The quirky girl that caught everyone’s eye at last week’s model audition — I managed to meet up with her for a short interview to find out her inspirations and aspirations as one of UCLA’s students.

Q. Give us a short Aspen 101 session, the basic facts:
A. Hi, I’m Aspen. I’m 20 years old, a 3rd year Theater major with a specialization in Acting. I’m from Los Angeles, so I kind of grew up in Westwood. I’m really used to this area.
Q. Describe your style/ aesthetic in 3 words: 
A. In 3 words? …Punk, princess, and quirky.
Q. I feel that. What are your influences & is there anyone whose style inspires you:
A. Actually my mom. When I was really little, she always loved buying cute clothes for me. So growing up whenever we would go shopping at like Bloomingdale’s, or H&M, or anywhere, and I’d see something I liked that she also thought was cute, she’d get it for me. And we also have this thing where like, if we both think something is cute, we’ll both get it. So we sort of have days where we wear the same exact outfit.

Q. That’s really cute, so I’m assuming you guys share clothes, too:
A. Yeah. Well, she doesn’t let me sometimes, ’cause I’ll steal them, but… yeah sometimes I steal clothes, haha.
Q. What’s your approach to fashion:
A. I love anything that’s just different, anything that catches my eye, where I can go, “Oh, that’s so strange, but it’s so captivating.” When I go shopping, I’ll like start in one place, then I’ll dart over there, and then I’ll go over there, and then I’ll go back.

Q. Are there any places you shop at, aside from the high-street stuff:
A. I usually stick to what everybody [else] does — Forever, H&M, Urban Outfitters. Sometimes I’ll go to Koreatown, and check that out, but I usually don’t find very much there. Or I’ll look online at those Chinese outfit sites, where everything is like, seven dollars. Lululemon is pretty mainstream too, but I wear that a lot as a Theater major. Honestly, it’s just the same places that everyone else shops at, but I just pick the stuff that stands out more.

Q. What other things are you passionate about, what else are you really into:
A. I love theater, I love acting. I actually love teaching; I intend to be a drama teacher for high school students, cause you can’t swear around anyone younger than that. I love pole-dancing, I’m a pole-dancer. I used to do ballet, but I couldn’t afford it after a while so I had to stop.

Q. Oh, how long did you take ballet for:
A. I did normal ballet for about three months, and then I did pointe for like, another three months after that. I was in my sophomore year of high school.

Q. I saw that you mentioned pole-dancing on your Instagram bio, actually. What would you say to people who are a little more conservative? What’s your take on that because it seems to be really stigmatized:
A. I’m very open with any kind of sexuality, or bodies. I don’t care about nudity, I think the human anatomy is beautiful. Pole-dancing has this kind of stigma that it’s for strippers. But especially recently, it’s been more focused on the fitness aspect, and the artistic aspect of it, so it parallels contemporary dance in that way. Because a lot of pole choreography uses contemporary dance moves when you aren’t up in the air. I think it’s a great way to get fit, it’s a great way to love your body, and be more comfortable with yourself. It’s fun.

Q. Is there anything you’re looking to buy next, like anything you’re searching for:
A. Oh, wow. I usually have a list of stuff, but recently I’ve been pretty busy… I’ve been thinking about getting a pair of Timbalands, ’cause I don’t have any, but… I don’t know. I usually wait right around Christmas time and Thanksgiving, and especially right after for all the new styles to come out. I share a closet with two other people in my apartment, so I’m trying to keep everything to my little third, so I haven’t been shopping as much!
Q. What advice would you give to someone who says, “I don’t know what I like,” or what advice would you give in general:
A. I would say just go with what speaks to you. If you see something, and you sort of, this is weird, but you feel a connection to it… I do this in theater a lot, with finding a monologue. If you find a connection to anything, even a piece of clothing, as materialistic as it sounds, you can connect to clothing… I feel like you should just go with it. Even if people are like, “Oh, that’s out of style,” or, “Oh, that’s risque!” Or slutty, or strange, or weird. Who cares? You do you.

Q. I love that. There are a lot of people who are like, “I really like that, but I just can’t pull it off.”:
A.And that’s so funny, because everything about it is confidence.
Q. Preach it:
A. You can do anything if you have the right confidence. Like, for example, in high school, I would just walk out during lunch time even though I wasn’t allowed to. Because I just walked out as if I was supposed to be doing it, and the people at the door were just like, “Okay, well she knows what she’s doing, she’s clearly allowed to do that.” And with all my outfits, they’re always a little strange, like this one [pointing to her mint green bralette under a deep-neck romper] Like, that is not okay, but I’m making it okay.

Q. As a creative, because I know you’re a Theater major, I feel like there are a lot of obstacles you have to go through. I don’t think people respect it enough compared to something more grounded. So what has been your biggest obstacle, and how has that impacted you:
A. I feel like my biggest obstacle so far has actually been myself. All your life, especially as an actor, you’re like, “Actors are all waiters. No one makes it big, no one is successful, and theater is a dying art. Film is so biased, it isn’t about talent or passion.” And so, growing up with that, I’ve had these second doubts, “Am I a good actor? Will I make it? Do I have the look?” I feel like a lot of it is getting past your own inhibitions.

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