Photos © 2014 by: Dennis M. Kelly
Actress / Singer/Songwriter / Producer / Motivational Speaker
Though Ashleigh’s career began at age five in the theatre, music has always been her true love. She received her first guitar on her tenth birthday, and wrote her first song then and there. By thirteen, she was opening for various bands in Chicago area venues, and within a year was being featured as a solo performer in her own shows. Today, she is 18 and has over 125 original songs written to date.
Ashleigh’s first big break came in the summer of 2009, when she travelled to New York to record three original songs, produced by Grammy Award winning producer Barry Goldstein. Following that, she went on to Castle Nine Studios in Rochester, New York to record her song “Break In Two”, co-written and produced by Richard Fink IV and Johnny Cummings. At a casting session late last year in Chicago, she was introduced to MashPlant.com founder and Executive Producer Jason Brett, who invited Ashleigh to become MashPlant.com’s first Rising Star.
Ashleigh balances schoolwork with a rigorous performing schedule at musical venues throughout the Midwest. She’s received numerous regional talent awards, has performed at the Nashville Palace and has appeared as a host on the television show, Nashville Spotlight. In 2011, Ashleigh danced and sang in a national TMOBILE Commercial, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Reyon, director of GLEE called HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. She also was on the Chicago Acoustic Underground’s Radio show in 2011. Additionally, she is a mentor with the renowned Piven Theater Workshop children’s program, where she has studied acting since the age of nine. In 2011, Ashleigh was a featured player in the PBS program “Fear No Art Chicago” with Piven Theatre. She also attends Second City’s Training Center. Ashleigh is also a motivational speaker for teens. She has given her own presentations at University of Wisconsin and at various high schools to encourage teens to follow their dreams and to share with them tools to overcome the effects of bullying. With six siblings pursuing their own interests in the creative arts, Ashleigh hopes to inspire other young artists to FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS!
Addendum: In March 2012, Ashleigh won first place in the F.A.M.E. event held at Billy Dec’s Rockit Bar and Grill, which awarded her some recording money to work at Gravity Studios in Chicago. This event was held to help aspiring artists without the means to further their careers, an opportunity in their chosen field. She was blessed with the opportunity to work with Jameel Harris. Unfortunately, Jameel was killed on April 22nd when he was hit by a drunk driver on his way home from the studio. He leaves behind a wife and 3 young children. Ashleigh is committed to finishing the work that she and Jameel worked so closely on. Ashleigh is currently raising funds to complete the project and will donate a portion to Jameel’s family. If you are able to help, or you know someone who can help, please email or Facebook Ashleigh Ashton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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