A Moment With Ashley Werhun
Featured Image: Ashley Werhun Photo Credit: Martin Reisch
TheatreArtLife was created by the live entertainment and theatre industry for the industry. Our contributors are industry professionals working about the globe on shows and productions. In our “A Moment With” series, we give the opportunity to our contributors to tell their story and share their personal journey working in the entertainment industry.
Ashley Werhun. Photo Credit: Bobby Leon
How did you get started in your career?
I started my professional dance career as a guest artist with Ballet British Columbia. After four months of auditioning without success, they called me on Thursday and said, “Can you be here on Monday?”.
They had seen an audition tape that I had sent months prior. This taught me that all planted seeds are valuable, even if they don’t come to fruition right away.
What is the best role/job/gig have you done and why?
My current role as CEO of Mentorly. It allows me to use all of my knowledge of the dance and broader creative fields to help make changes that are desperately needed.
Ashley Werhun and Katherine Macnaughton, Co-Founders of Mentorly. Photo credit: Martin Reisch
What was the worst task you were given when you were starting out?
The worst turned out to be the best. When I was starting out in my career as a professional dancer I understudied A LOT. I mean every single role. If there were six women positions in a ballet, I knew all of them. At the time it felt like my brain was always overloaded, and I felt frustrated, but eventually it led me to my big breaks. Stepping in for women who got injured was how I got my first casting and eventually became a trusted dancer in the Trey McIntyre Project.
Photo Credit: Trey McIntyre
A very different type of “worst” was rolling out marley every morning to help subsidize the costs for dance school in San Francisco. It was tough on the arms, but was one of the ways I was able to bring my tuition down.
What do you think is your best skill?
Empathy and acting quickly.
What do other people think is your best skill?
Ability to connect with people.
What advice would you give your 18-year old self?
What you think is “success” will keep changing in your career. If you use the same measuring stick, you’ll always fall short because that isn’t your reality anymore.
What is your job now?
CEO of Mentorly.co
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