Issued By: Staff writer Joan Hendricks
We chat to actress Ashleigh van der Hoven about her career, fighting for charity and she shares a special Women’s Month message with all the women of South Africa.
Please tell us more about yourself and what it is you do.
A. I am an actress which essentially means I take on other people’s stories using my imagination and live them as if they were my own.
How did you break into the industry?
A. Having lived in Cape Town for years, I got an agent when I left high school and started going on auditions, etc.
What are some of the career highlights that stand out to you?
A. Working with Nicola Hanekom on stage in 3 different runs of a play she wrote called Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was incredible and an experience I learned so, so much from.
What challenges (if any) did you have to face being a female coming into this particular industry?
A. I think having to always have my guard up when it comes to meetings and opportunities for my career. In an industry (like most others) that is dominated by men in positions of power, it has been quite stressful having to always figure out what intentions really are and constantly keeping a weary head on my shoulders.
How did you overcome these obstacles?
A. Being grounded in my own truth and intentions and having the integrity to let go or step away from things when I can see it’s not being presented in an authentic or well-intentioned light.
What do you enjoy most about your career?
A. Being able to play like a child and get out of my own head.
What is your message to the women of South Africa this Women’s Month?
A. We must not forget that part of our power lies in our ability to nurture and protect things and we have been given the strength to do those things. Our strength does not look like the strength that men have and each woman has to figure that out for herself and find value and power in it.
Tell us about the upcoming fight this week?
A. I am fighting in an Amateur Exhibition fight for APFC events. It’s the first of its kind. An All Women’s Fighting Event to raise money for Rape Crisis and The Same Foundation. I am also raising money in my personal capacity for Rape Crisis through a Back-A-Buddy Campaign!
How are the preparations going?
A. They’re going great. Rocky. Up and down. I had a quad injury which is still a bit niggly. But I’m extremely excited to put my skills to the test.
How can people contribute to your cause?
A. Through my Back-A-Buddy Campaign.
Any exciting future plans you can share?
A. I am one of the leads in a movie Cut-Out Girls which is set to be released in Ster-Kinekor Cinemas this spring! It’s a movie about date rape and hey, hey, I play a boxer!
Any advice for young aspiring actors out there?
A. Decide you love this more than anything else, align with the belief that anything is possible and don’t give up. EVERY actor has rocky patches where they want to throw the towel in but you got to stick it out until the magic happens!