At that moment during her blind audition on The Voice when all four celebrity coaches–Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams–turned their chairs to face Alisan Porter as she belted out Linda Ronstadt’s “Blue Bayou,” she said she experienced a “life-altering moment.”
“It’s one thing to hear your family and friends tell you you’re good, but to have people who are actually in the business, who are extremely talented and extremely successful tell you that, it really does change your life,” said the 34-year-old Agoura Hills resident.
After choosing Aguilera as her coach, Porter went on to win season 10 of the hit reality television singing competition. “I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude … a lot of shock, but so, so grateful that I had the opportunity to to be on the show and that it turned out the way it did,” she said.
Porter was raised in a show business family and began performing at a very early age and was discovered for Star Search, quite by accident. “My mother [choreographer Laura Klein-Wiener] was coaching these twin dancers for the show, and I went with her to L.A,” she said. “I was singing in the lobby and the talent scout for the show saw me.” Porter became the youngest performer on the seminal TV talent show.
The former child star of such films as Curly Sue and Parenthood, Porter was 17 when her family moved to Agoura Hills. She didn’t stay long, however, as she moved to New York to pursue a career in music. “I had my own path,” she said. “[My parents] let me explore on my own to do what I wanted to do.”
Klein-Wiener, an instructor at California Dance Theatre in Agoura Hills, said her daughter is exactly where she is supposed to be. “Watching her perform on the show … she finally became in full possession of her personal power,” she said. “She is now doing what she was put on earth to do.” She calls the stage, Porters “safe and happy place.”
Porter eventually moved back to Malibu where she met husband Brian Autenrieth, originally from Agoura Hills. They both moved back to the Conejo Valley to raise their two children, Mason, 3, and Aria,2. “It’s a beautiful place to live,” she said. “It feels like home … and there’s no better place to raise kids.”
First and foremost a mom, Porter co-founded the mom blog, The Lil Mamas, which she dubs a “no judgment zone,” because “there are many ways to raise babies.” Though no longer actively involved, she remains a “silent creative person.”
What’s next for the singing phenom? “Planning a record, writing new songs and recording as soon as possible,” she said.
And before ending her interview with CV Happening, Porter gave shout-outs to her “favorite restaurant, Olio; Malibu Weekend–my girls–and California Dance Theatre.”
Enjoy her performance of her original song, “Down That Road,” below: