Looks like we made it. Look how far we’ve come, my ba— ok, that’s enough.

We’re finally starting to poke our heads out of the isolation brought on by the big Panini. Shows were cancelled, venues were shut down, entertainment companies everywhere lost a LOT of what they had built. Everyone did! But we’re finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is soo very welcome! I hope you are coming out of the shadows stronger, but without too many new scars. We’re surviving the Gauntlet.

I have been busy continuing to create and release videos and livestreams on my Marilyn Monday YouTube and Patreon, and I am no longer a broadcaster on Bigo Live. Facebook decided that I was TOO good at playing Marilyn, I guess, and suspended both my personal facebook page AND my instagram account. The isolation of a panorama coupled with the isolation of losing ALL of my online contact with friends, family, fans and clients is really a big hurdle. I can no longer use facebook messenger to video call little girls in the hospital as their favorite princesses. I can’t promote my comedy or Marilyn work to potential new customers or show bookers. All of my online conversations – budding relationships with new venues and managers for potential comedy shows or tour sponsorships – suddenly just gone. Scratch. Square one.
My business pages are all still there, but I can no longer access them to provide updates or to reach out to confused clients. I’ve updated my old Bigo instagram account as @marilyn.on.patreon, but the follower count is verrrrry low. All of my businesses have been completely crippled. And for what?

I’ve pretty much had to just pivot.
I sold everything I couldn’t carry and changed my entire way of life! That’s right, 2020 was the end of the world AS I KNEW IT, and everything has changed! I saw my loss of everything I had built as a kind of freedom to start with a clean slate. I could go anywhere, do anything…

My husband John and I bought an RV, grabbed our cat, and hit the road. We’re touring our comedy/variety show to every outdoor and socially-distanced venue across the U.S. offering laughs and entertainment to a world that hasn’t seen many live shows in a long, long time. If you have a venue (or know of one in your area) you’d like us to wake back up, use the Contact form right here on this website and we will bring Laugh Tours right to you! I no longer have the strong promotional platform I had worked so hard to build, but every different venue has the ability to lift the show up where its customer base can see it! I’m taller in person, anyway, so let’s network!
We’re contacting drive-in theatres, beer gardens, wineries, campgrounds, parks – anywhere you’ve got a patio, we’ve got the equipment and the chops to bring your business (or home, why not?) a really fun night out, to share some laughs with others, like in the before times. Let’s get together and be a community again!
We’ve begun our venture on the Central Coast of California, and we’re starting to build a tour from this starting point, with Oregon coming up soon! We’d like to visit every state, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
We’re planning to spend at least a year on the road across the country, and then start venturing out past the borders and introducing ourselves in neighboring countries, where we can still roll in with the RV. Once we’ve done a lap or two, we will start planning our next international tour across the various ponds! We wanna see it all! So where ya from? We’re on our way!

Wherever you are from, you can follow our misadventures (we do everything the hard way, haha) on Instagram, YouTube (as a series on Marilyn Monday), or on Facebook! I will warn you, though – it’s a LOT of content about Kitty!
We will be posting show flyers and schedules on the above-mentioned platforms as we land bookings, so please follow, subscribe, etc! I’ll try to keep this website updated as well, but… I mean, check out the last time I posted, haha… I pretty much devote myself to my live audiences, Patreon patrons and YouTube audience, so I do apologize if you prefer to get your news from this site!

Thank you for your time, support, and for believing in me. When I felt like the world was shutting me out, like I wasn’t welcome online, it was hard not to feel that virtual rejection seeping into my daily world in the global quarantine. You few ride-or-dies (and my relentlessly supportive and optimistic husband) have really kept me from feeling like I should just give up and be a lonely beach bum!! It could’ve been truly bleak! I’m really looking forward to continuing to do what I do best, and hauling all of my wigs and costumes across the country like some kind of drag circus performer. I genuinely can’t think of anything that would make me happier.

UPDATE (September 28, 2022): We lost our sweet Kitty to congestive heart failure on March 29th, 2022 in Albuquerque, NM. He didn’t suffer, but it was very much his time. We have slowed down our travel a little to grieve, and we are now looking for a home on the California coast that we can fill with love in the times we are not on the road. We are still SUPER excited to travel and see the rest of the states and countries (Kitty made it to 16 different states!), and revisit the places we already love, so if you’d like to book us for a comedy show or variety show with Marilyn or another character, REACH OUT! We want to do it!

