The Walkie Check- A holistic talk with creatives

Go for Ashley Joyce

April 25, 2022 Layne Marie WIlliams Season 1 Episode 6
The Walkie Check- A holistic talk with creatives
Go for Ashley Joyce
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers


Host: Layne Marie Williams

Discussion Points:
Zen Room
Two in the Bush

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Layne Marie Williams:

Hello, and welcome to the walkie check. Hey folks. Welcome to the walkie check I'm lane . Mary Williams , a film director in Los Angeles, California. We're super excited to be working with our friends at noise floor to bring you the most creative and talented people out there to share their experiences, knowledge, and power. Today. We've got Ashley Joyce joining us Ashley Joyce's transport to LA from Chicago, where she performed in comedy musicals, plays and indie film projects there and toured across the us an AEA and sag actress. Ashley wrote and performed comedy at the second city and IO Chicago, including the longest running musical sketch comedy show. The cubic players for many years, which led into her focus in producing and developing for TV and online content. Her primary focus in LA has been writing and developing TV content starting with her partnership, Midwest bitties and continuing to solo projects. The Midwest bit's first pilot effort, beautiful mess was warmly received as audience favorites at both series Fest and Denver and Holly shorts at Grumman's Chinese theater in LA. Since arriving in LA, she has worked on various web series as an actor slash writer . You can see her on the new Hulu series. Everybody is doing great with James Ferdi and Steven Colletti guest star on the Netflix series. Gilmore girls seasons pilot for dream works TV slash Nickelodeon, and continues to be involved with LA theater, producing a monthly show tunes, cabaret for charity called for good a monthly night of show tunes to save the world while she enjoys her new Sonni or daily surroundings in the city of angels, Ashley and her brother, Tyler Linox have a newly formed production company. Two in the Bush productions as creator of Zin room . She is excited to bring this production home to Chicago. The walkie check is sponsored by on set headsets. The standard of headset in Hollywood made with Kev law , reinforced wiring and water resistant microphone with one year warranty on all products, get your headset and different styles and colors, including the camo and elite series available at film tools and all pan avision shops, order online@onsetheadsets.com. A walkie check is sponsored by media exclusive where you are the star of your own business. Your genius is what you are passionate about. It's the whole reason you have a business, no need to worry about social media posts and what is currently trending. Allow lots media exclusive to take that stress away from your mind. Media exclusive will work with you to create consistent on brand posts, to increase your visibility, allowing you to focus on your passions, learn more@mediaexclusivedotagencyandgiveafollowoninstagramatthe.media dot

Ashley Joyce:

Exclusive. Go for, Ashley Joyce,

Layne Marie Williams:

We are here today with Ashley, J oyce Bush. U m, y ou go by Ashley Joyce, that's like your, y our stage name.

Ashley Joyce:

Um, yes, that is my , uh , actor's , you know, screen actor's Guild name. That's my actor's name and my writing name. And when I was in Chicago as an actor , um, would have been known as such, but since joining the unions , um, I do go by Ashley Joyce , uh , in the acting world and the writing world.

Layne Marie Williams:

It's got a nice ring to it. It's definitely memorable.

Ashley Joyce:

Thanks.

Layne Marie Williams:

<laugh> . And you're originally from PA, correct? Like that

Ashley Joyce:

I'm originally from Pittsburgh where you born? Um, yeah, I was born in Pittsburgh and , um, moved cuz my dad is a steelworker. So, you know, there was a lot of migration from that area to outside of Chicago in the late eighties and early nineties. Uh , and so I ended up going to school about 40 minutes south of Chicago in Northwest Indiana. And then from there moved to Chicago for , um , to act and, and to work in the business there.

Layne Marie Williams:

So PA to LA, what has that experience been like? Cause that been a little bit of a culture shock or it was just sort of a slow progression.

