Actress and producer Alyshia Ochse may not be a name you immediately recognize, but we here at Dread Central feel like that’s going to change very soon. The up-and-comer recently appeared in the brand new pilot episode of Deon Taylor’s revamped “Nite Tales” series as well as horror short The Guest (which she also produced) that bowed online earlier this month.
In honor of Indie Horror Month, we caught up with Ochse to talk about how this Midwestern actress got her start in the industry, what inspired her to get into producing films and her experiences working in the horror genre and why she’s found it a welcoming experience for her career.
Ochse always knew she was destined to work in the entertainment industry. “I wanted to be an actress ever since I could talk. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to be anything other than an actor really. But when you grow up in Kentucky like I did, there really wasn’t a whole lot for me to do in terms of acting out there. So I was put into the modeling circuit, but that wasn’t my thing at all so I quit.”
“Hollywood just didn’t come our way in Kentucky very often so I had no idea what I was going to do about becoming an actor. I finally got my first role in a big movie, which was Seabiscuit. I was immediately hooked to acting, and after that I booked a part in a Blink 182 video and just kept working from there,” Ochse added.
However, once Ochse made her way out to Hollywood, she soon realized timing was everything and learned some very valuable lessons early on in her career.
“Continuing to work as an actress in Hollywood has been really challenging, but I think that happens for all up-and-coming actresses,” explained Ochse. “I was able to sign with a really great manager at the start of my career out here, but it was too soon for me. I wasn’t ready for a lot of the projects I was being submitted for- I was definitely too green. So I had to take a step back and figure things out. I now have a better idea of how the industry works, and I think that’s been the best approach for my career this far.”
After Ochse gained a grasp on the acting part of her career, she soon realized she wanted to explore working in other aspects of the entertainment business and decided to start her own production company.
Ochse said, “I realized recently that I couldn’t just be an actress because even though I love it so much, I was finding myself creatively stumped between projects and wanted to keep challenging myself. So I decided to create my own production company called S.L. Productions. We produced two short films called The Way We Weren’t and The Guest, and we’re currently working on our first feature film called Face You!”
“What I have learned from creating my own company is that my experiences working on that side of the business have somehow made me a better actor. I don’t think you can truly appreciate filmmaking until you’ve worked on both sides of the camera, and I think that’s why I am so proud of my work on The Guest. Being able to push myself as an actor and producer on that really made me step up my game and taught me a lot, and I hope it shows,” Ochse added.
The actress went on to discuss her experiences working on the short film, which was her introduction to the horror genre. “Bryan (Ryan) is a great writer and was a great director to work with on The Guest. It was my first horror project ever, even though I’ve never conscientiously said no to horror- my career has just worked out that way so far. I met Bryan initially over another project but told him in order to get started as a filmmaker, he should really try and write a short film first before doing a feature.”
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when he sent me the first script for The Guest, but as soon as I finished it, I knew I loved the character of Dana and had to play her. Her character was so different than you see in a lot of horror movies- there was just such a complexity to her life that I found it a unique challenge as an actress. I personally love doing horror because it’s where you can really push yourself as a performer, and in the last year I’ve noticed that the horror genre is a welcome place for a lot of ‘unknown’ actors like me,” Ochse added.
Recently the actress made her return to the horror genre as part of the revamping efforts by Deon Taylor and his producing partner Jamie Foxx for their weekly horror anthology series “Nite Tales.” Ochse spoke about how she secured the role of Ashley in the brand new pilot episode, which was co-directed by Taylor and Foxx and stars funny guy Jason Mewes (Clerks, Breath of Hate) as a down-on-his-luck comedian whose audiences start dying from laughter (literally) during his last ditch effort to make it as a successful jokester.
“I actually auditioned for ‘Nite Tales’ four months ago, and all I had been told back then was that Jamie Foxx would have to ultimately approve me to get the role,” said Ochse. “I had almost forgotten about the audition because so much time had passed so imagine my surprise when they called me the day before I needed to be on set. But working with Jamie and Deon was really amazing. They did everything they could to make every single person on that set feel like family, and both of them were open to doing improv during takes, which I think really opened everyone up to telling the story the right way.”
“I just remember my first day on set; we were running about five hours behind, and normally everyone would be stressing out and running around all crazy-like. But on ‘Nite Tales’ you’d never know we were running behind because everyone was such a team player and such professionals that everyone was about hustling and getting the work done. I think the new approach of ‘Nite Tales’ is fresh, and both Deon and Jamie have finally nailed down creating a successful modern take on ‘Tales From the Crypt’ above what Deon did the first season. They should be proud of what they’re doing because I know I am proud to have been a part of the project,” Ochse added.
Our thanks to Alyshia for her time, and be sure to keep any eye out for her. She’s one who we predict is in it for the long haul!
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