The Voices of Musician and Artist Ashleigh Ball
Ashleigh Ball is a singer, songwriter, musician and voice actor. She’s the frontwoman for indie pop band Hey Ocean!, she recently put out her own solo album, and she has a completely different career working on animated series like “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”.
From an early age, Ashleigh loved to perform, and her first gig was singing in a chorus for the Vancouver Opera. “There’s something about the energy of a crowd and feeling that. I think I like really caught that bug at a young age.” After graduating from high school, she went to the Canadian College of Performing Arts, where she studied musical theater, acting, contemporary dance, modern dance, tap, ballet, jazz, musical theater and singing. After leaving the school, she started working as an actor with a traveling theatre troupe and then started auditioning as an actor for TV and film.
“I was trying to focus on film and TV, and it was really frustrating. It was just not my scene and I wasn’t very passionate about it, either…. Going to those auditions over and over and over again really, it just kind of drained me. I just kind of needed to not be in that position anymore, so I just turned my focus to voice acting and really started going out for more voice auditions.”
Ashleigh’s performance background, energy, creativity and sense of play was well received in this genre of the industry and she started to book more and more voice acting jobs on animated series. “Everyone has little quirky voices that they can do, but to be really good at it, I think it takes a number of different things that have to fall into line. Being able to take direction is huge. You also need to be able to play, to be able to go places and not be afraid to be a total idiot, too. I feel like I’ve just been super fortunate to find my flow in this industry and be able to work as much as I have been, and I think the same goes for music.”
Ashleigh was also able to use her voice to create a career in music. “Around that same time when I was failing miserably at being an actor in Vancouver, I really started honing in on the songwriting, and just kind of forming this band, Hey Ocean! with two of my best friends. We really started loving the process, we recorded our first album, and it was really exciting trying to be a songwriter, and kind of seeing what that felt like. Songwriting is just such a great way to release feelings. I love that as a performer and a musician on a stage you can just sink into yourself and not have to try and be anything you’re not, and just sing your truth.”
Ashleigh lends advice to those seeking an artistic career: “It’s just about keeping your head above the clouds and knowing that there is something out there for you. It’s kind of like taking the good with the bad and being able to use it… taking those moments of rejection and funneling them into something good. I feel like there’s clues everywhere. You just have to find them and know they’ll come together as something in the future. You have to just always try to keep funneling that creativity and using it. It will pay off in the future.”
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