We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Hayward and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
As a live performance artist and producer, there’s so much work people don’t know about. Often times when I say I have work to do during the day, people always follow-up with, what work do you have to do? It seems people just assume you show up to the gig, do your thing, and you’re done. What they don’t know is if you don’t work to build the foundation, remind people you exist, you will no longer have gigs to perform at. It’s a constant hustle. 9-5? How about 24/7. This is where work life balance can be a challenge. The freedom of being a business owner also comes with great responsibility. It’s solely up to you to find a structure that works for you. As artists we’d love for someone else to handle the business side, but when you’re responsible for everything, structure is crucial. This includes implementing business hours and tasks. While I may not have a gig till 8pm or so, it’s still important I wake up early, conquer my to-do list, exercise, and take care of my personal health. I really have to work on compartmentalizing, and turning off my performance personality once the gig is over. Working in nightlife is fun, but it’s important for me to remind myself, it’s a job, and I should treat it as such.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I got where I’m at today by perseverance, and staying true to who I am. If there’s not a stage for you, create it. That comes with great challenges. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it. It took me 10 years to be able to do what I do full-time. And as we face COVID-19 and it’s after effects, who knows if I’ll be able to continue performing full-time. This is yet another challenge to the journey of being a full-time artist. We must save our stages. We must support local artists. We must fight for a system that supports the success of the arts. I’ve worked very hard to not work for the man, and I’m certainly not going to stop now. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what’s next for me, or what my career’s going to look like. I feel like the lost 22 year-old who just moved to Hollywood, living out of her car determined to make her dream a reality. It’s a scary, lonely feeling, but 10 years later, I know there’s a way, and thats through perseverance.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I love the under belly of Los Angeles. I love underground parties. The stuff maybe not everyone knows about. We’d of course go to any shows I had that week, and any shows my friends may have. Jumbo’s Clown Room. The Slipper Clutch. A warehouse party in the fashion district. Maybe a rave. Burgandy Room. The Drawing Room. Definitely get some tacos. Hit up the beach. Go for a hike. LA’s entertainment is endless, and really is what makes this city so great!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m going to shoutout Miss Marquez. Miss Marquez is an artist in my show, Night Scene, and she’s the creator of, Empowerment in Heels. Miss Marquez’ work ethic continues to inspire me. I’m always amazed at her artistry, but also her professionalism.

Website: missashleyhayward.com
Instagram: @missashleyhayward

Image Credits
Jennifer McCarthy Summer Allen Shane King