Making people laugh and projecting her vocal dynamics are two things that actress Erica Ash does well. Ash projects both in TV One’s Miss Me This Christmas, which made its debut on Sunday, Dec. 3. Being funny isn’t something that is new for Ash. Neither is singing. Ash’s Broadway and theatrical background serves as a prep for her role as Regina Young in Miss Me This Christmas.
“I actually consider myself a quadruple threat,” Ash said during a phone interview. “I’m a Broadway baby, so I started off singing and dancing on the Broadway stage and then moved into television and film and then into comedy and drama. The singing, the dancing, the acting, you know, modeling from time to time. I like to keep all baskets ready to receive.”
All those years of developing her acting abilities and hitting musically-tinged lyrical notes on stage are what we see from Ash in a holiday love story turned upside down. Miss Me This Christmas in a nutshell is about a successful, well-to-do married couple that suddenly finds their marriage tanking brought on from the trust barrier being broken.
Regina (Ash) believes that her husband Franklin (Redaric Williams) has stepped out on her with his ex. Of course, a coy Franklin denies the accusations his wife levies at him. But the damage has been done. The back-and fourth contentious dialogue between the couple eventually leads to the heartache of dissolvement of their union on Christmas Day.
It’s a double-whammy for Regina and Franklin because the sacredness of Christmas has a special meaning because it is the day they exchanged vows with one another. That would lead a lot of people to drinking the blues away, which Regina tries her best to do. But best friend Trish (played by Eva Marcille) blocks Regina from going full blitz into a drunken stupor.
From there, a whirlwind romance with a millionaire entrepreneur Ulysses (played by Allen Maldonado) entices Regina to move on. But of course, this thing called love sort of gets in the way of Regina moving on as hints of reconciliation from Franklin and Regina show that the re-kindling of their passion for one another continue to flicker-with or without a third or fourth party being in the mix.
“I’ve known a lot of friends who have gone through something similar,” Ash said. “You just wonder…Should I should give it more time? Am I just jumping into something because I’m emotionally raw right now? Should I give this a chance? It’s kind of wading her way through that-both emotionally and mentally. Am I doing the right thing? Am I rebounding or is it something that’s real? It was very interesting going through it as a character and getting a chance to experience that. I’ve been in a similar situation. So, I can understand how it feels.”
Throughout this up and down comedy drama, Ash bring a bright light to her role as Regina. The most enjoyable moments of Miss Me This Christmas are the funny one-liners and silliness that Ash embodies through Regina. Ash is just hilarious at times with her own form of comedic twist.
“The power of laugher and the power of music, I think, are very, very familiar,” Ash said. “It’s a universal language. Laughter is a universal language. Sometimes you can laugh at something and you don’t even know what the joke is. It could be in someone else’s language. You don’t understand the language, but you understand the good vibe. When you hear someone laugh, if you really tune in, it releases something in your body, and it makes you feel good.”
That euphoric feeling that comes with laughing is something that has been key to her success, said Ash.
“I always keep laughter,” Ash said. “Laughter is a way that I’ve been able to navigate around the world, and meet people and gain new friends and get to where I am in this business. That’s how babies can make adults act like complete idiots.”
If people caught wind of what the bronze starlet brought to the table in Scary Movie 5 or in Survivor’s Remorse, they will love Ash in Miss Me This Christmas. What they also see Ash’s indelible acting chops developed from all those years of work on Broadway, in film and television deliver some show-stopping scenes from that ad-libbing she was doing on the Miss Me This Christmas set. Ash said she was being true to herself as an artist.
“You can’t keep me from ad-libbing,” said Ash. “When you hire me, you hire me and my brain and the way it works. I will always respect the writer of any show and do what’s written on the page, but I need a pass to ad-lib just because that’s just the way that I am built. Everybody’s very really respectful of that and really cool with me doing that. Whether they use or not, that’s fine. It’s just helps me to stay in the character and stay in my mental creative space to keep churning out if they allow me to do that.”
Ash expects those who tune in to watch Miss Me This Christmas will have as much fun as she and her co-workers did in putting the film together.
“It’s one of those feel-good movies,” said Ash. “It’s one of those movies you can kind of sit with your family. You’re going to get to laugh. It’s going to bring you the warm feelings that the Christmas holidays are supposed to impart. You’ll definitely get some great entertainment…a lot, a lot, a lot of laughs. That’s what we got when we were making it.”