Ashley Joyce:

Yeah, I would say it was a slow progression. Um, just because I was so young leaving Pittsburgh, but the area that I grew up in , in Indiana is pretty similar in a lot of ways, but then also, you know, that there's like differences with east coast versus Midwest and all of my family is still back in Pittsburgh. So I still have a lot of roots to that area. I would just say that, you know, and then I was in the , I was in Chicago for quite a while before coming to LA. So it's like then to a big city is different than a small town, but I got used to a different big city before coming out here and like getting used to a west coast vibe. But I think that I , it really does kind of , uh , contribute to my writing that I am from small towns and tend to write about that and know a little bit about the differences I kind of, I love, I love that I have all those experiences.

Layne Marie Williams:

Yeah . Small town being from a small town, I think is in a lot of ways it's such a treat because you just have so much to pull from like with different ideas and inspiration. And I think especially as a writer, the more rich your life is with experiences, the, the more you have to share.

Ashley Joyce:

Yeah. For sure. Really recognizing it in 2016 with the election and, and how the country was so divided. And I really had a unique position in that. I kind of understood the complaints of those people and understood , um , you know, working class America and, and why we got to where we got, where industry isn't being made. And then , um , also being a very progressive person myself and being from cities, like I just had a , a real understanding of both sides of the story, which felt like , um , something I really, really valued suddenly , uh , when that all went down a few years back.

Layne Marie Williams:

Yeah, absolutely. And speaking of which you're a comedian,

Ashley Joyce:

I am

Layne Marie Williams:

So <laugh> , you know, in that vein and the small town vibes, I mean, I feel like that's, again, such a good place to derive the desire to make people laugh from. So how did you, how did you like come to realize that that was something that you wanted out of your like artistic endeavors was to make people laugh?

Ashley Joyce:

So I started , uh , in really in high school and theater and , um, my main love was musical theater and really wanted to get to Broadway, but I started working in musical theater in straight plays in Chicago, and it was really an agent that told me, well, if you're planning on going to one of the cos, then , uh , you might wanna do second city because they're gonna wonder why you were in Chicago at that time. There's a lot more going on now. But at that time they were, they were gonna wonder why you were ever in Chicago, if you didn't at least do some comedy. And , uh, thankfully it became something I was quickly obsessed with really loved. Um, I worked in a musical sketch show in Chicago for many, many years where we wrote musical sketch comedy. And that's really where I started to write. Um, and then after coming out here, I worked with a writing partner and we were sort of making content for ourselves , um, because you can now, and because we just didn't have as many , uh , as much representation yet when we first got to LA. So the comedy bug had already bitten me, but I think that filtering into small towns sort of came about because I started to realize my own voice in comedy and that I'm not a joke teller . I'm not, I don't do standup. Um, so I really feel like my humor comes more from situations. And I really love finding those with very specific character outlines and character descriptions. And I think that a small town is so rich with really fun characters. So that's where it started to be like, I'm a character driven comedian and where do I want those voices to be, which seem to fit well for my experience that they'd be from a small town.

Layne Marie Williams:

Speaking of comedians, you recently worked with Sherry Terry as now , legend SIM down now y'all and the list goes on. What was that like? And what was your overall experience working with Sherry Terry ?

Ashley Joyce:

Well lane Marie , um, we met through you <laugh> , which was , uh , it was really kiss me up with my project Zen room that you read it and felt like if it was worth putting it in front of her face, just to see if it was something that she might be interested in or have notes on. And she really loved it. I mean, I still have the email of her responding saying, you know, I think you have something really special here within 10 minutes of her sending her , uh , the script, which was without getting too cheesy. I , I was jumping up and down in my home when I got that email because

Layne Marie Williams:

We love cheese. Give us some of cheese here.

Ashley Joyce:

Yeah. I mean, as a child, I watched SNL when she was on it and loved her, loved her very much. So it was just, it was so surreal that she was reading my script to begin with, let alone then working with her and becoming friends with her. And she is just amazing. I mean, total pro um, being with her on set and watching her mind work is like a masterclass and it is truly, it's become a mentorship for me that has been so wild to think, you know, I was asked a couple weeks ago by someone, you know, what would a 11 year old Ashley think of herself now? And I , I mean, the first thing that came to my mind was like, she would not believe you if you said that Sherry Terry was in something that she wrote and produced. So it's been a dream, honestly, it's been a dream and she elevated my project, our project, and it's completely wall wild .

Layne Marie Williams:

<laugh> awesome. So for, I think for our listeners that are not familiar with Z room , tell us about it.

Ashley Joyce:

Zen room is a workplace comedy set in a small town yoga studio. Uh , so we were, I have been working on it with the treatment and different varieties for very long time. I mean, I think I wrote the original treatment in 2015 and kind of shopped it around, wrote some short form episodes, shelved. It worked on other things, you know, so that kind of a story. And then in January of 2020 started to get some interest from people I knew in Chicago after from being from there. And , um , John silver who , uh , works with show puppet and is also , uh , producer in Chicago and produces his own work, had produced my first pilot beautiful mess and had, you know, sort of said there's opportunity to use the tax credit, tried to mentor me on that and just encouraged me to come home to Chicago and do it , uh , if I wanted to make it work. So shout out to John and gave me a lot of confidence. He also put me in touch with lane Murray Williams , um, and said she's

Layne Marie Williams:

Who , I don't know how that is .

Ashley Joyce:

Yeah . Um, and said, you know, this is someone you should know in the city that's working. And if you do decide to bring it back here, you know , consider her as a director. So , um, it was January, 2020 that I met you lane Marie , and we really hit it off and , uh , had a similar vision for this project. Then by February of 2020, Sherry was pretty much signed on to do it as well. And in March we were green lit about seven days prior to the world shutting down. So <laugh> , um , it wasn't, you know, the best news, but I , it's funny that I, I do feel like both you and I, where we could have gotten really worked up as, you know, this crazy year was happening. I just really never felt like it wasn't gonna happen. Yeah . It was more a matter of when, because we already had the momentum. And for me, I had waited so long on this idea. Um, I had worked in a yoga studio in Chicago in 2009 and 10, and that was sort of the original seed of the idea of this could be a show and how would I put this together? So for me, it's like, I've waited this long. I can wait a year or however long it's going to be. Um, and we did really stick with it and spoke with a lot of people in Chicago. Um, you know, that wanted to produce throughout the year, stuck with it. They , they stuck with the project. Some people even jumped on later in the year, once things were starting to open back up. But I think we were in a really good position that we were ready to go. And some people hadn't really producers that normally are producing all the time. Hadn't really produced anything all year. So they had some to invest, which was helpful. Um, of course we needed more money because it was always , uh , always needed more money. And then for testing and to assure a safe set, we really worked really hard with , um , Ashton, Swinford our producer and Amy I E TN to really make sure that everything was safe and that we wouldn't shut down. Cuz as you can imagine, a small indie set like ours. If we make the effort to do it and get shut down halfway through the week, it's sort of dead in the water and that would've been suicide for us. So it was a risk to try it, but we did, we shot it , um , March 1st through the seventh of 2021. And there were really no vaccines ready. So this was prior to anyone really being vaccinated. So we were very lucky that we were able to have that safe set and nobody got sick before our actors .

Layne Marie Williams:

So yeah, that's something that I feel like we can now fully celebrate and acknowledge <laugh> .

Ashley Joyce:

Yeah. And it truly was something, I think that both of us and, and our entire team were sitting there just saying, can we just get through the week? And then also two weeks later, not get any calls that like uhoh, this was a super spread situation. And um, and it wasn't. So yes, of course we can celebrate

Layne Marie Williams:

And, well what's next for Zen room .

Ashley Joyce:

We went straight into post , um , and we've had, you know, partners with Periscope and with noise floor who have been amazing and, and making sure that we are not put on any back shelves and we are pushing, pushing, pushing to be done. So we have all 10 short form episodes edited and ready to go. Um, and that means we're shopping around. I think what is really an exciting time right now for television, it was already happening. But I do think that the pandemic sort of has brought it to the forefront with independent television, is that, you know, because we can, if you can try and figure out how to make it on your own, people are really looking for already made content. I think that because of the pandemic, you know, unknown writers, directors, producers getting a look at that stuff, if they were able to make it is more likely because of the pandemic because there wasn't content made for a year. However, my hope is that even years from now, when everybody's making content that has bigger names, this period is going to give the industry confidence in independent people. And it will hopefully be kind of the norm that they wanna take a look at independent producers that are making their own content and specifically episodic , um, because they have seen that we do it and we do it well, and we, it is professional and they should never not take a look at , uh , this content because it could be something great.

