Alise Munson is a connector, a matchmaker, a cheerleader. She is strategic and warm, quick to understand your strengths. Quick to think of people you should meet. "It's really easy for me to see the radiance and sparkle in other people and want to celebrate that. I just enjoy that," she said. "I like when people get sparklier."
I met Alise in 2013 when I interviewed to work for her at LAIKA/house. I liked her immediately, which I think is Alise's main survival skill. She's a fan favorite. In a zombie apocalypse she would be the last one eaten. I think every person at LAIKA/house (now HOUSESPECIAL) would say that Alise was one of their work pals. Hers was an admiration paired with immense respect. People worked hard for her. They stayed late for her. Her taste level is high and she will rework something until it is perfect. She notices everything. I try a lot harder to wear clean clothes if I know I'm going to see Alise.
Part of my job at LAIKA/house was to capture the process of making stop motion commercials. There was a wood shop, a metal shop, an art department, a laser cutter, a large format printer, a clay vault, a kiln, a room painted green filled with armatures, vending machines, shelves of fabric and miniatures, stages, lighting equipment, a render farm, a cubicle graveyard, and several kitchens. All of these places bustling with people who knew how to use them. I was intimidated. I skulked around the edges, trying to sneak a shot without getting in anyone's way. Alise, the opposite. She got people involved and invested. Alise owns her skillset. Working with her helped me start to own mine.
In the year I spent working for Alise I heard the word "awesome" a lot. "You have to meet Britt," she'd say. "She's awesome." One of her mantras was "less crap more awesome," which I illustrated for her and which she keeps it on display near her computer. She had pencils made up that say, "I am awesomw." (The typo is intentional; it's the joke.) When she would call me to her office she'd say, "you have to come see this. This is awesome." "That is awesome," I would agree. It's like we didn't know any other words. That's the sparklevision. For Alise, the world is full of awesome stuff and awesome people, and she sees it as her purpose to champion them.