Interview with Ash Avildsen on What Now?

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As a young adult, the choices of life can be overwhelming, especially when you are trying to find your place in the world.  That feeling of loneness and ambiguity is compounded in a large city where more focus is based on how you look or how much you make versus getting to know the person. By the time you are 30, many adults are fed up, frustrated while scratching their heads wanting to know, what now?  I sat down with actor, writer, and director Ash Avildsen for nine questions on his latest project, What Now.

CC: What is the most difficult part about writing, directing and producing your first full length feature film?
Ash: It is a lot to take in all at once.  I mean it is a great way to expedite the process, but all the work falls on you. I learned so much about how to get all the details done.

CC:  This movie has some great lines. How much of this story is about your real life?
Ash:  A lot of it comes from real life conversations. (I ask about the devil’s juice and hot wings lines in the movie).
I just thought the “drink my devil’s juice” was funny.  The other came from a brand of Peppermint Soap that when women use it, they get all tingly down there.  I thought the same principle would apply if a man ate some hot wings before a date.

CC:  Is the title a play on words?  For example, we are now in our 30’s, we have crappy jobs –what do we do now?  Or does it imply that so much has gone wrong, what else can happen now?
Ash: The story is about three everyday guys just trying to figure it out.  There is the inner dialogue that is running in your head, and although we sometimes don’t speak them out loud, we are constantly thinking, what now?  There are several scenes in the movie where so much is happening concurrently with the characters, which it is asked aloud, “what now?”

These guys are trying hard to get it all to come together, the relationships, their careers as well as their lives. They are willing to do just about what it takes to move things forward.

CC:  Okay here is my tough question; are you worried that you are feeding the racial stereotypes of 30 something white males who will do anything to get ahead?
Ash: (Burst into laughter).  Wow!  That is a good question.  No one had ever asked me that before. (Chuckles some more). Racial stereotypes of white men?  (Pauses to consider his answer).  I think this situation can apply to a lot of men in Los Angeles. People are so quick to judge you based on your financial status.  It happens more than you know.  The movie focuses on how some people can use social sites to date and meet new people without the snap judgements.  I mean we are all so busy and it is hard to get into the stream.

CC:  So here is my personal question.  After making this movie, have you started dating more, or rather are more sought after?
Ash: I started dating someone before I started the movie and am still dating her. I mean, it was hard considering the long hours, the editing, and all the work that went into this project, but yeah…she’s great.

CC:  This is a bit of a switch from your music background, but I see you brought some of your music influence into the movie, with Bizzy Bone and Ice T.
Ash:  Yeah, Ice-T read the script and he wanted to be a part of the movie.  He was a real cool on the set, especially at his level. He was rapping live on the set and we worked it into the movie.

CC:  What made you decide to go with Bizzy Bone from Bone Thugs in Harmony a leading role?
Ash: I have known Bizzy for a long time.  He was signed to my label Sumerian Records.  There is another side to him that is funny that few people get to see. I enjoyed showcasing that side of him.

CC:  What do you want viewers to come away with after seeing your movie, I mean what is your dominant message.
Ash: Don’t take yourself so seriously and be open minded.  The materialistic things don’t really matter. Living in LA is a double edged sword, so you don’t really get to meet genuine people.  I try to show what happens when you do give someone a chance and let them in.

CC:  What is your message to young artist?
Ash: Believe in yourself, don’t wait around to be discovered.  The real struggle begins when you are signed.  I tell my artist all the time that it is a marathon and not a sprint.  This business is full of one hit wonders, but you can’t wait for the one big song.

CC:  You are working on a follow up movie and a new app as well, right?
Ash: Yeah.  I am working on a rock drama, The Music’s Over, which will feature a fictional young band that gets signed.  I am going to go through all of it, the ego war and real life scenarios. As for the app, I think it is going to be a great way for fans and artist to connect.  In the music industry, we never contracted our own software developers that would support streaming music.  I believe this new app will do just that.

Watch the movie today on ITunes.

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