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Ashley-Lauren Elrod


Creative + Filmmaker. CSA Survivor and Advocate. 🌞 Bringing joy in the chaos 💖

🛑 TRIGGER WARNING 🛑 CSA Survivor Story.

My healing journey as a CSA survivor started over 17 years ago when I walked through the doors of @chicagocac.

This organization was one I wanted to walk alongside, even before the story of my childhood abuse came to light. Simply because I wanted to protect as many children as I could from going through what I did at such a young age.

My journey has been a tough one, and as I've found amazing layers of healing throughout the years, it has not come without needing to go through the remnants assault brings into one's life, even decades later. From falling into wrong relationships, being diagnosed with PTSD, and attempting suicide, the past 10 years since my last attempt have been a journey.

The best parts of this journey have been seeing God use this situation to inspire others to not drown in their secrets but to break free from them, no matter what anyone else thinks. It has also been amazing to be a leader in this realm for child and adult child sexual abuse survivors by serving on the advisory board of Chicago Children's Advocacy Center for over three years, coming full circle everyday on this wild ride called life.

This is why I'm incredibly humbled to serve as a keynote speaker for this year's A Night of Heroes event. Events like this truly save lives, and I'm a living and breathing testament to this truth.

Every sponsorship, donation, or ticket sale will go directly towards our efforts to battle child abuse and restore lives. Lives that will thrive, journey on, and love for the better despite what they were subjected to on the path.

If you're in the Chicagoland area, I would love for you to join me on October 5th at RPM at 6PM! The ticket link is in my bio link!

If you're not able to attend but would love to support this beautiful cause, please click the link in my bio for more info on how you can sponsor or donate today! 🌞 If you do choose to support, please send me a note so I can let our team know of your amazingness.

Much love,
Ashley-Lauren 💖

#Ashleylaurenofficial #chicagocac #endchildabuse #childabuseprevention #csasurvivor #nonprofit #nonprofitleadership #supportchildren #suicidepreventionmonth #mentalhealthawareness #healingjourney #healingtok
🎥 I never planned on living this life... 📸

So, I thought at first.

When I embarked on my college journey over 15 years ago, I knew going in I wanted two things.

1. To be an inspiring actor. ✨️

2. To have a backup in something related to the entertainment industry, because I knew early on I was not built for a 9-5 desk job.

I double majored in acting and technical theater production and worked Monday through Sunday on set as a stand-in, at a talent agency, and in the admissions office. Yep, all at once, while carrying 24 credits of courses on my load.

No wonder I'm a producer now! I didn't realize back then, but it took an extreme balance and discipline to survive those days. I always told myself, "I'm an artisssst* in my Donna Summer drama voice. I'm not a negotiator, scheduler, or boss.

It's funny how we can self-sabatoge ourselves, isn't it? And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, opportunities relative to your purpose will still pop up to point you in the right direction. 👌🏽

Now, I'm producing, casting, and acting full-time, creating projects I want to create and working with people I want to work with, and still learning so much every damn day.

I think the best things in life are the parts that aren't fully planned. The parts you allow to just be, outside of the original picture you painted.

➡️ So, the question of the day is.. Are you holding yourself back from ALL that you are capable of while still living your original dream? Or are you selling your full dream short? 🤔

#castingdirector #filmproducers #contentproducer #ugccommunity #ugccreators #productioncompany #nycproduction #bossbabequotes
🌞 Birthdays after surviving a suicide attempt really hit different.

Your appreciation of life skyrockets when that hollow storm passes after so long of being in it. Overall, you just learn to try to push through no matter what because you've been to the darkest of places that you honestly wouldn't wish anyone would have to see.

I'm THIRTY-FOUR today, ya'll. 34 years of whole life, roaming this earth, thanks be to God. And this past year, I'm not gonna lie, "Was A LOT. A lot of death, a lot of letdown, and a lot of yelling at God, "what are you doing?"

Yet, creating this video and taking the time yesterday to do my annual pre-birthday mediation and letter reminded me of all the beauty that came out of this year. And it truly couldn't be captured in one video.

This all aside, as I cried out a major release of this past year, I was reminded to remember when I was a walking zombie beyond help 9 years ago. I was reminded that I survived death, and I've survived abuse, and I will continue to overcome any challenge that comes my way because that is who I am. I'm a warrior, and I was created to show people how to fight. ✨️

I'm a living, breathing example that YOU too can get to the other side, and dare I say, THRIVE.

It takes:

1. Daily acts of courage with God.

2. Dedication.

3. The right support.

4. Learning when to say yes and no.

5. Falling head over heels in love with YOU in every season, no matter what it looks like.

You gotta show up for YOU, boo, first and foremost every single damn day. 🙌🏾

As we wind down mental health awareness month, remember this message for later whenever you need a reminder.

You are so worth all of the love, joy, peace, opportunity, and BIRTHDAYS God has to offer.

Cheers! 🌞🍾🍾🍾

#fyp #solotravelwoman #birthday #birthdaygirl #mentalhealthtips #ptsdsurvivor #gemini♊️
🎬 Casting Directors don't get enough credit. ✨️

Yep, I said it! And from now on, I'm going to start dropping some insider knowledge on what the full process looks like for us and why we TOO should be getting paid what we are worth.

Here's just one major example of what can happen in the casting process:

1. We get the breakdown completed and submitted for approval.

2. We reach out directly to our agent and manager friends to get in talent links we can scan through to choose for auditions.

3. We scan through hundreds, sometimes THOUSANDS of talent that come in from our breakdowns to narrow down to thirty or so people to self-tape.

4. We edit sides to get the best takes and send detailed instructions. Get self-tapes in, edit if need be, set them up in a client link, and send it over for review.

5. All is going smoothly, then BAM, all of a sudden someone wants a completely different type of person, the shoot is filming that next week, it's Friday, and you have to do the entire process all over again. And a lot of times, they want results the next day! 🙃

Yet, sometimes, people don't even want to accommodate our day rates! 🙄 While we are over here utilizing our years of experience, connections, and so on to make the project happen!

And this is just a very simple breakdown of what a day-to-day can look like, not including the callback process, hunting down actors to get tapes in or make the last minute callback, celebrity negotiations, etc!

So, I'm starting this new series in hopes it can highlight our worth as department heads (which we are) in hopes it will raise the level of respect for casting directors, associates, and assistants everywhere. 🎬

If you love it, share it! Let's keep all rising together to help make the industry a better place to be. 🌞

#castingdirector #castingdirectors #newyorkgirls #castingdirectortips
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