UPDATE (April 23, 2023): We have been integrating back into the Santa Barbara area communities, and I have been BUSY!! Just this spring I’ve had to drive all over the west for work, including filming a wild music video (can’t tell you what it is yet!), performing as Marilyn with a live band at a corporate event (with handsome young Elvis, Daniel Durston), filming a top-secret commercial for two major clients, and I got to be in an episode of CSI: Vegas! I am still available for princess appearances, Marilyn events, Lucy events, and heck – I’ll even bartend for you if you’re having a party (I’m certified)!
I’ve become a bit of a nature photographer (I live in the middle of the forest and yes, I sing to the very tolerant deer and squirrels at least once a week), and my Patreon patrons have the task of selecting my BEST photos for an upcoming nature calendar! I’m also going to be releasing other fun stuff using my photos (like postcards and games), so I hope you’ll keep an eye out for that! OH, and one of my new animal friends has inspired a new children’s story that I hope to complete this summer! I’m looking forward to sharing all of this with you soon!
I have been going live on YouTube to share about all of my recent updates and ideas, so make sure you’re subscribed with notifications on so you can catch the next one! I’m working on a new series for the channel, too, that I think will be a LOT of fun! Thank you again for sharing these moments with me!

Official Broadcaster!

A few of you already know that I’ve been co-producing an interactive live standup comedy show since February 25th, “SINdustry Comedy”

The First Show Flyer

A few more of you already know that I have been hired as an official host on a live-streaming app as of April.

My Original Bigo Name, and my debut!

Well, the show met the app and now you’re able to watch it LIVE from wherever you are in the world! I’ll be posting the link to every comedy show on the Facebook Fan Page and you can tune in that way and watch the show as it happens – without even downloading the app! It isn’t recorded anywhere, so you will still have to be on time if you don’t want to miss it. When the show is over, the stream is over, that’s all she wrote! Be sure to Like the facebook page and turn on Notifications so you don’t miss the next one on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of every month!

Next show

If you DO get the app, though, it’s a bit more fun, because then you can heckle the comedians and vote for your favorite to try their hand at the BATTLE ROYALE every season (6 months)! The comedians will bear witness to the awesome roasts provided by the couch-comics in the chat, and they get a chance to respond. The comics in the show will even choose their FAVORITE HECKLER from the online audience, too, and you could win in-app currency! Then the live audience votes for the ultimate winner of the show, the Trolls (online) or the Trolled (comics). It’s a ton of fun and we would love to have you join us as a Troll!
Shows are twice a month, every 2nd and 4th Friday night at 9pm PST, filmed live in Las Vegas, NV.
If you’d like to become a Troll, hit your app store and search for “Bigo Live.” Then, make sure you’re following me (search for “ashleyasmarilyn” after you create a profile!), because you can *only participate* if you’re communicating with ME directly!

This is my favorite kind of chatter, haha

Aside from the show, which you are also welcome to attend in person to vote on the winning Team, you can follow me on Bigo Live to see my DAILY BROADCAST (yes, you read that correctly – I’m creating DAILY original content on this app!) for all of the zany and unique things I’m doing, in ADDITION to my already loaded YouTube channel “Marilyn Monday” (new videos twice a month) and my PATREON (exclusive videos once a month PLUS crazy bonus photos, livestreams, gifts and giveaways!), and I’m STILL performing in other live comedy shows around Vegas!

Here’s my general Bigo schedule, subject to change often, and always adding more:
*TAROT TUESDAYS: I team up with another Host, BeXtra333, who does tarot readings, and I give detailed 15-minute palm readings, numerology quickies, dream analysis, and more! Very interesting stuff. We do these whenever a big (15 minutes to 1 hour) reading is requested.

*TOURIST/TRAVEL TUESDAY: If there aren’t any readings on deck, I’ll take you with me to a FUN and exciting place you’ve never heard of or always wanted to see! This last week I took everyone to Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum, and we had a frightfully good time! Stay tuned on Instagram to vote for the next Tourist location! Maybe the MOB Museum? Maybe the Haunted Museum? How about a National Park? Or a beach?

*FAN MAIL FRIDAY: The first Friday of every month, Bex and I read the best and worst from our DMs, calling out most creepers by name, and sometimes even prank calling them on a fake number app! Hilarity ensues.
If you’d like to see one of these broadcasts as an example of what you’ve been missing, there’s a one-hour video from a themed FMF cast available for all tiers on my Patreon page!

*TROLLS VS TROLLED: Every 2nd and 4th Friday, 9pm PST – 10:30pm PST! Come heckle!
*FUN FACT FRIDAY: 3rd Friday of every month, YOU pick the topic and I’LL find the craziest fun facts about it!
*SPOOKY SATURDAYS: By the light of a candle, I take video calls from Guests who’d like to share TRUE ghost stories or paranormal experiences they’ve had. We talk about everything from UFO sightings, abductions, conspiracy theories, SLIders, Mandela Effect, Flat Earth, you name it! Sometimes I have a guest who is a mortician and we learn a LOT as he explains the possibilities of dead-body stories being true or untrue. Other times we’ll share some of the bizarre and freaky things kids have said to adults that gave them the shivers. Each night I choose one of these general themes to stick to (or I bring in a NEW one!), but if it’s creepy, it’s open season!

