Fresh Blood Podcast Episode Guest - Alan Locher

Intro Banner of Alan Locher

Alan talks about how he created connection for thousands during the pandemic, what it’s like dealing with unemployment during economic downturns and shares his family story that leaves you marveling at what an impact one person can make.

Alan Locher is a senior public relations executive specializing in the TV, film and tourism industries. He has worked with the likes of Disney, Proctor & Gamble and On Location Tours and has worked on PR campaigns for over 200 motion pictures. When the pandemic hit and wiped out the tourism industry for a year, Alan launched, The Locher Room, an interview series talking to TV’s familiar faces that aims to bring smiles to TV fans around the country. He has since hosted almost 170 shows and has interviewed over 500 guests since launch. He also created a sub-series called Conversations with Alan, that tackles the rise of hate, racism and anti-semitism we are seeing in our country.

Alan talks about how he created connection for thousands during the pandemic, what it’s like dealing with unemployment during economic downturns and shares his family story that leaves you marveling at what an impact one person can make.

Alan Locher is a senior public relations executive specializing in the TV, film and tourism industries. He has worked with the likes of Disney, Proctor & Gamble and On Location Tours and has worked on PR campaigns for over 200 motion pictures. When the pandemic hit and wiped out the tourism industry for a year, Alan launched, The Locher Room, an interview series talking to TV’s familiar faces that aims to bring smiles to TV fans around the country. He has since hosted almost 170 shows and has interviewed over 500 guests since launch. He also created a sub-series called Conversations with Alan, that tackles the rise of hate, racism and anti-semitism we are seeing in our country.




Alan Locher - Senior Public Relations Executive and Host of The Locher Room, a YouTube talk show for daytime stars

Jolie Downs: [00:00:00] Today we are speaking with Alan Locher, Alan is a senior public relations executive specializing in the TV, film and tourism industries. He has worked with the likes of Disney, Procter and Gamble and On Location Tours and he has worked on PR campaigns for over 200 motion pictures.

[00:00:19] When the pandemic hit and wiped out the tourism industry for a year, Allen launched the Locher Room, it's an interview series, talking to TVs familiar faces, and it aims to bring smiles to the TV fans around the country. Alan has since hosted almost 170 shows and he has interviewed over 500 guests since his launch, he has also created a sub series called conversations with Alan, where he's tackled the rise of hate, racism and antisemitism that we are seeing in our country, which is so very important.

[00:00:52] Thank you for that, Alan. I am looking forward to learning more. Please tell us a little bit more about your story and moving up through the ranks in the PR industry.

[00:01:03] Alan Locher: [00:01:03] Sure. Thanks for having me. I, I actually started as a page at ABC television back in the mid eighties.

[00:01:10] Jolie Downs: [00:01:10] Oh, my goodness.

[00:01:11] Alan Locher: [00:01:11] it, it was. I had always wanted to be in the entertainment industry and somebody I was working at a health club in New Jersey and a woman overheard me voice that I wanted to work in entertainment.

[00:01:24] And she chimed in and said, I work in HR at ABC television. And she said they have a page program. And I was basically a sophomore in college. And that woman basically opened every door for me by Joe.

[00:01:40] Jolie Downs: [00:01:40] Wow.

[00:01:41]Alan Locher: [00:01:41] By just listening and suggesting, being willing to help somebody else. And she helped me.

[00:01:46] I got that job as a page that job led to working for Regis and Kathie Lee, right out of college.

[00:01:53] Jolie Downs: [00:01:53] Oh my goodness.

[00:01:53]Alan Locher: [00:01:53] It was really fun. And, to be honest, it has helped me with the Locher Room, my experience there and watching it. Those two professional hosts do their job on a daily basis. Really helped me to make sure I researched my, my guests for the locker room, all that type of stuff.

[00:02:16] I had gone to college for communications and didn't know that I wanted to be in PR. And because I had gotten that job through my page program with Regis and Kathie Lee Disney syndicated them. And when Disney syndicated them, I got a job working for the show at Disney. And then shortly after a role opened in the movie division that I took.

[00:02:40]I was 21, 22 years old, and I went to work for Walt Disney pictures at a time that they were releasing about 60 movies a year. And that, when you said I've worked on, 200 motion pictures it's because at that time today, no motion picture studio releases that. Movies. It was during, Jeffrey Katzenberg, his reign when we were releasing all of the great classics, Little Mermaid Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Aladdin, Pocahontas.

[00:03:13] Yeah. For a young kid and to learn the ropes at a company, like that was pretty incredible,

[00:03:20] Jolie Downs: [00:03:20] What a gift. Yeah. What was it like working in Disney during that time?

[00:03:25]Alan Locher: [00:03:25] I was single, I was hungry. Great. I wanted to learn, most of my evenings during the almost eight years, I was, there were spent going to the movies. Literally, we would screen a movie sometimes. 2 3, 5, 6 times. So I'd say the same movie over and over again. Then we would do some incredible premieres of these motion pictures.

[00:03:49]I worked on the Pocahontas premiere in central park for a hundred thousand people.

[00:03:54] Jolie Downs: [00:03:54] Okay.

[00:03:55] Alan Locher: [00:03:55] I lead a team of 11 to do the national and local television coverage for that premier. But, we did a premiere for the Lion King at radio city, music hall, premiere of Beauty and the Beast at Disney world for the, yeah, I it really was, and really taught me an incredible amount of Incredible.

[00:04:17] Just an incredible learning experience for a young kid out of college who was unclear of the complete direction he wanted. And I fell in love with PR at that job.

[00:04:33] Jolie Downs: [00:04:33] What do you think is the most beneficial thing that you learned while there?

[00:04:40] Alan Locher: [00:04:40] Wow. Oh my God. Working with some of the individuals that I worked with I think just absorbing that information. Also those large events, prepare you for really, almost anything, when you're working a red carpet for these movie premiers, for a hundred thousand people in a squirting, some, top talent, it just, in the PR business, it's it helps.

