Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Hayward.
Ashley, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After dancing through almost every sport my parents tried to put me in, and after one too many home concerts I’d demand whoever was around to watch, my mom decided to put me in a Jazz class. I was nine, and really, the rest is history. I started training in all forms of dance.
I also started vocal lessons around that age. I started teaching at 15 and started traveling around the country to further my training. My first trip to Hollywood by myself was at 15. After that trip, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, move to Hollywood to be a star. I didn’t end up moving to LA right after High School, which now I’m grateful for. I moved to Portland to be on a dance company.
After a year of competing with that company, I left to be on a hip hop company and focus more on music. Summer 2010, I came to LA to visit my friend and take classes. I’ve lived in LA ever since. Called my parents “I’m moving to LA.” Texted my friends “Going away party for me TONIGHT, I’m moving to LA tomorrow.” Packed up my Suzuki Forenza with as much as I could and never looked back.
I had been in LA for about three years and hadn’t really performed, and I needed to get back on stage, so I thought, maybe I’ll try Burlesque and make my living that way which is actual insanity, but hey people love to be entertained and that’s what I’m here for. It’s been about six years, and I love what to do.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely not a smooth road. My first couple of years in LA were rough. I’ve been so broke so many times. I’ve been without an apartment, and couldn’t get a job; crashing on people’s couches. I’ve been so lost, lonely, afraid I couldn’t actually do it. Persistence is key because life really is just about timing.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Someone once called me a Performance Personality, and that stuck. I think as an artist it can be hard to attach yourself to one title when you feel like you are and do so many different things, so I liked adding the idea of attaching personality to performance artist.
I’m a Performance Personality who specializes in Burlesque and dance. I also produce a show called, NIGHT SCENE, which is a monthly punk-you Burlesk dive with a live band and a cast of incredible performers. I’d say my personality is what sets me apart from other performers and vice versa.
That’s what’s so great about what we do as performing artists, we get to celebrate and empower who we are so others can celebrate and empower who they are!
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
- Website: http://www.missashleyhayward.com
- Instagram: @missashleyhayward, @wearenightscene
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/missashleyhayward