My broadcasts almost always take place at night, between about 7pm and 4am PST, but sometimes I’ll have you join me by the pool or in the hot tub (weather permitting) for a Mermaid Monday, a swimwear fashion show, or one of the regular broadcasts, but outdoors! Sometimes I’ll even put up a spinning wheel game, and you spin the wheel to make me do silly things like sing a song or do a cannonball. I’ll be in full costume as one of my many characters (or new ones!!) at least once a month, too, so you never know when one of those will pop up! I was Venkman at the Monster Museum, and just today I was an en pointe ballerina!

There are “Player Knockout” battles every so often on Bigo (thus the “PK” posts all over my @marilyn.on.bigo Instagram), and though they can throw off my regularly-scheduled broadcasts a bit from time to time, they add a bit of excitement as I can only win if the viewers send me more gifts than the opponent’s viewers send them! I do at least two of these a month, and they’re almost ALWAYS in costume, so if you’ve got an extra couple of bucks or just wanna watch, come help me win!!!
I’m mainly there to talk to the viewers, but about once a month I’ll do a performance of sorts on one of the apps’ main “Livehouse” channels, and you sometimes get to vote on your favorite performance of the day on that channel!

A PK win!

(Ohhh, shoot, I just added this photo and lost everything I had already typed underneath it!! Several paragraphs gone… Ohh, technology, how I despise you. Let’s try that again…)

Now, I *can* have in-person guests on Bigo once in a while, so if you’ve got something interesting or fun you’d like to share, lemme know! Let’s arrange an interview, all we need is wifi!

Ok, so all of this might sound overwhelming, but FEAR NOT, because I am putting together a few videos for Marilyn Monday that explain not only Bigo and all the fun it can help you enjoy, but also my Patreon, which has also been a source of confusion for a few folks already!

As you can tell, I’m staying busy af, so if you can subscribe to my YouTube channel or my Patreon, or even follow me on Bigo Live, I appreciate that sooo muuuuch!!!! Every cent goes right back into helping me create all of this content for you, and allows me to continue doing what I love and what I’m best at. I couldn’t do any of it without you, and without you enjoying it, it wouldn’t have any purpose or meaning anyway! So THANK YOU, from the bottom of my blog!

WOW, What A Rush!

The past few weeks I’ve had aren’t your typical thrill-seeker’s dream, but they’ve certainly got me all revved up!

The biggest challenge for me in this post (heck, in this BUSiness) is to give you the information while I toe the line between coming across as arrogant and bragging, or coming across as ungrateful for these wonderful happenings, so lemme just start with this: I assure you, it’s neither. I’m super excited about this stuff, but also very humbled by the chance to be a small part of great things.

I’ve been pounding the pavement for what seems like forever and a day, and these past few weeks are starting to feel like the labor tree is bearing some fruits! Now, objectively – I haven’t landed some starring role in a groundbreaking film or anything. It may not seem like much, but the struggle is real, and any actor knows that you face a LOT of rejection and heartbreak before you get a tiny sliver of light. Well this post is to share with you that I’m seeing a little bit of that dream-lifting light! And I’m not taking it the teensiest bit for granted. I’m adding that light to my bathwater and soaking up the glow!

First things first, the scrape with destiny that seems to have started this little snowball – I had the greaaat fortune to bump into BOBBY FARRELLY at an event I was working!!! He even helped me pick my books off the floor, in a perfect nerd-girl meets nice-guy scenario. Maybe the rubbing of those elbows transferred a little Hollywood pixie dust and helped the universe organize my recent luck…

Then: A while ago I filmed for a TruTV show and they have finally started *airing the new season,* so that’s more good news!! Keep your eye on this website, I’ll let you know when my episode airs!

The next thing I know, I get called to be part of one of my all-time FAVORITE TV shows!!!!
I’d been watching them win all kinds of awards this season, cheering them on, and lo and behold I get called to work background!? Now, being an extra is not glamorous, it’s not some amazing role that becomes your “big break,” but being side by side with the actors who play characters who feel like family is one surreal feeling, and it was another chance to brush up against destiny for me. Plus it was a day in the life I’ve wanted to lead since I was two years old: On a professional set, surrounded by hardworking, good people who are all working together to create something original, and something that truly makes people FEEL something strong and wonderful. In a room surrounded by dreamers and creators. Home.
Maybe someday I’ll be a regular on a series like this, but for now… I appreciate this.
If you’re following me on ANY platform, you won’t be able to miss my announcement when the episode airs!!!

