Fan Friday : Ashley Taylor
October 22, 2010 § 1 Comment
One of our first Fan Friday posts was Anthony Taylor. Well guess what boys and girls, Ashley is his beautiful wife! They are a great couple, involved in many things “Fresno.” I love them and so should you. Enough talking on my part…take the mic, Ashley…
My birthday was last week, and when my husband went to get the cake, I said, “Wait wait!! Isn’t anyone going to sing?”
I was met with a tiny sighs from the group, and a couple of nose crinkles. To which I replied, “Just so we’re clear– we literally have some of the best voices in Fresno in this room right now, and I can’t get any of you to sing “Happy Birthday?”
They sang to me. In harmony, and even more miraculously, with everyone in the same key. I love my friends.
I’m a Fresno transplant, so I don’t have that same level of disdain and apathy that comes from having to spend your formative years in a place. I don’t have the gross memories of high school, for instance. The Fresno I know is a place filled with people I love, amazing food, and a ridiculous amount of talent.
I see a live performance at least once a week. I can’t remember the last movie I saw in theaters– I think it was “Inception.” (Super-good movie, by the way). I should be clear– I’m not anti-movie at all. I just know that nothing on a screen can hold a candle to seeing something live in front of you– provided that something live is actually good. Here’s the good news, kids– most of the stuff here really is.
There’s a subculture in Fresno I like to call “my people.” We’re actors, musicians and dancers. We can tell you which cough drops are the best when you’re losing your voice, where to find the best food at 11:30 at night, and the best way to survive when you sleep in shifts. The majority of us have “real-world” careers that we love. But then we take our evenings and work as a team to create something. This week, for instance, I had two nights of 4-hour music rehearsal. Then last night, my friend was kind enough to give me some one-on-one tap dance instruction, because this show is going to feature some tapping and I don’t want to suck. I have a friend I haven’t seen all week because he’s painstakingly constructing a fierce Alexander McQueen-inspired cloak for a show that opens in a week. Some of my friends will have performed two shows this week by the time you read this. And this weekend, I’m trekking up to Oakhurst to see my husband play 10 different characters (some of them women) and make some absolute magic on stage.
I love talking to someone after they see a show– especially if they don’t see shows very often. But I have to be honest, I’m getting a little tired of people saying, “Wow! I didn’t expect it to be that good.” Why didn’t you? Because we’re “just Fresno?” Here’s a secret– the famous people in the movies and on “the Broadway” started out doing exactly this. It’s not like they move to New York and LA and are suddenly flooded with talent just because they moved. They’re here now, and that talent is real.
(Okay, to be fair, not everything live performance in this area is great, but that’s the way art is. A lot of movies are crap. And a lot of professional shows are icky. You run the risk everywhere– the risk is just a lot cheaper here).
I fully expect at least a couple people I know to be famous one day. I actually carry a piece of paper a group of us made one person sign that says, “I <insert name here>, promise that when I become incredibly famous, I will do really cool stuff for my friends, especially <insert name here>. It’s signed, dated and witnessed. And I’m holding her to it.
The Fresno I live in is incredibly talented. Do yourself a favor and experience it for yourself. 🙂
❤ Ashley Taylor
PS That friend making the cloak? I got a text from him as I wrote this– he’s on his way over so I can help him with the beading. This is my life.