[00:05:07] Helps guide you, I think, to be a better PR person.

[00:05:10]Jolie Downs: [00:05:10] You clearly have worked on a lot of very exciting campaigns and worked on campaigns with movies that were incredibly successful. But I would like to know out of everything that you've done, what do you feel is one or two of your greater successes and what did you learn?

[00:05:32] Alan Locher: [00:05:32] Wow. The Pocahontas premiers is definitely a highlight for me because, I was charged with leading that team of 11 for all of the coverage. And that was, national and local outlets from around the world to come set up shop in central park so they could actually film what was happening there.

[00:05:57]And one of the things that I actually pitched and secured was a three hour live show


[00:06:05] From the park that w O R did. It was the making of the hope, the Pocahontas premiere in central park. So they were doing live remotes from the park. We had done some tape pieces, so that's a big highlight.

[00:06:21]What did I learn from that? So much, it's 26 years ago, I think. Yeah. Last week or? Yeah, about five days ago. It was June 10th, 1995.

[00:06:31] Jolie Downs: [00:06:31] It's real right. When you get that.

[00:06:32] Alan Locher: [00:06:32] Yeah. Yeah. And for me, I grew up watching As The World Turns and Guiding Light my mom moved here from Holland and learned to speak English, watching the two shows I ended up working on,

[00:06:45] Jolie Downs: [00:06:45] Oh, that's so wonderful. I love that. They, what did your mom say when you got the job?

[00:06:50]Alan Locher: [00:06:50] Thank God she was alive when I got the

[00:06:52] job. Um,

[00:06:53] Jolie Downs: [00:06:53] that makes me feel, yes,

[00:06:54] Alan Locher: [00:06:54] Yeah she, it was a full circle for me because in some respect that those two shows also drove my interest in entertainment. Like as much as I liked watching them, I started to learn where those shows were filmed and I would meet the actors back when I was a fan.

[00:07:12] And I wasn't necessarily going to be a fan. I was, of course, because I liked watching those shows, but I was also inquisitive about the entertainment business. How do you get in, what is a production coordinator job at? One of those shows because it was before I was in college, when I started doing that, but it was.

[00:07:34]It also helped when I landed the role as the PR director. And then, the actors, some of them already knew who I was.

[00:07:42] Jolie Downs: [00:07:42] Yeah.

[00:07:42]That's that's really cool. Wait, but you said your mom learned how to speak English, watching the soap operas. Is

[00:07:47] Alan Locher: [00:07:47] Yeah, ma many immigrants learn to speak. Remember, especially the time my mother moved to this country was like 19 58, 59. There were only three networks. So your choice to watch television, if you didn't speak the language was the daytime soaps were on all day. So many people learn to speak English that way, you know who moved here?

[00:08:09]Jolie Downs: [00:08:09] I think that's great. So maybe I should start watching the Spanish soap operas, right?

[00:08:14] Alan Locher: [00:08:14] Right and Italian soap me too, I would love to learn Italian, but working there, there was a great experience for me too. I started out as a senior publicist and then when my boss left the company she got out of the business, got out of PR and they promoted me to lead the PR department.

[00:08:34] I was, responsible for a cast of 30 on each show. So juggling personalities, I basically you know we're representing the cast and executives on all those shows as the PR director and it's, it helps you to really manage personalities,

[00:08:57] Jolie Downs: [00:08:57] Oh, yeah. W what have you found that's helped you the most with that? Cause I'm sure that applies to just helping you in life too.

[00:09:04] Alan Locher: [00:09:04] Correct. 100%. People used to ask like, how do you do it? Because it's, if you and I have a relationship we have that code, but I changed that code for it all, every person there because you just have a different relationship with each person you meet. I might be closer with one actor, one producer, one production assistant, just by nature of, the more you deal with someone in business, your relationship changes over time.

[00:09:34] Jolie Downs: [00:09:34] Yeah.

[00:09:34]Alan Locher: [00:09:34] It's a lot to manage when you have all of those people coming at you for different things. And it's really, it's like a juggle.

[00:09:43] Jolie Downs: [00:09:43] Okay. Yeah. Now what about the flip side of that question? What a time that you had a perceived failure, if you will, or a big obstacle or challenge and what you learned from it

[00:09:54]Alan Locher: [00:09:54] At that company or anywhere.

[00:09:56] Jolie Downs: [00:09:56] anywhere in life in general.

[00:09:58]Alan Locher: [00:09:58] Challenge. Losing my job, is that something I can say? Yeah. I spent 12 and a half years working at As The World Turns and Guiding Light and, this is going to sound funny, but it's really not funny. On April 1st, 2009 April fool's day, we learned that both shows were canceled and they were gone and they were going off the air,

[00:10:22] Jolie Downs: [00:10:22] Oh,

[00:10:22]Alan Locher: [00:10:22] And and guiding light was the longest running show in broadcast history.


[00:10:26] Jolie Downs: [00:10:26] The same day? That's brutal.

[00:10:28] Alan Locher: [00:10:28] He they were both owned by Procter and Gamble also, and aired on the CBS television network and CBS made the decision not to renew the license. It was crushing and to find out, it, it, on top of that on March 31st, I signed a lease for our new apartment. But I, and.

[00:10:48] Jolie Downs: [00:10:48] next day.

[00:10:49] Alan Locher: [00:10:49] my husband said we're still doing it. So he was smart and we still did it, but that was, that was a recession in 2009. So losing my job in 2009 was pretty difficult. And then, March of 2020, the pandemic hit and I lost my job again because travel was the first thing really hit hard, especially in New York city.

[00:11:13]A lot of on location tours, business was group travel and the minute it started hitting the international airwaves that a pandemic was in New York. The calls were coming in, that all of the tours were being canceled. And I've been hit twice during that two recessions to have to go out and find my next opportunity.

[00:11:36] So that's been difficult and I'm working through it now.

[00:11:39] Jolie Downs: [00:11:39] How'd you get through it back in 2000.

