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.



October 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s ART HOP TONIGHT DOWNTOWN!!! Come and support local artists and check out their work with some of your friends!!  It’s super fun.  Never heard of Art Hop?? Read more about what it’s all about HERE.
Help support a more thriving Art Community in Fresno, and BUY LOCAL ART!

Ok, I know this is totally a shameless plug, because my husband, Chance James, runs a photography/art business.  But come to our studio tonight BECAUSE we will be featuring a new artist!  So please come and check out our friend, Kyle’s most recent paintings.

Our studio/gallery/office-ish place is located downtown in the heart of the mural district.  For those of you familiar with Art Hop, we are located in front of Broadway studios at 1416 Ste. B Broadway.
Hope to see you there!
❤ Dominique

Tower Tuesday : Lend Me A Kitty

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Remember when I told you about the Fresno S.P.C.A. Benefit?? Remember?? Well I went. And it was wonderful.

The play was called “Lend Me A Tenor” and because the S.P.C.A. was pairing up with the play for the evening, I thought it was appropriate to title this post, “Lend Me A Kitty.” HA!! So funny…

…anyone?? anyone??

whoa. tough crowd.

Well, this post isn’t to make you think I’m funny, or otherwise. It’s to tell you about the event, so maybe next time you’ll attend.

First of all, I love plays. I love the arts, and I LOOOVE animals.

whoops…how’d that get in there?? 😉

Anyway, what was I saying??…

Oh yes, yes, plays and animals.

“Lend Me A Tenor” was brilliant. I’ve never seen this play before, so I can’t really compare it to other performances, but the actors in the play could seriously have been on Broadway. They were ALL excellent. The lines were delivered with gusto and confidence, they really took on the characters and brought such an energy to the stage. Seriously Fresno, I know I say this a lot, but you have some really GREAT and BIG talent hanging out in your town. No joke. If you’d like to see “Lend Me A Tenor” it’s playing through October 10th. You can check out more details and info on the Good Company Players website HERE.

The main reason I decided to attend this event was because I wanted to learn about more ways I could support the S.P.C.A. That place is doing it’s best to help animals and we NEED I repeat NEED more community involvement. They need more volunteers and let’s be real, more money. If they had more space and better resources they wouldn’t have to euthanize so many animals. The numbers of cats and dogs put to sleep in Fresno is disgusting. Seriously GROSS. They have trashcans full of euthanized animals. I know that’s harsh, but it’s true and we can’t turn our heads anymore. Something needs to be done. Please donate to the CCSPCA anyway you can, whether it’s your time or your money. We can help.

❤ Dominique

Good Company Players & SPCA

October 1, 2010 § 1 Comment

I LOVE animals. I mean love love love love LOVE. I’m a bit obsessed. And I also LOVE plays. When I heard I could support a local art as well as help out a good cause, I was hooked and wanted to hear more.

This Saturday Good Company Players and 2nd Space Theatre Presents LEND ME A TENOR. All the proceeds, yes, 100% of the proceeds benefit our very own SPCA. And believe me, they need the help. So if you’re in the market for something fun to do this weekend I highly recommend you attend this play. Wine, snacks and dessert will also be served.

Click on the Play Bill link below for more detailed info…


❤ Dominique

Fall Fling vs. A Taste of Riverpark

September 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Well Kiddies, I am literally on my way out the door to hop on a plane and head to a conference for my day job. Before I left we HAD to talk about all the craziness happening today. I’m going to break down for you where you should be at tonight. If you’ve ever complained about not having something to do on a Saturday night Sweet Lady Fresno has answered back.

FALL FLING: You should probably go if
-You are a College Student over the age of 21
-Your friends are in the modeling show
-You love Angel Taylor and Ryan Star cause they will be performing
-You hang out at The Standard
-You listen to Y101

Basically this is going to be a younger vibe. By younger I mean it how my parents do like 21-39. If you’re over that you can go, but you will probably be that creepy guy with the beer everyone calls “Uncle” something. Truthfully, if you’re over 35 you are probably in creeper territory, but I’m giving you some wiggle room.

I’m sure this will be an amazing event. Anything hosted by our girl Y101’s Nicole Giordano is always going to be a good time and a portion of the proceeds are going to RCS of Fresno. Very classy, seriously, great organization.
Taste of Riverpark: You should go if

-You want to hear my boyfriend (he does have a name by the way, Andrew Belleci)’s smooth vocals and Scottie Larios’ swift beats. (If I were in town, this would be reason enough for me)

-Your kids are in the kid’s fashion show

-You love wine from Engleman Cellars

-You want to help Saint Agnes Hospital

Here’s where I have my own theory. Ok, so Springtini/Falltini used to be a huge event for business type folks in Fresno. This is circa like 6 years ago. Now it has blown up into a huge festival and the demographic has definitely changed. I remember friends of mine going and it was like your business bought a table for it. Since it’s evolution, I think the business types are looking for a little more tame version. I think this is where Taste of Riverpark was born. If you’re over the age of 40 and you want a place to hang out with your friends without bumping into somebodies kids or someone you used to babysit, this is for sure the place for you.

The rule of thumb for me is match your age up with the price of the tickets. FallFling is $20 and Taste of Riverpark is $40. Also, the fashion show at Taste of Riverpark has Macy’s, Chicos, Old Navy and some others. FallFling’s is The Laundry Room and I’m guessing Stella and Khloe since they’re sponsors. A little hint at who they are trying to target.

Either way, get out and enjoy the festivities. Tickets for Taste of Riverpark can be purchased at the door. You can purchase your tix for FallFling online here.

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