The Story Beyond the Stage with Producer Alicia Sadler

Producer Alicia Sadler
Producer Alicia Sadler

What exactly is it that makes network talent programs so intriguing? The competitive nature of it all is certainly a factor but there has to be something substantive to engage the millions of viewers who embrace these shows in almost every corner of the planet. The talent and the humanity of those who appear on these shows is essential to every iteration of this type of programming. There’s almost no one who understands how to find the ideal combination of these two aspects with greater perception than Alicia Sadler. The BAFTA and Royal Television Society (UK) Award-Winning program The Voice UK and the multiple Primetime Emmy Nominated America’s Got Talent have both utilized Ms. Sadler’s extraordinary ability to discern who would be most captivating on camera. As a producer, Alicia has also been absolutely indispensable during the filming of this type of programming whether in her work with judges like Simon Cowell, Howie Mendel, Heidi Klum, Mel B, Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union, or the previously unknown talent feature on the show. Remarkably, she’s brought a high percentage of the most popular competitors who make it to the end of the finals of these competitions. If ever there was someone who understood who will work on these shows and how to present them, it’s Alicia Sadler.

The Voice UK doesn’t ever see the light of day on television without producers like Alicia who traverse the UK scouting undiscovered singing talent and pitching them for the show. Travelling across the country visiting music studios, music schools, vocal coaches, local mic nights, any and every possible location of the next major talent was pursued. Over two months, Ms. Sadler would sometimes see and film up to two-hundred applicants per day. Known for her keen perception of recognizing talent Alicia describes, “I would split my time between the one-on-one interview process, which sometimes would take hours, and the audition rooms. In the audition rooms, I was face to face with 10-15 individuals who had 60 seconds to sing for me, and I would put them through to the next round of seeing the execs. I lost count of the number of people I would see sing but there is something amazing about recognizing that ‘x factor’ in under a minute and then seeing that person flourish as they made it on the show.” With BAFTA Awards vetting it as the leader in the genre, The Voice UK relies heavily on a producer such as Alicia whose skill in recognizing the talent and charisma of others is undeniable. Her role once the official TV airing starts transforms to directing the crew for all of the on-the-fly and interview footage as well as one-on-one sessions contestants have with celebrity coaches. To date, Alicia Sadler has one of the most impressive track records in Voice UK history, having found a minimum of four members of the top ten finalists for every season she spent on the show.

It was inevitable that Hollywood would take notice of Alicia’s achievements and enlist her. Ms. Sadler has produced for three seasons on the Primetime Emmy Award Nominated series America’s Got Talent. Her work ranged from show contestant VT packages to behind the scenes segments which featured judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mendel, Heidi Klum, Mel B, Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union. Alicia describes, “While the judges were watching the acts and the show was taping, I would be with a crew producing and directing talent, in the wings, in the basement, around the studio, capturing everything and anything we needed shot wise, relevant to their story, all the beautiful shots that you see in the VT packages when you’re watching the show. During the breaks, the judges would return the judge lounge, which I would produce.” Alicia took The Sacred Riana (Indonesian Illusionist) to shoot on the Universal lot, Making good use of the LA locations including the iconic Bates Motel from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Psycho. She also produced one of the most famous moments of the show with AGT winner V Unbeatable (Mumbai Dance Troup) performing on a downtown LA rooftop.

While she’s an integral part of these shows from the beginning stages, Alicia Sadler admits that she is along the emotional ride with the audience and participants throughout each season. She confesses, “The most rewarding part about my time on these shows is when I have been working closely with certain acts and grow attached to them. I not only get to experience their journey with them, I watch them flourish and sometimes win. For some of the acts, just being a part of the show will not only change their life but the lives of their families. Knowing that you’ve played a small part in that is very fulfilling, even if it’s just there to give them a little nudge of support in the wings just before they’re about to go on.” 

Writer: Arlen Gann

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