It started with a text message…
Ashley and I had been talking about putting on a cabaret for a few months and an innocent text message that I sent to her that read “I guess there’s just something about Ashley” became the catalyst for our show. It was that text that catapulted us into action and the planning began. Ashley and I have been friends since our musical theatre school days, but became really close after running into one another on the subway a few years ago. We have since worked on two shows together and have become one another’s confidantes in life, but especially in our performing careers. We started planning our show extensively while on vacation together this summer. We came back with two very long to-do lists, song ideas and some great story-telling material for the cabaret itself and got moving. We started working with our pianist extensively in September and worked our butts off to get the show together.
There’s a lot of amazing contemporary musical theatre out there that Ash and I were dying to sing. Composers like Kerrigan & Lowdermilk, Scott Alan, Jonathan Reid Gealt, and Kooman & Dimond are making beautiful music and telling amazing stories that need to be told and we were thrilled to have the platform to do just that. It was so fun to put together our set list with songs that showcased our voices and personalities, but also told the story of what it’s like to be an Ashley. This year has provided me with some pretty exciting performance opportunities. I didn’t think I could top the high that I had reached after meeting Sheldon Harnick whilst doing REX in Feburary or the experience of my first Fringe this summer, but putting together our cabaret was absolutely phenomenal. I felt so inspired, every single day, and it absolutely solidified my love for performing and being onstage.
We hit the stage and it was magical. We had a great audience of people from many different parts of our lives who were incredibly appreciative of all that we did. Ash and I had planned some little bits of banter which flowed smoothly (much to the audience’s delight) and our songs and harmonies were totally there. I left the stage at the end of the show on a total high. I was so proud of the work I had put out which was reciprocated by the audience’s reaction. The show was followed by a pretty amazing after party and I had a wonderful night mingling with our friends and supporters while dancing and indulging in the Ashleyx2 drink special. I left the party feeling excited, proud, giddy and most of all INSPIRED. The show reiterated for me that I need to be performing and often. So I’m working to make that happen.
In the meantime here’s a video of me singing “Quiet” by Jonathan Reid Gealt at the show.
It’s funny because I originally chose this song just because I loved it; It sat nicely in my voice, the lyrics were great and it fit right into the show. But once we got into rehearsals, the sentiment of the song started to resonate in various areas of my life and by the time I sang it on Thursday it had taken on a whole new meaning. Amazing.
I’m so thankful to have had such an incredible opportunity to perform so beautiful material with one of my favourite people. The show has left me feeling so inspired to perform and put myself out there and for the first time since musical theatre school, I truly feel ready to do so. Thank you to everyone who came and watched… and if you missed it, I’m sure it won’t be the last! I’m excited to see what opportunities the future brings…