Reddit: Ask Me Anything

On December 16th 2014, Fans submitted questions to Ashley through Reddit. Below are the Questions and Answers:

I was very surprised (and happy) to learn you took on the role of Fiyero! What is your history (I’ll take a “Reader’s Digest” version) with theatre and what drew you to role itself?
Ashley: I realized I loved theater when I saw a production of Little Shop of Horrors in my hometown that actually had my drama teacher as the lead, and I was hooked. I did a local production of Grease playing Danny Zuko about 3 months before I auditioned for Making The Band, and if I hadn’t joined O-TOWN, I was all set to study theater in college.

Hey Ashley! I absolutely adore your work! You’re currently on tour with Wicked as Fiyero right? What has been the hardest part about touring so far?
Ashley: Hi! The hardest part about touring so far is just trying to keep a normal daily routine… going to the gym, eating right etc – those kinds of things get really hard when you’re living out of hotels… Since I’m really into fitness, it gets a bit frustrating. And of course being away from family is always tough, but they have come out to visit already!

Saw you in Wicked on Saturday. Was the one that drove 7hrs & said that I had been to see you in Hairspray, on GMA, in Vegas, etc. So great to see you. What did your sweet mom and Lyric think of Wicked when they saw it this past weekend?
Ashley: They were spellbound! So great to meet you Jen!

Are you a fan of Kristen Wiig?
Ashley: Yes, I thought she was brilliant in Bridesmaids and The Californians is one of my favorite sketches of all time on SNL…. You take the 405… to the 101… to La Brea down to Fountain Avenue… The traffic is jammed.

Would you ever consider dating a fan ? Why or why not ?
Ashley: Yes I have and I would again. 🙂

Hey Ashley, Its APADaily here!!! You released your first album back in 2006 and it’s still not outdated and one of the best pieces of work i’ve ever listened to. Since then you’ve released 4 songs: Can You Handle It, Wanted, Switchblade with Danny McCarthy and Don’t Let Me Down with MOA. When will we get another song or album???
Ashley: APADaily!! So good to hear from you – I appreciate everything you do – you’re killing it! Music has always been such a huge part of my life and I am constantly songwriting. After Hairspray on Broadway, I switched gears and really putting all my effort into training as an actor, but music has and always be on my horizon – just waiting for the right time to release new music. But I promise I will 🙂

Ashley! I am beyond excited to even get to message you and i cant begin to explain how much my inner child neeeeeds this convo with you! Meeting otown on the 9th was a dream come true! I wish i couldve met you too! Truly a man with many many talents and i cant begin to tell you how much i love you! My question is would you attend my wedding on Oct. 3rd 2015? Its a longshot but we would love for you to come! I love you!!! Thank you so much for your time!
Ashley: Wow! Thank you so much for the kind words Jessica and Congratulations on getting married! Thats amazing – if I’m in the area, I’ll be there!

Between the amazing Clone High episode back in the day and your reaction to the recent SNL sketch where they spoofed you, it seems like you can poke fun at yourself and not take yourself too seriously. Have you always been able to do that, or is it part of having a thick skin because you’re in the public eye?
Ashley: Clone High!! That was such a fun episode to be a part of. I think if you’re going to work in this business, you have to realize you’re going to probably get parodied or spoof at some point (especially when coming from a boyband) but I take it as a total compliment… I mean who wouldn’t want to be spoofed by SNL?? 🙂

Hi Ashley what do you think about Jeb Bush running for president in 2016?
Ashley: Considering he just completed 2 pillars of a presidential campaign – launching a E-Book and losing weight… I think its safe to say he is running!

Is Liquid Dreams about wet dreams ?
Ashley: Definitely. Was it that obvious? Haha!

Hi Ashley, first of all, I love you. My question is pretty simple, will you be touring with Wicked to NC, if so which city? I’d love to go see you if you’ll be there!
Ashley: Yes, WICKED will be coming to Raleigh/Durham in January – you can find a full list of the dates on Wicked’s official site.

