45: Alyson Stoner


Alyson Stoner is a 24-year old Up & Comer. She is most known for her singing, acting, and dancing careers that have all had storied success for her age. From roles in Cheaper by the Dozen, to the Step Up series, to Camp RockThe Suite Life of Zach and Cody, and much more. Her career has entailed roles and appearances in over 50 films and shows, alongside a successful dancing and singing career.

Beyond the statistics and accomplishments to her name, Alyson has experienced the weight of social responsibility that comes with notoriety at a young age.

Beginning her career in the entertainment industry at age 6, the life she has lived is rare and complicated. She has been forced to grow up faster than most, and has dealt with many of the ramifications that come from never having experiencing a normal childhood. Through both the opportunities and challenges, she has developed a deep-seeded ambition to pursue excellence in creativity, as well as the desire to understand her self and the workings of her mind, in order to find balance in an increasingly imbalanced world and profession.

In this conversation, Adam, Thane, and Alyson talk through her background, her journey of faith, what it means to live a life of contribution, the importance of community, and much more. This episode is fascinating and riveting, and it is a conversation you do not want to miss.


“When it comes down to who you are at your core - your identity, you can’t have someone do that work [to figure it out] for you.”  - Thane Ringler

“I’ve always been a purpose-driven person, and if I can’t find the reason then it’s hard for me to show up. It has to have meaning and significance, and how you define those changes over the years.”  - Alyson Stoner

“When you have, suddenly, out of nowhere, hundreds of thousands of people having opinions on everything you do - I learned that with this fame, or notoriety, came this responsibility.”  - Alyson Stoner

“What I would give to be able to just grow up as a normal human. I’ll never, never know what that’s like. And that’s really difficult - it’s something that brings me a lot of sorrow.”  - Alyson Stoner

“Learning how to detach from the story and label you’ve given yourself is crucial, so you can free yourself to really write the future you want, until that changes.”  - Alyson Stoner

“American Christianity is so influenced by capitalism, and militarism, and patriotism, and not necessarily how ancient wisdom was teaching us.”  - Alyson Stoner

“It’s so easy to read a verse of the Bible and say: ‘this is what it means, intellectually’. It’s so much harder to get out in the real world, and see the real world move by you, and judge its art and its culture in a discerning way.”  - Adam Setser

“I think a key word is: ‘contribution’. I started looking at my life and whether I was truly contributing to the human narrative and progress. Were more people loved or hated because of where I stood on things?”  - Alyson Stoner

“For faith to be faith, there needs to be more room for the unknowns than the knowns.”  - Adam Setser

“As Christians, we should be the most daring and bold people out there.”  - Thane Ringler

“Community is the truest sense of the word. It’s: not being alone in this fight, struggle, suffering, and in celebration.”  - Alyson Stoner

“I think everyone is capable of dancing. If you’ve got a heartbeat, you’ve got rhythm.”  - Alyson Stoner

“Knowing yourself, knowing your plate, and knowing your approach I think is what helps you find that sense of homeostasis when you can, knowing that life is still going to be stressful no matter what you do.”  - Alyson Stoner

“If you were to put - Pharrell, Beyonce, Ghandi, and Albert Einstein in a room together - that’s sort of what I’m hoping to be with my life.”  - Alyson Stoner

Show Notes:

Cassidy's Episode (#44)
Work It - Missy Elliot music video (w/ appearance by Alyson)
River Rise - India.Arie
The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert - Rosaria Butterfield
Galen Hooks Choreography - Shut Up and Dance With Me
Galen Hooks Choreo - Love on the Brain (Alyson performs in 3rd group)
A Brief History of Everything - Ken Wilber
The Naked Now - Richard Roehr
New Seeds of Contemplation - Thomas Merton
The Way of Zen - Alan Watts

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5:30 - What Song Alyson Sings in The Shower
8:30 - Favorite Nickname She’s Been Given
10:30 - Where Alyson Comes From
14:00 - Alyson’s Career Progression
18:45 - Alyson’s Personal Transformation
22:00 - Discovering Purpose and Meaning in Life
27:00 - The Role of the Church in Her Upbringing
40:00 - The Life of Faith and Contribution
43:45 - What Alyson Has Learned from Africa
46:30 - Importance of Community
51:30 - Her Interest in Neuroscience
55:15 - Dance Talk
1:00:00 - Deciding Between Singing, Dancing, and Acting
1:07:00 - What Class Alyson Would Teach
1:08:45 - Alyson’s Approach to Social Media
1:13:10 - Her Favorite Disney Role
1:14:10 - Book That’s Left Biggest Impact on Her
1:15:30 - Who She Thinks of when She hears the word “Success”
1:16:45 - Morning Text Reminder She Would Send
1:18:30 - Where to Find Alyson