We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashlee Abrams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashlee, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
This is a funny one. In the early 2000’s, everyone I encountered had the same way of greeting me – “WOW you look like Britney Spears!”. What could be seen by many as a great compliment quickly turned to a major irritation for me! After years of this, one night I was chatting with my Mom about wanting to earn some money of my own as I approached high school graduation. “Why don’t you do Britney Spears birthday parties?” my Mom said. My reaction was that of a typical teen – telling my Mom that was the dumbest idea ever. But, it got the wheels in my head turning….what if I used my background in theatre to portray a variety of characters at birthday parties? If I could dress up as Britney Spears and perform for kids, why not Barbie? Alice in Wonderland? A Princess – or many? What began as a half-hearted suggestion from my mother snowballed into Beverly Hills Princess – the business I have run for the entirety of my adult life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Like many tortured artists (LOL!), I often beat myself up for not doing or being enough. “What am I doing with my life?!” I would think to myself for years on end. “I want to be an actor and a singer!!”. Until suddenly, in one happy moment of enlightenment, I realized – I AM an actor and singer. I may not be a household name, I may not (yet) have fame and fortune, but – I AM an actor and singer. That is my job. How I earn a living. How I have always, exclusively, earned a living. And truth be told, I love it! I love performing for children – I love the light in their faces when I arrive at their birthday party, I love watching them sing along every word to their (and my!) favorite movie songs. I love these Princess characters almost as much as they do, and if I allow myself to surrender the assumed pressure of “making it” in a certain way, I can honestly say I love what I do. I am a performer, and I feel blessed to be so.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Luckily for me, all my best friends and family are local to L.A! If I did have the opportunity to show a visitor around, we’d definitely hit the beautiful outdoors like the beach and hiking in Runyon Canyon and Eaton Canyon. We’d do the classic tourist activities like the Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and I’d take them to the lesser-known Lake Hollywood to grab a photo with the iconic sign. And of course the visit wouldn’t be complete without a day trip up to Santa Barbara, and a wine-tasting at Deep Sea Winery on the wharf – one of my favorite spots in the world. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family’s love and support has been the backbone of all my successes – primarily my beloved late Grandma, April Byron-Potts.