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

Hi Ashlee, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Whether we know it or not, we take risks every day in our lives. Some just feel much bigger and scarier than others, Risk is a love-hate relationship at times for me…I know it’s needed to keep me on my toes and growing, but as a parent and head of household, it scares me. However, I would not be who I am at 48 years of age today without it, and a lot of it. Risk has taken me on journeys across the globe, stretched my capability as an artist, taught me about myself, and procured my greatest friendships. Without risk, I wouldn’t have seen the world, experienced cultures outside of my own, loved hard, cried hard, mentored others, raised a daughter, or followed my passions. I moved to Los Angeles after graduating college in 1996…I often heard “you’re crazy”, “that is so risky”, and “what are you thinking?”…it was all a gamble, a risk…but I knew I had to try. 10 years later, a solid career, and the greatest friends a girl could ask for…it was the best risk I’d ever taken, on my terms. I found out who I was…I often tell people that’s when I truly met myself for the first time.

I’ve always thought to myself how grateful I am that I’ll never have to sit on my porch swing one day during retirement thinking…”what if”…what if I had taken the risk, what if I had moved, what would my life be like today…what if…

Some risks of mine have worked, some have not…but at least I tried, and either way the outcome was a lesson to me on my resilience and drive to try new things and understand who I am as a person, a mother, and a business owner.

Without risk you only learn what you want, you don’t get to learn the “what I don’t want” and that is a huge part of the journey.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being an artist as a career path is not an easy explanation. We are not a group of professionals with a cut-and-dry story, a specific journey, and not an equation I can give to others. Being a “creative” is only something you can explain by looking back on everything you’ve achieved…that’s where the roadmap opens up and lends to storytelling. I knew in college I wanted to move to CA and be part of the film and tv industry…I just had no idea how to make that happen or what it even meant. I researched, I visited family friends, I asked questions, I saved money, I said goodbye, I drove 24 hours straight to leave the comforts of Texas to live on a friend’s couch and pray for the best…I was so excited!

I worked a lot of very long hours on set cleaning brushes and biting my tongue as I was ordered around to grab coffee at Starbucks, and actors dry cleaning needs and run errands during filming for producers.

I quickly learned who to become friends with, where I could crack jokes, who didn’t look at me as just an assistant, and who thought my knowledge of college football and Keystone Light from Texas was a topic they needed to hear. It only took one Director, and he thought I was cool…I went from being an assistant to everyone to being an assistant to the makeup department to being the lead makeup artist on set…I had arrived!

I always tell my daughter, that it’s never about the talent…it’s about the talk. People hire people they want to spend their time with, especially in my industry where days can be 16-20 hours long.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
#1 spot for anyone visiting me is a reflexology foot massage at JoyFoot! I’ve been going there for 10 years, and they are the best in the DFW area!

#2 – Mi Cocina for the best Tex-Mex, if you grew up in Dallas…it’s an institution for us!

#3 – White Rock Lake – that area holds so many great stories…Lady of the Lake, Flagpole Hill nearby, Lake Highlands down the way, the Cemeteries and beautiful homes!

#4 – JFK everything – I grew up in a household where my Dad knew everything about the day of, all things Oswald, the shooting, the theater, the railroad tracks…on and on…I’m happy to give you the tour and show you where Oswald lived then and also where he eternally lives today.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Shoutout list is long, loving, and loaded with names. I have a few certain people that have always stood by me in certain times of my journey and some who have been there my entire life.

Sheila Kelliher – my North Star
Traci Thomas – my sister and Best Friend
Eric Allen – my Mentor
Marcey Logue – my greatest supporter
Lilee Blakley – my daughter, my girl, my greatest risk
The Erickson family…if you know one of us, you know all of us…the greatest gift

The 4 Agreements book for my sanity

The arts section of the library in Los Angeles for teaching me about blood splatter and sunburns

Texas A&M University for my family, foundation, and friendship

Website: www.ashleeerickson.com

Instagram: @makeupmom73 @ashlee_erickson_production

Facebook: Ashlee Erickson Blakley & Ashlee Erickson Production

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.