Layne Marie Williams:

Like you never know who's out there and you never know who somebody has the potential of becoming. And

Ashley Joyce:

I think, you know, those of us out here in LA that have felt a bit disgruntled by the fact that, you know, it's really hard to get your script looked at if you don't have a name because huge names more recently than, than in years past huge actor names have also decided they're going to be producers writers or opting scripts , um , book scripts , and, you know, powerhouse re Witherspoon who is amazing. And all the things she's doing is amazing, but I'm not gonna get my script taken a look at and script form if hers is the one that's coming across the table, because that , you know, she's gonna be able to have a lot of names attached herself in some ways. And so it sort of has saturated the writer market to be like, oh, you actually can't even get your script read.

Layne Marie Williams:

Yeah .

Ashley Joyce:

Um , so it has turned to being like, okay, then I'm gonna have to show you visuals. And if I do have the wherewithal to try and produce the full thing even better, because they can't really deny that you made it happen and they , and people aren't as creative sometimes as you think in these decision maker positions, sometimes you need to really show, show the , the vision yourself.

Layne Marie Williams:

Absolutely. And I , I am such a fan of Reese Witherspoon. I just gotta put that out there. I've always loved that .

Ashley Joyce:

Me too. Me too,

Layne Marie Williams:

Girl crush vibes for sure. My mom actually throughout the years has just said, like, I really want you to meet Reese Witherspoon. Wow . Like we just gotta get you in front of Reese Witherspoon. She says that about Oprah too. So Reese, you know, the , the , the times are times are coming for us to align.

Ashley Joyce:

Yes. Yes. We are gonna make that happen.

Layne Marie Williams:

Another question that I'm thinking and wondering is what has been a moment in your career thus far where you've just been like, aha , like this is absolutely what I'm meant to do.

Ashley Joyce:

Hmm . I, I think coming out here and having that experience in Chicago writing for a show , um, that show was at 10 30 at night on , uh, in Wrigleyville at the old improv Olympic. And so the crowd was very specific. You know, there's a lot of bars in that area. So 10 30 at night, it might be after a Cubs game, lots of bachelorette parties and the humor was kind of vulgar. It was relationship driven . Mostly there were other songs, but the things that really hit were generally , um, blue humor, as we say, and I loved it. It was hilarious, but I tried to write for that show and I feel like I , I continually got the message that it needed to be punched up in some way. And I think that shook my confidence a lot as a writer, it was like, okay, I'm an actor, I'm a singer, I'm in this group. But like, I'm not the strong strongest writer. And then coming out here, I started writing, like I said, with a writing partner and , and was just kind of doing small sketches just as a way to keep busy in a , when we didn't really know as many people in LA. And I think that that was when I had a real aha moment of , um , I happened to get cast in something here that was a guest starring role in Gilmore girls. And that felt like a real dream come true. And it was an amazing experience, but I, I left set feeling like, okay, I'm just like a hired hand for the day. And I'm not really a part of the collaborative process, which is really what I fell in love with in high school theater was being a part of telling the story with everyone. And then, you know, as you both know, the Chicago industry is very collaborative in most every aspect. And so I, I left feeling like, oh, this is, you know, one of those moments of like, oh, this is what I've always wanted. This like type of guest starring. I have my trailer moment and it's not as awesome as I thought it was. And the next day actually I was filming something with my writing partner and it was just me and her and our director slash editor slash everything who had a black magic camera and we were just playing around and I was never so fulfilled. Like, so that was a real aha moment of, I actually think I wanna make my own stuff. And I'm actually confident in what I'm making, because my comedic voice is actually more like sweet or situational. And I started to feel really much more confident as a writer because I wasn't trying to write specifically for something. I was just writing how I, what I think is comedic and what I find funny.

