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Calling all 90s music lovers - this is a show you can't miss
Described as a "triple threat powerhouse vocalist", Ashy Rose (performer name: Ashy Rose) is ready to shake up the music and cabaret scene at this year's Adelaide Fringe over 3 magical nights with her debut solo show Confetti (Pretty, but a bit of a mess).
As a mad lover of all things from the 90s era, to hear of a show that will encapsulate the raw and true essence of this magical period meant that my entire mind and soul did a happy dance (several times round)! Heck, I've even got my outfit sorted, in anticipation of watching Ashy Rose, which may bring (back to) life the trends around bhindis, baby doll dresses, skirts over trousers (ok, this one's dependent on the weather), butterfly hair clips, and a choker (classic!).
I was so excited to hear that Ashy Rose would be coming to Adelaide, so I was fortunate enough to conduct an e-interview with Ashy and learn more about the development and story of her show - have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: Can you tell us a bit about yourself, Ashy? Ashy: Hi! Yes of course! Although I now live in Melbourne, I am an Adelaide native! Born in Modbury, grew up in Gawler, and went to Trinity South till year 11. I spent my youth listening to Guy Sebastian and The Spice Girls, dreaming of being a pop star and competitive swimmer… for an 8 year old, doing both seemed like an achievable goal! I wore a heap load of Fila and Adidas and had the best snap pants in school, Elizabeth residents may remember my Dad's shop 'Roberts and Jarman Sportstore'. We relocated to the Gold Coast when I was 16 and realised I probably had to choose between the swimming pool and Drama School. So, I studied acting, musical theatre, and then went on to work for a bunch of entertainment companies, such as Dreamworld Entertainment, Disney Cruiseline, Movieworld, corporate singing, nightclubs, musicals, bands - you name it!
Photography by Alexis D. Lea Photography (Cat Scratch Studio), retouched by After Hours Re-touching
Tema: What made you want to get into performing arts? Ashy: Well for one, it probably started with my obsession with The Little Mermaid and singing along to it word for word. I made my mother rent it from Blockbuster video so many times, she should have just bought it. Also of course, the 90's heroes I pay tribute to in my show. I'd listen to The Spice Girls, Hanson, The Backstreet Boys, Five, Nsync and Britney constantly. I used to make girl groups with my cousins and write songs, do tacky questionable photoshoots, and choreograph dances. I still have the folder of our group 'The Beach Babes' with all the band's necessities. Needless to say, I was the most enthusiastic and proactive member of the group, and I've never really let go of that childhood dream.
Tema: How long have you been part of the performing arts industry? How have you found your involvement in this industry so far? Ashy: I started studying Acting and singing around 16. Going forward, I did a few gigs here and there in clubs and with bands, but I started to take it really seriously when I studied Musical Theatre in 2011. So, I have been working professionally for about 8 years now, 11 if you count the random bits and pieces. I love it! Of course, it's hard - most of the time you're your own worst critic and you have to hustle - but I've had so many incredible, exciting and weird stories and experiences. One of my favourites was performing in a show when I worked for Disney Cruiseline, having to sing the 'Hokey Pokey' for Neil Patrick Harris (Barney in "How I Met Your Mother" and Broadway Musical Theatre Star) and his children whilst he was on holiday… it was the best damn hokey pokey anyone has ever sung in the history of hokey pokies.
Tema: If I understand correctly, this is your first solo show - how are you feeling about running your own show? What are you anticipating from the experience? Ashy: Yes, I feel so good! I premiered the show at The Butterfly Club in Melbourne in November to a great reception! I just added a few extra shiny bits for the Adelaide audiences, so, I honestly can't wait! I'm looking forward to a lot of laughs and getting to meet and connect with a bunch of fellow Adelaidians along the way.
Tema: What inspired you to come up with the concept of your show Confetti (Pretty, but a bit of a mess)? Ashy: Honestly, I feel like we're all just kind of in a real life Bird Box situation. No one really knows where they're going and we are all trying to avoid the looming doom, which in real life equates to paying bills on time, going to work, avoiding existential dread, having healthy happy relationships... you know, just generally pretending it's all good. Also, relatable things that we've all dealt with like body shaming, obsessions, problems with alcohol, terrible relationships and weird dating stories. I once hid a Tinder date's phone in his freezer, tucked neatly away under his naan bread... but you'll have to watch the show to hear more about that one. I wanted to connect with people about things we can all relate to and feel bad about, but instead of beating ourselves up, to celebrate them. We're all like confetti - we can be a bit of a mess, but that's what makes us truly beautiful.
