I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Fifteen-year-old Aly Tricarico has known exactly what she wants to do — be an actress — since she was in fifth grade.
“When she walked out of her first acting class at Arts University in Wilkes-Barre, she was glowing,” her proud mother, Dr. Lisa Tricarico, recalled. “When I saw her face, I knew we were in trouble. She just talked about the class all the way home and beyond.”
As a result of a five-year pursuit of her passion, Aly, of Jenkins Township, can been seen in the movie, “How to Be Single,” staring Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson, which opened Friday 12 in theaters across the country. Aly plays a teen doppelganger — or look-alike — of Johnson’s role. Aly does have a striking resemblance to the young starlet.
After trying basketball, bowling, clarinet and even fencing, Aly enrolled in an acting class. She quickly got roles in local productions such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Little Mermaid,” “Guys and Dolls,” “My Son Pinocchio,” all through Kiss Theatre.
“I had mainly ensemble rolls until 2014 when I did the fall show of ‘My Son Pinocchio’ where I played a bigger role as Rose the fairy,” Aly said.
In 2014, Aly was invited to enter the National American Miss Pageant for Pennsylvania that took place regionally at Genetti’s in Wilkes-Barre. “Entering the pageant was a confidence boost and knew I could do it,” she said. Her confidence grew as she reached out to the public looking for sponsors for the pageant.
The pageant was held at the state level in Harrisburg in August 2014, where she won Most Photogenic and Most Promising Model as well as being named the pagaent’s state ambassador. By winning the Most Promising Model, Aly was awarded a scholarship to John Robert Powers Modeling School in Philadelphia. “After going to modeling and acting school, I didn’t want to do theater anymore; I wanted to go to (New York) and do professional acting.”
With the success of the pageant at the state level, Aly qualified for nationals in California. While there, she had the chance to take an improv class with a casting director in front of people from Disney and ABC network doing the judging.
Her successes drive her to continue pursuing her career dreams. “We took a leap of faith to see where it would take us,” Lisa said.
Lisa and Aly’s father, Dr. Jim, reached out to Denise Simon, a child acting coach in New York, to evaluate Aly’s abilities. “Denise suggested what kind of classes to take, to look into (independent) films, student films and to take whatever is out there to increase Aly’s craft and visibility,” said Lisa.
In 2015, Aly took on-camera classes and circulated her headshots and resume. She soon landed the lead role in a promotional video for New York schools public schools playing a shy girl in a student commercial.
Aly gained exposure when she worked on the set of a Nickelodeon production in New York, her first experience in a “big time” production.
Projects started to roll in when she won the role in the film “Following Phil” in the summer of 2015.
During filming, the opportunity came up for “How to Be Single.”
“When we read the description of the character they were looking for, we thought it was prefect for Aly,” Lisa said. “We sent in photos they requested and they called back saying she was their favorite Dakota look-alike.”
What will 2016 bring for Aly? All of the film projects she worked on in 2015 are scheduled for release, including a movie theater commercial for the Turner Classic Movies network.
A few weeks ago, a production company made its way to the home of the Tricaricos to do a film short titled “Captives,” now in post-production.
Aly will appear in the 1979 movie remake of “Going in Style,” starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Ann-Margaret and Christopher Lloyd. That film will be out this year.
Today, Aly will walk the runway during New York Fashion Week for international designer Nancy Vuu’s children’s couture line. “I almost can’t believe it and I can’t wait for the weekend,” Aly said.
By the end of the week, Aly and family will head to Ft. Lauderdale for the Florida Film Festival supporting “Seeking Solace,” a film she shot last year.
Even though Aly’s scene in “How to Be Single” is just a few short seconds, the six-plus hours shooting on set was a great experience and has fueled her fire to succeed in show business.
There will be more classes, more auditioning and more adventures in her life — and we’ll watch her glow turn into a bright star.
Quote of the week
“Don’t talk to me about Valentine’s Day. At my age, an affair of the heart is a bypass.” – Joan Rivers, American comic.
Thought of the week
“Today is Valentine’s Day – or, as men call it, Extortion Day.” – Jay Leno, American comic.
“Learn to be loved for the first time.” – Sarah Allen, Canadian actress.
Tony Callaio’s column My Corner, Your Corner runs weekly in the Sunday Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.