[00:11:40] Alan Locher: [00:11:40] Yeah,

[00:11:40] perseverance. I would say really perseverance, I had some great opportunities for jobs that fell through that didn't, great interviews. I interviewed for the Oprah Winfrey show. I interviewed for to represent Katie Couric, when she was coming to CBS news, as the, she was taking over the CBS evening news, I had 10 crazy interviews for that job.

[00:12:05] And I knew all along that there was a possibility they wouldn't pick me and that's something we all have to deal with because I, as much PR experience that I had, I didn't have news.

[00:12:17] Jolie Downs: [00:12:17] And here's, I've been doing this for a long time and I have to say. It feels crushing when you go through a long process like that. There are a lot of companies that put you through the ringer with very long processes and you really get connected to the company and to the people and you feel really good and you're just, you're putting yourself there and then it doesn't come through and it is crushing and it can feel.

[00:12:41]Just the negative feelings during this time can just be very overwhelming. But I can say that I've talked to countless people through these different times. And what I found is every time I touch base with these people, little bit in the future, they've all ended up exactly where they're supposed to be.

[00:12:58] And sometimes it might've been a little bit of a divide, a veer and sometimes it's going straight forward. They're happy and they're where they're supposed to be. And so that's what I try to tell people is that when we're going through these difficult times, they are really hard, but just what you said, perseverance.

[00:13:13] If you just make it through, you'll end up exactly where you're supposed to be. Now, let me ask you this. Did you end up somewhere where the made you happy after the 2000.

[00:13:22] Alan Locher: [00:13:22] on location tours w When I saw that job listing TV, and movie tour company, it was right up my alley. I love television and movies. It was the smallest place I worked. So it was a learning curve in that respect, like you said, I worked for Disney, I worked for Proctor and gamble.

[00:13:40] And then, at a shop that had, maybe eight full-time employees. So it was a lot different, but I was, I spent, nine and a half years there,

[00:13:48] Jolie Downs: [00:13:48] what did you learn from going from a large company experience to a smaller company experience?

[00:13:53]Alan Locher: [00:13:53] Patience definitely there's some patience you have to learn, you just learned that things are done differently and also, which, my first job was a paper route at 13. I have never been shy to work, and when you are out a small company, You all have to take part in making that company succeed.

[00:14:14]If I have to get on the floor and stuff and envelope, I started there hired to do PR and marketing. And when I left, I was doing PR, marketing sales and operations, basically, besides the owner, I was running the company, helping her to run the company.

[00:14:31] Jolie Downs: [00:14:31] So you really expanded your skillset within that role too.

[00:14:33] Alan Locher: [00:14:33] I definitely, I actually had gone to my boss to talk about sales because she had let our sales team go at one time, not, they weren't producing, she wasn't happy, but they we didn't fill those roles for a long time. And when you're a company based in the sales you make, I went and said, would be willing to learn this, but I think we need to have a sales, somebody's doing it.

[00:15:01] And it was great to learn that, when I spent the last three years, adding that to my, to my resume and traveling the world, to sales shows and trade shows and different


[00:15:12] Jolie Downs: [00:15:12] Now, are there any specific habits that you've adopted throughout the years that help you with your own success?

[00:15:19]Alan Locher: [00:15:19] It, it's interesting. I'm a people person. I can go up to anybody. I've talked to them. The one thing I haven't learned to do well for myself and in looking for a new job, is the networking part of that?

[00:15:34] Yeah it just, I guess it's because I'm asking for help myself rather than I'm offering my help to somebody.

[00:15:42] Jolie Downs: [00:15:42] Yeah, it is always easier to offer help than to ask for help, but asking for help. This is what I've learned. Cause I, this is my problem as well. And I've had a struggle with asking for help still do, but doing this podcast has actually helped me a great deal because talking to people I've learned that. If you ask for help, that actually gives the other person the opportunity to give you that help, which makes them feel good. And it gives you the opportunity when you ask for help, it actually increases the connection between you two. And so it helps with your relationship and the feel good feeling that you.

[00:16:22] get when you help someone actually helps. Yeah. Brings a lot more joy into life. And so, what I learned from listening to other podcast guests is that I should ask for help because it allows other people to have more joy in their life. And it allows them to have those feel good feelings.

[00:16:40] And when they do that for me, that helps improve our relationship. And then you're so wanting to go pay it forward whenever someone does help you in that type of thing. When you, especially, if you are someone who has a hard time asking for help, this is what I've been learning.

[00:16:57] Alan Locher: [00:16:57] yeah, it's so interesting. You say that because I think of the Locher room and what I created because I didn't, when I initially created it, my initial idea was to do something on Instagram for the reason it was the day before As The World Turns television anniversary.

[00:17:15] As the PR guy I knew in my head that April 2nd, 2020 was as The World Turns his anniversary. So I thought, As The World Turns has been off the air for 10 years, guiding light's been off the air for 10 years. Maybe, people who were stuck home during the early part of the pandemic might enjoy to see some familiar faces on Instagram.

[00:17:38] And one of the first actors I called suggested I do. Yeah on a streaming platform. Cause we could include more people at the time. Instagram was only allowing one-on-one interviews on Instagram live because of all of the zooms and everything else they have expanded that, but I didn't, like I said, I wanted to do it to cheer people up.

[00:17:59] I didn't know, to what extent it was making an impact. And like you said, That's a great feeling. Like I, I have heard from many people how I helped a very dark time for many and that, I w I wouldn't be lying if I said that doesn't feel right.

[00:18:20] Jolie Downs: [00:18:20] It helps carry you through,

[00:18:21] Alan Locher: [00:18:21] yeah, it helped me. Yeah, help me carry through. And that was the other thing, I was thinking of those fans who might be disconnected from family at that time, stuck at home because we were all stuck at home.

[00:18:33] What I didn't think of were where the actors per se would enjoy seeing each other's faces as well and reconnecting because they haven't worked with each other in over 10 years. And then the people behind the scenes who used to. On the show. It was another way for them at a time when we were all looking for a connection to feel connect.

