To chat with Ashleigh Parsons is to be let in on one of life’s big secrets: how to maintain equilibrium. As the co-director at Roadwork Studio, an LA-based film production company, she works hard to bring client visions to life, occasionally clocking 12-hour days on set. You better believe that means she rests extra hard too.
When Ashleigh presses pause on the grind and hits refresh, she decompresses by going to a climbing gym, watching a horror movie or pursuing her passion projects, which she understands sometimes take a backseat to the paid projects that she feels grateful to have. It’s her well-rounded perspective combined with her intentional mindset that left an impression on us and we hope you can take a cue from her too.
Hey Ashleigh! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in New Jersey but have been in California now for a long time and in LA for 10 years. I did a lot of event production but over the past four years my partner Sean and I have had Roadwork Studio. It’s a boutique film production company working with mostly beauty brands, art brands and artists on creative direction, video shoots, commercials and branded content. It’s been really busy lately, which is great.
That is great! For anyone who may not know, can you explain what film production work entails?
Sure thing! Film production is the process of bringing an idea to life, both sonically and visually. Clients come to us with ideas of what they want and through pre-production we flesh out creative, build treatments and determine what’s needed to execute a shoot from the crew to the gear. During production, when we’re on set, we bring that idea to life by directing and shooting the piece. In post-production, we work together to edit, stripping everything to the raw footage and rebuilding from there.
Sounds pretty cool. How would you describe typical day for you, if there is such a thing?
It varies. As a freelancer every day is different, but I always try to do some sort of movement which is very important to me. Yesterday I was on set for 12 hours! I knew it was going to be a long day so I woke up at like 5:30 in the morning to do yoga. My job is very physical so having the daily practice of movement is helpful, whether it’s taking a walk or intensive strength training.
What about your weekend, what does that look like?
I do my best to carve out time for self-care and unplug from technology. It can be difficult to turn off work, especially when you work for yourself! So on a weekend I try to be as intentional as possible. Usually that translates to getting plenty of rest, going off my phone, and prioritizing activities that energize me like reading, cooking, writing, moodboarding. On Sundays, Sean and I plan a climbing session with friends, which I love because it's social but also active. I love going to the movies too, usually at Alamo Drafthouse. Two recent favorite films are Corsage with Vicky Krieps who I adore, and Talk to Me, a supernatural horror film directed by Danny and Michael Philippou. My aim is to be rested and replenished, energetically and spiritually, so I can approach the next week as present and inspired as possible.
Well you certainly know how to spend your days off. Do you have a go-to BY piece you wear on the weekends or even weekdays?
I’m actually wearing the Refocus Crop Tank right now. I also love the Spacedye Biker Shorts. I wear these for climbing, jogging, taking walks with a friend. They’re very versatile and I actually thought about wearing them on set, like why not? Maybe next time!
What do you envision for the future of Roadwork?
That’s a good question. Ideally we will be producing feature documentaries, films and continuing to build our community of creative people. It can be hard to balance the passion projects with the client work so the passion projects have to be put on the back burner. We’re very lucky to have amazing clients though. Sometimes it feels like a negotiation between making art and making work that pays, but we’ll see, maybe they’ll marry at some point–I’m looking forward to that.
Yes, that’s the goal! Do you have any words of wisdom for the BY community?
As I get older, I keep thinking about intention and being more intentional. Be intentional about who you surround yourself with, whether its colleagues, friends, family or chosen family. People whom you can give to and who will give back to you. That mutual experience is important. Oh and lastly, stay hydrated! Drink more water and move the body.
Thanks for hanging with us, Ashleigh. One last thing, where can people find you IRL or online?
Yea, for sure! Roadwork Studio is our website and @ashleighjparsons is my Instagram.
Photography by Joanne Pio