Producer Alicia Sadler is confident that the early demands of her career are key to what has made her so successful. She relates, “Coming from the UK, I am used to wearing all hats from process to production to the edit.” Greatness is not hereditary or bestowed, it is found in one’s self through trials.
While she’s widely known in the industry for her work on programs like the BAFTA Award-Winning Series The Voice UK and America’s Got Talent (Primetime Emmy Nominated), the jolt that Alicia gets from starting a new series or even producing a subject matter less competition based is something she credits with keeping stimulated in her career. Range is typically used to describe on-camera talent but Ms. Sadler stands as an ideal example of how this also applies to the professionals who manifest magic out of the public’s sight.
When invited to be the senior creative producer on the new TV series I Can See Your Voice, Sadler eagerly accepted the role as it was a distinct twist from the number of singing competition shows to which she’d previously contributed her talent. Hosted by Ken Jeong (of The Hangover franchise) alongside actress Cheryl Hines (Primetime Emmy Nominated Actress) and vocalist Adrienne Bailon-Houghton (Daytime Emmy Nominee and Image Award Nominee), the show welcomes a rotating lineup of experts and celebrities to discern good vocalists from bad ones, all without hearing them sing a single note.
The concealing of truth about vocal abilities at the heart of this show placed greater than normal weight on the segments which showed a personal side of the show’s contestants. Alicia communicates, “There was a huge importance in making sure that the acts and their VTs felt truly authentic, especially for the acts that were deceiving the audience and the judges. We really dove into the nuances of what makes singers tick and tried to naturally incorporate that in their very being.
From the outfits in their VTs, to stage, to the songs they sang, to the voices that matched, everything had to be perfectly individual in order to seem real. The rehearsals were rigorous, especially for those who weren’t musically inclined, to make sure that when they hit the stage for taping they blew everyone away. The American audience is so vast and unique; we needed to make sure that we could really reach out to all ages and demographics.”
When Covid shut down Hollywood and the rest of the world, Sadler and her team took a one-hundred-day hiatus and then resumed the second season of I Can See Your Voice. She confesses, “There was an immense amount of red tape and a severe learning curve to the new protocols in place for safety but I’m so proud of the team and the entire production for finding a way to be creative and persevere to keep the show going.”
Covid also effected the manner in which Alicia produced on the Vice TV special The Neglected Pandemic: 40 Years of HIV and AIDS. Due to travel restrictions, Ms. Sadler worked with a network of producers across the United States to obtain interview footage in addition to those she oversaw in Los Angeles. An insightful producer does not stand solely on talent but rather comprehends how to get the best out of all whom they work with.
Concerning this production for Vice, Alicia informs, “Each contributor I had to produce not only brought their own specific story and experience to the documentary but were threading together the overall story arc of the project. Being that the nature of the project is quite sensitive, it was really important that I was able to disarm the contributors.”
“It was important that they felt safe and knew their story was in good hands. I believe it’s such a privilege to be able to share someone’s story, especially when you’re sitting inside their personal space. Speaking to my experience on this production, it was immensely rewarding speaking to pioneers not only in the medical field but within the local community who strive to make waves in destigmatizing HIV.”
This statement reveals much of why Alicia Sadler has been so successful in her career at such a young age. She has all of the required skill and knowledge to formulate how to tell a story that fascinates, but it’s her ability to use empathy and sympathy to attach an audience to that story which elevates her work to the extraordinary. The two productions discussed here could not be more disparate in content yet they both are imbued with a special factor that is most certainly the careful crafting presence of Alicia Sadler.
Writer: Coleman Haan