SIUE Alum Tracy Ashton on Raising Hope

Tracy Ashton, Photo courtesy of maryannhalpin.comOn Tuesday January eighth SIUE Theater and Dance graduate Tracy Ashton made a guest appearance on the Fox series, “Raising Hope.”

Born and raised in southern Illinois, Ashton graduated SIUE in 1981 as a theater and dance major. She looks back on the experience with fond memories,

“College is a womb like experience, everything is just right because you have facilities, crew, and an opportunity to do roles that you don’t when you get out of college,” Ashton shared, “I worked with really great professors, they were tough but loving.”

Ashton is currently employed as a voice over book keeper in Southern California, a job which allows her the flexibility to pursue acting jobs when they become available. She also works regularly with, “Attention Deficit Disorder,” a Los Angeles based improv comedy group.

“With improve and sketch comedy you do it for the love of it,” Ashton shared.

Ashton primarily focused on dance during her time at SIUE, however after losing her leg to cancer in 1995 she began to focus heavily on improv.

“It is a challenge for a person with a disability to find regular work because a lot of the time they just look at you as that disability,” explained Ashton, “I hope to break out beyond that, it’s a matter of getting known casting community, everything is about relationships.”

Ashton is perhaps best known for her recurring role as Didi on, “My Name is Earl,” where she appeared in eleven episodes before the series was canceled. Ashton was called to work on “Raising Hope,” because of her past work with Greg Garcia who enjoys bringing back actors and crew he’s worked with before.

“I was thrilled to be working with them again,” Ashton said, “Initially it was intimidating to work with big stars but eventually you get over that and just do the work.”

In last Tuesday’s episode of, “Raising Hope,” Ashton has a small walk on role in a scene with three of the series leads and Christopher Loyd. She’s hopeful that her part may turn into another recurring role within the series and looks forward to working with the cast and crew again should that be the case.

“Everyone made me feel very comfortable and at home,” said Ashton, “I’m always hopeful they’ll call me in sooner than later.”

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