Layne Marie Williams:

Yeah. And I mean, self producing your own work is such a labor of love is the truth. At least when you're first starting out. And, you know, I feel like we touched on all of that a lot already, but what's something that you feel like is a major takeaway from self-producing your own work that you would pass on to other people that are maybe thinking about leaping into the line of fire <laugh> and making their own stuff.

Ashley Joyce:

I think this is just a , kind of a law for life, but surrounding yourself with the best people. Um, and really trying to find people that are experts in their lane, I've seen and been a part of a self productions where the writer is also trying to dictate stuff with direction or stuff with , uh , camera. And it's like, I'm not an expert in camera and I don't actually wanna be I'd RA rather find an expert that I wanna trust and let them run with it. Um , because I think that that type of agency on set creates a really collaborative environment that makes everyone feel Hey , respected in taking a respected and taken care of and be like invested and , um, feel like they are actually contributing to the final product,

Layne Marie Williams:

Right? Like the significance of feeling empowered in your position. And it's not to say that the positions don't cross and, you know, there aren't, you know, there's this idea of creating something so much bigger than yourselves. Yeah. Um , but I think like I agree with you completely, and it's something that I feel very passionately about. It's like, just let people do their job, you know, let them be the expert that they are. And so much of about so much about filmmaking is also trust, which I think is really difficult when you're the writer creator, birther of the fame you created.

Ashley Joyce:

Yeah. And, and, you know, I, I , uh, also act in most of the things that I've produced so far, I would love to get to a point where I'm, you know, maybe writing for people that aren't me, but for now I'm going to, you know, I'm in them as well. And so it, there is that scary moment, right before getting too set where it's like, well, now I have to be an actor. So I really gotta trust the people behind the camera, which, you know, you might be able to speak to that type of relationship with me or with anyone, but it's , uh , you know, I really worked very hard in meditation prior to Zen room to just say, okay, like turn off producer brain, as much as you possibly can even turn off writer brain to some extent and whatever notes you're getting trust that, you know, you're , you're director understands what you wanted out of this performance as a writer.

Layne Marie Williams:

Right. Right. Like letting go of all those logistical aspects so that you can really just inhabit the world and the character and acting is, it's such an act it's such an act of disrobing. I feel like it's so significant to, from the sound to the camera people, to the first ad, like it's all gotta like sing together at the same time. And it's, it's a little bit of a challenge. Speaking of all of that, what what's like one favorite moment of yours on set ? Was there anything like during zoom room where you were , it was just like super memorable or maybe something from your past,

Ashley Joyce:

I guess on Zen room ? I think what, I really, I had a friend that , um , one of the only people that flew out from LA to be a part of it, she knew it was gonna be great and just wanted to support me as a friend and also just be a part of it. And I remember the first day I got to set and I was even very impressed with how professional it was and that's all thanks to our producers and making it happen. But I walked in and she had, my friend had , uh , gotten there early to be a PA and was setting up the craft services moment. She walked up to me when I came in and was just like, wow, it's actually happening. And then our producers was like, wow, Marni is such a rockstar. And everybody was just pulling all their hands together. And I felt so taken care of and so supported. And that is like, not even about the work. Right. For the most part, that's about just like goodbye

Layne Marie Williams:

Relationships,

Ashley Joyce:

People and relationships. And I just remember feeling like, oh my God, I'm like flying off the side of a building, but I'm not scared. Cuz everybody here is very supportive and I right . Like wanna know these people forever and yeah . Just meeting people, shaking hands for the first time, it was, it was really memorable,

Layne Marie Williams:

Leaping off the building, but there's a crowd of people there to catch you. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, mm-hmm <affirmative> obviously filmmaking has got its struggles and challenges at times. Is there anything for you that sticks out that maybe was a moment where you were like, oh God, I just don't know if I'm cut out for this business.

