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Getting to know: Ashley McHugh.

April 22, 2011 \am\30 10:12 am

[In which WWAATD asks vapid questions culled from various teen magazines to non-vapid, non-teenager types.]

Full Name: Ashley Anna McHugh

Age: 25

Height: Some of 5’4 (Posture’s not my strength)

Currently Live: Fayetteville, AR

Hometown: Commercial Point, OH – Cornfields and cows on all sides. Not on the state map, last I checked. I know where it is though, so that’s OK.

Instruments: Scalpel

Car: Red Chevy Cobalt

Secret Talent: Doubt 

What is the best thing about your job? Pontificating, captive audiences

What was your most embarrassing audition moment? I woke up to a nice rejection email, one of those that asks for more work. Feeling rash, I sent some right away. Couple hours go by, and they email back. Rejected again, but again, they ask for more work. Not to be outdone, I send some poems straight back their way. Later on in the afternoon: Third rejection, but again, asking for more. More poems are sent. Fourth rejection. Not these but others. Again! We must’ve gone back and forth five or six times that day – and they didn’t accept a damn thing. Eventually, I just gave it up, which was hard because it had become a matter of pride at some point. Not fun.

If you could live in any past era which would it be and why? The Roaring Twenties – Jazz, Flappers. Maybe a chance of meeting Stevens or Eliot.  Even Yeats. If not the twenties, the 1940’s are a very close second – for similar reasons.

Who is your role model and why? Poetically: Auden reminds me to be ambitious – to risk failure – and Hardy reminds me that grand ambitions aren’t all so important. Of the people I know personally: My father. I can’t explain that one without being a sap, so I won’t. 

What do you do for fun? Whiskey happens, sometimes. Trashy TV happens, too.

Do you have a good luck charm? No, but I’ve always wanted one. I used to try to get superstitious about this or that, convincing myself I’d finally found my good luck charm – and they’d each go on to fail me with a quickness. Serves me right.

Wackiest fan encounter: It surely involved my mother. Surely.

Before I die, I want to: Repent. 

When I fly I have to have: been awake all night. Usually.

If I had to spend $10 at my favorite fast food joint, I’d order: Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Combo, a Coke, and a Frosty Jr. from the Drive-Thru.

My coolest article of clothing: I’m pretty pleased with this vest I bought not long ago.

My first financial splurge was: My MacBook Air

When friends come over, we: Play Apples to Apples, or just talk for a while – and then, if there’s any sort of lull, I make them read my latest first drafts. Luckily for me, I have very tolerant friends.

Do you like to cook? If so, what? Don’t like to cook, but I’m pretty good with a box of Bagel Bites.

TV show I never miss: No TV proper, but our Netflix queue is all House, M.D. We’re watching it obsessively.

If you could interview any celeb whom would it be and why? Derek Walcott. He’s one of those who are so good it scares me.

Anything about yourself you wish you could change? I wish I could snap out of it more easily.

I’ll eat sushi, but not: Omelets.

What are your best and worst subjects in school? Best: English and history. Worst: Math and gym.

If you could be granted 3 wishes, they’d be… In no particular order: 1. Make enough money to pay the bills right off, without double-checking my back balance. 2. For easy-going love to last that way. 3. Never have to reconcile with my own failure.

If I could gay-marry anyone in the world, he/she would be… Padma Lakshmi? (Possibly?)

Where on earth are you most dying to go? Put up a map, and give me a dart. It’ll work itself out.

What’s the last thing that made you cry? Whenever Foreman’s dad turns up on an episode of House, it inevitably ends with me getting a little teary.

Do you ever wish you could just be a normal kid? Not anymore.

What would people be surprised to know about you? People are generally surprised when I tell them I don’t really like movies or music, for whatever that’s worth. (It’s not entirely true.)

If you had to name one song as your theme song, what would it be? “A Better Son/Daughter” by Rilo Kiley.

Have you had a starstruck Hollywood experience? Who was it with? Once, I went to see Seamus Heaney read at a nearby college with a group of friends. With a little help, we crashed the after-party. I worked up my nerve, walked right up Seamus Heaney – and couldn’t think of a damn thing to say.  After I stood there, silent, for a loaded minute, I finally managed to murmur, “So….” He said, “Do you want me to sign your books?” and it was everything I could do to nod. He signed them – the inscription was “So….” – and then I scurried the hell away, embarrassed to death. (Later, he came over to talk with my friends and I, thinking it would be a good photo op for the school. The dean came over, too, then – to ask Seamus if he would mind talking to their students. We left pretty quick after that.)


Favorite Actor/Actress: David Duchovny

Favorite Movie: When Harry Met Sally

Favorite Body Part: Jaw

Favorite Singer: Duffy

Favorite Song: “Hip Hop Saved My Life” by Lupe Fiasco

Favorite Candy: Snowcaps

Favorite Philospher: Hume

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Phish Food

Favorite Sport: Football

Favorite Sports Team: The Ohio State Buckeyes

Favorite Athlete: Sousaphone players, especially the guy dotting the “i”

Favorite Book: Anthony Hecht’s Collected Early/Later Poems

Cell Phone or iPod: iPhone

Summer or Winter: Summer

Ice Skating or Gymnastics: Ice Skating

LA or New York: Neither

Skiing or Snowboarding: Snowboarding

Chocolate or Flowers: Flowers

Dogs or Cats: Dogs

One Comment
  1. April 22, 2011 \pm\30 1:10 pm 1:10 pm

    Fabulous! Loved the anecdote about Seamus Heaney.

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