There have been a few Marilyn events, lots of Marilyn Monday videos – OH! I FINALLY broke 100 subscribers to my channel!!! Another great thing!!! I was able to claim the MarilynMonday url on YouTube, so I’m a bit easier to find now! We’re coming up on a YEAR of weekly videos, and boy has it been a lot of work! Especially with all of this other stuff going on at the same time. But it looks like it may become something, so let’s see what happens.

Also, I got new headshots (since I couldn’t stand not being blonde for a minute), so this replaces August’s updated pic:

I am looking forward to telling you the names of the shows, and a little more good showbiz news that I’m still keeping quiet about, but for now, this is all I can say. So CHEERS and good fortune to you! ‘Til we meet again…!


New Look!

Me – not the website!
I finally gathered up the courage to chop off my long blonde locks and go short and brunette! It’s like seeing a different person in the mirror, but umm….. that’s nothing new for me! Haha
haircut ashI’ve got a bunch of ideas I’m working on bringing to life, trying to focus on one at a time so they actually get created at the level of quality I like to guarantee, but I’m just so excited about every one of them!!! Some are a bit more complicated than others, but I’m looking forward to sharing them with you as they’re hatched! In the meantime, I’ve got another tv appearance in post, so I’ll keep you posted about the release… and as always, you can catch me on YouTube every week on Marilyn Monday!
beachyThe channel is growing steadily, but the more you share the videos with friends and fellow Marilyn fans, the sooner we can start creating better, higher-budget content with extras like special celebrity guests and contest giveaways! Thank you for all of your support on the road so far, we’re really looking forward to a great future with you guys.
Oh, August 28th will mark the *6 month anniversary* of Marilyn Monday!!!
That’s right, as of that date, we’ll have brought you 28 weekly videos, plus a few bonus *special occasion* videos!
We’ve got a bunch more in store for you, too, so please share your favorites like crazy so we can grow and really get cooking!!
Thank you for finding us so early on in the game, just imagine what we can accomplish together in another six months!
As always, if you’re looking for an actress, celebrity impersonator or comedian to host your game night (trivia, bingo anyone?), or to sing for you and your guests at a birthday or party, or to cut the ribbon at your grand opening, or be a judge at your pageant, or entertain (you and) attendees at your next trade show… or you know, anywhere entertainment is needed… you have your choice of Marilyn, Lucy, Jeannie, Elsa, Goldie and many more RIGHT HERE with Ashley Clark!!! Have costumes, will travel!
If you’re a venue that’s looking for a great live show, you’re in the right place as well! Ashley offers a full-length variety show complete with comedy, music, celebrity impersonators, magic, and even drag stars!! If you have special requests about your preferred talent line-up or types of acts, just let us know what your event requires and we’re happy to arrange the perfect guests stars for your unique show experience.

See you on Monday, if not sooner!!

Music Video & Good News!!

On my Videos page, you may notice a new addition – a super-fun and artful music video shot around LA and Catalina Island!

fj banner
I had soo much fun playing Marilyn around her old stomping grounds, with Marion Belle as my “Jimmy.” The video premiered online at where I found this excerpt:

“In an email to The FADER, Belle described the genesis of the “Gigolo” clip. “Catalina Island has always been a sacred place for us. Abby grew up sailing there with her family as a girl. We met Ashley Clark at a Hollywood Forever Cemetery screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, where she had been hired as Marilyn. At the time I had a song called ‘Blondes Die Young,’ and I took a picture with her. There is a haunting quality about Ashley as Marilyn that we both felt, and we kept her business card. Over time the idea came about to take a trip to Catalina with her, this kind of gauzy figure who vanishes in the end. The shoot was wild with two tiny motor boats zipping around the harbor, one with the camera and one with the actors and Abby just yelling out directions over the waves.”
Fatal Jamz’s new album Coverboy is out now via Lolipop Records.”

I couldn’t be happier with the results, I’m so grateful to be a part of it! I do hope you enjoy it as well <3


I have started a YouTube channel called Marilyn Mondays where I’ll be posting brand new (Marilyn-related) videos every week!!
I’ve only just begun, and I’ll keep growing the channel from last Monday on out – I’ll cater to what the fans want – within reason, you guys, haha – so please comment on the videos with your feedback, suggestions, requests, etc!!
I have tonssss of ideas and scripts for upcoming videos, and they’re all very different, but they’re mostly going to be reverently comedic, and vaguely satirical… but careful, you might accidentally learn something about Marilyn that you never knew that you needed to know 😉 And you might also UNlearn some things that you THOUGHT you knew!
She was a very complex lady, so my goal is to break down the myths and remind about the surprising secrets in a fun and entertaining way.
(PLUS I’m working on some videos that are taking a little bit longer -between the weekly ones- that may surprise you and shake up some other Hollywood memories, too!)
You can Like my videos there & Subscribe to the channel so you get updates every Monday when a new video is posted (or whenever your YouTube email comes if you get one “digest” email for all of your subscriptions) 🙂


