Ashley Gearing ’09

Recording artist, singer, and songwriter, now touring with her country duo, The Wildcards

What advice would you give to a girl graduating from Williston today?   

Cherish and cultivate each relationship serving you in your life. Live in the present scene. What do you see, smell, hear, feel… soak it all in and etch that memory in your mind. This is a rare time in your life where life is truly a blank page in front of you. Enjoy the simple things because life gets complicated with the more responsibilities of age. When you can learn to be present in the current moment and not worry about what you can’t control, you realize life is happening FOR you, and every experience is a gift.

Tell us about a woman who is your hero and why?

My mother, her strength is beyond all of her adversity. She has embodied the true meaning of my favorite word … resilience.

What do you think is next for women in your professional field?

Age-less success. For so long, women in the entertainment industry have had a short timeline before they were considered “too old” or forced to stop touring or doing what they love because they wanted to have a family or “weren’t as marketable.” Talent doesn’t go away with age. A woman’s craft and talents grow even stronger with time and experiences. A woman should get bolder with every birthday, in a creative space that can be magical.

What motivates you in your work and life?

When I see my dreams through the eyes of people that truly love and know ME I am reminded of my goals and strengths.

Everyone can be overcome with self doubt, I have been guilty of letting it defeat me at times. The people that really love me remind me of how bad I want certain things in my career and life and it is through their belief in me, that I am reenergized. I am also really motivated by little victories and try to celebrate each one. Each little one adds up.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

My dad used to say to me… “eye of the tiger-stay focused.” When I got busy in my career I realized that meant for me to accomplish one thing at a time and do it well rather than try to do a million things at once. I also think eye of the tiger can represent a strength one needs to just keep going, through fear or frustration.