Every year, I come up with a truly ridiculous list of Halloween costumes and more often than not, I end up scraping together a costume the night of that was never on my radar to begin with. College generally stretches Halloween over an entire weekend, so last Halloween I found myself with one planned costume and another two nights to figure out.
As luck would have it, the work was done for me when Allison Carr asked me to be the Garth to her Wayne for Scarier Dome’s Halloween special. Despite our partner costume and long list of mutual good friends, it wasn’t until this summer that our friendship truly came to fruition, which was long overdue. Life Hack: A drive through Connecticut’s insufferable, inevitable traffic en route to New England can do wonders for getting to know someone.
Allison Carr is a rising junior in the Bandier Program for Recording and Allied Entertainment Industries at Syracuse University. She spent her summer interning for 23/7 Global, an artist services company, doing things like working for Justin Bieber’s VIP team. Her love for music wasn’t always rooted in the industry, though. Both of her parents attended Syracuse University, and that, combined with growing up singing and doing theatre lead her toward ‘Cuse’s musical theatre program – but then something else clicked.
“Music is something I kind of stumbled into. I’ve always loved it and have been interested in keeping it as an essential part of my life but I didn’t realize it would be something that I could feasibly pursue as my career. Being classically vocally trained for literally my whole upbringing made it seem like there was no choice there, I just had to perform. When I realized there was a way to pursue music as a career and still actually, potentially make money, that seemed like a better fit for me. I had always been passionate about music and the creation of it, so getting a behind-the-scenes kind of job was just really appealing. I was – and am sort of – a musician, and I felt it would be good to have that background while having so many talented people surrounding me.“
During her time as a student so far she’s been able to experience things like the CMJ festival in New York City (where she nearly fainted upon seeing Sky Ferreira in the crowd with her watching DIIV), become the General Manager of the student run radio station WERW and has ultimately flourished as a person.
College radio ended up as a sort of heaven for curation-crazed Allison.
“Something that I’ve realized that I’m passionate about recently is curation. Playlists obviously are one thing that I curate, but also all of my items. I like everything to be cohesive and go together and I spend a lot of time thinking about things like that. That’s why radio is something I fell into so well. I love making a playlist for the hour that flows well from one song into another. I feel like it’s a waste of energy to care as much as I do, but it gives me a migraine if things don’t complement each other.” (Spoken like a true Virgo. Don’t forget to wish Allison a happy birthday tomorrow!)
Friendship is another area where Allison finds complements to be absolutely necessary. She’s someone who is there for her friends without fail; her heart seems bottomless and her loyalty boundless. Sometimes, though, her giving nature ends up being exploited. So, she’s made a point now to nurture relationships with those who give back and meet her halfway.
“I feel like I have a really rocky past with so many people and I struggle to understand why, but I think I just attract people who don’t treat me well. Being taken advantage of is kind of a recurring theme in my life, and I’ve been working really hard for the past year or so to not let myself be taken advantage of anymore. It’s lost me a lot of important people, but I guess it was for the best because they weren’t treating me how I deserved to be treated and in the end, I am better off without them.”
At Syracuse she’s been lucky enough to find a number of wonderful humans who make her need to take care of people all worth while and who share and foster her passions. The environment of the university, combined with the people who’ve made their way into Allison’s corner of it, have changed her for the better.
“I think Syracuse has made me come into myself, and I think I’ve grown so much. It’s kind of hard to articulate how I’ve grown, but I think I’m more adventurous and say ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ so much more. I hope that I can continue that this year and I can be more able to branch out as I enter my 20’s.”
It’s a beautiful thing that such a work-oriented young woman has gained a level of adventurousness. Her work ethic is impressive and something that she’s proud of, but she too often forgets to take a moment to breathe.
At the same time, Allison does her best to focus on what’s happening now instead of stressing about the future.
“I try to not think about it [the future] too much because it makes me anxious. I’m just here now and have a ton of things to do in the next month, and then when that month is over I’ll take on the next. If you constantly plan your life out too much then you get trapped in the idea that you’re not living up to something you’re supposed to do.”
Allison, regardless of her need for cohesiveness and organization, is a true embodiment of rolling with the punches. No matter what life tosses, throws or viciously catapults her way, she finds a way to tackle it while remaining the fun and dependable person that she is. In the words of Willy Wonka (whom she portrayed masterfully in a 5th grade musical) “there’s no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going,” and that seems perfectly fine with her. As long as she’s got her passions, her pals, her playlists and her wise head on her shoulders I’m confident she’ll find herself somewhere incredible.