[00:18:57] Jolie Downs: [00:18:57] Yeah, what a gift. Oh, I love that. From everything that you've worked on with the Locher Room what have been some of your biggest takeaways?

[00:19:05]Alan Locher: [00:19:05] With the Locher Room, I know that the daytime audience is what grew the locker room. It was their love of daytime television that expanded my show to grow. I have like almost 14,000 subscribers I've had over a million and a half views, with all the shows. You had mentioned in your intro about conversations with Alan, when Charlottesville happened and people were screaming, Jews will not replace us.

[00:19:32] I just thought of my parents who were no longer alive and, as a child of Holocaust survivors, I wanted to do something, but that was, I think 2017. I didn't have a Locher Room, I didn't have a platform, but I, deep inside me wanted to do something and then thought about it in November, December and talked to some guests.

[00:19:55] And one of those guests is a woman named Mindy Corporan. She lost her 14 year old son and father to a Neo Nazi who wanted to know what it felt like to kill Jewish people.

[00:20:08] Jolie Downs: [00:20:08] Oh, my gosh.

[00:20:10] Alan Locher: [00:20:10] she. I have was, we were on the phone talking about why I wanted her on my show. She's a cousin of somebody I knew. And I, my basic idea was to do one show, to have this conversation to just remind people that antisemitism still existed.

[00:20:29] And her immediate response to me was why would you do one show? You have a platform.

[00:20:37] Jolie Downs: [00:20:37] Wise lady.

[00:20:39] Alan Locher: [00:20:39] Wise lady and talk about a wise lady. To go through the tragedy she did, she just released her memoir about this experience called Healing a Shattered Soul for anybody who is listening to this, I highly, she is an inspiration. She continues to inspire me. Cause I don't know how you get through what, that kind of thing.

[00:20:59]But conversations with Alan. And when black lives, when George Floyd passed and all of that, it, wasn't just, my initial idea was about anti-Semitism and then it became about, racism and, my idea was about black people and racism, because that's what we were seeing in the news.

[00:21:18] And then it was. Asian hate, we're all connected and I'm gay and Jewish, so I get it tenfold sometimes, so it's, it's been incredible to do, I've done about I think seven or eight of those conversations with Alan and I wish those shows would get the viewership.

[00:21:37] Not the daytime shows get now, granted they do. And I do hear from fans who say, thank you for doing these, or thank you for introducing us to this, or, speaking about these issues because they are important.

[00:21:52] Jolie Downs: [00:21:52] Yeah.

[00:21:53] Alan Locher: [00:21:53] but it's, The other thing I'm proud of about the whole Locher Room experience is, when I just shared those numbers with you, that's all been me doing every aspect of producing a one-hour show for over a year.


[00:22:06] Jolie Downs: [00:22:06] Which is a lot of work.

[00:22:08] Alan Locher: [00:22:08] a lot of work. You watch Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert, or, like I started on live with Regis and Kathie Lee. There's not one person producing, it's a team of, 200 people putting on the talk shows we all watch. So

[00:22:22] Jolie Downs: [00:22:22] Now through your experience, working with these companies, did you learn how to do a lot of these things through just being there? Or did you have this, did you teach all yourself? All of this stuff over this past year?

[00:22:33]Alan Locher: [00:22:33] I've taught all my, myself over there this past year. I really had never streamed before, I had to figure out I used stream yard. I had to figure out that they were really helpful at the beginning. I was talking to someone who was like, she was loving what I was doing. She was like, you should brand that.

[00:22:51] And I have a great friend who created the logo, my friend, Paul he's a advertising exac owns his own agency. And I had, I said, okay. And my friend said to brand it, I called Paul. I thought. An advertising agency, he should do it. He should come up with the name, it's what he does.

[00:23:08] But that night I sat down next to my husband on the couch. And for some reason the locker Room popped in my head and I said it, and that was

[00:23:15] Jolie Downs: [00:23:15] Oh, it's so good.

[00:23:18] Alan Locher: [00:23:18] Locher yeah, anybody I've said has had your reaction, which I appreciate, and that's, I know they're looking down, but that's sad, my parents could, be alive to see this

[00:23:28] Jolie Downs: [00:23:28] Oh, me too. I wish they could.

[00:23:30]Alan Locher: [00:23:30] And not only that my, you know what, I put my parents through what we all put our parents through when we're young and you love someone on television.

[00:23:39] I grew up watching Charlie's angels and Jacqueline smith was my childhood, everything. And she agreed to sit down with me

[00:23:49] Jolie Downs: [00:23:49] Great.

[00:23:50] Alan Locher: [00:23:50] and, I think my intro was basically if my mother and father could hear me say these words, please welcome Jacqueline Smith to the Locher Room

[00:24:00] Jolie Downs: [00:24:00] oh, I love it.

[00:24:01] Alan Locher: [00:24:01] you know,

[00:24:02] Jolie Downs: [00:24:02] People say that you shouldn't meet you here. How was it meeting Jacqueline Smith.

[00:24:07] Alan Locher: [00:24:07] it was incredible.

[00:24:09] Jolie Downs: [00:24:09] Wonderful. And

[00:24:10] Alan Locher: [00:24:10] Yeah, it was an incredible it and that's, perseverance for you because I had, when I started the show, I didn't think of doing anything really outside daytime. I actually only thought to do as the world turns and guiding light because those were my connections. Those were the two shows I worked on and because the.

[00:24:31]Like I said to you, daytime fans were so connected. Think just started writing me saying, please do this show. Please do that show. Then I got Susan Lucci who, I didn't know, I didn't work with. She said yes. And then the channel just grew. And I had I had reached out to Jacqueline Smith's team early on.

