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8 Questions with………..actress/producer Ashley Kate Adams

Its 3:52 pm

Welcome to “8 Questions with…..”

In doing this series and especially of late,I have been really blessed to be able to talk to a lot artists that I have on a “wish list”. These are people whom I really want to talk with but I don’t think I’ll get a chance to.
Ashley Kate Adams was on the list. I first was introduced to Ashley Kate and her talent when the cheetah and I watched a excellent film called “1 Message“. Its a story about a young woman who gets breast cancer amd who is slowly falling into a deep depression.
When the young woman meets a man online while tracking down her family tree,the connection changes her life on so many levels.
This is a movie that I loved quite a bit and I thought Ashley Kate Adams did a great job in what I found later was her feature film debut and she was only 21 when she filmed it.
Since then I have been following her career and chatting once in a while on Twitter.
Last week I decided to take a chance and ask Ashley Kate for a interview and to my surprise answered “Yes,I do” within 5 minutes. While we were talking,I asked about her new big project,”Boy Hero” which is set during the 1954 Senate Comic Book Hearings and where publisher Williams Gaines and his legendary EC Comics were grilled because of the content.  It was also during the height of McCarthyism and the Hollywood blacklisting,a dark and despairing time (as well as a forgotten period). As soon as we as a society are allowed ,Ashley Kate is kicking “Boy Hero” into high gear and we’ll be posting updates on how the film is progressing. *
As you can see,Ashley Kate is a woman on the go,go,go!!  I am so happy that we got a chance to catch her in mid-stride so she could slow down enough to answer her 8 Questions…….

AKA2

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest project?

Hello! My name is Ashley Kate Adams & I am an actress, producer & writer living in NYC! Right now we are so excited to be introducing Frankie! The Musical Cast Concept Album to the world. It releases this Friday, May 29th, on Broadway Records and will be available everywhere music can be streamed. Frankie! The Musical (@frankiemusical) is written by 16-year old Composer and light, Elise Marra. The album is produced by AKA Studio Productions & Mitchell Walker! 
   Our other main project is “Boy Hero”, a feature film inspired by the Comic Book Trials of 1954. I wrote the 1950’s period film which was inspired by a panel I saw called “When the American Librarian Saved Comics” by Carol Tilley. The film is rounding out development and will be Produced by AKA Studio Productions, Pigasus Pictures & AR Productions and will film in Cincinnati! Please follow us (@boyheromovie) for more exciting updates on fundraising development and production of the film. 

Ashley Producing Frankie(Michael Kushner Photography)

How have you been coping with Covid-19 pandemic? How are you staying creative and focused?

   I have been thinking a lot about this recently. I’ve been coping with Covid-19 productively. I think many things prepared me for this, the main being thing being the sudden loss of my father in 2016 to cancer. During that time I had to learn to balance many things in conjunction with being completely gutted out with grief. During that time I turned to creating to heal myself and process my emotions so during this pandemic I have followed suit. I’ve actually been working at home with my production company since 2011 so that routine feels like a continuation. We were very lucky, we had just gotten many incredible projects like Frankie! in the can before it felt as if the world froze. Now these projects are able to bring joy to others during this time. On Friday’s I’ve been going LIVE with #BYOP to lead conversations on Grief & Productivity for the Creative @ashleykateadams on Instagram. It’s been important for me to try to help folks navigate this time! 

Frankie! Album Cover

 When did you first catch the acting bug and what was the reaction like with your family and friends?

I don’t know if I ever caught the acting bug I was kind of just born into the industry. It is what our family does as our family business. You know some families might have a restaurant or a heating & cooling company, we are performers. My parents, who also majored in musical theatre in college (that’s how they met) were VERY honest with me about how hard my future was going to be to move to NYC and pursue this full-time but they knew it was what I was called to do. And I got to make space here for my sister 10 years my junior, Audrey Belle Adams, who recently began her adult career also based out of New York City. 

AKA3

 How did you land the lead role in your first feature film “1 Message”? What three things did you take with you from the experience? How important is faith to you?

I actually landed my role in “1 Message” thanks to my father. He pitched me at a dinner meeting where the director happened to be. I then auditioned and got the role. That film taught me a lot. The first was that leading a film and being on camera 14 hours a day, 6 days a week is an extremely challenging job. Which leads me to the second thing, I learned how to treat actors on set. The “1 Message” experience is one that seeded in me the need to become an independent film producer to make sure I was always taking care of my actors in an extremely supportive way. Environment, transparency & discernment are everything on a project. The third thing I learned was how strong and aware I was even at a younger age on set. Faith is important to me. It is important to me to believe in something much bigger than yourself. 

Frankie Recording(Michael Kushner Photography)

 

 Which do you like more? Doing TV/film work or live theater and why?

I love both equally but for different reasons. Right now I am very much falling deeper in love with film. I love learning and because I was raised literally at a theatre, in film there is still so much to learn for me. I love each new project on any side. It’s a blast to me navigating each nuance! 

Elise Marra and Ashley Kate Adams(Michael Kushner Photography)

 What  have been the three pieces of advice given to you in regards to being a performer?

Wow! Great question. “Your best secret weapon is yourself”. That was taught to me by the head of my musical theatre program at CCM, Aubrey Berg. He was correct. I would say the next is to “Be a kind person who people enjoy working with” from Sandra Rivera of Dancensation Studios and the most recent from this past winter break  to “Keep saying yes to the right things and keep expanding” from one of my high school mentors, the great Gail Benedict. 

Boy Hero Team(Michael Kushner Photography)

 What roles challenge you most as an actress and how do you adapt to make the role yours?

