Sitting with Hairspray star Ashley Parker Angel on the eve of his departure from the show, one gets a sense of the complicated challenges that he has faced in being a part of one of Broadway’s most successful productions. There among the blue walls of his dressing room, wearing his grey tee-shirt, without question, Ashley Parker Angel is experiencing a range of emotions as he prepares to say good-bye after a long run on Broadway in Hairspray.
Retaining the charm that won him legions of fans on the reality show Making the Band, and retaining the candor that brought him a large following as a reality television star on MTV’s There and Back, Ashley Parker Angel knows celebrity. He is a pioneer in the reality show genre . Even today, looking back on the experiences he had Ashley notes that he’s spent much of his life on-camera. Thinking about the reality series, Ashley said he felt great about it at the time, but in retrospect, it was a little unusual too
Now, with his long run as Link Larkin in Hairspray, Ashley has been performing nightly in a hit Broadway show. He’s loved the experience and feels positive about his time on Broadway. While recent headlines regarding Ashley and Danity Kane star Aubrey O’Day have buzzed about, Ashley seems grounded and unaffected by the rumors. He has positive things to say about the entire cast and crew of Hairspray. His success in the show prompted the producers to ask Ashley to extend in the show multiple times. While Broadway is an experience he’ll miss, he also is eager to be closer to his son on the West Coast. Though his son has been out to visit, it is clear that the distance has been a challenge for the young father.
As he talks about never giving up on your dreams and his enthusiasm for working and focusing on upcoming projects in LA, Ashley is an example of a performer who continues to navigate the choppy waters of celebrity and still maintain a sense of himself. Remarkably grounded in looking ahead at his career, Ashley Parker Angel may be saying good-bye to Broadway for the time being, but he is also saying hello to a new set of adventures out West. We wish this singer-actor-father-songwriter-musician-dancer-reality star-celebrity-artist all the best