Alana Grelyak is an actress, writer, and musician living in Chicago, IL. She often donates her time to animal rescue causes, frequently fostering homeless kittens and speaking and writing on the topics of adoption and rescue.
Alana started her acting career just after finishing her Master’s Degree in 2004. After making numerous award-winning short films with director Michael Gabriele that were accepted into film festivals around the country, the couple decided to try their hand at a cat film competition. Their first cat film, CATalogue, won Alana a trip to the Sundance Film Festival and has racked up over half a million YouTube views since January, 2013. They were invited back the next year and, since the films were doing so well, the team launched the CATastrophes Web Series, which was picked up by Discovery Digital Networks in May of 2014, five months after its debut. Alana has appeared in all of the CATastrophes episodes and has guest hosted Animalist News, while continuing to work as an actor in other Chicago projects. Recently, she was nominated for Best Actress at the Midwest Independent Film Festival in 2014 and her film “French CATastrophe” won Catdance in Park City, UT in 2015.
Alana has been a writer for many years. She worked as a section editor at Lumino Magazine from 2005-2008 and as a News Editor for Pipeline Publishing from 2005-2009. Her freelance work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Time Out Chicago, Image Chicago, Midwest Beat, and more. In 2011, Alana began to write for film. Since then, her films have won many awards, including the Best Video Award at the 2014 Blog Paws, and Best Writer at the 2012 and 2013 48-Hour Film Project Chicago, as well as being a finalist in the Chicago Comedy Pilot Competition and appearing in the Reel Shorts Festival, 2014, among others. She is the primary script writer for the CATastrophes Web Series. She blogs at Cat In The Fridge where she promotes special needs pet adoption with a comedy spin. Her blog has been nominated twice for Best Special Causes blog by BlogPaws (2013 and 2014), for Best Cat Blog (2014) and has been awarded two Cat Writers’ Association Certificates of Merit, the Halo Pet Adoption Champion grant, and the PetFinder.com Adopted Blogger award.
Alana has a Master’s Degree from UW-Madison in classical piano performance, which she has used towards her goals of composing music for TV and film. As a pianist, Alana has won numerous awards and has studied with Christopher Taylor and Howard Karp and taken lessons with Paul Badura-Skoda and Yefim Bronfman. After completing a year-long Associate Composer position at Sonixphere in Chicago, Alana has gone on to compose music for a TIVO commercial, television, and all of the CATastrophes webisodes. She is also a singer/songwriter and plays out at concerts, when possible. Her main instrument is piano but she also sings and plays bass, a bit of cello, and accordion.