Q – Why did you audition for Esley?
A – I was approached at a local open-mic and told I should audition. I grew up in South Western VA and I’m a singer and guitar player and I’ve been studying and collecting Appalachian folk traditional music for many years. I especially have interest in song collecting and the preservation of songs in our local area. So this play is right up my alley. Esley and the Carters directly contributed to preservation of many songs that we still enjoy today, 100 years later. It is great to be learning about their stories.
Q – What shows might people have seen you in before?
A – Music performance: LAAFF festival in Asheville, Dobra Tea in Asheville, Kirkwood’s Cafe in Burnsville, The Hop Ice Cream in Asheville and various national folk music venues (I’m a touring folk musician 4 months of the year). Theater and Dance: No Place Like Home in Asheville ( Community Choreography Project), The Fringe Festival in Asheville, various UNCA productions in 2009, Not All Clowns are Bozo’s at Seattle Children’s Theater and more.
Q – What is a typical day like for you?
A – I wake up, make good food, do correspondence related to music , I rehearse music, and about one day a week I work in gardens. I also perform as a musical clown twice a month in local nursing homes and occasionally I do kids concerts . I spend my free time hiking and camping in the woods and singing with friends . I go on tour about twice a year for music and clown related stuff, so inevitably I spend time working on booking and learning new music.
Q – What has been your favorite moment from rehearsals?
A – One Saturday we really had a breakthrough rehearsal. We tried some different arrangements of songs and there was a moment when we stopped and said, “Wow this is sounding really great.” That same day, JJ had some breakthroughs and he is really starting to sound a lot like Leslie Riddle. The crew has been lovely to work with, Ron and Minnie Powell are real superstars! We really appreciate their contributions.
Q – What is your favorite song from the show?
A -My favorite song is the Carter Version of Broke and Weary Blues. Sara and I came up with this version on our own. I love the way our voices blend and it was fun putting creativity into that one.
Come see Ash and the rest of the cast of Esley: The Life and Musical Legacy of Lesley Riddle at Parkway Playhouse June 27th-July 11th!
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