Transitioning from live performance (which I am still doing more regularly than ever!) to recorded videos is a bit of a system shock, I have to admit; when you’re on stage, you know if a joke is funny or if a moment is touching IMMEDIATELY when the audience responds (or doesn’t, yikes!). With videos, you write something that you feel is fun or important or emotional, you shoot it the best you can with the weather/locations/materials/health you have, you assemble it the best you can, and then you release this vulnerable little private thing into the ether, all exposed and instantly open to judgement all over the globe! It is daunting, especially when the subject matter is particularly important to you (like Marilyn). So aaaaany feedback you have, please leave it in  comment or at least click the thumbs-up so I know if I’m on the right track in creating something that people want to see.

mm me

Marilyn Monday will be a bit of a priority for me (I’ve got a creative vision that absolutely MUST be realized before I can get any rest!!), so do expect it to be updated EVERY Monday without fail…. unlike this blog has been, haha… You can count on me! Rain or shine, get your Ash/Marilyn fix 😉
Thank you soooo much, to everyone who has shown me support!!! You really keep me going. I won’t let you down!

The Creativity Incubator

Shaking things up, this time I’m opening with the news –

Coming soon!
Never short on fresh ideas, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority (yes, the brilliant people who brought you the famous “What Happens In Vegas” ads) will soon be launching a new ad campaign and Ashley will be all over it, so keep a look-out!
Also on the horizon is a music video release that was loads of fun to shoot in some very fun locations, & also get ready for a new character in her Events repertoire!
You never know what to expect in Ashleyland!

My NYE kiss was a MAC lip gloss
My NYE kiss was a MAC lip gloss

And now, the thinky part:
I’m not sure if you watch the show Silicon Valley, but lately Las Vegas has felt like a giant Incubator that has been nurturing my need to be creative and expressive. I’ve been digging through boxes looking for old tubes of acrylic paints and canvasses, organizing my character costumes and trying to decide if I should clear some away to make room for new ideas and exciting projects… There is something big in my soul that has been waiting not-so-patiently to erupt into being, and I am going crazy trying to isolate the idea and clear its path!
Like any artist, I’ve got tons of unrealized visions and ideas just sitting around in the corners of my mind waiting to see if I’ll ever give them my full attention. They’re in various stages of development. Some of them are terrible but I refuse to let them go. Some of them are amazing but nearly impossible to make with available resources. Some of them are just an intangible feeling that wants to be expressed. Some would even be simple to create but just feel overwhelming or out of reach for some reason. It’s like the opposite of Writer’s Block… Like Writer’s Overload. The best way out? Collaboration. Let’s make something!

Tried out a new hair color, just for fun!
Tried out a new hair color, just for fun!

I’m not one for “New Year’s Resolutions” (they all too often fail), but I do have a standing mantra that serves me every day, all year long: Create something unique that elicits an emotional response from another human being. I don’t always achieve it right away, but I can’t help but have ideas, and often the universe puts me right where I need to be with all the people and resources necessary to make something magical. I’ve never been one to walk away from something that feels right (which isn’t always a good thing, like pizza), so when I am able to introduce my ideas and bizarre little projects to such an amazing group of supportive, loving individuals such as yourself, I am truly LIVING. All I want to do is “feel” and share the “feel” with others, so THANK YOU for giving me life! I promise not to let you down, to keep on truckin’, and to keep you guessing… And I promise you that I will never stop Making the Fun. The manufacturing and distribution of the Fun is always happening over here in Ashleyland in some way, and I will always find a way to get that Fun to you! There is always more to come…
As always, please keep me in mind if you’re attending or throwing an event that could benefit from the skills I have to offer, I am always listening for the call!

Beach Baby

Been having a really tumultuous, emotional few days.
Kept my composure for the most part, hadn’t cried for once… I desperately needed to go to the ocean today. The beach has always been the place I can go to put everything in perspective. It’s a massive reminder that I am…not massive.