Whatever happened to Shelli? Are you still friends?
Ashley: She lives in Northern California, and we will talk every once in a while although its been a little while since we last spoke.

Of all the Chuck Taylors you’ve owned, which pair was your favorite?
Ashley: Classic Black Ones

What are your thoughts on Lou Pearlman and how did he treat you guys while you were together?
Ashley: I think Lou Pearlman was a genius entrepreneur and an even more genius criminal… But in all seriousness, its too bad because he had so much legitamate success, its a shame that he felt he had to ruin all that by getting greedy.

I just saw O-town in Pittsburgh last weekend and I was sad that you weren’t there…I’m sure you get this ? all the time but why didn’t you come back?!?! You were my fave O-towner!
Ashley: Hi Amber! Thank you for the kind words. O-TOWN was one of the most amazing chapters of my life filled with so many incredible memories, I can’t even tell you. Whenever I work on something, I want to make sure that I can put 110% into it. Especially with something as important as O-TOWN. I just knew that I wasn’t in a place where I could devote myself fully to it and I felt like that wouldn’t do it justice or be fair to the rest of the guys.

Are u still close with the o-town guys? whats ur opinion on their new album? Finally will you ever released a second album or you are going to stick to theater
Ashley: I’m close with most of the guys in O-TOWN… Its hard not to be, after you experience such a life changing time together. I think the new album turned out great!

Favorite actor/actress to work with?
Ashley: Danny Trejo was amazing to work with… The guy is the real deal!

On your show There and Back, you mentioned you had a Camaro 69ss and a motorcycle do you still have them?
Ashley: I owned the motorcycle for many years but after being the first person to arrive at a motorcycle accident and seeing what happened to the driver I decided to sell it. It really impacted me.

Hey Ashley! What has been your favorite part of being on tour with Wicked so far? P.S Us Townie fans miss you! <3 Merry Christmas! Sonja-Leigh
Ashley: Merry Christmas to you too Sonja! Being on stage with WICKED has been nothing but phenomenal and being able to tell this story to fans who are seeing the show for the first time or returning to see it again has been so thrilling. The story of WICKED is such a powerful story that I am still getting goosebumps on stage.

What is your fitness secret?! You look great! What do you eat and not eat to look like that?!
Ashley: Thanks so much Amber! I think the secret to fitness is being as consistent as you can be. Putting one foot in front of the other and really making it a part of your lifestyle. Also, I don’t think people realize how important diet is when it comes to either gaining muscle or losing fat. I eat 5-6 meals a day spaced 2-3 hours apart, and I try to stick to clean healthy food sources like lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables and complex carbs like brown rice and potatoes. Lately, I’ve been trying to go gluten free because everything I read says that Gluten can lead to unnecessary weight gain.

What’s your least favorite part of your body? What’s your biggest flaw, personality-wise?
Ashley: My least favorite part of my body is how many freckles I have… Damn genetics! If I stand too long with the refrigerator door open, I’ll get a sunburn :).

Hello! I am seeing you in Detroit on closing night January 4th!!! There have been many Fiyero’s. Did you take inspiration from any other actors that previously played the role?
Ashley: Yes, I think every actor that has played Fiyero has brought something unique to the role and I try to take a little bit of inspiration from each of them while bringing my own essence to the role. Can’t wait to see you on January 4th!

A few years ago you launched a new website with Video Diaries on YouTube and a planned Hairspray backstage tour (going way back now) and studio days with you, but nothing took off. Now the world is really influenced by online and social media, YouTube being a huge platform now more so than ever, will we see you back on there with videos?
Also please post more shoot photos from the Adam shoot – they are great 🙂

Ashley: Yes, absolutely I definitely have plans for more video content soon! Thanks for the kind words on the Bouska photoshoot

