happy to share that my recurring role as Elvis is back for Season 2 on Family Reunion.
CR: What do you miss most about Cincinnati?
LA: I really miss Skyline Chili, The Cone, and hanging with my friends at King’s Island and Main Event.
CR: What do you like most about your new home, Los Angeles?
LA: What I enjoy most is being near the major studios; I’m able to audition in person. There is something magical about living here, which makes the journey even more special.
CR: Tell me about the volunteer work you do. What made you want to do this?
LA: Volunteering with Best Buddies International and Boys & Girls Clubs of America brings me great delight. Volunteering is very important to me because my parents have always been involved in our community and taught us that, “To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48).” I know this means I am held responsible for everything I have. I have been blessed with talents, wealth, and knowledge, so God expects me to share with others.
With the after-school program at the local Boys & Girls Club, I interact with the kids mostly by playing basketball, chess, or board games. Sometimes we just sit and enjoy friendly conversations about school, family, or sports. Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). I volunteer with their Friendship Programs. These programs build one-to-one friendships between people with and without IDD... improving the quality of life and level of inclusion for a population that is often isolated and excluded.
CR: What's it like being a professional actor?
LA: Becoming an actor at such a young age has been very challenging because I have to balance school, work, auditions, and my social life. Competing priorities are never fun, but I am grateful for the opportunity to chase this dream as a child because I don’t have all the additional adult responsibilities yet. I am blessed to have my parents as a safety net because I know they won’t let me fail!
CR: What's been key to your success on TikTok, do you think? In your career in general?
LA: If I had to guess, I believe my success is directly related to my God-given ability to find humor in everything! Comedy gets me through life and it has certainly been beneficial for my career... The first couple of months of quarantine I was struggling to stay positive. I was bored, lonely, and disappointed with how the pandemic was interrupting life in general, and I knew others were struggling as well, so I decided to start writing and posting skits. TikTok definitely saved me by providing an avenue for me to entertain and put a smile on some faces. My number one goal is to make people laugh, especially during these wild and crazy times.
CR: What advice do you have for other young people who want to pursue acting and the arts?
LA: The best advice I can share with anyone who wants to pursue acting is to do your research, explore the arts within your community, and search for ways to be active in that community. As you start your journey, remember to be your authentic self, there is no one else exactly like you. Don’t get caught up in being validated by others, trust that you are enough because God says so!
Another huge piece of advice I have is to never give up, because your blessing is probably right around the corner, and that goes for all aspects of life! Dream and dream big; remember dreams don’t have expiration dates. Lastly, be patient with yourself, be prepared to work hard, don’t let rejection bother you, and trust the process.
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To follow Lance Alexander and his incredible journey, check out his Instagram. And be sure to check out his hilarious videos on TikTok.