Ashleigh Stokrp is the executive director at The Hudsucker and in charge of brand, content and graphics. Ashleigh has helped develop ideas and overall layout, as well as serving duties as graphic designer with a focus on the appearance of the site and its published works. With her excellent grasp of writing, editing and social media, she adds this online magazine to her list of pet projects that have made up quite a colorful quilt of trades.
The California native has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and studied chamber singing for 4 years as part of one of Southern California’s top Choir and Orchestra ensembles. Currently working for one of the leading companies in digital content distribution, Ashleigh is no stranger to the blogosphere and has dedicated countless hours to many projects, all in an effort to do her part to enrich the quality of the digital world.
Nickname: Ash, Cashleigh, Trashleigh, Smashleigh, Harasshleigh…. (my friends are sweet)
Favorite word in the English language: Esoteric
Least favorite word in the English language: Feminist. (and the connotations that go along with it. There should not need to be a word that defines people in support of the various rights of women. That word should just be “Human”).
Biggest strength: My power of observation (Everything I’m good at is considered a super power. Deal with it)
Biggest weakness: My stubbornness.
Biggest pet peeve: The fact that I have a lot of pet peeves.
Favorite Food: Tacos
Favorite Movie: This varies. I do not have one movie that I keep in my back pocket as my all time favorite film. I do have a proclivity for Historical Fiction, Sci Fi, and Super Hero movies, however. Shawshank Redemption, Star Trek (all eras), and Captain America being my favorites in each of those respective categories.
Favorite TV Show: Of all time: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, and the Star Trek series (yes, all of them). Currently: Once Upon A Time and Smash (I’m mourning the latter).
Favorite Musician/Band: John Mayer (Though I could give you a list a mile long, he is the one that always comes out on top).
Favorite item of clothing that you just can’t live without: Dark wash denim jeans.
Favorite sport: Baseball
Favorite team: Anaheim Angels (“Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” gets a massive eye roll from me). I’ll also only watch football if the Steelers are playing (or if it’s the Superbowl. I love the superbowl).
Favorite travel destination: New York City (I say this as I am currently in London. Seriously I could be anywhere in the world and I would still want to be in New York)
Favorite fast food joint: Chipotle
Favorite season: Autumn
Funniest thing that ever happened to you: It’s difficult to look back on things that happen to you and identify them as funny. More often than not, things that look funny from an outsider’s point of view often feel humiliating, terrifying, or stressful to the person that they’re happening to. Contrarily, things that feel funny as they’re happening don’t always look funny from an objective standpoint. However, I will say that one of the things that gets the most laughs from people when I tell them about it is the time I attempted to enter Canada with my touring vocal ensemble and was denied entrance based on my Serbian heritage. This was at a time when having your passport was not mandatory to enter Canada, so I did not have my passport at the time, and due to the origin of my last name, Canadian Boarder Patrol did not let me enter the country with my birth certificate alone unless I could come up with origin documentation for my paternal relatives. I obviously didn’t have that sort of documentation with me, so I was forced to return home, by myself, while the rest of my group went on without me. I was terrified, angry, and felt extremely discriminated against at the time, but I suppose it seems pretty funny in hind sight.
Within reason, what are your craziest goals and dreams? If dreams were reasonable, they would not be considered dreams: they’d be considered your inevitable outcome. This is also why so many people have a hard time holding onto their dreams as they mature into adulthood, because practicality and reason take control of that mental space where your ‘dreams’ and ‘crazy goals’ once lived. That being said, my answer to this question is currently under construction.
Most outrageous thing you’ve ever done: held myself back from doing more outrageous things (I am well-practiced in the art of self restraint; though I have an outrageous spirit).
If you had to sing one song at a karaoke bar, which one would you choose? JUST ONE!?!? That’s cruel. The first one to pop into my head, however, is Livin’ on a Prayer. (It used to be Don’t Stop Believin, but we all know how people react to that in Karaoke bars these days).
What movie title best describes your life? Diary of a Mad Black Woman, obviously.
What is one of your most life-changing moments? All of them. Life is just a series of life-changing moments (this is my cop-out way of not getting too introspective on this survey. Please excuse me).
Describe yourself in a single sentence: Jack of all trades, master of none.
If you were a superhero, what would be your super power? This is a question that I ask myself on a daily basis. No joke: I seriously consider this question as an important start of my day because it helps me focus on certain traits that I wish WERE super powers, and how to hone those traits within myself. Therefore, I have a highly skewed perception on what qualifies as a super power. Of those comic-book-quality powers, however, I suppose I would be most drawn to Psychokinesis, or Telekinesis. I don’t want the mind melting side effects that Jean Grey experienced as she went through the journey of honing her skill, but I think she was the most bad ass of the X Men, for sure.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, which one book, movie and person would you want to take along?
- Book: Night Series by Elie Wiesel. It’s technically 3 books, but you can buy them as a single publication. Not only is Night one of my favorite books of all time, but I feel like if I was stuck on a deserted island, I would want a reminder of someone who experienced and triumphed over the worst turmoil imaginable.
- Movie: Worst Case Scenario with Bear Grylls. I feel like I would glean some useful information from that Discovery Channel series while stuck on my little island.
- Person: Les Stroud. Because Survivorman is a much more realistic series, and Les is a lot less creepy than Bear Grylls.
If a genie granted you 3 wishes, what would they be?
- To always be able to reach into my pocket and have the exact change to pay for whatever it is that I am paying for at any given time.
- The chance to go back to that moment in time where I decided to go to a History of Music Midterm instead of a really important audition with a really important person. I would like to tell that version of myself that the midterm is not that important. Go with him.
- That the genie be set free, of course.
Last Song Played on your CD player/iTunes/iPod, etc: “Say It To Me Now” from the ‘Once’ OBC recording.
What made you want to write for The Hudsucker? Well, I’ve been with this happy little troupe from its inception, so I’d like to think that it was the idea of doing something great for the Internet that made me want to be a part of it, more than the prospect of writing. Is that weird? I think I just really like the people that I was getting to create it with.
What is your favorite article on the site and why? Dial H For Hitchcock. Because 1) It deals with a genre of movies that I myself am not very well versed in, for I am a gigantic wuss when it comes to suspense and horror themes, and 2) because it is a collaborative piece between two of my most favorite people on the planet, and I thoroughly enjoyed their dialog.
Who is your favorite author on the site and why? This is an unfair question, because I think the most important part of our site is the fact that we have so, so many diverse writers, and I have thoroughly enjoyed nearly every article that has been posted. However, as I look through our catalog of articles, Bo Dietrick‘s are the ones that I think I’ve revisited most often, based on subject matter alone.
Where do you see The Hudsucker in 5 years? I see it being an important example of what can come of Internet relationships: True, honest friendship, that brings people with similar interests but entirely different backgrounds together to create something awesome.
What do you think of your fellow peers here at The Hudsucker? I think they’re really, really wonderful. I love the conviction that comes from these people, and the desire to create something meaningful is very apparent in the articles that are written for The Hudsucker.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I do my best not to picture myself that far in advance. It’s stressful.
What words of advice would you give writers? Never write something with the intention of impressing your readers. Write what comes naturally.
Who do you look up to? Myself.
What is one of your favorite life lessons? Pretending to live your life without regrets just makes you ignorant to the fact that regret exists, whether you like it or not. Learn from your regrets. Don’t ignore them.
Favorite quote: I have a lot, but this one is freshly added to my list after watching The Office finale, so it’s stuck in my head:
“I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”
– Andy Bernard