You have an incredible body and I love when you post the pics on IG, FB and Twitter. I can’t help but to get hot and bothered when you post almost nude pics… You know you’re hot, but, do you ever get self concious about your body?
Ashley: Thank you so much! You’re so sweet. Yes of course, I’m always trying to improve my physique and I never feel like I’m really satisfied which is what keeps me motivated to set new fitness goals and keep getting better. Also, the first time I posed in my underwear which was recently, I was extremely self conscious, more so than I thought I would be

You have an amazingly sexy body, would you ever do Playgirl?
Ashley: You what they say… never say never 😉

Are you proud of your stints in a boy band and in reality TV, or are they embarrassing like bad high school photos? Did you actually enjoy it or was it like being a show pony?
Ashley: I’m very grateful for those opportunities because they allowed me to do some pretty exceptional things and I like to always come from a place of gratitude with everything in life. With that said, there were things that the producers wanted me to do on There and Back that started feeling so contrived, that I did start to feel like it almost wasn’t really me but rather a character based loosely on my life.

If you weren’t in O-town what boy band would you want to be in?
Ashley: The Beatles

Do you like playing guitar or piano better ? At what age did you start playing each ?
Ashley: I grew up playing the piano more because my mom is a piano teacher, so probably the piano.

How are you enjoying those Fiyero pants? They look so uncomfortable!
Ashley: Whats even more uncomfortable is the dance belt (g-string/jockstrap) that I have to wear underneath it…

How long did your hair take you back in the prime O-Town days? It was quite spectacular (and it’s great now!)
Ashley: I think hair has memory because the more I styled it that way, the easier it became. It got to the point where I would just wake up in the morning and it would look like that… Haha.

You’ve obviously come a long way in the last decade, what is your most crazy fan story? What is the furthest someone went to meet you?
Ashley: One of the crazy stories I remember is when my parents came out to their front yard and saw a fan taking a piece of our front lawn and then explaining that she had drove across country to drive through my hometown and see the house I grew up in and take a souvenir.

Hey, Ashley! It’s Alicia(alliem19)-What is your favorite thing about performing up on stage? You’re an amazing talent and I’m so thrilled that I’ll be seeing you in Wicked in Atlanta in February!!!
Ashley: Hi Allie! My favorite thing about performing on stage is creating a memory for people that they will hopefully never forget. I love telling stories which happens both in music and in acting and too look out in the audience and see people moved to laughter or tears is an experience I don’t think can be duplicated by anything else.

I know you have a son named Lyric what’s it like being a dad and what has he taught you thusfar ?
Ashley: Being a dad has really grounded me and taught me that there is so much more to life than just accumulating wealth or having a career – those things can be temporary but your family is forever. Being a dad has been the most rewarding experience of my life.

You’ve taken on leading men characters (i.e. Link on Hairspray and Fiyero on Wicked) have you ever considered taking on a different role? Maybe a villain?
Ashley: Absolutely! I love stories that play with the idea of good and evil and I especially love the villains that you never saw coming. I think I’d play one of those really well, given with what both Heath Ledger and now Jared Leto have done playing the Joker – I know its possible for former heartthrobs to play the villain! Haha!

Hey Ashley huge fan I just wanted to ask how old is lyric now?
Ashley: Believe it or not, he is 9 years old now and in the 4th grade. Its crazy! Feels like just yesterday he was born on MTV.

Have you seen the movie The Goods Live Hard Sell Hard? Were you happy they talked about how great O-Town was. Also what is your favorite Cam’Ron CD?
Ashley: I was laughing so hard when I saw that, I thought it was such a great name drop. 🙂

Hi Ashley. Not sure if you’re getting my questions or not. But a lot of us townies (new and old) want to know what you think about their reunion? Have you listened to their new album? Would you ever consider coming to one of their shows? Are you surprised at the massive amount of fans they have (new and old)? Are you surprised with the success of their reunion? I just saw them in Columbus Ohio and it was the best show I’ve been to in years. Just want your input.
Ashley: Hi Trina! You know, I didn’t want to be the reason that the guys didn’t reunite and I couldn’t be more happy that they went through with it. There was so much talent in O-TOWN that I’m not surprised at how great the album turned out

Was Cleo really in your hot tub?
Ashley: She was in more than just my hot tub! Haha

Hey Ashley! I met you in Detroit the other night and you were so genuine and down-to-earth! How are you liking Detroit so far?
Ashley: Its been really cool to stay in Detroit and am loving all the museums here. Recently checked out the Henry Ford Museum and was completely blown away!