Now & Then
Now & Then


I let myself feel every feeling. I let the waves bring me serenity and love, and take my pain, anger and sadness out past the horizon. As the last tears rolled down my cheeks, I lifted them away with my fingers. I bent as the water approached and gave my salty tears to the salty sea. The tides pounded at the sand, four-foot swells just steps in front of me, then gushing around my ankles as if the Pacific was demonstrating its great force and control to me. I gave the Sea my greatest respects and reverence, recognizing its incredible power and soul.
As if it felt the bond, the turbulence calmed for a moment, and the newly soft waters slid up and gently lapped at my toes, paused there, and subsided. I watched, surprised at the sea’s acceptance, and it rose once again to give me an affectionate light reassurance, and glided away again. The suddenness of the shift in vibration altered the emotions I was experiencing so swiftly that I left out an involuntary laugh.
The smile was so welcome on my face and in my heart that I kept it, nurtured it. I fed the freedom of my new smile on a deeper level… I began to dance.
Like a salsa, I shimmied closer as the waves receded, and flirted backwards up the beach as the foam rolled back toward me. The current swirled at my feet, and I twirled gracelessly in the uneven wet sand. As the sea foam pirouetted around me, I pushed curling ripples of my own with my pointed toes.
I scooped up healing sea water and soaked my hair with it, feeling the cold droplets running down my back as I danced. I drew more water into my hands and raised them above my head, letting the icy little streams dance themselves down past my elbows and shoulders, sporadic drips like soft rain on my wet hair.


For a fleeting moment I realized that anyone watching would think I’d gone crazy, and in a way I had – I was letting go of all the constraints I had succumbed to this week, this life.
I laughed more, and began to spin in circles, allowing myself to become as dizzy as I wanted. I tipped over into the sand where I remained, laughing and rolling deeper into the warm sand.
Thank you, Mother Earth.
Color me Cleansed.


Well, we all know “tragedy is comedy misunderstood” (Shakespeare), so come on out for my comedy show at the pawn shop owner’s BBQ joint in the Pawn Stars plaza, Wednesday night, September 21st!
Comedy is so cathartic.
See you then!

Experiencing Life As It Happens

I have a few updates, but none that should be scratched into your calendars just yet. I wanted to share, this time, a few of my private ponderings from my personal facebook page. Two little glimpses into my recent mindset for you to experience with me. I hope you enjoy them!


Gliding over the deserted deserts of Nevada, the girl at the window seat and I watch the lightning flash outside, the clouds glowing and drifting in their brief illumination. I slide a luggage tag between the pages of my favorite, well-worn book (“A Lotus Grows in the Mud” by Goldie Hawn) and set it on my tray table to take in the glorious show nature is putting on around us.
Turbulence continues to shake the aircraft as the flight attendants remain strapped into their jump seats as the captain instructs. Not everyone has noticed the flickering clouds around us but nine or ten of us in the back, who watch quietly and jostle in our seats with the beat of the sky.
The lights go out.
A moment passes, everyone feeling the fear right away.
Then we look around at the souls occupying seats around us, and the most beautiful thing happens:
As if we all synchronized our emotions, the whole group of us strangers begin to laugh.
We laugh for a long, lifting moment, embracing the company in our experience.
It is so organic and honest, and the relief seems to stretch it’s arms out into the storm itself and the rest of the flight is smooth and relaxed as we had become in that one binding moment. The plane dipped beneath the tumult, and the lights of our desert oasis twinkle across the earth.
We are home.

spirit in the sky
I love having gigs that are close to home… and by “home” I mean wherever my mom is.
Driving along the California coast is my favorite route in the world. I roll down the windows and let my hair down and shake that fresh, salty sea air into my soul. I try to open all of my pores as I bask in the sun, absorbing as much of this scent and simple luxury of home as I can.
On my return trip yesterday (the gig was just long enough to tease me with memories and wise ocean waves), I did this soul dance all the way from the 1 through Ventura, nodding that beachy fragrance into my hair, feeling it light on my skin like the most expensive perfume. If I could have stopped to sprinkle a proud layer of beach sand in my floorboard and dip my toes in the cold salt water I would have been the happiest girl in the world.
As the freeways turned and wove me inward, away from the cleansing Pacific, I saw a peach cloud hovering in the distance. No matter how long I traversed the flat terrain, this cloud never moved, just lingered in the sky ahead of me. I wondered how a layer of smog could have found itself over a desert devoid of humans.
As I drew closer, after hours of pondering, I began to notice a change. Slowly that beautiful ocean smell I had tried so hard to hold onto was replaced with a sooty one. This was not smog. All along, this little peach cloud in the distance had been evidence of California burning. The air grew thick, and the setting sun turned everything to a beautiful rose gold. My elation from before slid into a helpless feeling of sorrow for the creatures who were losing their homes. As if they heard me, the clouds above the hills beside me began to look more and more ephereal, like ghosts twisting along the peaks, searching for a new place to belong. I sent my respect and condolences into the ashy wind, revering the mightiness of the monumental phantasms they had become, cresting and falling above the world.
By the time I arrived at my place of belonging, it was almost night. I could no longer see the spirits in the sky, but I knew they were still there, hiding under cover of darkness, searching, weaving…
I was grateful to have a home to end this long journey, but until my return I will leave my heart past the flames in the hills.