Ashley Joyce:

Oh, <laugh> what day is it ? Yeah . Um , <laugh> every other day, I think I have a side of my brain that is different than other creatives, not all creatives, but some creatives aren't as much of business minded , producer minded . And I really do love that side of it. That's why I would eventually love to show run or produce things that I'm not in. Um , other people's work that I just find inspiring, but I think that as much as I thrive in being a salesperson, sometimes that is the most frustrating part of like, just trying to get someone to believe in your idea and like you do, you do when you're self producing need money. And a lot of it it's gotta be the right timing, the right fit, you know, and not getting too worked up. I know we had a situation together when looking for producers of, you know, some producers just not getting the comedy. I think in that particular case, we both help handled it well of just like, okay, great. But like somebody else that's going to be their comedy. Um , not getting too offended by somebody being like, I don't see how this will be funny.

Layne Marie Williams:

<laugh> right. Right. And

Ashley Joyce:

Then , and then just being like, it's terrible. Nobody's gonna like it and having that type of response to it, but you get really tired when you're trying to make something happen and you just are like, can't you just let me, I know it's gonna be good. Like, is this ever gonna happen? And it is a marathon, it's a marathon when you're doing that. And it , and it is really tiring and really, really hard.

Layne Marie Williams:

Absolutely. It's a lot of like remaining resilient . Do you have any tips and tricks that you could offer up to listeners that are thinking about self-produc their own

Ashley Joyce:

Work? I mean, I think that right now, you know, pitch decks are really, really popular. Mm .

Layne Marie Williams:

Pitch decks .

Ashley Joyce:

Yes. So that is , that is, if you don't know are pretty much can , you know, slideshow or , uh , some sort of a portfolio that includes visuals and , uh , descriptions. So it's a treatment and you can look up like the best . One of the best treatments I ever read was like the freaks and geeks treatment. And it's online. Uh , you just look up chat , ABT , how freaks and geeks treatment. And you know, this is just something that I, that again is another rule I have of, you know , a lot of, there's a lot of rules that you're told in this business. I'm not gonna swear, but I say F the rules <laugh> , um , I'm not, I'm not a believer of those. And it's personally, I've found that I succeed the most when I do not pay attention to those rules. And I just kind of go on blind faith. Um, so, you know, you'll be told like a treatment should be no longer than five pages or, and you know, and everybody's gonna tell you something different and that's going to drive you nuts because you're like, well, this person wants a five one page . This person thinks it needs to be longer. Who's right. You know, I don't wanna be misquoted here cuz it's been a while since I read it. But I think the freaks and geeks one is like over 20 pages, but it is so in depth you see the whole world and it's awesome. It gave me a lot of inspiration when I was trying to do it for other other projects. But since then, if you look at that one, it's all text, It's just a text document. Um, and now it's pretty much expected that you'll have some graphics and a lot of times, you know, you might be coached into , uh , trying to create a tone. So if it's at a restaurant that it looks like a table and you know, you write the log line on something that looks like a checkbook or like what you would leave a check on. And you know, it looks like the , the label of a back of a Coke can is where all the character descriptions are just getting really kind of creative and, and establishing a world with visuals when you're not able to yet shoot it. And you don't have behind the scenes photos and all of that,

Layne Marie Williams:

I think that's exactly right. Like a , you know, a visual representation to put in front of people that potentially wanna invest or wanna hop on the crew in some way. Yeah. And the more specific you are, I would say certainly the better.

Ashley Joyce:

Yeah. And I think the more specific you are, the more confident you will be in your product as well. Um, and, and the more confident you are in your product, the easier it is to sell it, cuz you understand the world and can really , um , pitch it. But I think that that's a good place to start. And I think that it can be overwhelming if someone's just, especially since I think there are a lot of , uh , actors, especially, but all people in the industry that might be in different lanes that , um , are now encouraged to produce their own content. It's like, well, why don't you just make your own content? And they're seeing success happen for people that are making their own content. And that can be really overwhelming for somebody that went to acting school and is like, but I just wanna be an actor. I never really saw myself as a content producer or I don't wanna be a writer. I, at some point, you know, felt that way too, in that I like to create a character and I like to take someone else's writing and put myself into it. And there there's a lot of push in this industry for , especially for management and agents to just, well, why don't you write something? And it's like, some people might not feel very confident doing that. So a good place to start, I would think is to just try a treatment, if you have an idea, just try to do the outline. You don't need to jump into full episodes, just try and, you know, write what it's about and give a little synopsis and then write characters for me, characters are, is the easiest place to start

Layne Marie Williams:

Characters in the , like the world, like what the world looks like and what , you know, for me, obviously I'm like more visual, but like what people are wearing or like what things sound like. Or one thing that I do as well is I do a lot of like sketching and drawing. Just anything yeah . That you can do to visually represent what you're trying to create again, I think allows for more specificity.

