PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Broadway Rock of Ages Star Ashley Spencer

By Matthew Blank
August 21, 2012

Ashley Spencer, currently starring as Sherrie in Rock of Ages at the Helen Hayes Theatre, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.



She has previously appeared on Broadway in Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Diva), Grease (Sandy) and Hairspray (Amber). Other theatre work includes The Producers, Curtains and Les Misérables.

Spencer was a finalist on the NBC talent competition series "Grease: You're the One That I Want!" She is engaged to actor Jeremy Jordan of Newsies.





Full given name: Ashley Marie Spencer
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born and raised in Canton, Ohio
Zodiac Sign:Pisces
What your parents did/do for a living:They are both happily retired.
Siblings:I have 2 older sisters and a brother.
Current audition song/monologue: "Wonderful Guy” from South Pacific
Special skills: Voice impressions, crossing one eye at a time
Something you're REALLY bad at: Not gorging on sweets. I eat chocolate almost every day. It's bad.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Chicago
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? Show Boat! It was the first movie musical my mom introduced me to when I was little, and I have never seen it performed live.
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Newsies : )
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: “The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing” from White Christmas and “Make Believe” from Show Boat
Some favorite modern musicals: Bonnie and Clyde, Hairspray, Children of Eden, Les Miserables
Some favorite classic musicals: West Side Story, Show Boat, Carousel
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen and Gene Kelly
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Billie Holiday and Whitney Houston
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Seeing Hairspray for the first time. I remember getting goosebumps watching the show and saying, "I'm going to be in this show some day!" :-)
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Anytime I hear [my fiancé] Jeremy [Jordan] sing... or listening to old-school jazz and torch songs and soulful R&B
MAC or PC? MAC
Most played song on your iPod: “Either Soldier” or “Sweeter,” both by Gavin DeGraw
Most-visited websites: Playbill.com! :-)

And Pinterest

Favorite Tweeters: I'm not on Twitter. Guess I need to get with the program...
Last book you read: "The Help"
Must-see TV show(s): "Parenthood," "Game of Thrones," "The Walking Dead," "The Killing," "Mad Men." I watch almost everything on AMC.
Last good movie you saw: "The Artist"
Some films you consider classics: "Gone With the Wind," "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "Goonies," "White Christmas," "It's a Wonderful Life"... to name a few.
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Jeremy Jordan
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Reality TV
Favorite cities: NYC, Sarasota, Charleston
Favorite sport/team/player: Ohio State Football!!
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Color Me Badd on cassette tape I think
First stage kiss: My Japheth in Children of Eden, Patrick Clement, at the Canton Players Guild
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Playing Sally in The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was my 8th grade Christmas show at school.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: When I was as young as 4 years old, watching old movie musicals with my mom. She says singing and dancing is all I have ever wanted to do for as long as she can remember. I can't imagine doing anything else, and I feel so lucky getting to do what I love for a living!!
How you got your Equity card: Hairspray on Broadway
Five Greatest Rock Bands of All Time (excluding the bands represented in Rock of Ages): The Beatles
Sly and the Family Stone
Queen
Heart
The Eagles
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: Spaghetti bolognese at Tre Colori
Favorite liquid refreshment: Dr. Pepper... and perhaps mixed with a little Captain Morgan
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: I have some vocal warm-ups on my iPod from my voice teacher Matt Farnsworth that I do before the show. And I stretch out my limbs backstage before the show starts.
Most vocally challenging role you have ever played: Sherrie in Rock of Ages. It's definitely the most I have ever sung in a show.
Biggest challenge about this current project: Making sure I stay true to the character and play the simplicity. It's easy to go over the top.
Favorite part of the show for Sherrie: This is so hard because I have a lot of favorite moments. I really love the first scene where you see Sherrie following her dreams to be an actress in L.A. It reminds me a lot of myself coming to New York for the first time and wanting to be on Broadway and how exciting it all is!

I also love "I Hate Myself for Loving You." Its a big turning point for Sherrie and an awesome girl power moment! Also one of my favorite songs to sing in the show.

Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: When I was playing Sandy in Grease, I was onstage by myself singing and completely blanked on the lyrics in the middle of the song. It lasted 2 seconds, but felt like a lifetime.

I just remember looking into the monitors out in the house and seeing my amazing music director Henry Aronson mouthing the words to me.

Worst job you ever had: Working at Arby’s when I was 15 years old on summer break.
If you could trade roles/tracks with anyone in the show for a week, who would it be? I would trade with Miss Josephine Roberts. She is our uber talented and very funny Regina! I think it would be a blast to play that role!
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: I have always wanted to be a Disney princess and would love to play Belle in Beauty and the Beast.
Something about you that surprises people: How insanely goofy I am
Something you are incredibly proud of: My fiancé Jeremy Jordan :-)
Career you would want if not a performer: I have never even thought of doing anything else.
Three things you can't live without: Aside from the most important being my loving and supportive fiancé, family and friendds...

I would have to say ice cream, being a performer, and pictures of loved ones. I have a picture of my grandma and I on my first birthday and it has been to every dressing room of every show I've been in, so I always have her with me. I'm crying just thinking about it.

Words of advice for aspiring performers: Don't let anyone tell you that you're not good enough. Follow your heart and pursue your dreams because anything is possible.