Thank you for reading!

sea urchin

Writing NEWS: I have been keeping an eye out for illustrators for my children’s book (“The Little Girl Who Loved A Sea Urchin,” written to help little girls and single mothers understand their situations and try to ease the comprehensive side of domestic violence, and hopefully to keep them from perpetuating it in their own adult life), and I think I have finally found one! Talya Baldwin draws with her heart in the perfect look and style I was dreaming of, and she really appreciates and cares about the cause this book would lend help to. (You should totally look her up on Instagram @talyabaldwinillustration you’ll be blown away!)
I may be starting a fundraiser soon to cover the artist fee and printing costs and start actually creating copies of this book and making it available to the people whom it may bring peace to. If you’d like to help, please feel free to use the Contact form for more information, and THANK YOU for your beautiful heart <3

Like Sands Through The Hourglass…

first of the rollI’m sitting here in the desert thinking about where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going, and this entry is what’s on my mind. I promise this isn’t that sneaky “sponsored content” crap (although I wish it could be, I’d sell out in an instant if someone was buying what I’m selling, haha), but it will get pretty darn personal in regard to my body image and emotional states throughout my life, and I will be talking a bit about a fitness regimen called S Factor that has really helped me grow as a person and has changed my entire life, even though I have never actually done more than take the Intro class a ton of times with coupons – they actually don’t even have a fitness studio out here in Las Vegas, but I have an Intro Workout DVD at least. I’ve mentioned it a lot, and wanted to talk more about it before in hopes that it will bring some of you epiphanies as well, but I was worried about how it would be received. But I feel the need to purge this truth and shout it from rooftops, so I hope you enjoy and can learn from or maybe relate to “the struggle”:


In my early twenties I was working at Disneyland and went with some fellow Cast Members to audition for Universal Studios for the first time. I dressed for Fiona, but let my make-up suggest Marilyn (I still didn’t believe that I could truly hold a candle to being good enough to play her, but I had seen some of their Marilyns and felt it was worth letting the fantasy play out). To my surprise, they kept me as a Marilyn!
I made it all the way to the very end of the call-backs, where I was told I hadn’t made the final cut. When I asked if it was something I could work on, I was told, “You’re a beautiful girl, but Marilyn was very much a woman.”
Cryptic as that may be, it did make sense and was a pretty deep thing for a casting director to tell an auditioner. You may have a pretty good idea of who I am NOW, but at the time….
The more I thought about it (because we actors do tend to fixate on what we “should have” done or said for days after an important audition), the more I realized this – I had lived away from my parents for a few years, and had held down jobs and had fleeting relationships… but I was still a virgin, in more ways than the obvious definition. I hadn’t yet truly lost anyone, or truly felt that I needed to be the source of my own strength. I hadn’t yet had my heart broken. I hadn’t really lived.
Also, I was very thin and practically shapeless, as far as hourglasses are concerned. An ex from the time even called me “Stringbean,” a mean nickname for a girl in her twenties! I had been modeling and dancing for yeeeears, but hadn’t yet discovered S Factor, and was very unfamiliar with my body and honestly had no idea how to move like a woman. I was still incredibly nervous and uncomfortable when it came to my own body, and I was still allowing this bred-and-nurtured insecurity control everything from how I bent to pick up dropped items to how I spoke. I toughened myself up like a tomboy in an attempt to ward off potential bullies – baggage I had carried around since the fourth grade (I switched to a new school in seventh grade just to stop the torture I was getting from the girls at school). Kids in high school even thought I might be a lesbian because I acted so hard-shelled and was still afraid of boys! It was pretty clear that I was the latest of late bloomers. At twenty-one or twenty-two, I worried that maybe this was as filled-out as I was going to get.
(Funny Side Note, in case you’re a young and wondering girl: I even read somewhere that the little bumps around a nipple will go away when the breast is done developing. Yeah, umm, that’s not real. Those are pretty much there forever. Breasts stop growing when they feel like it, and they fluctuate endlessly forever. Sorry, you’ll never buy a bra and have it fit perfectly every time until you die.)
Conversely, Marilyn was VERY filled-out, and had lived more than perhaps anyone her age should have had to. She had lost people, almost from the very beginning of her life. She had serious relationships early on in her life, being married at 16, but she too had trouble connecting to others, particularly to women. She may have learned backwards lessons about her body too, though a very opposite kind of backwards than I had.
Not knowing the future of my own physical and emotional growth, my optimism of ever playing Marilyn waned. I’ve always lived by Steve Martin’s mantra (“Luckily, persistence is a great substitute for talent.”), so I continued to audition at Universal every other year or so, but the farthest I ever got was another final call-back where the new casting director had the final two of us wear Marilyn-esque dresses and full make-up, with the Park’s wig. We had to interact in character with invisible Park guests of all ages and pose for a few invisible photos, and sing “Happy Birthday,” of course.
The other girl came out of the audition room with a sullen look and said to me, “At least it was a good experience.” I felt nervous, but mostly confident as I went in for my turn. I felt like I was doing well and did my best to listen and follow direction. The new CD just happened to be a former Disneyland Cast Member who played villains, so I thought I had an “in.” The audition went well and I made them laugh and smile, and as I reached for the door knob I thought, “I’ve got this!”
Then the CD called out to me, “Ashley, it says here you worked at Disneyland? What did you do there?” I was a little shocked she didn’t remember me, especially since there had been days I had hosted in Town Square and DCA where she WAS. My mouth has never been on my side – I heard myself joke, “I hosted YOU?”
The two other casting directors erupted into laughter, and the main CD looked mortified. I cringed inside. After a beat, she said, “Oh! Of course! I hardly recognize you with the wig and the make-up on…” I gave her the “out” and said, “That’s a good thing! That means I’m doing something right, haha….” and she excused me from the room.
They never called to tell me I didn’t get it.
A friend at the Park told me about the other girl starting her training, and how shocked they were that I didn’t get it.
I’m guessing the “not a woman yet” thing was no longer the issue this time?

