I’m very excited for the first person in this photo series to be this magical human.
Alex Wisner is a writer, musician, film composer, creator of treehouse, and front-woman of her band AKW.
What do ya do?
First and foremost, I am a writer. I’ve been writing music, poems, stories, plays, scripts and books since I was twelve. I’m a musician and it’s what I do professionally.
I also run Treehouse. Growing up in Los Angeles, surrounded by fellow artists, it felt like everyone was trying to build their own artistic empires and had little time to pay attention to anyone else. I decided to reach out to friends and see if they wanted to showcase their art with others. The first Treehouse happened in my living room and there were around 15 artists who performed. Some were friends and some were people I had never met before. It was magic watching the audience watch the artist. They were so attentive and so there, listening, taking it in. The people who performed were so talented. I felt like I had just tapped into some alternate dimension where everyone, even the not so seeming, had something magical to offer. I decided to do it monthly. As the months went on, and through word of mouth, it became too crowded, too many strangers to have in my own house. So, I decided to make Treehouse a pop-up event. Treehouse is completely free. We do not get charged for the spaces we use, we do not charge for admission or to perform. We have been doing this for awhile now, and it’s done nothing but expand every month. We all collaborate to try to build the best experience possible.
When did you know you wanted to pursue what you are doing?
I always used to say at the age of twelve. I guess that’s because that’s when I wrote my first set of short stories and also the year I started my own band.
Looking back at my earlier years, I reconsider. I remember having a sleepover when I was 5 years old and forcing my friends to put on a showcase for my parents. I’d ask what their best talent was and then had them practice for half an hour. I’d turn off the lights in my bedroom, use the bed as a stage and I would sit on the side, queuing a boom box and directing a flashlight as a spotlight while they were performing. Fast forward, I find myself still doing this every month.
What might you be doing if you hadn’t pursued this?
I’d probably be a teacher. I have this fear of future generations that I’m convinced will only be solved through art and education.
Have you ever almost given up on your passions? If so, what kept you going?
I’m a bit delusional when it comes to failure. I’m convinced that I have never failed at anything. I’ve sucked at a lot of things, but it makes me laugh when I think about it. I love creating things so much that it’s part of me- like eating or sleeping. Even if I’ve gone through a lull of making money with my art or not succeeding as much as I’d hoped, I just make more. Persistence as a concept is what’s kept me going.
Best advice you’ve received?
One time my dad said “Don’t ever let someone plug into you like you’re a three pronged outlet.”
I think it’s the best advice I’ve ever received. I keep it in mind and I don’t let people into my life who feed off of my energy or suck it all up. No vampires. No parasites.
When do you feel the most inspired / creative?
At the most inconvenient times! I’ll be at a birthday party and run to the bathroom to hide away and write something on my phone.
My other favorite time is in the early morning. Around 6 am. I like to walk into my studio and wake myself up with it all.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I was born with a tail and didn’t know about it until I was 20 years old and it grew very slowly. I had to get it surgically removed. I was reading the Dragon Ball Z manga at the time. It was all very coincidental.
Also, my first language was Spanish.
Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
I’ve never quite figured this out. An exintrovert?
What's the strangest first date you've ever been on?
We broke into the Observatory late at night while it was raining and then sat on a hill drinking cans of Tecate he had in his jacket until sunrise.
If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead who would it be and why?
Whoever wrote the first edition of the Bible. I have so many questions about their intentions.
Book(s) everyone should read:
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
The Story of Civilization by Will Durant
Top 5 favorite albums. Go!
I’m going to answer this in a very personal way rather than I think I should say.
Carol King - Tapestry
Sigur Ros – Parenthesis
Angel Olsen – Half Way Home
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
What kinds of restaurants do you enjoy going to? What do you usually order?
Tacos are my favorite food.
Are there any foods you dislike?
I don’t like anything that comes out of a shell.
Are you good at impressions? If so, who can you do?
The absolute worst.
Where do you like to shop?
My favorite store in LA is a vintage store called The Left Bank.
Who do you think you were in a past life?
I was a complicated lady named Collette.
Do you like to cook? If so, what are some of your favorite things to make?
I LOVE cooking. I like to make a variety of rice dishes. You can really do so much with rice. I also make some delicious vegan tacos.
What does your ideal day look like?
I love accomplishing something big and then cuddling up with the person I love.
Movie you can watch over and over again?
Trading Places. It never stops making me laugh.
The last funny or interesting dream you remember having?
I have these dreams about houses sometimes. I have had about 5-6 of them in my life. They’re the most intricate, lucid dreams I’ve ever had. I’ll be in a house and by the end of the dream, I’ll know every single inch of it. I’ll know what’s in every room. I’ll know what everyone said. I’ll remember the temperature and the lighting- the smell. It confuses me because what happens in the dream is never significant. But when I wake up from them, I feel like a different person that day.
What’s your sign? Does it mean anything to you?
Capricorn. I’m determined and helpful.
What’s your love language?
Acts of Service
Do you believe in soulmates?
I believe in the Law of Entanglement.
What's been a force or drive of inspiration in your life?
The people around me or the people I have lost.
Are you messy or neat?
I am both.
Do you have any irrational fears?
I think they’re all very rational. ☺
Are you a morning or night person?
I love the night. The sun makes me feel like I’m supposed to do what everyone else is doing. The night is mine.
Something you’d like to learn:
I’d love to learn French so my boyfriend could know how funny I really am.
Two truths and a lie:
My Grandma was a very nice person
I use to be convinced I could talk to dogs with telepathy
I’m banned for life from a Cathedral in Mexico as they think I started an earthquake by playing their organ.
Do you think everything happens for a reason?
No but I do think you can find reason in anything that happens.
Do you get nervous / anxious / stage fright? If so, how do you deal with it?
This only happens at Treehouse. Any time I have played Treehouse, I feel very nervous. My hands starts shaking and sometimes my voice gives out.
I’ve played in front of thousands of people before and have felt nothing. I don’t get it.
Any pre-performance or creative rituals?
I usually take a second alone to shut off judgement and remind myself of who I am.
Advice to younger self:
Don’t waste your time on people who don’t want to be helped. Never stop creating.
Anything you’d like to share:
I’m releasing a book called “Other Halves” soon!
Look out for it!