[00:24:48] I, they said, no, I tried it again a few months later. And they said, yes,

[00:24:54] Jolie Downs: [00:24:54] Nice. I love it. And that's a lesson right there. That's a

[00:24:58]Alan Locher: [00:24:58] Yeah. And that, I'll even say this because I've started to say this, the one thing, from my mother who is a Holocaust survivor, who didn't have an education past high school, the one thing she always taught me is all, ask the question. All they can say is no,

[00:25:14] Jolie Downs: [00:25:14] I wanted to ask you, what that was like to grow up with two parents who were Holocaust survivors and you being first-generation yourself. I This is a lot. What was that

[00:25:23] Alan Locher: [00:25:23] It is a lot, it I have to say I was bar mitzvah'd. We were what I would say semi-religious my mother definitely liked us to observe the high holidays. I knew they were Holocaust survivors but it really wasn't until I was in my mid twenties. Schindler's list had just come out. And there's one moment in that movie where there's a young girl in a red coat.

[00:25:49] Who's like really young, like what I would say my mother's age, my mother was aged three to eight years old during world war II.

[00:25:59] Jolie Downs: [00:25:59] Yeah.

[00:26:00] Alan Locher: [00:26:00] And that hit me like that seeing that young girl was like seeing my mother right there. And in 1994, my nephew, my oldest nephew first born nephew was born. And from the New Jersey hospital, my mother went to a payphone and called the daughter of the people who saved her life.

[00:26:24] Jolie Downs: [00:26:24] Yeah.

[00:26:25] Alan Locher: [00:26:25] Cause they had always been friends. I knew her, this woman was like they would write letters. But they basically from the hospital she called to cause because they were the same age during the war and my mother lived with them on a farm for two years and her mother lived with them.

[00:21:53] Alan Locher: [00:21:53] but it's, The other thing I'm proud of about the whole Locher


[00:27:32] Jolie Downs: [00:27:32] No.

[00:27:33] Alan Locher: [00:27:33] And they did. And, without that decision, you and I wouldn't be having this conversation, and what you asked me, what, but you asked me what, it really took me a long time, but that is such a powerful

[00:27:48] thing. And it's interesting because those two gals who are family to me, who I interviewed they sent, they didn't really as well. Like they didn't realize the impact in toll. Me and my sister basically always showed gratitude, cause it is, without that decision,

[00:28:11] Jolie Downs: [00:28:11] All

[00:28:11] Alan Locher: [00:28:11] of us would,

[00:28:12] Jolie Downs: [00:28:12] Yes.

[00:28:13] Alan Locher: [00:28:13] yeah, that's a whole line of people would not be here.

[00:28:16] Jolie Downs: [00:28:16] Isn't that

[00:28:16] Alan Locher: [00:28:16] And all of these experiences we just talked about would never have happened for me personally. Yeah.

[00:28:24] Jolie Downs: [00:28:24] all because of the decision of

[00:28:26] Alan Locher: [00:28:26] One family.

[00:28:28] Jolie Downs: [00:28:28] 17 year old and a family.

[00:28:30] that made a very difficult decision because It was the right one.

[00:28:36] Alan Locher: [00:28:36] It is, but we all, we do talk about my substance. I, none of us would know what we would say until you're put in that, but we hope we would choose the same direction they did.

[00:28:48] Jolie Downs: [00:28:48] exactly. We don't know. And so I.

[00:28:51] Alan Locher: [00:28:51] Right.

[00:28:52] Jolie Downs: [00:28:52] I have so much admiration for those people and so much gratitude for people such as that in our world. So I thank you for

[00:29:03]Alan Locher: [00:29:03] There's an interesting saying that I learned through this process of learning about my family story. It's in the Talmud and we honored this family. Cause you could if somebody saved your life during world war II and they were not paid, then they did it out of the goodness of their heart.

[00:29:20] Like this family, the whole Yad Vashem in Jerusalem will honor that family with an inscription of their name on a wall at the museum for the country that they saved, these people's lives

[00:29:34] Jolie Downs: [00:29:34] That's beautiful.

[00:29:35] Alan Locher: [00:29:35] and they give them a metal. And there's a quote from the Talmud that says he who saves a life, saves the world.

[00:29:45] Jolie Downs: [00:29:45] I gave me chills. I love that. And, let that be a lesson to all of us. Even though we're not in a situation right now. Thank the Lord. And thank everything that we're not the small decisions we make can have very big impacts on other people's lives.


[00:30:03] Yeah.

[00:30:04] Alan Locher: [00:30:04] completely. I know we went off course.

[00:30:08] Jolie Downs: [00:30:08] Yeah,

[00:30:09] Alan Locher: [00:30:09] Sorry about that. Okay, good. I hope so.

[00:30:13] Jolie Downs: [00:30:13] there. so. I'm curious, is there anything that you've learned in life through work, through personal experiences that you have found served you the most and you feel like if there's someone who's struggling out there right now, this advice could potentially help move them a little bit closer to their own success or their own.

[00:30:36] Alan Locher: [00:30:36] I, I would say to ask, the worst you can get is no vocalize. What you want, I'm learning that now through the process of looking for my job and, use the tools you have to your advantage. You need, we can't wait for the door to open. We have to push the door open to get there and we can get there at any age.

[00:31:00] Jolie Downs: [00:31:00] At any age, I completely agree. It's yeah, it's the limitations that are the problem. Not the age.

[00:31:07] Alan Locher: [00:31:07] right. And I'm, I'm getting, we talked about this off camera, but I'm getting a little anxiety because I am looking for work. It can create anxiety in all of us but there, There are ways to get through that, talk to people, vocalize, and I have to learn that as well.

[00:31:25] I, ask for help,

[00:31:28] Jolie Downs: [00:31:28] Yeah. How do you push through times of struggle? What do you, is there anything that you do that helps you.

[00:31:32]Alan Locher: [00:31:32] The pandemic was certainly struggle. I, When we started it and, I, the locker room was definitely for me, a helpful tool, being able to devote energy, to something that made so many other people happy was a really


[00:31:50] Blessing for me, as well, as, as I've heard, has been for the people watching I'm learning every day doing it, I wish there were more hours in a day, so I could learn more because I think there's, ways to expand it.

