“Ashlie Rhey goes from pin-up to stand-up.”

By Jason Tanamor

You may recognize Ashlie Rhey from films such as “Bikini Drive in,” “Bikini Ho Down,” “Bikini Academy,” “Witchcraft 7,” or “Playboy's Rising Stars and Starlets.” But then again, you may not. So, here’s your chance to learn about one of the rising starlets in entertainment.



Q - You have a very interesting background. Most people know you from your work with Playboy (PB). How did you get involved with PB?

A - I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard naked one day and this photographer spotted me. Okay, seriously, my agent sent me to a casting for the print publications and they hired me. After that I had a manager that sent me to the auditions for the film productions. (Gee, that's not nearly as much fun as my made up response.)

Q - Was it something you were hesitant at all being that PB is known for being a men’s mag?

A - Yes, I had to make a hard decision knowing it would possibly constrain my opportunities with some of the Proctor and Gamble backed companies (i.e. commercial products) and network TV shows. It was also a just a gig that paid the bills. These days it doesn't seem to be as much of an issue, ya know, everyone in Hollywood is running around without their panties on hoping the paparazzi will get a shot of their stuff and sell it to People magazine. If they get tired of waiting out that game they “accidentally” post a video of themselves having sex on the Internet. Being in Playboy Publications nowadays is like Hollywood kindergarten.

Q - So obviously you don’t have a problem being nude in front of strangers?

A - The first time I shot for Playboy was really nerve racking, the second time less so, etc.

Q - The movies you are in fall into the B-movie industry. How is it being in this business?

A - Lower pay, no residuals most of the time and no fancy premiers. One big difference is when you are shooting low budget projects you don’t have those terribly stressed out people running the shoot that you get on some big projects. Those stressed out producers really want to get it done at or under budget when each extra shoot day can cost more than 100k. LOL, 100k is the TOTAL budget for some of the low budget films. Do the math!

Q - Do you think actors/actresses get the same respect than their counterparts in major theatrical releases?

A - All of the people I have worked with have been really wonderful if that's what you mean. As far as “Hollywood Business” respect it's irrelevant because those people don't even know who I am. But they'll all be calling me to do lunch when I get my panty-less paparazzi photo on the cover of People magazine.

Q - How true are the stories about getting parts in movies that involve sleeping with someone on the crew?

A - From the stories I've heard it happens, but it's usually family. Like Ron Howard having his brother (Clint Howard) appear in many of his films, Hollywood is no different than any other society that practices gay incest favors to get things. LOL.

Q - How did you make the transition from actress to stand-up comedy?

A - A psychic told me my guardian angels said this is what I'm supposed to do and it will lead to more opportunities. That was NOT what I wanted to hear, (more opportunities YES, stand-up NO) so I told my angels that they had to do something to “make it happen” for me if this is what I really need to do. Well, what do you know, the details are too long winded to go into here, but it did happen “on its own” through a series of “coincidences.” I was formally asked to do a half-hour stand-up appearance out of the blue and I had only been to two open mikes. Those two open mike appearances were a half-baked attempt I made three years ago when that psychic told me to do stand-up. So the joke is on me because I really did not want to do stand-up, my angels made me do it.



Q - Have you ever considered doing stand-up nude?

A - Hee hee. Well I am sure there is a market for it. I know Danni's hard drive had a series where their models told jokes in the nude. I think it dilutes it though. Did you see “Good Luck Chuck” - plenty of nudity/sex and really funny, nudity and comedy only works in certain media/venues as far as I know.

Q - You could have a standing ovation ALL the time. Or a salute. How cool would that be?

A - Hee hee. LOL. A schwing salute!

Q - Tell me about “Daisy Power.” How did it come about?

A - That also started with that psychic reading. After I tried those two open mikes I thought, well maybe she actually meant comedy in general and comedy performance has always been my first love in entertainment. So I started working with a comedy group here shooting some sketch comedy videos for the Internet, and when that group fell apart I decided to do my own videos for the Internet and now we have “Daisy Power.”

Q - Who else is a part of “Daisy Power?”

A - The cast thus far includes the amazing talents of Mary Love, Anjanette Clewis, Stephen Brodie, Shad Marshall and Keni LaTronico. My creative and production teams consist of “me.” I have my real life wonderful husband, James Romanoski (who puts up with my angel stuff) and my friends Perry Johnson and Dave Bryant run camera for the shoots (whomever is available). I do the editing.

Q - You do the writing, acting and producing of the webisodes. Are these based off your stand-up bits?

A - Both “Daisy Power” and my stand-up material are based on my life. There is similar material (guardian angels of course) but the venues are so different that each lives in its very own world. It's the same difference between watching “Everybody Loves Raymond” and seeing Ray Romano do live stand-up.

Q - How much of Ashlie in “Daisy Power” is like Ashlie the person?

A - Ashlie in “Daisy Power” is my inner 5-year-old. She's not very good at being a grown up but a lot more fun than my everyday business self. I like my inner 5-year-old more than the business part of myself but I have to keep both of them around to stay happy AND function in this world.

Q - How is acting in a movie different than being in front of an audience?

A - Live audience = Stage fright! A free ride that feels like bad drugs.

Q - If you had to pick one, what would you rather be doing, stand-up or acting?

A - I am too new to the stand-up work to make a call on that, although I do use many of my acting skills in stand-up so it is a bit similar.

Q - Any words of advice for those pondering a career in entertainment?

A - I heard this from somewhere else and this is a paraphrase: If you have to ask, “Should I be an actor?” then the answer is no. Rational people that weigh the pros and cons of the life of an actor would never choose to become an actor. You have to “know” you want it no matter how difficult things get or how long it takes to have success.

Q - Anything you wanted to add?

A - Watch “Daisy Power” at: http://www.daisypower.com. Subscribe to the series at our You Tube channel and add us as a friend at MySpace, the links are on our website.



BYLINE:

Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous."

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