Tema: What can people expect from attending your show? Ashy: A lot of catchy 90's pop music, true stories, hilarity, glitter, drag and a bunch of heart. All together.. *awwww.*
Tema: How would you explain your performance to someone who has never been to your show before? Ashy: Musical Comedy Cabaret, mixed with Drag elements and a heap of 90's music we will all recognize.
Tema: What is your ideal target audience for your show? Ashy: I honestly thought my target demographic was probably going to be the 24-35 sort of age bracket when I first wrote this show. However, I have had ages up to around 65 laugh the whole way through and come up to me afterwards to tell me they absolutely loved it. Then, all the way forward to people interested who are as young as 16-17…. Just to cover my butt though, a disclaimer for the younger groups: it does have a bit of crude language and questionable stories, but look, my aunties are all coming, so I guess the whole family is about to find out just how disappointing my absorption was of the etiquette and polite language my mum tried to teach me as a kid. (haha) We've all been through the issues I talk about in the show, we all love a good laugh and hey, who doesn't love some good ol' 90s music?!
Tema: Have you been / are you a part of other AF shows? Ashy: In 2017, I played Delilah in "The Desperettes: Guide to being a Wingman" at the Bally in Gluttony with the incredible Tash York and Belinda Hanne Reid. I fell in love with the festival, got to perform for so many amazing people, and the parklands look so amazing! I'm in my home town and have made so many new friends along the way. The other artists kind of become like a huge travelling Fringe family. So, it will be amazing to see some friendly faces I haven't seen in a while.
Tema: How did you score the venue The A Club for your show? Ashy: I met and worked with Kerry (Call this Guy) previously in 2017 with The Desperettes, who is now the Venue Manager for the A Club and was very grateful that he was able to provide me with a spot.
Tema: Have you taken your performance interstate / overseas? If so, where have you performed and what has that experience been like? If not, where are you hoping to take your show? Ashy: I haven't had a chance to take it overseas yet. However, sky is the limit. I'm looking forward to the future and planning lots of cool stuff for 2019 and 2020.
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about your plans on launching a new EP in 2019? Ashy: I write original music, which I tend to describe as a musical love child of Nicki Minaj, Rupaul and Lady Gaga. I'm on Spotify, Itunes and Soundcloud with the songs "Toxicity" and "All in or not at all" So, please give my artist page a like, have a listen and keep updated on the new releases! I would love to do an Adelaide tour with my originals, so stay tuned, and if anyone reading this wants me at your venue, send me a cheeky message.
Tema: Can you also please tell us a bit about your makeup artistry? Ashy: I have a Diploma in Specialised Services in makeup so I'm trained in all aspects of makeup, such as Glamour, bridal, Drag, SFX, prosthetics - you name it! I'm currently also doing lash extensions. My work is listed under Lashley Boutique (which is on Instagram and Facebook). I thrive on the creativity of producing different looks and love making people feel happy and gorgeous.
Tema: How do you find the time to juggle doing so much at once!? Ashy: It's honestly about being really proactive and managing your time well. Also, lists, lists, lists and more lists! I never really switch my brain off. I'm always editing something on my phone or writing an idea when all my boyfriend wants to do is watch a Kevin James movie, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love what I do!
Tema: Is there anything else that you'd like your audience / our readers to know about you and your show? Ashy: Just for everyone to remember that it's called a trash can for a reason guys, not a trash 'can not'. So even if you feel like you can't do something because of how you think you look, how you feel, if you're broke, what society supposedly says or if you're struggling in some other way, remember you can do anything you set your mind to... which includes, buying a ticket to my show "Confetti (Pretty, but a bit of a Mess). Can't wait to see you all there!
Confetti (Pretty, but a bit of a Mess) will be playing at the A Club on Waymouth Street from February 21 - 23 at 9pm.