They say when life throws you under the bus, how you choose to come out on the other side of it is what ultimately shapes you as a person. If you choose to look in the mirror and see a victim, that’s all you’ll ever be, but if you look at that reflection full of scars and find a way to smile, you will slowly learn that despite the shame you might carry within yourself for constantly feeling like such a failure, you have just found a way to heal and rebuild a better version of yourself. One that knows exactly what it wants and needs, one that doesn’t apologize for its failures, but rises above them ready to take on the next challenge. There’s a certain kind of power that comes with this acknowledgment. It seems like your 2.0 self doesn’t really give a s**t (pardon my French) about other people’s opinions and whatever it is that you’re looking for starts to manifest and unfold before your very own eyes.
Faced with life’s punches from a very early age, Alina Bock has managed to outsmart them by turning each and every one into a goldmine of laughable moments. She’s been on everyone’s radar (and by radar, we mean either your Instagram explore page or that Tik Tok account you keep refusing to admit you have) for quite some time now, and rightfully so. Her hilariously relatable sketches and short comedy videos offer the perfect source of escapism as well as a bit of nostalgia for all Millenials across the web. Her well-known characters such as “90s teenager” and “Girl who thinks she’s SO crazy” are persons we’ve either been or have met at least once in our lives. Her comedy revolves around things we know and things we’ve experienced, which is why it’s so relatable and the best form of entertainment — who better to laugh at than ourselves? That is why we’re ecstatic to have this seriously funny lady on our Cool Faces of Bastet Noir series and have her share her unfiltered inspiring story, from a German teen pop star to a comedic actress conquering sunny L.A. If you want to find out more about Alina, keep on reading!
Who is Alina Bock?
Hi, I’m Alina (she/her). I am a comedic actress, writer, and content creator. I was born and raised in Germany but have been calling Los Angeles my home for the last 9 years. L.A. is where I was able to really tap into my passion and study character comedy at places like The Groundlings and UCB. I have been lucky to perform sketch comedy all over town for years with a group of very funny women.
When the pandemic hit, I took my sketches and characters to Social Media and was able to connect with over 1 million people all over the world. One of my most beloved characters is a version of myself as a teenager, complete with blue eyeshadow, braces, and really thin eyebrows.
I am also a sister, a daughter, a vegetarian, a dreamer, a millennial, a cat mom, sometimes an anxious bundle of emotion, and always a feminist. In my 20s, I toured Europe with a euro-pop band called ‘beFour’ and got to work some incredible acting and voiceover jobs before making my way to America. I learned to speak English because at age 16 I came to America as an exchange student and had the best time living with the loveliest host family in Dallastown, PA for one year.
I love nothing more than to tell stories and make people laugh.
What’s your morning routine like?
I am one of those annoying people who wake up early and have instant energy. Mornings are my favorite part of the day. Possibilities feel endless. I usually wake up at 7 am and make my bed, then feed my cats Mitch and Delores Van Cartier (named after Whoopi Goldberg's character in 'Sister Act' ), and then comes the best part. An almond milk latte. I usually sit outside in my backyard and drink my coffee. I always try to either journal, meditate for at least a few minutes or do some stretching, but sometimes I skip all of it and just sit. If I'm feeling super, I do my full skincare routine, wash my face with water, apply vitamin c serum, then moisturizer and sunscreen. If I'm feeling 'eh' I only apply sunscreen. I sometimes work a little Pilates into my morning routine but not as consistently as I would like. On some days, I sneak in a second cup of coffee and a podcast episode of 'The Daily' before starting on my to-do list for the day.
You have such an extensive background in acting, working from a young age in Germany all the way up to conquering sunny LA. How has this extreme dedication to acting shaped you as a person over the years?
I think the biggest lesson it has taught me is that there is nothing more important than to live your truth. To say ‘no’ to things along the way sometimes, even if they would maybe make more sense through the lens of society, our friends, our family, or our own desire for more money or stability. Impress yourself, not others. I know. Easier said than done. It taught me to find a sense of accomplishment simply by knowing that I’m living what I believe to be my purpose. The artist’s life certainly has taken me down paths and led me on adventures I would never have imagined, good and bad.
It has also taught me that learning and curiosity can never stop because we have to have stories to tell and find new ways to tell them.
Discipline and managing yourself is a big lesson, I think every artist has to learn. I consider myself very lucky having been able to work in a professional setting at a young age. No one is going to do it for you. You have to actively seek out whatever it is your heart desires.
Comedy is certainly your strong suit. We here at Bastet Noir love all the videos you come up with, especially the 90s teen skits! Tell us a bit more about your beginnings. How did it all happen and has comedy been something that you’ve always naturally gravitated towards?
First of all, thank you, I love making them! I have always had a passion for comedy. As a child and teenager, I would do different accents and voices at the dinner table to make my mom, my brother, and my sister laugh. It also became a way to make the hardships of life a little more digestible. We didn’t grow up with a lot of money, my mom was a single, divorced mom, and later we lost our dad who lost his battle against depression and anxiety. That’s why I think comedy and art are so powerful.
