Local helps produce 'Dancing with the Stars'

LOS ANGELES – An Oxford Academy High school graduate is making great strides in his career through his work with the production of ABC's “Dancing with the Stars.” David Allen works as a post production assistant and has been with the show since September 2013, working on both season 17 and 18.

“I assist the editors who edit things like the training packages (what happened for each couple during rehearsals that week),” said Allen in an email interview. “I also help sort and import media including behind the scenes footage. Finally, after the broadcasts I deliver the show tapes to various studios, including ABC, so it can be put online.”

Allen really enjoys his position – his favorite part of which is learning how a weekly show is produced. When asked what it’s like working on set, he said, “It’s a blast. Every week is something different ... There are so many people from all different areas coming together with one common goal; be ready to put on a show when we go live at five.”

While the season ended on May 20, Allen has another position lined up with ABC's “Rising Star.” The show is a new interactive singing competition in which the viewers vote in real time, he explained. It is scheduled to premiere on Sunday, June 22 on ABC.



While Allen's affiliation with such a well-known network is a solid foundation for a successful career, there was a great deal of time and effort that went into attaining his current position.

Growing up, Allen participated in high school drama club and went to the Amber Perkins School of the Arts for many years.

“I loved the feeling of performing and putting smiles on peoples' faces because of it,” Allen said. “After posting my first YouTube video, I knew video and film could reach many more people from around the world. This way I can entertain and tell stories to people outside of a small auditorium.”

These experiences, as well as watching his mother document events in their lives with film, sparked his deep interest in television.

“I have always dreamed of working in television but I always thought it was just that – a dream,” said Allen. “I was actually planning on studying to be a meteorologist because it mixed my love of science with broadcasting. However, one day when I was home sick senior year of high school, I was watching my favorite movies and knew I had to at least try this daunting career path. I figured I would much rather try and fail then look back many years from now and wonder what would have happened if I attempted it.”

Allen attended Ithaca College and graduated in 2013 with a Television/Radio major with a video production concentration and theater minor. After graduation, Allen drove with his father across country to LA. There he held a variety of positions, including work as an audience coordinator for shows like NBC's “The Voice.”

Allen explained that he heard about the position with “Dancing with the Stars” and was able to secure it because of his numerous internships and work experience.

Said Allen, “Before this position, I was an intern at a variety of places including FOX 40 WICZ in Vestal, Nickelodeon in NYC, 'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson' in Los Angeles and even the Cannes Film Festival in France.”

Allen is only just starting his career and has big future plans.

“While I don’t know my exact path, I would love to one day be a showrunner for a show like Louis C.K. where I can star, write, produce, and direct my own show,” said Allen and explained he has created an iTunes podcast called Dual Redundancy. “Perhaps that will take off and I will be a part of the next entertainment review show like 'Siskel & Ebert.”

When asked what advice he would give to other people aspiring to enter his field he said, “If you have a dream go for it! It may sound cheesy but you really only have one lifetime to attempt to make your dreams come true. Thankfully I had the love and support of my family to back my dream and let me make the big move to Los Angeles.”

Allen also referenced a quote from “Back to the Future Part III,” which inspires him – “Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.”

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