Thursday, May 28, 2015

{working girls: ashley}

Today's interview is with one of my favorite people in the world...& I'm literally not exaggerating when I say that. Her name is Ashley & we met our FIRST day of college. {I went to Suffolk for one year before transferring.)  I feel like I've written this story on here before, but here's our meet cute... After reading her incoming Freshman "survey" on Facebook, I realized we had crazy similarities: She has a twin sister; her parents are divorced; she was into theater; etc etc. We messaged each other, requested to be roommates, & ended up becoming BFFs for life. She makes me laugh harder than anyone, and beyond how incredibly hard-working and kind she is, my favorite thing about her is the fact that she named her cat Meryl. After Streep.

She's the only actress I interviewed & her headshot up there makes her so legit. Enjoy! 


Tell me a little about yourself. Age // where you’re from // where you currently live.
I’m 24 years old. I’m originally from Massachusetts, and I currently live in Queens, New York.  

Where did you go to college? What did you major in? 
Suffolk University. I majored in Theatre with a concentration in Performance.

What is your favorite thing about where you live?
To sound totally cliché.....the energy of the city. (To be fair I don't live IN the city, I live just outside of it in Queens, which is great because I get all on the benefits of the Big Apple since it's just a subway ride away, and can still come home to my quiet studio apartment...and my cat Meryl each night.)  NYC has a vibrancy that is all its own. Don't get me wrong, there are times when NYC wins. I wish I had a way of explaining what I mean by that; those times are hard. BUT when you win, there is nothing like living here. I have to pinch myself sometimes, that this city is where I live. I'm further away from my family here than I was in college which at times is tough, but I'm lucky to have some of the best friends in the world here  (I know everyone says this....but I like to  think I win this argument) who I consider to be family. They all help in making this place feel like home. In general, there is no other city I would want to spend my 20's in! I cannot picture living anywhere else, and I think that means I'm right where I am supposed to be!

Let’s get down to it: what do you do?  Walk me through a day in your life.
I work in Administration at the International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice. I wake up far too early for my liking; I pack a lunch, then head into work. I’m typically there by 8-8:15 depending on the day. Then the work begins. We all have assigned tasks, but on any given day I can be found answering phones scheduling patients, sending outgoing faxes, sorting incoming labs, (between what needs to go to the doctors and what can go to the nurses).

I also have to stay on top of tasks that have been assigned to me alone, like scheduling patients for laser treatments, or IV Vitamin C. This could be a job all in its own, but in general I just have to stay on top of who is on what, what number treatment/dosage of medicine etc, and make sure that they are always scheduled. 

We all have one ‘late day’ a week; this means that on those days I am responsible to check the billing—making sure that all patients who are in the book/computer, actually came, that they paid, that all is accounted for. 

I get out of work between 5/5:30 and I either head home to go on a run, make dinner…. or I head out to an audition or rehearsal of some sort. If it’s the former, that means I spend a great portion of my night submitting myself to auditions, as one day I would like to be doing more of the latter post-work. I’m happy to say that currently it is more of the latter! I am in a show in June called How to Howl and I’m so looking forward to being back on stage again!

Travel back to when you were a freshman in college. Looking ahead, did you see yourself doing what you’re doing now?
Yes and no. I moved to the city to be an actor. That being said, I always knew that I would have to have a job beyond acting to make a living. I did not know what that job would be, but I knew it would need to exist!! Freshman me would have told you that by now I would be living in New York, for sure!

What’s your favorite thing about your job?  Or, what is most rewarding about your job?
My favorite thing about my job is that the operation runs to help people with a disease that I have personal connections with. I feel like I am making a difference. I may not be the doctor treating patients but I am apart of giving them a better quality of life; no matter how small my role. 

What do you find most challenging about your job?
The pace! It is fast and you are always doing something. I love this, as I would much rather be busy all day; but at the same time it certainly adds to the stress. I often think that I am overlooking something that I should be doing….

I’m always curious about what people wear to work, since it all depends on the industry they’re in, how they get to work (sneakers vs. heels), etc.  Describe your work style.
Hmm, I would say my work style is classic without being too corporate. The dress code for my position is much more on the dressy side. Anything less than a pair of slacks is not allowed, and high heels are a standard. That being said, I do not walk around in a suit all day. I wear a lot of dresses, and slacks with blouses. I try to add flair with colors; though my wardrobe is largely based in backs/blues/grays. I do however where red lipstick nearly every day. In fact when I don’t, doctors and patients alike ask me why I’m not wearing it!

I also 100% commute to work in sneakers, and change into heels when I’m at work. I am that person.
Do you feel like you’ve nailed the work/life balance thing? If so, how?  If not, what's something that you do to help try to maintain that balance?
I think that saying I’ve ‘nailed it’ would be wishful thinking. For one I set my alarm clock every day—weekends included. (I allow myself to sleep until 8:30 on weekends instead of the normal 6:00am). This is so I can still be productive with my day off! And I also make sure that I’m always reaching out/making an effort to talk to my friends that are here on a regular basis. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Either career, personal, or both.
Follow your passion and the money will come.

favorite workout song: 99 Problems by Jay Z
best meal: Chicken Parmesan 
must-watch tv show: The Blacklist
plane ticket to anywhere, you go to: Paris or Italy, I honestly cannot pick.


I so admire Ashley for both of her jobs. In full transparency, as much as I wanted to be a singer when I "grew up", the sheer fact that it would be hard to support myself held me back from going at that dream 100%. When I shared this with Ashley a few years ago, she point blank told me: "I would rather have no money and be acting, than have a lot of money and not be acting." That right there tells you who she is. {And who I am, actually!} I miss singing like nobody's business & Ashley has inspired me to either take up lessons, or just sing after work more often. You can have a job & still make time for your passions!

You can catch Ashley in How to Howl at the Heights Players on June 19th and 20th. She's very talented and better mention me in her Tony's acceptance speech one day.

Thanks Ash.