This picture should really have a halo over it
This picture should really have a halo over it

I discovered S factor around 2007 thanks to Groupon, and a beautiful description about how it was less about “pole dancing” and more about body image and learning to be comfortable in your own skin and embracing what you look like, while moving toward fitness and improving yourself inside and out. It echoed a sense of feminine community I had missed out on, having just an older brother growing up and being so bullied by other females that I had all but written off being friends with any girls (unless they were tomboys like me).
S Factor taught me that I hadn’t lost that little girl deep down, and really illustrated just HOW far behind she had become in her development!! My inner feminine power had been stunted, and after a bad relationship she had even been hurt and taught terrible, backwards lessons.
S Factor has no mirrors, to keep us from judging ourselves and the way we look or move. It trains an innate belief in yourself that you don’t need to question yourself at every turn, or wonder what others are seeing when they look at you – it’s only what you FEEL that matters. The instructors are there to make sure you’re doing the moves the safe, correct way, and the other girls are there right beside you learning along with you, and cheering jubilantly for you when you try something for the first time or do something well.
It’s a safe place, where you can find acceptance, endless encouragement and love from fellow females of all shapes and ages, from all different backgrounds. It’s amazing. S Factor is the first place I’ve ever felt that bond, and I have since noticed that it’s wherever good people are – at a new job, in travel, in a class! I have been able to cultivate deep, lasting friendships with girls who I hope will be in my life forever! I have opened myself up to the possibility of friendship with people I never would have trusted for a moment without even realizing it, and I am so grateful that I did.
Still not feeling like an exhibitionist in this personal transformation, I followed the DVD privately at home when I was alone. It cleared my head, and my cat loved that I was rolling around on “her” floor. She’d come lay under me while I did the push-up type “cat-cow roll,” which was appropriate, and to this day (even though Kiki is no longer here) I send out kisses on every dip toward the mat, and remember rubbing my nose against her belly fur as I circled down.

Me & My Soul Cat
Me & My Soul Cat

As you already know, I did finally start portraying Marilyn professionally. I had to do it myself, but I now had the confidence and strength to JUST DO IT without worrying what anyone thought of me. I had become confident enough to chase after a good man (yes, he made me chase him), and just before we were married he gave me his full support and encouragement to go for it and play Marilyn. He took photos of me in costume in our backyard, and here I am six years later, having played Marilyn everywhere form here to Europe, and even on television in China a few times. I discovered that the Marilyn community is as loving and supportive as the S Factor femme! I have made so many friends through her (RIP Bronni Bakke, you gorgeous joker). Marilyn has also connected me with people who have hired me as myself for many other projects. My entire world has opened up, and I have gotten to do SO MANY fun and exciting things!! Other characters followed, like Lucy and Jeannie… I even started performing as a princess independently of the Parks – three years ago TODAY, as it so happens!
(It deems being mentioned that the “princessing” community is yet another strongly-bonded group!)
There is no way to say with a straight face that I owe all of everything to an Intro workout. But that class came to me at a turning point in my life, where a realization flipped the way I looked at the world. That flip might be the best thing that ever happened to me, and I hope that by reading this you can accept yourself the way you are and start working toward being even more wonderful and radiant than you already are – and you never know what someone else’s struggle is <3