[00:32:02]And in some respects, I wish I could make it a full-time job because, you were saying you've done so many of these podcasts. I didn't, I loved working on Regis and Kathie Lee. I loved watching them do what they did and they did it so well. But wow. Just talking to people is such an experience in and of itself and what we can learn from others.

[00:32:26] If we are able to just listen and respond it, it's powerful.

[00:32:34] Jolie Downs: [00:32:34] It's very powerful. It's pretty incredible.

[00:32:36] Alan Locher: [00:32:36] I'm sure. Think about all the people you've what I'm sure. All of the things you've learned. I've, you said I've done almost 170 shows to people from all walks of life. That's the thing, I've had authors, I've had, actors from prime time movies, daytime, all of it.

[00:32:53]And talking about real life.

[00:32:54] Jolie Downs: [00:32:54] Yeah.

[00:32:54]It sits with you. Yeah. Like you said you started this to help people. You wanted to, bring a smile to their face, bring connection. And what you found was you got connection and it brought a smile to your face and you've been learning and it's been fulfilling you in ways that you needed.

[00:33:10] And I found the same experience when I started this podcast. I started it to bring comfort to people who are struggling to, to talk about how other people have gone through their own struggles and maybe hopefully bring some inspiration to others. And that was why I did this. And I have found that I am blown away by how much this process has helped me and how much I've grown

[00:33:31] through listening to all of these stories and just carrying them around in my own heart. And it's been an amazing experience. And so it goes to that, that's a common theme through most of these podcasts too, is when people start to look to help others and focus on that over, how can I help myself things start to happen.

[00:33:52] It, whenever you help others you're really helping yourself is what it comes to.

[00:33:56] Alan Locher: [00:33:56] and I never imagined when I made that first phone call on April 1st that, 14 months later. I would still be doing the show

[00:34:06] Jolie Downs: [00:34:06] Yeah, no,

[00:34:07]Alan Locher: [00:34:07] Or the fact that I could say I have a show.

[00:34:11] Jolie Downs: [00:34:11] right, and 500 interviews, that's a

[00:34:13]Alan Locher: [00:34:13] Yeah. I never could have imagined that,

[00:34:16] Jolie Downs: [00:34:16] Now you said you would love to make this permanent what's stopping you.

[00:34:21] Alan Locher: [00:34:21] Nothing at the moment. No, nothing's, I would love to make it Something that w would provide me a salary that, I definitely, if I get a job in PR could do this at the same time you are doing it right now. Correct. Right now I try to do well. I've tried to do a little less, but I was doing almost three shows a week.

[00:34:44] Jolie Downs: [00:34:44] That's a lots There'sa

[00:34:45] Alan Locher: [00:34:45] That does a lot booking them, researching them, hosting them, the whole gamut of it. But yes, I could do something once a week or yeah. For sure.


[00:34:55] It was never my intent that it would go this long. It's like field of dreams. If you build it, it will come.

[00:35:03]And you're building this, I've built the Locher room, we're doing it. It's just a matter of, what can I turn it into? I, I. I love talking to people. I love, introducing people to different topics, movies, actors when we watch an interview show, you get three to five minutes of somebody, basically, so if I'm doing a show on a movie and that cast, or for one actor to five actors from a. They're usually with me for an hour. So you really are learning a lot more about their time on that. soap would that movie about their book that they wrote and their path where I think it's just a larger opportunity for people to learn.

[00:35:57] In general. You have to be interested in these topics, but that's another feedback I get is I get people who watched from who are daytime fans, who never watched the shows that my guests might be from.

[00:36:10] I'll get days of our lives, friends and watching something about all my children.

[00:36:14] And they're like, oh my God, I never knew who that actor was. What a great conversation,

[00:36:18] Jolie Downs: [00:36:18] Yeah,

[00:36:18]There's a lot to be gotten from all conversations. If you're really listening.

[00:36:23] Alan Locher: [00:36:23] You're really listening and that's, Jolie like it's, that's the fascinating thing. I did not realize what we could all learn from conversations. If we just listened. I think our country would be in a different place if we can all, and I'm not perfect. I, I'm on different sides with many people, and need to find that way to listen to some of them.

[00:36:45] But I do believe conversations. Can I, this is how I almost ended the conversations without, and I truly believe conversations like this can change our world. That's how I basically end that series every time I Arab, because I do,

[00:37:01] Jolie Downs: [00:37:01] Yeah, no,

[00:37:02] Alan Locher: [00:37:02] if it changes one people, one person's perspective about race.

[00:37:08] Jolie Downs: [00:37:08] it's a win, a huge win. I completely agree. It's all about that. If you can help one person just make a difference with one person and that's a big win on life all around.

[00:37:17]Alan Locher: [00:37:17] We all could use a win. Everybody deserves a win.

[00:37:21] Jolie Downs: [00:37:21] Everyone deserves a win. and listening is really big. And it's a really big thing in life

[00:37:25] overall, and it's a really big thing in interviews too.

[00:37:27]Like you said, in conversation so often we're not listening, we all suffer from the planning, what you're going to say next while the person's talking, majority of people are guilty of doing. But if you can just be aware of that and shut it down, it's really is magical when you can be right there.

[00:37:42] And when you're interviewing, as far as interview tips go, that's actually one of the, one of the bigger mistakes that people make. When they go in an interview, they have all these things, particularly people who are senior level, because they have so much experience in so many different things that they want to come across in the interview process that when a hiring manager is talking or asking a question.

[00:38:00] They're thinking about all these things. They're not really listening. And so one of the things that I hear over and over again with senior level people is hiring managers will ask a question in the personal talk for 10, 15 minutes, and never really answered the question because they didn't listen to the question.

[00:38:15]Alan Locher: [00:38:15] You just gave me so much hope because listening is a skill as well, and that's some great feedback. I feel I have received from doing this, that people believe I'm a great listener. And I'd like to believe that. I do know, I haven't always been that, I'm sure I have not always been that great listener.

