Alicia Atout is a rising star, not only in the world or professional wrestling, but as an influencer in other realms including music, fashion and social media. At the young age of only 25 years old, she is a veteran of over 4,000 interviews. That dedication to her craft has earned her the nickname of “The Interview Queen”.
Alicia was kind enough to speak to me on Thurday night via Skype. During our conversation, we discussed MLW’s Kings of Colosseum event, her taste in music, how she earned her nickname and a slew of other topics. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Jon: First off, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me tonight. As a fairly new journalist that is trying to specialize in interviews, I have really been looking forward to this opportunity to pick the brain of the one and only “Interview Queen.”
Alicia: Absolutely, no worries.
Jon: Before we dive into the more personal aspect of this interview, I would like to touch on MLW’s recent Kings of Colosseum special that just went down this past Wednesday. What are your thoughts on the evening and how things went overall? Did you have a favorite match or moment that stuck out to you?
Alicia: Yes, so I feel like we were leading up to this event for weeks and weeks. There were so many titles on the line. So many feuds that we were looking forward to either ending or seeing who came out victorious. Of course, we had the main event where Alex Hammerstone faced CONTRA’s Mads Kruger and so many of us just wanted to see Hammer just take down this guy. We don’t know who he is. We don’t know who’s behind the mask. But we just wanted to see him lose. So that was just such a great match, to have these two giants just throw each other around all of the MLW venue. So that was great. Of course, we had a change in titles, where our previous champ, our middleweight champion, Myron Reed, was facing a debuting Lio Rush. Lio took the ‘W’, so that was crazy. So much high-flying, so many crazy maneuvers happening there. That was great. Overall, it was just really a fantastic show. My only complaint, and I never have complaints of MLW, but my only complaint was the fact that CONTRA interrupted my interview, so they can kind of go away for a little bit. That’d be nice.
Jon: Speaking of going away. I follow you on social media, like so many others do, and have seen that you’ve been in quarantine lately. What has that experience been like for you? Are you losing your mind yet?
Alicia: I am absolutely going crazy, already. A lot of people are asking me why I’m quarantining. If I’m okay? I am absolutely fine. I just took a little trip to visit some loved ones in the States. As per law in Canada, you have to quarantine for 14 days when you get back home. So, I am losing my marbles. I can’t leave my room, unless it’s to go to the washroom or to shower. I haven’t seen my family members. I haven’t been able to pet my dog. So, it sucks. I feel cooped up. But, I’ve been able to at least kind of focus, keep my head down, really put my eyes to my screen and work on blogs, Patreon posts, editing interviews and, of course, sneak in some really good Netflix binges once in a while.
Jon: Changing courses a little bit here, you’re a big music fan, obviously. If you had to pick one album, song or band that you think best describes you, what or who would that be?
Alicia: That’s such a great question. It’s so hard to choose a song or a record because they’re so full of different ways. I just don’t want to be perceived a certain way. But if I had to choose a band, it would be the Beatles, because they run the spectrum of all emotions, but they’re known for just being kind of go with the flow and lovey and mushy. And they’re my favorite band of all-time, so I have to go with The Beatles.
Jon: As I mentioned earlier, you are affectionately known as the “Interview Queen”. For those that don’t know, can you break down how you got into journalism, how you earned that nickname and what your journey has been like to get where you are right now?
Alicia: Absolutely. So, I’ve always loved music and it all kind of started there. I would be in school and I would start writing things. I randomly started a blog just to write album and song reviews. One night, I went to a concert with my dad and my sister. I had this very crappy HD camera that I was using to take pictures of the band on stage. After the show, I met the band and I still had this crappy camera. My dad said, “Why don’t you ask the two questions for your blog? Just make stuff up and have fun.” It was like a 30-second interview. I interviewed that band and then I was out of there. So it all kind of started that way. From there, I started to hone my skills. I started to actually enjoy it and realized, “Oh wow, this could be a thing.” I could not only get to meet bands that I love for free, but I could also get free tickets to concerts and, at the same time, make a job out of it. So it really just organically grew from a hobby into an actual working job. Then from there, that really gained a lot of popularity. Wrestling came into my world and from there, it’s just been absolute mayhem. So, everything was very organic though and I’m very happy and proud of that.
Jon: Were a fan of wrestling beforehand?
Alicia: Yes! My dad would sit on the couch with a bunch of his friends when they were over, when I was two or three years old, and I would watch wrestling with them. So it’s always been a constant in my life. I’ve been in-and-out a little bit, like most people are, as far as eras go. But it’s pretty much always been there.
Jon: Who would you say have been your biggest influences, both personally and professionally?
Alicia: Definitely my family. They’ve always been there for me and they’ve always been behind the scenes, pushing me and making sure that I wasn’t complacent or content with things. I’m super close with everyone here. We used to always go to concerts together all of the time. They’re kind of the inspiration behind it. And the fact that I was so young when I started this and they were cool with me going to gigs. They’d go along with me to most of my interviews. I kind of, at this point now that I’ve seen a bit of success, not where I want to be, but a bit, it’s just that driving force and that motivation of “Alright, I’m going to keep showing them that you made decision in supporting me,” and I want to keep kicking some ass!
