Alexandra Boylan – Actress, Writer, Filmmaker

I love when rabbit trails lead to connections. I stumbled upon Ms. in the Biz quite by accident. I enjoyed exploring the site, then when I contacted Editor-in-Chief Helenna Santos, she connected me with their Outreach Coordinator Alexandra Boylan, who just happens to be writer, producer, and actress in the just released new film Catching Faith. 

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When did you first discover a love of acting?

I grew up performing in my father’s church, high school, and summer camp. It was always a part of my life and I fell in love with it. The first day my foot hit the stage, I knew I was hooked. I started auditioning for films in Boston when I was only fourteen; I had a very supportive family that encouraged me to follow my dreams. I owe a lot of my life to my upbringing. I was so blessed to have parents who nurtured my dreams, and told me I could do anything I put my mind to.

What led to your decision to start working behind the scenes writing and producing?

After many years of solely pursuing acting, I began feeling frustrated that I had no say in my own career or future. I was sick of waiting for people to choose me, and give me the opportunities that I was desperate for. And in turn, it made me feel like a desperate person all the time. So one day I decided to stop waiting for someone else to choose me, and I decided to choose myself! I got together with some friends back in 2008 and we all produced a play. I fell in love with the process of creating something from the beginning to the end. Once I put acting to the side, and allowed all the other facets of my creativity to flow, I rediscovered my love for writing. And now I write, produce, and act in my own films! And Let me tell you, I have never looked back. I strongly encourage people to choose themselves and create work for themselves, or they might just be waiting around forever!

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Alexandra and her husband John KD Graham at the premire of Catching Faith

What are some of the films you’ve been involved in?
I have done my share of independent movies, that’s for sure. I have done a lot of horror movies, and I’m happy to say I have moved on from that genre. I love a good horror movie, but there are just so many important stories to tell, like my new film Catching Faith. I want to be a part of creating stories that go out into the world and encourage and change people’s lives for the better. My next film is a faith-based family Christmas movie, and writing it has been a pure joy, it’s just so much fun to make family films. I’m very thankful that God opened a new door for me, and I am happy to be a part of his amazing work!

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Tell us about Catching Faith and your involvement in it.
Catching Faith is a faith based family football movie that follows the woman’s journey. It follows Alexa Taylor, who is extremely concerned with her appearances and wanting everyone to think that she and her family are perfect. But when her son, the star of the high school football team, is caught drinking at a party, her world begins to unravel. Through her female Bible study she comes to learn that it is ok to speak the truth, and to let others help you through the messy parts of life. The film is about integrity and doing the right thing even when no one is watching you. Every member of the family is learning integrity and how to live it out in their own lives. Catching Faith speaks to everyone, and I think the reason it is doing so well is because everyone can take something away from the story and actually apply it to his or her everyday life.

Andrea Polnaszek and Alexandra Boylan
Alexandra and her sister Andrea Polnaszek

What inspired the story?
My sister, my husband, and I co-wrote the script, and we originally started talking about the struggles women face in society and especially in the Christian community. The impossible expectations we put upon ourselves to be perfect and have it all put together. My sister and I grew up in a minister’s home, and we felt insane pressure to always appear perfect, to never let anyone know we might be struggling with something. Andrea and I really wanted to speak to women and young girls, and tell them what we wish had been told to us. That being a child of God is enough. And that God loves us no matter what, and He is always ready with open arms to embrace us.

What do you think distinguishes Catching Faith from other faith-based sports movies?
Well, we are filmmakers who are Christians; not the other way around, we understand how to tell stories. Some of the issue’s with Christian films is people think they have to tell a sermon, we wanted to tell a story and weave in the faith in a natural way, so the audience didn’t feel like they were being preached to. The quality of this film is amazing, and everyone involved are very talented filmmakers. I also think Catching Faith is different because we speak to everyday issues. The stakes are not life threatening, they are what we face as human beings everyday, and we tried to address issue’s that people can relate to. We hope this film will raise questions and prompt the audience to go home and talk about it with their spouses and families!

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The actresses from the ladies Bible study in Catching Faith

What’s been the response so far?
AMAZING! So far all of our reviews have been raving. It’s been overwhelming, actually, to see how this film is impacting people’s lives. We showed the film in a small theater in Wisconsin, and ended up selling out for fourteen straight days. It’s a very uplifting film, and I think people walk away with hope, and are excited to share this film with their friends and family. The movie released in South Africa, and a women from a village there went out of her way to find my sister’s email and tell her how this film was heart changing for her. We have had an outpour of messages to us on our Facebook page, people telling us how this film has helped them talk to their teenagers, and really spoke to their own issue’s they have been struggling with. I feel extremely humbled to be a part of God’s HUGE plan for this film.

What do you see yourself doing ten years down the road?
I hope I am still making female driven faith based films. I feel very passionate about portraying women in a positive way on screen, and I will continue bringing these stories to life. I want to be the change that I want to see in the entertainment industry. We can complain about it or we can do something about it, I am doing something about it. I hope in ten years from now we have more films with a strong well-rounded woman in the lead role. I want young girls to have heroes to look up to, to be told they can be anything they want. I am a very active member of Ms In The Biz, an online magazine and community that encourages and inspires women to take charge of their careers. I am very proud of that community, and I hope we continue to grow and change lives for the better. We are all better together, and it’s important for women to lift up and encourage each other. I think women can be very hard on one another, and I see too much tearing down, instead of lifting up. So I hope to continue to pave the way for other women in the entertainment industry. There are not many positive female driven faith based films, and it’s exciting to have people come to me after they see Catching Faith, and tell me that they are inspired to make their own. Just because we don’t see something in the market place, doesn’t mean we can’t be the first to do it! I also hope in ten years from now I have a home on the beach, I love the ocean, and it is a life dream of mine to have a house on the beach. Something about the constant movement of water is very calming and brings out my creativity.

I want to encourage everyone to see Catching Faith, to share it with their communities. This film is for everyone. Whatever you faith may be; you will enjoy the message of love that it spreads. Please feel free to “like” Catching Faith on Facebook and shoot us a message. We love to hear from everyone and communicate with people about the movie.

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