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Stranger Things Than Poli Sci

Ali Vaisvil, '09

One advantage to double majoring in college is having multiple career options.

Alice Vaisvil (who goes by Ali) graduated from Colorado Mesa University in 2009 with bachelor’s degrees in political science and theatre.

Using her political science degree to obtain management positions after graduation, in 2014 she eventually ended up in Albuquerque, New Mexico to pursue an exciting path in the film industry. Affectionately known as “Tamalewood,” Vaisvil said New Mexico’s film industry is booming more than people realize.

Vaisvil has worked on more than 50 television shows and features, mostly as a production assistant, props assistant and background actor. She’s worked on Stranger Things, Outer Range, Roswell, Big Sky, Deputy, Big Sky and Better Call Saul production just to name a few.

Her theater experiences in high school and education at CMU taught her fundamental crew skills, set building, costuming, props, production assistance, stage lighting, makeup and improv.

“By the time I got into the film industry, I had 600 hours of experience to apply to the film union,” she said.

While Vaisvil prefers to work crew as a props or production assistant, she is often cast as a background actor due to her unique look. Recently, Vaisvil took a firearms class and hopes to become a set armorer.

She’s not the only star in the family — her rescue bull terrier mix, Ruby, appeared on Stranger Things when working as a production assistant. Vaisvil has had many other memorable moments.

“Working background on News of the World; getting to work with Tom Hanks was an incredible experience!” she said. “Another favorite memory was working with Christopher Nolan on the upcoming film Openheimer.”

When not making productions, she is spoiling Ruby with hiking and camping adventures and practicing photography.


Written by Heather Portenier