Ashley Kate Adams
Q & A with ASHLEY KATE ADAMS!
BB: Where did you got to college for theatre and/learn the trade in order to move to NYC to pursue theatre as a career?
AKA: For college I went to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and I majored in Musical Theatre : ) CCM was the icing on the cake for me. I was very fortunate to grow up in a musical theatre home. My mom and dad met and majored in musical theatre together in college in the 80's. How cure right? I spent my life growing up and watching them perform together. It was pretty magical. But CCM helped me create my own identity as a creative so it will always hold a VERY special place in my heart. I absolutely loved my college experience.
BB: As far as schooling/training what were some great attributes to studying there?
AKA: CCM is fantastic. There are so many great things about it so its hard to only pick a few. I will forever be grateful for my time there because of two main parts I'll say, individual and class attention. I felt challenged immediately as an individual and was taught that "I" am my best secret weapon. To really understand and personally value that there is no one else like me has helped me to survive and to thrive in New York City. I would have never had the courage to branch out and also become a producer if I didn't fully believe in all of the corners of myself as a creative. CCM helped to ignite and shape that. And then they gave me my classmates who are still to this day my family. We are always texting, going to each others shows, still there for each other for the very good and very bad. I am the artist I am today because I got to watch their growth, unexplainable natural talents and I had people to share my struggles with. We have all been very blessed. And not to mention the reputation of the school and "royal blood line" to the Broadway stage. We take pride in it and are continuing to take that tradition very seriously. It's a responsibility we have and I'm proud we are all working really hard to turn it out to Broadway and everywhere else in the entertainment industry!
BB: What is one thing that you learned while actively pursuing a NY stage career that you wish you would have known/learned before moving to the city ?
AKA: Woof. That your career will not be what you think it will be. Get all ideas OUT OF YOUR HEAD! The second you think your career might be going one way you will be thrown a curve ball. I've learned to embrace that and I've also learned to welcome growth and acceptance of change. I've even started to want different things in my career. I had a hard internal change about 5 years in (So 2 1/2 years ago). My production company is right up there in my priorities now alongside my acting career so the jobs I go in for now have changed immensely. But it's all still working out and it's very exciting!
BB: How was the transition from going from college to pursuing a NY career?
AKA: In college especially at a place like CCM, there is STRUCTURE. That's how you get this amazing training so quickly and you have a lifetime of change in a 4 year period. In real life there is no structure so you have to create your own. I think I took baby steps and did it in small ways in my first few years like by running same circles as college, only really doing musical theatre (like in college) but then by year 3 I learned quickly in order to survive in NYC I personally needed to start branching out and seek a larger community. So I did. Got a little braver, got even more out of my comfort zone, and those relationships and experiences grew and then my largest switch came at year 5 where I created my own community. I created my production company AKA Studio Productions. And the rest has been history!
BB: How/when did you get your first Broadway job?
AKA: I got my first Broadway show when I was 23. It was the stunning Tony Award winning revival of La Cage Aux Folles! Talk about a dream come true. But that experience and losing it quickly shook me. I joined the company on a Tuesday night and the next day after the matinee we were told that the show was closing. Talk about a hard moment and a really hard lesson to learn straight out the gate. But then I got to tour the country with the 1st National Tour and that was pretty incredible to see how the show affected the entire US. Grateful for that experience and hard lesson because without it I guarantee I would not also be producing now too!
BB: Can you offer a piece of audition advice?
AKA: Just do YOU. If people don't want to work with you, if your heart is the right place, their loss. And be strong enough to know for your sanity when it's your job and when it's not your job. I deal with it every day. Sometimes it my job. Sometime it's one of my best girlfriends' jobs. I have literally said that to my manager before. Also learn to ride the wave and find joy in the ride. It's hard up here but it can be the most rewarding! Also with nerves just accept you are going to have them and sit with them and sometimes they will get into check and sometimes they will throw off an entire audition. It's the nature of the beast! ACCEPT!
BB: What was/is your day job/other ventures in between gigs or do you do both simultaneously?
AKA: Haha what is not my day job? To make a living I'm an actor / producer / model / teacher and babysitter. It's either in the entertainment industry or with children. Those are the things that bring me joy and inspire me! I do all things all the time because I want to have a happy and stable life no matter who calls for me. So when those acting gigs come in its a a lot of rescheduling on the fly, but we welcome these "problems" : ) It's hard to keep all of that balls in the air at all times but I'm happy and it keeps me going! Never a dull moment here for SURE. There are days I'm running a set as a producer have to leave it to go an audition then the next day I'm picking up a kid from school while managing an equipment return on my phone while auditions are pinging in my inbox and my artists are calling me crying because they just experienced moment of their lives the day before and they want to talk about it. It's my life and it's fully genuine to who I am.
BB: Do you still train/work on your craft?
AKA: Every single day. I learn as I teach a lot believe it or not. Children can be amazing teachers to you. I'm also at MANY shows a week learning and observing. Then I get to take class every now and then. But I am ALWAYS putting myself in new and challenging situations as a performer and producer. And sometimes those learning experiences come on the job. Scary as hell but then you just off the cliff and you have an absolute blast with them!!
BB: Any words of inspiration or anything else you want to impart?
AKA: Yes. Just love yourself and be good and kind to yourself. Do what makes you happy. If it's to move to Cape Cod and sell ice cream, seriously go do that. Don't stay anywhere because you think you have to or that you should. Create your own work. Create your own life. Look to your core for the answers. You have them, no one else. Also dream your wildest dreams because they can truly happen and will come true.
ASHLEY KATE ADAMS was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky into a musical theatre family. After attending the Cincinnati - Conservatory of Music where she majored in Musical Theatre, she made her Broadway debut at the age of 23 in the Tony Award Winning revival of La Cage Aux Folles. Following her Broadway run, she toured the country with the First National Tour of the show, and began to lay the groundwork for her own production company, AKA Studio Productions, which is now a thriving Production Company in New York City. In 2014 she joined the Screen Actor’s Guild after being recommended during an audition to the team looping HBO’s True Detective. In 2016 with a short film hitting the festival circuit, her Original Series Rules of Cool will release on FULLSCREEN MEDIA, she will be seen in Season 2 of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and she will reign as the Queen Bee in the coming of age comedy, Pitching Tents. Follow on IG: ashleykateadams on twitter at @kitkatadams or at ashleykateadams.com & akastudioproductions.com