Childhood & Early Life
Alisan Porter was born on June 20, 1981, in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Laura Klein and Ric Porter. Her mother ran a dance academy in her locality and was a famous dance teacher. She trained the dancing duo named the ‘Coors Light Twins,’ who appeared on the TV talent hunt show ‘Star Search’ in 1987.
While the episode of ‘Star Search’ featuring the ‘Coors Light Twins’ was being filmed, the producer heard Alisan singing in the hotel lobby. Alisan had been training in vocals since she was 3 years old. She was immediately made an entrant on the show. She was 5 years old at that time. She won the show, becoming the youngest-ever winner of ‘Star Search.’
Having a professional dancer as her mother influenced little Alisan a lot. Alisan started training in dance quite early and eventually gained a keen interest in acting. Her victory in the ‘Star Search’ competition helped her start her acting career, and in 1987, she made her on-screen acting debut.
By the time she was 10 years old, she had stopped doing films and TV series. Two years later, her family moved to Connecticut. While still in high school, she became part of the theater group named the ‘Staples Players.’ In school, she played lead roles in plays such as ‘Cinderella’ and ‘West Side Story.’
By the time she was out of high school, her interests had shifted from films to stage and ‘Broadway’ productions. She moved to New York at the age of 18, to participate in the city’s thriving ‘Broadway’ scene. Soon, she started doing shows.
Her interest in music also caught up with her, and she pursued her musical interests, too.
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After a winning appearance in ‘Star Search’ in 1986, she made her acting debut in 1987, with the small role of ‘Li’l Punkin’ in the children’s TV program ‘Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.’ The same year, she appeared in another small role, in the miniseries ‘I’ll Take Manhattan.’ She made two more TV appearances that year. She was part of the series ‘Family Ties’ and the TV film ‘A Beverly Hills Christmas.’
In 1988, she made her film debut, appearing as ‘Maggie’ in ‘Homesick.’ The following year, she appeared in the comedy–drama film ‘Parenthood,’ appearing as ‘Taylor Buckman.’
She got her first career breakthrough when she appeared as ‘Molly Peerce’ in the sitcom named ‘Chicken Soup’ in 1989. Her appearance lasted for 12 episodes and remains to be her biggest role so far. The series was cancelled, with four episodes remaining unaired.
In 1990, she bagged yet another key role, in the drama film ‘Stella.’ The movie featured her as the 8-year-old version of ‘Jenny Claire,’ one of the main characters in the film. Despite being hailed for its performances, the film received mostly negative reviews and was a moderate box-office success.
The same year, she appeared in the film ‘I Love You To Death,’ playing ‘Carla Boca,’ a key role. The black comedy received average reviews and was a moderate box-office success.
She made a cameo appearance in a single episode of the series ‘Perfect Strangers’ and then appeared in a supporting role in the biographical TV film ‘When You Remember Me.’
In 1991, Alisan earned the first leading role of her career, in the film ‘Curly Sue.’ The film featured her as ‘Curly Sue.’ Although the film was badly panned by critics, it turned out to be a box-office success. This was also Alisan’s last feature-film appearance, before she took a long hiatus from films.
In 1991, she appeared as ‘Melissa’ in a single episode of the series titled ‘The Golden Girls.’
In 2001, she made her TV comeback with the series ‘Undressed,’ playing ‘Belinda.’
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She made her film comeback in 2003, with the film ‘Shrink Rap,’ which featured her as ‘Brandi.’
In 2006, she appeared as ‘Miriam,’ ‘Moses’s sister, in the musical adaptation of ‘The Ten Commandments.’ Although the musical received mixed reviews from critics, it was considered a commercial success.
Although she tried hard to revive her acting career, she failed to do so. In 2008, she was seen playing a chorus line dancer in the comedy film ‘Meet Dave.’ The same year, she appeared in the documentary film ‘Every Little Step.’
During that time, she focused on her stage and music career. In 2003, she announced the formation of the band ‘The Raz.’ She was the band’s main vocalist and songwriter. However, the band disbanded the following year. Following the split, Alisan formed a new band named ‘The Alisan Porter Project.’
In 2006, she performed in the revival of the concept musical named ‘A Chorus Line.’ In 2009, she released her debut album as a solo artist, ‘Alisan Porter.’
In February 2016, she appeared as a participant on the talent hunt show ‘The Voice.’ She had renowned singer Christina Aguilera as her coach. In the finals, she performed an original song titled ‘Down that Road’ and was crowned as the winner of the show. She also became the first winner with a female coach, giving Aguilera her first win as coach.
As a musician, Alisan has released two albums, ‘Alisan Porter’ and ‘Who We Are.’
She produced a few episodes of ‘Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed.’
Family & Personal Life
Alisan Porter once stated that she had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for many years. She, however, claims she has been sober since 2007.
She had dated fellow actor Brian Autenrieth for a while, before getting married to him in 2012. The couple had two children. However, in late 2017, Alisan announced that the couple had separated but were good friends.
Alisan also happens to be a regular contributor for the magazine named ‘movmnt.’ She writes columns on different issues. She also has a ‘Facebook’ page and a website named ‘Lil' Mamas.’
When asked about her not-so-successful acting career, Alisan stated, “making music is my calling.”