Guys, this is my 5th interview for the ‘Faith and Entertainment’ series, BUT it’s my 1st interview with an actor in Hollywood.
Ashley Sutton has been in numerous movies & commercials, done voice-overs, and has worked with huge companies such as MAC cosmetics and the Jessa Hinton swimsuit line. She also worked with Jean-Claude Van Damme in the movie, Swelter.
This interview was so much fun! So encouraging. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
[Brent] How do you continue to nurture your relationship with Jesus while managing/growing your career and travel schedule?
[Ashley] This is probably the hardest question being young in the world today with social media. It’s easy to focus on self. So I’d have to say keeping people of faith around me regularly is absolutely critical. I also have learned to say ‘no’ a lot to take care of myself. I work to make it part of my self-care. This often includes lots of listening to worship music, and frequently asking, “What can I do (to connect with Jesus) RIGHT NOW?”
[Brent] What is one of the most helpful pieces of life advice (outside of family) anyone has ever offered to you?
[Ashley] Well, my acting manager is a Christian. And she’s constantly reminding me that everything is going to be OK. God is in control. And that it’ll all end up how He wants it to work out for me.
[Brent] What does Ashley’s personal quiet time look like? How do you connect with God best?
[Ashley] It’s not consistent at all. It’s just so hard in career with no set schedule in the day. So having a regular routine is simply impossible. But I hike a lot. I look at the flowers and their intricate design. The sound of birds singing and other things God made. These remind me of him. He feels close when I’m enjoying his creation outdoors. I also listen pretty exclusively to Christian. Commuting in L.A. allots me plenty of time for this.
[Brent] We all experience constant hills and valleys, and the seasons in between. Regarding your most recent valley, can you describe how you weathered it? Prayer, scripture, wise counsel, music?
[Ashley] I’ve been a Christian since I was very young. I grew up in the Catholic church, and then stepped away to my own church where I could better connect. In 2013, I was in a very bad accident on a movie set on a boat. I almost died! My faith changed after that day. I think often the only way to get out of our spiritual valleys (dark seasons) is to just keep moving. Do things that bring joy. Another thing is that quantity not same as quality when it comes to friendships. More is not better. A million Instagram followers won’t comfort or help me when I’m struggling as much as a small handful of really close friends. Struggle is OK, it builds character. (authentic comment coming) My accident actually showed me that I didn’t really like the person I was before the accident. Without hard times we wouldn’t be able to grow and be able to continue to work on becoming the best version of ourselves.
[Brent] Is God teaching you anything new right now?
[Ashley] Oh yes. Just the same lessons. To be patient! My default is to work ward to obtain goals quickly. So it seems God is regularly reminding me, ‘Work hard, but don’t be anxious about obtaining results immediately. Leave that part to me.’
[Brent] If you could travel back in time and witness any event recorded in the Bible, what would it be…and why?
[Ashley] I’d have to say it would be when Jesus was sleeping in the boat during a storm and his disciples were freaking out. He asked them why they had such little faith. I’d want to witness that because that would show me the level of strength/faith I should have and need. I’m an actress. I live in pictures, so actually watching this would be amazing.
[Brent] Looking back, if you could give college-age Ashley any advice for the years ahead of her, what would it be?
[Ashley] Find what brings you joy and stay with that. Don’t worry about anything else. The rest isn’t nearly as important. Don’t allow simple moments with family slip by because you feel like you should be working on your career.
[Brent] Do you have any personal boundaries for accountability with so much available to you?
[Ashley] Simply being willing to say no to jobs/opportunities that might not be best for me. This hasn’t always been true for me, but now I just don’t do it. I’m much more selective with what acting roles and other opportunities are available to me.
[Brent] Lastly, what made you want to do this interview?
[Ashley] I don’t actively take steps to go out and talk about my faith. It’s usually more private. I thought this might be a good way of letting others no the realist version of myself, possibly helping someone who reads this. But I think this is also good for non-believers who read this. Christians haven’t always openly, or accurately, portrayed the hard part of life.
I’ll leave you with this small but enjoyable work of Ashley’s…
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