Ashley Austin Morris is a rising actress! She's a comedic genious and has had many opportunities to demonstrate her talent! Her career began by starring in Charles Busch's Off-Broadway hit "Die Mommie Die" playing "Edith Sussman." Ashley has since gone on to perform in numerous other Off-Broadway shows such as "Paper Dolls," "Bees," "Lysistrata Now," "In The Daylight," and most recently "Love, Loss, and What I Wore." On television, Ashley has been seen in "The Good Wife," "Ugly Betty," "Gravity," "I Just Want My Pants Back," and daily on the 5-time Emmy Winning TV show "The Electric Company" as "Francine Caruthers." Her upcoming films include "Art Machine," "Generation Um," and the action movie "Premium Rush" starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Ashley can currently be seen in the hilarious Off-Broadway hit "Reading Under The Influence" co-starring fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant Barbara Walsh along with Joanna Bayless, Summer Crockett Moore, Maria-Christina Oliveras, and Jeremy Webb through May 15 at DR2 Theatre in Union Square NYC (103 East 15th Street). Click here for tickets! For more on Ashley be sure to follow her on Twitter!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I knew when I was 4 years old that I wanted to be an actor. I grew up on only old movies and TV shows (because my mom is amazing like that) and when Judy Garland went to OZ and the world become Technicolor it blew my mind! I wanted to sing and dance with a lion and scarecrow...oh sure! Who wouldn't! Now I spare people my singing but I do a pratt fall every chance I get! My brother Andrew also played a big part...he was always in drama and I would sometimes play the small roles in his plays. He really taught me discipline in my craft.
2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to work with amazing people such as Charles Busch, Vicki Clark, every member of my current show Reading Under The Influence...the list goes on and I thank God for that everyday, but I want desperately to work with Betty White. She has logged the most hours on TV of any person and I think she is a genius! In fact I studied her character Rose from the Golden Girls for inspiration for my role in Reading Under The Influence. I just think it would be amazing to learn from such a great comedian!
3. What attracted you to "Reading Under The Influence"? I was attracted to Reading Under The Influence for many reasons. I have worked with Tony Glazer and Summer Crocket Moore before and I really love and respect them. I think they are so talented. Wendy C. Goldberg is beyond a wonderful director and I was dying to work with her...and It just seemed like so much fun! I'm such a huge physical comedy lover and the role I play lends it self to that so I really wanted the chance to do it. I thought we could bring a lot of joy to people and that's all any of this is about for me. I just want to give people a few good laughs, I thought this play was a perfect chance to laugh and love and work with a cast and creative team that inspire me.
4. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I have ever received is to be thankful no matter what. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for and the sooner one can find the joy in a situation the sooner it goes from a tragedy to a comedy.
5. Favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? My favorite place to rehearse or practice on my own...um that's hard, it was the Barns and Noble at Lincoln Center but they closed it down so now I don't know? I’ll have to figure that out. I do like to sit in the house (audience) by myself before the show...sit where the audience is going to be, breathe that area in, pray they laugh and enjoy themselves...haaa! Don't I sound like I hang dream catchers and carry colored stones?...I don't!
6. Favorite way to stay in shape? My favorite way to stay in shape is to walk around New York City...I wish I did yoga, or pilates or I don't know ANYTHING but I really only enjoy walking. I try to walk everywhere I go.
7. Favorite skin care product? Skincare...I love Bliss toner and brightener, and this ridiculous retinal stuff I found for 5 bucks at TJ Max and it’s randomly fantastic! All though I find anti-wrinkle creams to be like therapy...they help just enough to get you hooked... but if it really FIXED the problem... the industry would be out of business.
8. Favorite way to spend your day off? Fav way to spend a day off? I stay up all night the night before so I sleep as late as I want. I'm an insomniac so forced "bedtimes" are torture, so when I don't have to perform the next day I stay up as late as I want. I see friends, talk on the phone to my friends that live elsewhere, or I try to see my niece and nephew.
9. Favorite website? Youtube/ Judy Garland! No question!
10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman! Have you seen her bangles and gold cuffs!
11. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I have very few talents but I can do a great pratt fall...a skill that is completely useless and never a good idea to mention while auditioning for a very dramatic herpes medication commercial...trust me on this one.
12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? If I could dream about anyone who would it be? I don't know? Is there a way to answer this without sounding creepy? I think I would dream about God and be like "yo God what's going to happen tomorrow? Will I be successful? what's up with the weather? Come on just tell me" and then when I had all my answers I'd wake up and be the kind of person that leaves the house with an umbrella. If it had to be a person it would probably be some old dead movie star like Judy Garland or Bette Davis. I'd also want to hang with Gilda Radner and just run into walls.