Kristin or Idina???
Ashley: Idina

How much money did you get for that shitty reality show you were on like 7 years ago?
Ashley: Not enough… haha

What’s it like having 2 girl names? do people assume you’re gay?
Ashley: No mostly they just assume I’m a woman with a really deep voice on the phone.. haha.

What are the chances of us getting an APA calendar? 😉
Ashley: Hmm… I haven’t thought of that – now I’m going to have to seriously consider it.

Will you marry me?!?! 🙂
Ashley: How about if were both still single by the time we’re 45, we make a promise to elope…. Vegas?

Do you like sports? What’s your favorite sport?
Ashley: I always to but I was never allowed to play school sports growing up so I never really became a huge sports fan, although I’m extremely athletic and love anything physical.

What is your biggest pet peeve ?
Ashley: Slow drivers!

I have to ask, are you commando under those jeans in you new photos? 😉
Ashley: 100% and I don’t do that just for photoshoots 😉

Which actor do you wish to work with in the future?
Ashley: I would love the opportunity to work with Matthew McConaughey – he seems like such an interesting cool guy.

On a serious note will u be with the Wicked cast next summer in Denver?
Ashley: Can’t say for sure, but there is a very good chance I will be.

Do you know how long you’ll be with the Wicked tour? I’m hoping you’ll be in when it comes to Florida in March! Can’t wait to see you as Fiyero! 🙂 Do you have a favorite song from the show?
Ashley: Yeah, I love the opening “No one Mourns The Wicked”

What style of music are you most drawn to making?
Ashley: I can’t say that there is one particular style, because I am so open musically. I love traditional styles and I love very experimental stuff as well. My litmus test for good music is does it make me feel something and if it does, I’m on the right track.

What are your biggest turn-ons?
Ashley: Whit, and there is something about a girl working out thats very sexy to me…

Ashley, when you wanted to “throw in a body like Jennifer,” was that in reference to Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Lopez, or some other Jennifer of the 90’s?
Ashley: I believe there were so many Jennifer’s at the time that we meant to keep it ambitious, but we always took it as J-Lo.

In an industry where you may go for stretches without working or go through a half dozen auditions and not get the role sometimes — how have you learned to cope with rejection? Advice for those of us facing times of struggle in other industries?
Ashley: I’ve learned to almost completely ignore rejection. Sometimes it can be valuable if you get important feedback on what you can be doing better or what you can improve upon. But you can’t take the rejection to heart and let it slow you down from what I think is the biggest determining factor in success: total persistence.

Hi Ashley! Christmas is nearby, so what is your favorite all-time song?? And if you got any Christmas shopping done haha 🙂 Much love from Mandy from NY! Xoxo
Ashley: I actually just picked 10 of my favorites on a Spotify Playlist – you can check them out here http://open.spotify.com/user/parkerman1/playlist/3csJVUyE5ykK3OZu5oGUEk

Hey!!! Was a huge fan since Making the Band, definite highlight of my childhood! 🙂 Two questions! What is your favourite place to perform and/or visit? And second question, next time you come to Montreal, can I take you out for coffee?? Thanks!! 🙂
Ashley: The Bahamas 😉

Does your family mostly call you “Ashley” or “Ash”? Which do you prefer?
Ashley: Usually everybody that knows me just ends up calling me Ash

If you weren’t able to stay in entertainment or opted out at some point, is there any “regular” job you find appealing?
Ashley: Well, I’m not exactly sure what you mean by regular, but I don’t like the idea of doing any regular. If I worked outside of entertainment, I’d still probably have to find something really creative and outside of the box in order to be fulfilled 🙂

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