Wheeew. For me the biggest challenge of my actor life was doing “A Christmas Carol(e)”, a one- woman show, directed & written by Alex Freeman. It was terrifying because it was only me on stage for 70 minutes. All I could do to survive it was to walk through it and continue to adapt. Every. Single. Second. I had to be truly present without a fourth wall. There was no protection, no sheen. I love hiding behind characters. I revel in it. It allows me space for courage to be more vulnerable. I’m a weirdo, my prep is usually reading, researching and then I adapt my breath and body. Everything else just kinda happens. The magic of acting! 

AKA4

 How did the idea for #BYOP come about? What makes a good producer in your opinion?

#BYOP (Be Your Own Producer) came from seeing the need for it. As a producer, actor and creative I can only take on so many projects full time at once but #BYOP allows me to be available to you and your project on an hourly basis. It also teaches content creators how to producer so they can become sustainable and independent! During the pandemic it expanded to teaching these intentions in a group digital setting. The brand is continuing to grow and diversify. In development are many exciting new pieces, perhaps something you could listen to and something you can hold. Stay tuned and be sure to follow @ashleykateadams for updates! ! ; ) 

AKA_BOYHERO_BTS(Michael Kushner Photography)

You created a one woman show called “A Christmas Carole” for the theater, where did you come up with the idea and how hard is doing a one person production on a nightly basis?

I helped to create the show but I cannot take credit for the idea or writing on that one, that was my creative partner in crime, Alex Freeman. We put it up in 6 days with the help of our two amazing stage managers. It’s exhausting and exhilarating doing a one person production. I lived like a nun during the day to stay calm and preserve all of my energy for the performances. I still can’t believe I did it! 

AKA5

 How important are awards to you as a performer?

Awards are not important to me as a performer, but the respect and nod that comes because of them is appreciated. I got my first best actress award in 2018 for Alex Freeman’s two-hander “Love” at the New York Theatre Festival. It’s hard being a woman in the business on every side. Especially as a Producer. So when a group of people decide not only that you  “did well” but that you should be “acknowledged”, that is nice. 

AKA8

You love to sing,what makes a good song and which three Broadway scores would you love to sing if given a chance? Who is your favorite singer/band at this moment?

I do love to sing! It’s a part of my identity even though I’ve been more internal as of late with my creativity. I would say three Broadway scores I would love to sing through would be “Waitress”, “Sunday in the Park with George” and “The Sound of Music”. My favorite singer is my sister, Audrey Belle Adams @abelleadams, always and forever because she has the most flexible vocal instrument I have ever heard and my favorite band right now is M.N.O.P. @MNOP_music. They have rockin’ folk punk music, a kick butt lead female singer & a really cute drummer : ) 

AKA7

 How important is self-promotion to you and your career? 

Self-Promotion is a large part of a creative career. In the age of social media & “influencers”, it has to be. I have not always been good at it. I had to learn to produce others to get comfortable producing & promoting myself. 

AKA6

 What do you like to do on your down time?

In my downtime I like doing yoga, going on walks, listening to true crime podcasts, reading, taking class and spending time with my loved ones. 

 The cheetah and I are flying over to watch to you in “A Christmas Carol(e)” but we are a day early and now you are stuck playing tour guide,what are we doing?

If A Christmas Carol(e) played NYC and there was a day off I would say to spend the morning in Central Park, afternoon around Bryant Park popping into the Strand Book Store & the Bean coffee shop and to spend the evening in the theatre district enjoying an OPEN Broadway. Late evening in the village hopping venues and listening to live music! 

Boy Hero Behind the Scenes of the Campaign
(Michael Kushner Photography)

  I want to not only thank Ashley Kate for chatting with us but also for being inspired to make “Boy Hero”. I cut my fanboy teeth reading EC Comics growing up. When I read William Gaines bio and found out just how close that comic books were to being banned,it was shocking. Without Gaines and a slew of others,including many librarians fighting this censorship,there would no “Star Wars”,Marvel or DC or many cultural icons we take for granted today. 
   Like I wrote before,this is a forgotten piece of American history and much respect to Ashley Kate and her production team on making this film to hopefully remind us of what we almost lost.

Ashley Kate has several different ways that you can keep track of her and her various projects.

You can follow Ashley Kate on her InstaGram page.
You can check out Ashley Kate’s next project via her IMDb page.
You can also follow “Boy Hero” on InstaGram as well.
You can also visit Ashley Kate’s personal website by going here.

Thank you for reading and supporting (and sharing) Ashley Kate’s interview.
Feel free to drop a question below and stay tuned for updates about “Boy Hero”.
You can also read past “8 Questions” interviews by going here.

9 thoughts on “8 Questions with………..actress/producer Ashley Kate Adams

  1. Ashley Kate Adams is a source of encouragement to everyone that has the desire to create their own. A feature film, a one-woman show, and BYOP, producing her own!
    Best of all, she is making it happen…in NYC. New York needs a positive image. Ashley is a good start. Good interview.

    Like

    • I agree with everything you said,Darnell….she is an amazing talent and I’m so excited to see “Boy Hero” when it hits the screen…..bringing a light to a important period in American history.
      I really enjoyed doing this interview.

      Like

  2. Great interview with Ashley Kate Adams – she sounds like a nice person 🙂 I first heard of EC comics after watching numerous episodes of Tales from the Crypt (one of my favorites) and reading MAD magazine when it was still around (last year, they ceased putting out new content). Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    P.S. would you ever consider doing an interview with John Waters – in case you have not heard of him, here is a wikipedia link to him below 🙂

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Waters

    Liked by 1 person

      • Whether you can or can’t, I still love reading your interviews with low-profile actors, directors etc. 🙂 All of your interviews are pretty neat and I loved that recent one with that political activist from California 🙂 Once again, keep up the great work as always 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: “8 Questions with……” list of interviews | The Inner Circle

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