Hi there, my name is Asta and I am an award winning actress & filmmaker based in New York City. In case you were wondering: I have my Sun in Scorpio, my Moon is in Cancer and my Ascending sign is in Aquarius—if you’re into that (which I sincerely hope you are). I currently reside in Brooklyn with my husband Clay & pet rabbit Gia. This year I’ve lived in NYC for a whole decade but I have roots all over. Though visiting my immediate family now means a trip to the Pacific Northwest my start was in the Southwest. My birthplace was Beaumont, Texas. I didn’t live there too long before my family moved to Europe, where I lived primarily in Holland and Spain for a few years. Then I came back to Texas in the ultimate Suburbia known as The Woodlands. While there despite its comfortable setting I couldn’t help but feel trapped so I searched for a way to channel my energy with a creative outlet. So I was enrolled in everything from dance to music and landed happily in the theatrical arts. Growing up I was lucky to receive a lot of privileges despite rampant Xenophobia (even though I was born here). You see, my parents are both immigrants from Ecuador who instilled not only high standards but an intense passion for knowledge seeking. They raised me as a “citizen of the world” and shared with me all they could to protect me from the discomfort that they experienced in life. I’ve had to do my best to be vigilant towards harmful ignorance that’s come their way and mine. As a result, I’ve learned to adapt quickly and cultivate a space for myself.
Leaving the bubble of the Suburbs, I was recruited by the great Ken Washington to move to the Minnie-Apple. My college years had me at the prestigious University of Minnesota/ Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program as well as study at the Globe Theater, and the London International School for Performing Arts. The program focus was movement and text-based, having me study everything from African Dance to Shakespeare’s First Folio. For 3 years my focus was also on Pre-Medicine and in those courses I was lucky to get a varied perspective. My times in Minneapolis & in London hold great meaning to me because it was the time I learned to take in the world around me and apply it to others through the power of art.
Being actively in the spotlight for a few years now, I’ve been fascinated by perception and reality: how the lines are blurred in privacy and how to empower others with the use of this newly given platform. Most of my following knows me from my starring role as ‘Chrissy’ in Troma Entertainment’s subversive horror comedy ‘Return to Nuke Em High Vol 1 & 2’ . The character was a headstrong blogger trying to uncover the truth, no matter how risky, which I totally aligned with.
I have continued that theme of truth-seeking in a lot of my work following that film debut. Searching for ways to go a step further, I started a production company, Abandoned House Productions, along with my frequent collaborator and husband Clay von Carlowitz. With a mission to create work I’m passionate about we got to work at it. Through AHP, I’ve acted in and developed projects under this banner including The Shadow Scarf and Eros Point: A Story of Undying Love. In addition, I completed my writer/directorial debut, short film, ‘The Slightest Touch’. Working on that project, in particular, was my way of addressing my shame over my lifelong ebb and flow with C-PTSD as well as Bipolar Disorder. The response to the film was overwhelming. TST received not only critical praise but it also played at university lectures on women’s health. On top of that, multiple friends asked for links prior to its public release as a tool to convey to loved ones of their similar experiences. That reception affirmed my belief that we are all connected. That each of our voices, mine included, has something to help the greater community.
So now connected here with all of you– I am diving back into the BLOG life with a renewed commitment, using this medium to share what I know and channel ideas that are further inspiring work in my performances. I’ve written previously here and there but now I’ve landed on a mission. Under lockdown especially, my mind, body, and home have been increasingly cultivated to make things happen.
With no scramble to hustle I’ve thought about how to send my energy out and make use of myself. I even started a talk show of sorts called CHATTING WITH ASTA (feel free to watch & subscribe) because I was so inspired by the people in my life who kept me social during these times. On the show I gather friends and colleagues to discuss a wide range of topics. We’ve chatted about everything ranging from vulnerability as a source of inspiration to activating social justice in your community. It’s been a fun way to take advantage of my love for conversation and push me to create.
THIS site will continue in that vain of creation by adding another facet to my YouTube channel’s content over time. With Duende Darling I seek to share what knowledge I have with YOU. Not only will I share great finds but ways to discover how to adapt to the beauty of what you already inherently have. I also hope to continue to learn along the way, hear from you, and create something spirited and sweet. Very simply put, this is my magic. Applying intention to way of life and staying connected. Finding beauty in function and practice. Topics discussed moving forward will include more musings, my approach to wellness, skincare routines, home decor, and even some of my favorite comfort food recipes. Thanks in advance for joining me on the journey. Gratitude makes the world go ’round after all.