Jon: You’ve continued to raise your star over the past year, despite the pandemic putting so many limitations on people. How have you managed to not only stay relevant, but to continue to improve your visibility and become more successful than ever?
Alicia: It was interesting when all of this happened because we really had to adapt and change things up. The obvious route was to do Skype or Zoom interviews and luckily, I had already started doing those a few months prior to the pandemic. So I started doing more of those and I realized, “Ok, I can’t be at shows.” For the longest time, from about March to September, Canadians could not cross the border. I couldn’t take bookings that way. So I started working with a lot more brands, doing clothing collaborations and doing things remotely with wrestling companies. So it was a lot of thinking on your feet, trying to grow and obviously turning to social media more, in the sense of Tweeting more, putting yourself out there more and just trying to be even more personable than I’ve ever been before. So, yeah, just letting it out all there and also just putting in the work. For weeks and weeks, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, I had interviews I would say, maybe like six a week. So it was hectic, but I did what I had to do.
Jon: Any words of advice for people like myself and others that are just trying to break into the realm of journalism, especially when it comes to focusing on interviews? Would it be to just put your head down and bang them out?
Alicia: Yeah, that’s definitely a part of it. Then, of course, just enjoying it and knowing what you’re talking about. I feel like the biggest thing that I’ve learned throughout doing them, and to just make yourself different, is the research. If you put research into it and you make your guest feel like you know a ton about them and you’re not just wasting their time, that is what, in my opinion, makes for a really great interview. Mix that research up with some fun, because you don’t want to be a robot. That’s where it’s at for me. So, yeah, I feel like that’s kind of the key to success. Another one is don’t be scared of failure. It’s funny, I drafted up a tweet about this that I’ve yet to post. But, I’ve been thrown into so many circumstances that I never expected. I showed up to a show just to host YouTube interviews and the next thing that I know, the wrestling promotion is asking me, “Hey, would you like to be our backstage interviewer?” Then that kind of went from me showing up at a promotion to be a backstage interviewer, to being asked to do commentary and ring announcing. If I said no to these things, those are jobs and opportunities that I would have lost. Yes, failure is terrifying. But if you don’t go for it, you’ll never know where it could take you. SO, yeah, just don’t be afraid of failure. Always network. You gotta network to get work. Keep trucking. Like I said earlier, put the work in.
Jon: “You gotta network to get work.” I love that.
Alicia: Yeah, it’s great. It’s from Veep. One of the guys on it was some macho douche. *laughs* He would say, “You gotta network to get work.” That’s genius!
Jon: I love it. That’s going on my Twitter later. What can we expect from Alicia Atout as we move into 2021 and beyond that?
Alicia: I’m really trying to lock down a ton of big interviews and just getting bigger names, or even people that are up and coming who are buzzworthy. People that I think will be getting signed up soon or sort of the next big things. I’m trying to focus on that a lot. I recently started my Patreon account, which has been super fun. So I’m trying to just make that exclusive, because I feel like that’s a great way to grow. Not only financially, but also a great way to interact with your fans. Because, I mean, it is a business, what we do at the end of the day. I’m just hoping that this pandemic gets better for everyone and we can have shows again and actually, you know, go out there and do my thing. I miss that a lot. I just want to keep growing and getting bigger and bigger.
Jon: And lastly, before we wrap up here, any shout outs or plugs that you want to put out there? Obviously, you have a bigger platform than mine. But maybe somebody who doesn’t know about you yet will hear about this. What do you want them to know about?
Alicia: Absolutely. If you guys do know about me, thank you so much for checking me out on this platform. If you don’t, thank you for listening(reading) and learning a little bit about me. If you want to check out my interviews, feel free to go to AliciaAtout.com. There you will find every interview that I’ve ever done. There’s over 4,000 of them, so I’ve most likely interviewed some of your favorite bands, wrestlers or body builders. So, go check it out. If you’re interested in supporting, my merch store is AliciaAtout.bigcartel.com and all of my socials are on that site as well. So if you just go to AliciaAtout.com, there you can follow, buy, support or just say “Hey!” That also works for me. Check out the interviews. I really hope that you enjoy them. And thank you so much for having me on your site!
Jon: Thank you. Once again, Alicia, I sincerely thank you for your time. It has been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to seeing what you have in store for 2021 and beyond.
Alicia: Thank you so much!
I would like to thank Alicia one more time for the opportunity to pick her brain and get some insight into what makes her go. We here at Sports Obsessive wish her nothing but success and growth in the future.
Make sure that you check her out on MLW Fusion, every Wednesday on their YouTube channel, beginning at 7pm EST. Also, please support Alicia by checking out her website, AliciaAtout.com and her merch site at AliciaAtout.bigcartel.com.