Throughout high school, my friends and I would always put up sketch shows and I studied and performed at our local theatre. I just never knew that I could actually make a career out of it. After moving to L.A., I really doubled down on studying everything comedy. Character, sketch, improv, any class I could find and afford. Then I started performing live comedy shows all over town and experimenting with online sketches and content creation. I watched a lot of YouTube videos about editing and how to use iMovie and later Final Cut Pro. I am certainly not an editing pro but during the pandemic, when I was stuck at home, it all sort of came together.
What I’ve learned about comedy, what I’ve taught myself about editing, and my love for the 90s. I’m a sucker for nostalgia. My teenage self was a spontaneous idea after I saw one of those 90s chokers at Target. People instantly gravitated towards the character and demanded more so I just started making sketches based on my high school experiences. After all, the first rule of writing is ‘write what you know’. It’s crazy and wonderful how many people feel connected to the character.
If you look back on all that you’ve done, what’s one achievement that stands out and you’re extremely proud of?
Growing up I was a huge fan of animated movies. I loved the colorful, happy, and touching worlds of ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Hercules’ or ’Ice Age’. What a wonderful way to whisk you out of reality for 90 minutes. I was also in awe of the people who created such masterpieces. I watched every making-of-special I could find and when I saw the actors in the big recording studios giving their voice to the characters, I thought, what would I give to do that one day.
In the year 2008, 20th Century Fox made the animated movie ‘Dr.Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who’. We were at the height of our career with the band ‘beFour’ that I was a part of and we got asked to contribute the title song for the movie in Germany. Then it happened, they asked if I would also lend my voice to one of the characters in the movie. It was only two lines but I got to go to a big recording studio in Berlin and stand in front of a big screen that played the scene that I was voicing. I wasn’t allowed to look at the rest of the script, only the pages that I was voicing. I still consider it one of the most magical experiences I ever got to be a part of.
Three things you wish you knew before starting out?
Just do it and get better at it later.
Budget your money.
Biggest setback in life and what you’ve learned from it?
I actually first came to L.A. a couple of years before I moved here, pretty much right after the band was over. I didn’t have a real sense of direction, I couldn’t really see a path, all I knew was, I wanted to continue working as an artist, after successfully having done so in Germany for years. Everything inside of me told me to go after my passion- acting and comedy. But because I was known in Europe for being in a pop band, I thought I had to build on that. I thought I had to be a singer. So I started pursuing that. I wasn’t happy. I am not a songwriter. I went with what I thought would make sense. There was also a long list of people who told me it’s impossible to move to Hollywood to be an actress. Who do I think I am? There’s too much competition and I am from Germany, the odds are against me and it would be best if I just didn’t even try. It got to me.
So, after a little while, I ran out of all my popstar money. I had no green card, no money, no career. So I moved back to Germany. I was living on friend’s couches and at home and started taking jobs to make money. I was so embarrassed. I come from a small town so I was worried all my friends would find out that I’m the biggest failure this town has ever seen. I started serving at a bar in Cologne. For a while, I just felt beaten down and didn’t really know what to do next. After almost a year I started feeling better, I asked myself, well what do you want? I could have probably built a career in entertainment in Germany if I wanted to. I even got offered a record deal, but I decided that I want to be a comedic actress and I want to do it in Hollywood, even if that means starting from scratch. Just knowing that felt like a huge liberation. Then I came up with a plan. I needed to make a certain amount of money to move back to L.A., get myself set up, and apply for a green card. Almost immediately after setting my intention, I got a huge job that paid well and I got a phone call out of nowhere about a big sum of money that was coming my way from a job that I worked with the band years ago. It’s crazy how it works sometimes. So here’s a lesson: you have to ask for specific things and take action towards them. Then I moved back to L.A., got a job as a server, and slowly started chipping away at my acting/comedy career.
Today I am thankful for that experience. I needed to slow down. It's okay to not always know any of the answers and give yourself a break to re-discover your voice and your strength. Plus it made me stronger and more empathetic. Trust yourself. Also, those friends and my family, the people who were there to catch me and help me out, that's the most important part of life above all.
Books that changed your life
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I read it as a child and finally understood that you can turn your imagination into something tangible. Into art.
The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This book made me understand the importance of mindfulness. I pick it up every now and again to read a few pages when I feel overwhelmed.
Favorite female empowerment speech
I am currently obsessed with ‘Advice for girls’ by Spencer McFarland:
Be loud and gross and take up space. Stop saying “sorry” and start saying “don’t interrupt me”. Stop saying “because I have a boyfriend” and start saying “because I said so”. Say “no” and “none of your business”. Take selfies and don’t laugh at jokes that aren’t funny. Be snide and sarcastic and wear your hair the way you like it. Help out other girls and be vocal about what makes you mad. Be masculine and feminine and both and neither and be unapologetic. Don’t set aside your comfort for boys’ egos.