We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashlee Espinosa and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashlee, how do you think about risk?
I honestly feel like everything in my industry is surrounded by risk. As as actor, educator, creator, and coach specializing in musical theatre and online teaching, every part of my life and career involves risk. You audition for a show and risk not being cast. You step onto a stage and risk judgement from audience and critics. You post video content on YouTube as a creator and risk no one watching which means you don’t make any money off that work you’ve spend hours perfecting. You stand up in front of a class as a professor at the college level and risk making mistakes and how it will effect your students. You move your business online and risk no one wanting to work with you through zoom.

With that being said, the results far out weigh the risks. Without taking risks I would have never ended up with the career I have now where I have the opportunity to do many different types of jobs, work with people from all over the world and live a life that truly make me happy.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being a musical theatre actor, educator and coach is not an easy career path. I know most people think how amazing it must be to perform onstage and how much fun you have and that is true but the other end of it is the constant need to audition. Most of our life we spend auditioning and applying for that next job. It’s never constant or secure work. I spent two years working on cruise ships as a performer and that was the most comforting job because I knew I had a paycheck every month for those two years. When I opened my online studio a year ago for classes and coachings, I did it out of need to supplement that money that I was not making from performing and teaching at the college level. What sets me apart from other artists in my industry is my ability to quickly pivot and find creative ways of making money. The past year I somehow became a YouTuber and monetized my video content creating passive income. I started selling online classes and coaching sessions. I was working with educators all over the world helping them learn online teaching methods and how to use Canvas LMS to quickly transition to online teaching. My goal has always been to help artists and educators discover their potential and overcome obstacles that stand in their way of achieving goals and dreams.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love Sunday brunch! One of my favorite places is Eat Chow in Newport Beach. Their food is amazing, fresh, locally sourced, and everyone is always so nice. Then you can head over the street to the beach for a walk and enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and relaxing views.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have had many mentors in my life that have helped me get to where I am today, but the one person that always supported me through all the ups and downs is my dad, Rick Wood. I grew up on a farm in Oklahoma in a very rural area where most women were expected to get married, get a house and have a family. My dad was the person who taught me to make my own way in life and to always be able to support myself never relying on anyone. He was the one that pushed me to go to college and choose the major I loved which was always theatre and music. He supported me when I moved to New York City even though that world was far from anything he knew or understood. He would send me money when I was auditioning and couldn’t afford anything other than a slice of pizza once a day. “Go have a steak dinner on me after you audition today to celebrate life,” he would say. Not one time did he ever put down my choice to be a musical theatre performer. He was thrilled when I gradated from grad school and became a college professor. To have a constant support system from him has always made me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to do and that dreams can be accomplished if you just work at it every single day.

Website: www.AshleeEspinosa.com

Instagram: ashleelynnespinosa

Linkedin: Ashlee Espinosa

Twitter: ashleeLespinosa

Facebook: AshleeEspinosaArtist

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/AshleeEspinosa

Image Credits
Molly Pan, Ken Jacques, Ed Krieger, Crystal Edwards

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.