August 25, 2019 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Ashley Riley: Believe or Explode!

 

by Guy Camilleri

As an acting teacher, it’s a joy when someone comes through the door with a need to express himself or herself, whether they are a beginner or a seasoned actor. Last year, Ashley Riley reached out to me regarding my acting studio at the Electric Lodge, right here in Venice. We connected immediately as her vulnerability, talent, intelligence, empathy, humor, and compassion were evident in an exercise I assigned her. I was excited to be of service on her newfound journey as an actor/artist.

Camilleri coaching Ashley Riley at his studio at the Electric Lodge.

And today, I’m equally excited, as Ashley is a fantastic role model for actors and artists with her discipline and ability to revel in the joy of living a life that is not defined by acting, but instead, a life she is defining for herself.

In the studio, I ask specific questions based on the needs of each actor, rather than directing or telling someone what they need to do to be successful or how to get the scene ‘right’. In this way, actors are given the possibility of thinking for themselves and ultimately making decisions on their own and carving out the imagined life as opposed to a “should-filled” life.

“Acting is doing, and the doing requires practice.”

However, that’s not to say I won’t nudge or challenge an actor to push through their comfort zone. Ashley knows that being an actor requires becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. Not to mention how liberating and profoundly gratifying it is when you commit to exploring the human condition, warts and all.

Guy Camilleri and his acting student, Ashley Riley at GTA in Venice.

Recently, Ashley and I sat down at GTA on Abbott Kinney to chat:

Guy: Ashley, do you need to be an actor, or do you want to be an actor?

Ashley: I need to be an artist and want acting to be my medium of expression.

Guy: What does acting provide for you?

Ashley: Acting provides me with an outlet for self-discovery. Through the characters I play, I get to know myself better. It also provides me with a freedom to do something that I wouldn’t usually do in my life.

Guy: At present, who are you in the world?

Ashley: I’m a kid in an adult body learning to navigate through whatever comes my way. This year has challenged me to consider how I’m showing up and I can say that so far I’m a compassionate truth seeker who leads an art-filled life drinking good coffee, acting, skating, dancing, and listening to rock and roll. Oh, that and living by Patti Smith’s quote; Believe or Explode, which I have tattooed on my wrist.

Guy: Nice… when I grow up, I want to do that too, not get a tattoo, but the other things you listed. But, don’t get me wrong; I dig Patti Smith’s music, plays, and books. Okay, what do you have to give as an actor and what do you want back from acting?

Ashley: Umm, I want to permit people to be vulnerable and fully expressed. When you see others being vulnerable, it gives you a sense of “Oh, I’m not alone in this, I can be vulnerable too.” It’s like going to a wedding where nobody has started dancing yet, but it only takes one person, and soon everyone is out there on his or her feet. What I would like back from acting is the opportunity to visit places I’ve never been, literally and figuratively.

Guy: What is it about Venice that you like most?

Ashley: The incredibly beautiful community of artists, freethinkers, healers, and funky bohemians. Venice feels like home to me; these are my people.

Guy: What do you like least about Venice?

Ashley: The cost of living.

Guy: It sucks! On that note, what have you done for your art lately?

Ashley: Yesterday, I went to the library and checked out a stack of plays to read and today I danced my butt off at 5Rhythms Dance in Santa Monica.

Guy: I’ll save that for when I really grow up. In the meantime, I’ll keep surfing and reading plays. What is your definition of intimacy?

Ashley:  When two people have an authentic connection without judgment.

Guy: You got that from an acting class! Okay, then what role does authenticity play in your life?

Ashley: Authenticity to me is the truth, and truth to me, is everything.

Guy: Boom! Thanks, Ashley and I’ll see you Wednesday.

Guy Camilleri is a Venice-based actor, acting coach, and poet. He teaches regular classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the Electric Lodge, in Venice. His private coaching specializes in creating characters for film, television and stage, audition preparation, self-taped auditions, original reels and career consultation. To audit, enroll in a class or book a coaching session, go to www.guycamilleri.com. Follow Guy on Instagram @guycamilleri and Facebook.

Related Posts

Edify TV: Coral Trees and Gophers

August 21, 2019

August 21, 2019

Brentwood’s coral trees are in trouble and gophers may be to blame. Learn more about the uncertain future of these...

GoTopless Day Returns to Venice this Weekend

August 20, 2019

August 20, 2019 1

Movement that raises awareness about gender inequality comes to Venice Beach Sunday By Keldine Hull GoTopless Day, a movement that...

Largest Recycling Buyback Center in California Shuts Down

August 20, 2019

August 20, 2019

rePlanet shuts down all California locations  By Keldine Hull  On August 5, California’s largest recycling collection network, rePlanet, has closed...

Man Shot by Police in Venice, Developer Fined for Bulldozing Playa del Rey Dunes: Yo! Venice This Week August 19

August 19, 2019

August 19, 2019

Yo! Venice This Week August 19 • Man shot by police in Venice• Developer fined for bulldozing Playa del Rey sand...

Man Who Approached Armored Truck in Santa Monica Shot

August 16, 2019

August 16, 2019

Man who approached armored truck shot, in custody By Sam Catanzaro A security guard opened fire at a knife-wielding suspect...

Guy Camilleri: A Surfer in New York!

August 16, 2019

August 16, 2019

By Guy Camilleri As an actor, I can’t help but feel strongly about what actors go through to be seen...

Man Shot by Police in Venice Wednesday

August 15, 2019

August 15, 2019

Man suffers non-life-threatening injuries after police open fire By Sam Catanzaro A man was shot by Los Angeles Police Department...

E-Scooters Not as Green as They Seem?

August 14, 2019

August 14, 2019

Recent study complicates understanding of e-scooters’ environmental impact. By Kai McNamee After taking Santa Monica and Los Angeles by storm,...

Coastal Commission Issues Cease and Desist to Developer who Bulldozed Playa Dunes

August 13, 2019

August 13, 2019

Ecologically–sensitive dunes graded by Legado Companies By Sam Catanzaro The California Coastal Commission (CCC) is taking swift and forceful action after...

Bonin Demands Legal Action After Developer Bulldozes Playa Sand Dunes

August 13, 2019

August 13, 2019

Ecologically–sensitive dunes graded by Legado Companies By Sam Catanzaro After a developer bulldozed ecologically sensitive sand dunes in Playa Del...

LA County Adopts One of Nation’s Most Ambitious Sustainability Plans

August 12, 2019

August 12, 2019 1

By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last week unanimously adopted the OurCounty Sustainability Plan, one of...

E-scooters Not as Green as They Seem? Planter Boxes Spark Venice Debate: Yo! Venice This Week August 12

August 12, 2019

August 12, 2019

Yo! Venice This Week August 12 • E-scooters not as green as they seem • Planter boxes spark Venice debateShow made possible...

The Link Between Hearing Loss and Dementia

August 11, 2019

August 11, 2019

Dr. Melissa Alexander helping patients minimize effects of hearing loss   By Keldine Hull  The ability to hear can have a...

Low Vaccination Rates at Westside Kindergartens

August 1, 2019

August 1, 2019

Less than half of students vaccinated at one local school By Sam Catanzaro  California law requires all children to receive...

Out and About: Kenneth Hahn Trail

August 1, 2019

August 1, 2019

In the latest Out and About with Alice Ford, take a hike at the Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area, a natural...