Ashley Joyce:

Yes. Yeah. I

Layne Marie Williams:

Would agree. So you've been , you've stated in , uh , some publications that you really want to bring writer's rooms to Chicago. I do. And

Ashley Joyce:

I really do.

Layne Marie Williams:

<laugh> , you know, people, there's always a lot of smack talked about LA. I just would love to hear about why do you want to go back to Chicago to do that and continue to live here at the same time?

Ashley Joyce:

Yeah. I , I mean, my family is outside of Chicago, so it was really great to live in Chicago and be doing what I loved. It made it really hard to make the move because I was doing what I loved. I was working in an industry that was fulfilling me and I could go home for dinner one, you know, night a month and just see my mom. It was a really difficult choice. And it's why I was there for so long before making a change was ma mainly my family. So of course I would love to bring it back just so that I would have the opportunity to be near my family and to work. And I love LA I don't have a relationship with LA. Like I know some people do, especially from New York and Chicago where they wanna be here because, because the industry is here, but they don't necessarily jive with it as much. I'm a real outdoorsy person and, and I've loved it since the moment I got here. So for me, it's the best of both worlds to be Midcoast. Aside from that, I found it really hard, especially in the comedy world in Chicago to sort of watch as comedians would go through the ranks and, you know, be main stage second city. And then you always knew they had to go to New York or LA at some point, especially if they wanted to write. And I remember lots of colleagues, friends , uh , writing packets for different late night shows. That's a big thing in , in comedy and being asked to write for daily show. And like that was sort of the dream was to leave Chicago. But so many people were training and living in Chicago that like every year it felt like half of these shows were being staffed with all Chicago people. So why are we not making shows happen there? You know, the , the , the film industry has gotten so much bigger in Chicago in the last seven years. Um, thanks to cinema space , being there, thanks to Dick woo being there. And that's awesome for actors, but there's, and , and it is creating more indie work happening and, and stuff. But I think that the writers' rooms are still mainly in New York or LA and a lot of them in LA, especially for episodic. Um, and then they might come back and shoot in Chicago. They might get use the tax credit, but they're not like, why are , why do we have the most genius comedic voices in Chicago for the last 40 years? I mean, when SNL comes every year to showcase this in Chicago, to just pluck talent out of Chicago. So I've always felt that way. Like why, why is it that we have to leave to be able to work in this industry when we're all here at some point anyway. So it would be my dream for if we were going to be able to shoot San room in Chicago, that we could staff it in Chicago, writing staff it from people that are training there. Now, people that are on main stage there now, you know, I think that it's not impossible. Even if networks feel more comfortable with some staffed writers from LA, because that's just the industry. I think, you know, then we, we try to be the pioneer that creates a writer's room in Chicago. And if we staff a few seasoned writers from LA, they have to be in Chicago for a few months, you know, they would go to Atlanta, they would go to, you know what I'm saying? Yeah . Like it just like, let's just try and be pioneers.

Layne Marie Williams:

And also there's opportunities to have writers meet here and with remote with the world being so remote now much of which I know we'd like to , to go away and hopefully it will continue to, but in a lot of ways it's also been great for, for people working remotely. Some people prefer it in an ideal world, you know, there's a possibility of having like a writer's room for something like Zen room here, and then also in Chicago and maybe meeting remotely or, you know, exactly like going where the work takes you. I've always been a big believer in that.

Ashley Joyce:

I think that we're seeing that a lot more just from all industries, realizing that you don't need a brick and mortar office. You don't need to be in one place. Like we we've all for now a year and a half mostly. Yep . Um , existed on zoom. So I think that you're seeing a lot more people being willing to say, you know, bring somebody out that isn't I just heard recently that Danny McBride lives in North Carolina and like shoots everything there, but he had to establish a career here. Yep . And have the cred that he has to be able to do that. But I think we're gonna see more and more people that don't have to like get to that level of success before they're told they have the golden key to leave here. <laugh> you know, so

Layne Marie Williams:

At a certain point, it's just, you , you gotta go based on your instincts too. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, not just because somebody else told you to, or you , you , you , you feel the calling or at least I always have whenever I've moved somewhere new.