[00:38:37] Jolie Downs: [00:38:37] Everyone has not been a great listener at some point.

[00:38:38] Alan Locher: [00:38:38] And your mind, starts going in different places. So yeah. But, because I'm sitting here, you and I are focused on each other and listening, and that I think has helped as well. There's no distraction of, I don't have an audience. You don't, it's you and I, and when I'm doing a show, it's me and who, whoever those guests are.

[00:38:58]But th that just hearing you say that, just stuck with me to remember that that I need to use the skill I'm using in the Locher Room when I go out on that next job interview and listen, rather than not answer the question.

[00:39:15] Jolie Downs: [00:39:15] yes. Yeah, that happens a lot.

[00:39:16] Alan Locher: [00:39:16] So thank you. That's a great piece of advice for me.

[00:39:20] Jolie Downs: [00:39:20] that helps people out there. It's really, I we do, we have so much, there's so much, we want to say there's so much experience we have. And really, and especially if you're excited about something, you just really want that to come forth.

[00:39:33]And so sometimes that overshadows the other person. And so this is the feedback I get often, but moving forward, before we wrap up, there's a couple things I wanted to ask. Being a movie, being a big movie fan yourself and maybe it's a movie or talk or a video, but is there anything that you've watched listened to that had a really big impact on your life that you think others could benefit from?

[00:39:54]Alan Locher: [00:39:54] I don't know necessarily dead poet's society was one of those movies. I worked and yeah, and that carpet diem seize the day is something that has, has always stuck with me. I don't know that I've always followed that, we do have in our basement, a little rug that has Carpe diem on it was my husband's.

[00:40:14] I forget who gave it to him, but we have it. And I love it because it reminds me of that. It's something like that in terms of

[00:40:21] Jolie Downs: [00:40:21] Thank you

[00:40:22]Alan Locher: [00:40:22] I watch so much television or movies, but that was that really the whole, that had an impact.

[00:40:28] Jolie Downs: [00:40:28] it really had an impact.

[00:40:29] on me. And I have not watched that with my kids. I'm going to remedy that. So thank you for bringing that up.

[00:40:33] Alan Locher: [00:40:33] How old are your kids?

[00:40:35] Jolie Downs: [00:40:35] 16 and 13. It's

[00:40:36] Alan Locher: [00:40:36] Oh, that it's time. Yeah.

[00:40:38] Jolie Downs: [00:40:38] going to happen.

[00:40:39] Alan Locher: [00:40:39] And I think it's still, I haven't seen it in a long time, but I think it still holds up.

[00:40:44] Jolie Downs: [00:40:44] Yeah. I remember that being very impactful to me as a teenager. So yes, that one's coming out. All right. My last question, one of my favorite questions is you always get something interesting.

[00:40:56] Alan Locher: [00:40:56] oh

[00:40:57] Jolie Downs: [00:40:57] what are you sure of in life?

[00:41:00]Alan Locher: [00:41:00] family. My husband.

[00:41:03]Jolie Downs: [00:41:03] Nice. I like that. Family is vital.

[00:41:07] Alan Locher: [00:41:07] Yeah. And I think we all learned that in this past year,

[00:41:12] Jolie Downs: [00:41:12] Yeah. and, family doesn't mean blood.

[00:41:14]Alan Locher: [00:41:14] Correct. 100%. That was what that, wow. You were reading my mind because that is exactly what I was going to say. It is, but it can also, I have both and that's a blessing.

[00:41:25] Jolie Downs: [00:41:25] Yeah. Yeah. That is very much a blessing. Alan, thank you so much for your time before we go. Is there anything we didn't discuss or anything that you want to tell people about what you're doing for them to come check out? I will have your website on the show notes from them to . Check it out.

[00:41:41] Alan Locher: [00:41:41] Perfect

[00:41:42] Jolie Downs:

There are many great take aways from Alan’s story. First, he got his initial break into the industry because someone overheard him talking about what he wanted to do. She listened and was willing to help someone else, getting him a job as a page that eventually led to Regis & Kathy Lee, Disney and more.

There are two things happening here that are so important. The first is the power of putting words to your wants, giving voice to what you want and giving life to your dreams is the first step to getting where you want to be. I’m not saying that someone will pop up magically just because you open your mouth, but if you don’t say anything then it’s a guarantee that nothing will happen, You never know what will come from a conversation, even a helpful piece of advice can help you find the right avenue. Talk about what you want to do, talk about your wishes and dreams with others and you never know where synergy will pop up.

Second, the woman who listened, there is so much power in that moment, stopping to listen to someone else, their hopes and wants and then actually opening a door for that person, because you can. That woman likely has no idea the level of impact she has had on Alan’s life and others because of that one decision to help. We are all this woman. We all have the power to listen to those around us and open a door whenever we have the ability to do so. I hope we all think about Alan’s story and moving forward, actively look for ways we can lend someone a hand to help lift them up. A simple act on your part can have a huge impact on another’s life.

Alan talked about the gift of working with great people and being able to absorb information from them, learning from all the amazing minds. This is a big key to success, learning from those who go before you, gaining their wisdom so you don’t have to make the same mistakes over and over. I love how Alan was intrigued with the soaps he grew up watching with his mother. He had a curiosity about how it was all done so he would go to where they were taping and learn from the people there. How was it produced? What do the different jobs do? This is a great technique to do with anything that is piquing your interest. Go where your interest is, go where those people gather, talk to anyone involved and learn as much as you can about what they are doing and how. This will give you a clear idea if the direction is right for you to pursue and if it is, you’ll learn all kinds of best practices from the people you talk to.

Alan eventually landed the role working on these two shows he had such curiosity about and because of his networking, he knew so many of the players involved when he began and easily slid in making an impact. I can only imagine how that has continued to benefit him even now so many years later, as he’s producing the Locher Room.

