Saturday, June 24, 2017

Q&A with Allison Manley- figure skating podcast extraordinaire

May 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured Articles

Allison Manley doesn’t have your typical second job. It’s not often that a website  designer wakes at the crack of dawn to train as a figure skater and compete in  the United States Adult National Championships. That’s just one aspect that  makes up the many interesting facets of Allison Manley. As if running her own  business and training weren’t enough, Manley has been hosting the  Manleywoman Skatecast, a podcast series dedicated to brining interviews and  stories about the world’s best to figure skating fans everywhere. She has  interviewed the likes of Jennifer Kirk, Debbie Thomas, Dan Hollander, and Kurt  Browning, just to name a few. As her podcast has grown in popularity, so has Manley. She has many more interesting interviews on the horizon. Who knows?  Maybe she’ll be bringing you the latest stories from the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

IceTalent: Allison, you recently competed in the 2013 Adult National Championships. Tell us about your experience.

AM: It was one of the best I’ve ever attended.  A lot of elite skaters, like Doug Razzano and Adam Rippon, showed up to support us. They were really impressed with how the adult nationals worked.

IT: How did you skate?

AM: I  was happy with my skate. I wasn’t perfect, but I was close. I came in bronze.

IceTalent: What makes Adult Nationals so special?

AM: Adults who skate really do it because they love it; otherwise they wouldn’t get up at crazy hours to try to fit it in before work or after work and  in between all of their children’s schedules. If they go so far as to compete at Adult Nationals, they really worked hard to make it happen. Everyone understands that just the fact that you are there (Adult Nationals) is an accomplishment in itself.  It’s an extremely supportive group.

What do you love about figure skating?

AM: I have two kids and I run a business. I spend my entire day really focusing on solving my client’s problems, solving my children’s problems or helping them solve them themselves. Skating is really the only time I get to work on myself. I just think it’s such a great outlet and it helps me feel better about everything else.

IceTalent: How did you get the idea to start the podcast?

AM: In 2006 I was working the most boring  job  and podcasts and itunes were very new. I needed something to distract me.  In ’07 Kurt Browning was doing commentary at Nationals and he said three things that really frustrated me. Overall I thought he did a great job but three things really bothered me. So I e-mailed his website webmaster. I told him I thought he did a great job and gave him constructive criticsim.  Three weeks later I got an e-mail from his webmaster saying Kurt Browning would like to talk to me. Kurt called me and he invited me to Stars on Ice in Chicago the next day. So we went and Kurt was fantastic. We had a nice chat about it. I said to him I’m going to turn the tables here. Why don’t I interview you as my first guest and then you can critique me and tell me how I did. He said sure and gave me a date of three weeks later. He was my first interview.

IT: What do your interviewees have in common?

AM: I think the number one thing is that they see skating as such a family. These guys devoted their entire childhoods to doing this. They missed parties, friendships, and having dogs. You name it they missed it because they dedicated their lives to this sport. It’s a very unique experience for them. At the end of the day they have these deep, deep connections with each other.  It’s a very tight knit group and I really respect that.

IT: Who would you love to interview?

AM: Dick Button! I wrote him a poem to get his attention. He keeps saying he is interested. He still hasn’t agreed to be interviewed, but I hold out hope that he will. I have my questions ready.

IT: Any plans to travel to the Olympic Games in Sochi next year?

AM: I would really like to go and cover the event. I’m going to try to put all of the pieces together and see if I can get sponsorship or raise the money through Kickstarter to go. I’ve been brainstorming about different prizes I could give. For example, if someone gave $5 they could get a mention on the website. There are some interviews that I would really love to get that will be very difficult to get from here- like Tatiana Tarasova.

-Nicolette House

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