Monday, October 11, 2010

Not an update… just some heart spillage

I mentioned earlier that I met up with my friend, Jeff Parker, while in Atlanta. He is a sweet, talented, and brilliant man who was in grad school at UC Irvine when I was in Undergrad. Make a long story short, he is now following his teaching dreams and is a Theatre Professor in Chatanooga, TN. We had a great time catching up, telling stories, and asking questions about our lives and the biz. One topic that has played over and over in my head was when he asked me what’s a piece of advice that he should pass on to his students from me. Loaded question… should be an easy one… most people get that question all the time… I have been asked it before… and yet my answer surprised me. My answer was cliché as it can get… and so many people have told me it before… but I don’t think I ever believed it. So saying it out loud and writing it out to my bloggers makes my heart happy. So thought I’d share.

My answer went something like this: Be Yourself and Trust that you have your own path and journey. It’s so easy to get caught up in who is doing what and comparing yourself to others. We all have our own purpose and own paths to follow. Some of us won’t get a professional gig until our late 30s, some will get some right off the bat and never stop working, some will get jobs right away and then realize they’d rather live in a sweet suburban town and raise a family, some will be huge stars, some will be 3rd singer track from the left, some will veer off the entertainment path completely, and some [like Jeff] will bless others and teach. I am realizing more and more that we have one life to live… so why not follow your dreams and test out your desires (within safe reason of course haha). Who do you have to prove? I am proud to come from a family of high achievers and perfectionists, but sometimes it’s important to remind yourself to not compare yourself to others and if you fail… WHO CARES!?! Something great is coming.

Some of you know that when I first moved to NY, my agents dropped me, I auditioned for 2 agencies who did not take me on as a client, I was not getting any callbacks… I was MISERABLE! Then in a span of 2 weeks, I booked High School Musical at Theatre of the Stars, booked the New York Cast of Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular (Singer track), Legally Blonde, and had 3 agencies calling me about submitting. Truth is… it’s all in God’s timing. There is no use in pushing stuff. I am a firm believer that you HAVE to do the work to get where you want to be, but there is no use trying to push and pull in directions that you may not be destined to go. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have had the opportunities and adventures I have been given thus far in my career… buut I still got a ways to go and I have NO idea where it’s going. A little scary… but also exciting with this business. Who knows… I could get off tour and go back to LA never wanting to perform again (doubt it… but ya never know where my path will lead me when the time comes). I know it’s easier said then done… but I do remind myself as much as possible that every thing that has happened and will happen is all a part of God’s plan. All I can do is be the best I can be, honor him through it all, and enjoy the journey. So I hope you will too. Listen to your instincts, your heart, your prayers, your desires, and enjoy the journey you are given. Embrace your likes, dislikes, dreams, people around you, and embrace who YOU are. You are loved.

And that is that… a little heart spilling on this Travel day! Thanks for letting me emotionally vomit (haha). T.M.I.?? ☺

P.S. Shout out to Isaack who drove quite a ways to Nashville to see the show. He said he was one of my blog followers. So glad people are reading this and so happy to have met him. ☺


  1. Ashley,

    Thank you so much for posting your wisdom. It is funny that you should post this now as I have ben focusing on this very thought for the past couple of days and your reinforcement of it is refreshing. It is so exciting to see where your life journey is taking you and I wish you the very best of luck one the ride. Go with God girl. His love surrounds you.

  2. Ashley,
    Thank you so much for sharing this. It was such a joy to see you again, and our conversation was very inspiring to me. Your advice is heartfelt and powerful, and rings very true. I see that my students really struggle with being true to themselves; in fact, some even get into the theatre so they can escape from being themselves! But ultimately, at the end of the day, there's nothing else we'd rather see than YOU, and what's really inside. It's beautiful advice. Thank you for sharing it!

    So lovely seeing you! I'm so proud of you, and I look forward to following the exciting future in front of you!

  3. I am proud of you Miss Ashley! Good for you for living your dream and continuing to just show up, do the work, and express your magnificence! It's a delight to see and experience. I love you! Aunt Suzy

  4. Thanks so much, Ashley :) It was a pleasure to meet you.