Ashley Overton Is on a Roll

January 2, 2019

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Richard Goodwin

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Usu­al­ly I don’t sit in the front row at com­e­dy shows, pri­mar­i­ly because I have a decent amount of stage fright, and am cer­tain the per­former will see the fear in my eyes and dress me down. I don’t blame them, I would too, I’m easy material.

With Ash­ley Over­ton, it’s a whole dif­fer­ent type of dress­ing down” that con­cerns me; name­ly, that she has a dis­tinct fash­ion style on stage – to go with her unique brand of com­e­dy – and let’s be hon­est, I’m already at a dis­ad­van­tage there just leav­ing the house. Off to the dim light­ing with me!

When Over­ton sat down with Valerie Lopez, they kicked off the dis­cus­sion on the top­ic of her fash­ion, and it turns out the cred­it goes to Overton’s nan, and is per­haps best described by a fel­low com­ic who said to her: You dress like [you’re] your own super­hero!”. Over­ton says she sim­ply picks the look that’s going to take her where she needs to go emo­tion­al­ly in the day; for exam­ple, if a boost of hap­pi­ness is need­ed, out come the bright colors.

Putting a per­son­al touch on sit­u­a­tions was a part of Overton’s ear­ly life, who fre­quent­ly found her­self with ample alone time in a busy and crowd­ed fam­i­ly in Grapevine, Texas. Imag­ine a girl who could enter­tain her­self by cre­at­ing wed­dings between fam­i­lies” of trav­el sized sham­poo bot­tles, and you start to get a hint of her cre­ative capa­bil­i­ties. Her fam­i­ly, while fre­net­ic, also played a for­ma­tive role in mak­ing com­e­dy an every­day expe­ri­ence. My fam­i­ly is real­ly funny…in dif­fer­ent ways. I think it’s because they’re all lunatics,” she lov­ing­ly notes.

My fam­i­ly is real­ly funny…in dif­fer­ent ways. I think it’s because they’re all lunatics.” Ash­ley Overton

Per­form­ing also came into Overton’s life ear­ly, whether it was stuff­ing hero­ic amounts of toi­let paper in an over­sized dress to fill out” before a fam­i­ly din­ner, or per­form­ing in a local the­atre group in a shop­ping cen­ter. (As it hap­pens, toi­let paper comes up mul­ti­ple times in her talk with us; it appears to be a cos­mi­cal­ly impor­tant part of her uni­verse.) Fuel­ing dreams of being an actress, she con­tin­ued to audi­tion for oppor­tu­ni­ties and peaked” (in her words) when land­ing a lead in a Christ­mas play, over fel­low appli­cant Demi Lova­to. Yep, that one. 

His­to­ry will note that Over­ton def­i­nite­ly did not peak there; her career con­tin­ues to grow, and she recent­ly per­formed her first host­ing spots for actor and come­di­an Jeff Dye at Cap City Com­e­dy. Her style is very per­son­al, in part pow­ered by her mixed introvert/​extrovert nature. Giv­en the anx­i­ety of fac­ing a sit­u­a­tion of unknown oth­er humans, in gen­er­al as well as from the stage, she instinc­tive­ly turned to com­e­dy to give her a life­line to over­come the chal­lenge. “[Being goofy and fun­ny] is how I nat­u­ral­ly com­mu­ni­cate with strangers. It’s where I’m the most com­fort­able,” she says. 

[Being goofy and fun­ny] is how I nat­u­ral­ly com­mu­ni­cate with strangers. It’s where I’m the most com­fort­able.” Ash­ley Overton

Over­ton did a tri­al by fire five years ago, jump­ing ear­ly on into a Fun­ni­est Per­son in Austin com­pe­ti­tion entry, ful­ly engag­ing her com­e­dy sens­es into per­form­ing on stage. Between her con­tin­ued FPIA show­ings, and per­form­ing com­e­dy out­side her home scene in Austin, Over­ton con­tin­ues to build her expe­ri­ences and style. And while she admits that she’s still not quite sure what the cen­ter of her per­sona is, she’s work­ing on it. I don’t know if I have [a com­e­dy phi­los­o­phy]. I just kin­da cross my fin­gers, walk into a room, and hope it goes OK,” she says of her cur­rent strategy. 

I don’t know if I have [a com­e­dy phi­los­o­phy]. I just kin­da cross my fin­gers, walk into a room, and hope it goes OK.” Ash­ley Overton

It’s clear­ly work­ing well, as Over­ton con­tin­ues to have a healthy per­for­mance ros­ter, includ­ing co-host­ing two shows at Kick Butt Cof­fee with Derek Kop­swa: the Kick Butt Com­e­dy Open Mic night, and com­e­dy show­case Turnt. She loves the gigs, and has a nat­ur­al inter­est in deep div­ing into people’s back­sto­ries, traits that have plant­ed the seeds of a future dream of being a late night TV show host. I like talk­ing to peo­ple that are much more inter­est­ing than me,” she jokes. 

We think Over­ton should give her­self a bit more cred­it; she’s always inter­est­ing to see, so do your best to go out and catch her at her reg­u­lar shows, or wher­ev­er you can: 

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