Ashley Joyce:

Yes. Yes.

Layne Marie Williams:

Well, what are you working on next? What can we expect from you?

Ashley Joyce:

Oh, wow. Well, Zen room is pretty all encompassing for me at this moment. Um, but I have several things that are , um , written and things. I went on a , a solo road trip last year during the pandemic and traveled. Uh , I actually flew back to Chicago and then traveled to Pittsburgh to see my family. And then I did like Baltimore, the Eastern shore board and down to , um, Gatlinburg , Tennessee, and got a cabin up in the smokey mountains to just write. And the story is about two elderly people. So speaking of my hope to eventually be producing something that I'm not in and, and something that I feel very passionate , um, we don't see very often elderly people being the leads of shows. Um, and so that is something I'm really passionate about. And my brother and I, my brother is also a screenwriter and he is based outside of Chicago. And his name is Tyler Lennox Bush . And we formed two of the Bush productions to get us off the ground for Zen room . And we have several scripts under that label that we are interested in producing. He is a different writer than me, mainly drama. A lot of our stories are all about small towns, cause that's where we're from. So it does have similar vibes. We have similarities and then very different things. He's very , um , kind of spooky and David Lynchian. And so that would be really exciting for me to be helping my brother and producing.

Layne Marie Williams:

Hopefully at some point the two of you can create a project together. I mean, that sounds great. That sounds like my cup of tea , spooky. Lynchian funny. Mm-hmm , <affirmative> great. Love it

Ashley Joyce:

All. Great . And what , what are you doing in, you know, eight months? I , I can , I can pull it together. Let's

Layne Marie Williams:

Go, dude. I used to book myself out like a year in advance until the pandemic. Well ,

Ashley Joyce:

It's happening. It's happening?

Layne Marie Williams:

Well , speaking of two in the Bush, where can we follow you online

Ashley Joyce:

Personally at Ashley Joyce Bush on Instagram. And then we are at , uh , two in the B T w O I N T H E V on Instagram and Twitter. And I believe we have a Facebook as well now. And then on , uh , our website is two in the Bush dot Coco .

Layne Marie Williams:

Well, thank you so much for hanging out with us today. Ashley always ,

Ashley Joyce:

This was really fun you about like

Layne Marie Williams:

What you're working on and what you've gotten works and

Ashley Joyce:

Yeah, anytime I would love to come back.

Layne Marie Williams:

Yeah, I'm sure you will. This episode of the walkie check is sponsored by camera ambassador, a one stop shop, carrying everything from cameras and lenses to grip trucks and production supplies. Their equipment roster includes highend brands , such as airy red cannon cook Zeis O'Connor small HD Tara deck and more . They've also got you covered with specialty items such as amorphic lenses, Yus and grip trucks founded in 2014 by Zahi camera ambassador is one of three equipment rental houses nationwide owned and operated by a woman providing excellent service with quality gear camera ambassador now carries both of the newest red cameras , the Komodo and Raptor. Learn more about camera ambassadors, scholarship opportunities@cameraambassador.com. Thanks so much again for joining us on this episode of the walkie check . Be sure to give us a like and follow on Facebook and Instagram at the walkie check and at legacy Marine pictures and special, thanks to our executive producer noise floor LT D we're always open to hearing your feedback and we want to focus on topics and guests you want to hear from. So don't hesitate to reach out, see on the next episode,

Intro
Stage Names
Pa to Chicago
small town and writing
politics
understanding struggles
comedian
how did you decide to become a comedian
realize own voice
situational humor
what was that like
What's Next for Zen Room
Ahhh ha Moment
major take away from self producing
about acting is disrobing
one fave moment on set
what is something that is super challenging for you
tips and tricks
writers rooms
What is next
Socials