I appreciated that Alan shared his strengths as well as areas he’s learning to grow. Alan admitted that while he’s great with people, great at connecting with people, he isn’t as great at the asking for help or networking on behalf of himself. This is so normal. A huge percentage of the population struggles with this, I know I’ve struggled with it myself. It’s hard asking for help for yourself. There are a lot of psychological reasons why this is hard for so many of us (we think we should be able to handle it, we don’t want to come off needy or weak, we think it has to be really bad to ask for help, we have a hard time surrendering control, we don’t want to put someone else out, we are afraid of being rejected or we plain don’t know who to ask for help, there are so many reasons why – but regardless of your particular reason why it’s hard to ask for help – I would suggest you consider reaching out and asking for whatever help you need, it is a practice that you can develop. Here’s why you want to: As I mentioned before, asking for help actually helps develop more significant relationships, making you feel more connected, it improves resilience, grows your circle of people who make you feel good and further development, giving help allows the giver to feel good about giving, receiving help allows the receiving to feel grateful and good about the world in general, getting said help will make you progress better and faster AND when you reach out and ask for help, you give permission to others around you, to do that same. When you think of the many residual gifts that result from finally reaching out and asking for help – doesn’t it make you want to finally take that step? You could almost say it selfish not to.

As Alan’s mom said, Always ask the question, all they can say is no.

What difficulty have you been dealing with?

What goal have you been struggling to reach?

Who can you connect with to ask for help today?

I hope you’ll consider asking the question.

Alan shared that he, like countless others, were effected in the downturn of 2009 and during this most recent pandemic. He admits, it’s not easy going through that process but you must stray strong with perseverance to make it through. This is the absolute truth. You have to keep plugging away, never giving up and continually going after what you really want. Alan ended up finding a role that encompassed TV and movies, the two areas of his previous expertise. He also got the opportunity to work in a new smaller type of environment which expanded his skill set and gave him additional know how on how to excel in a small organization. He can now prove effectively that he can shine in any type of surrounding and choose which situation he liked best to go after for his next role. Alan may not be sure what his next full time role will be, but I can guarantee you, if we revisit Alan another 30 years in the future, he will be able to give me his story and we’ll be able to see how each experience aligned to lead him to where he needed to be.

If you are feeling a little frustration or concern about where you are right now, remember, you are only currently encompassing a tiny blip on the radar of your full story. You are unable to see the full picture yet. They say this too shall pass, because, this too will pass, you will find your right next fit.

What Alan did during the pandemic was brilliant. While this was something he did to bring joy and help light up others during a time when we were all feeling a little lost and alone, he also did something that is very smart to do when you are not employed with a full time job. If you haven’t been working for a length of time you should start consulting or creating something or volunteering or having some kind of project that uses the skill set you want to be using in your next job. This keeps you sharp, on your game, gives you needed purpose during a difficult time and will come off as much more impressive to potential employers than you having nothing to say for the months you’ve been out of work. Give away your services for free if you need to but I suggest you do something and have an accomplishment to share and talk about from your time out of employment. It can make a huge difference.

Alan started the Locher Room to bring that joy and ended up taking the project farther than ever expected. He helped bring that needed connection to so very many and in so doing, learned that universal secret. That when we set out to help others, that is when we truly end up helping ourselves. The joy, the connection, the learning, the good feelings, they came back to Alan tenfold. He even got to meet his childhood hero. This gift he set out to give others, keeps giving back to him and who knows where it could lead for Alan in the future.

I’m grateful that not only is Alan facilitating joy through the daytime fans but he is also tackling those important topics of racism, anti-Semitism and hate on his show Conversations with Alan. We need more conversations such as these and as Alan shared, we need more people listening to each other. There is so much we can learn by listening and so much that could be healed when we truly hear. Honest, open, curious conversations with ears wide open, truly listening with an intent to understand, can change the world.

So let’s pay attention to how well we’ve been listening. In your next conversations, try focusing completely on what the other person is saying, nothing is more important than what they have to say, and see where the conversation goes when you stop worrying about how you should respond or what you’re going to say next. See what happens. I would wager the other person walks away feeling good about you because they felt heard.

Before I wrap up, I’d like to leave you with one last thought for people currently unemployed and looking for employment.

This process, of finding that right next thing, it can be hard. If you don’t have work while you are looking for work, it has a tendency to strip away layers of confidence the longer it lasts, this is very normal, it is very human and it happens to so many people. If you are going through this, know that You are not alone. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I know that You will find the right thing. What I ask you to be mindful of, is that many people will internalize this difficult process and that ‘feeling down’ feeling, it will come across in an interview and it will have a negative influence on your mindset and subsequent life outcomes without you realizing it. It makes an unwanted impact on everyone who experiences it. It's a natural cycle that causes havoc to large percentages of professionals during difficult times. I want you to Know that this is normal, I want you to be very kind to yourself while going through this process and I also want you to proactively work to counteract any negative feelings growing.

In order to put yourself in the right headspace for moving forward I’d like you to do an excersie tonight.

Remind yourself of how truly amazing you are –you are an unrepeatable miracle. Revel in all the things you’ve done well over the years and spend time today making that list.

Think about all the things you have already learned, all the experiences that have been powerful in your life. Think about that special spark you bring to the day. Think about all your strengths, all those things that make you you. Think about all the problems you have you solved. All the goals you have you reached. All the people you have helped through the years. Feel in your bones all the special things that you bring to the table. Recognize your accomplishments, your ability to adapt and all that you’ve pulled off to get yourself here, alive in this moment.


Write them down so you can remind yourself every time you need a boost of your own internal power.

I want you to soak in that feel good energy and bring it to every interview or project moving forward.

You are sitting on a winning lottery ticket – that winning lottery ticket is you – Seize every day, Claim who you are, choose to show up in the moment - you will have a massive impact on this world and you will give permission for others to do the same.

That is my wish for us all, that you show up and cash in on your own personal winning lottery ticket.

Until next time

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