Spring Showcase Director #3: Ashley Nicole Black

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Ashley Black comes to us as a recent transplant from Chicago, where she was writing and directing and working with the Second City. She had a subtle, dry humor to her work, coupled with a superpower of saying what everyone else was thinking. She was a perfect match for LaShea Delaney’s script “Bet & Flo,” about two women shooting the shit on life and love from the patio of their retirement home in Florida.

1. What are the top 3 movies/plays that have inspired you?

Whenever anyone asks me what my favorite movie is, I either say “Amelie” or “Birth of a Nation,” depending on how contrary I’m feeling. But my actual favorite move is “Talledega Nights”… that is my deepest, darkest, secret.

2. Did you go to film school? What led you to being a writer/director?

No, I went to school for theatre and performance studies. I always thought I wanted to be an actor, but something was missing until I started doing sketch comedy and getting to write words for myself to act. I had a teacher who said to me, “You are a writer.” Not even, you’re a good writer, just a writer. I started crying. It was like a really important moment in my life. I found out a few years later, after she passed away, that she says that to everyone and everyone cries. Oh, I’m a director too. In sketch comedy, everyone does everything.

3. Why do you personally want to collaborate with other women through One Axe?

I just moved to LA from Chicago. I’ve found that the most creative times in my life have been when I’m in the company of creative women.

4. “Where are you going, where have you been?”

I ask myself this every time I end up opening the refrigerator without being able to remember why. The answer is: pie.

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