Lip-synching on "Saturday Night Live" and being booed at the Orange Bowl have done little to slow down Ashlee Simpson's (search) career.

Her MTV series, "The Ashlee Simpson Show," (search) is now in its second season and is No. 1 in its time slot. Her debut album "Autobiography" (search) (one of 2004's top 10 selling albums), is approaching three-time platinum status. She's been tapped for the upcoming film "Wannabes," and graced the covers of Cosmo and Teen People this winter.

In her first New York performances since the mortifying "SNL" incident, Simpson sold out both her shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom this week.

Speaking to The Post from a pre-concert sound check, Simpson gave proof to the notion that there's no such thing as bad publicity.

"You may not believe it, but humiliation can be a good thing, and you can grow from it," she said. "I don't regret any of this."

People either love or hate you. What's going on?

Simpson: I don't know. I try not to listen to the bad stuff. I'm learning to be a really positive person.

This is your first performance in New York since the disastrous appearance on "Saturday Night Live." Are you worried?

Simpson: I feel pretty good now; "SNL" is in the past. I've been on the road for a few weeks now and my voice seems to be in great shape, and the fan reaction has been fantastic.

How are these live gigs different from the "SNL" performance?

Simpson: It's a big difference. This is my tour. These shows are for my fans. "SNL" is a great show, but its audience and my audience aren't the same.

How did the "SNL" flub affect you as a person and a singer?

Simpson: I'm a stronger person now. My band and my fans have stuck by me. It was a horrible thing that happened.

It was extremely embarrassing, but I'm not embarrassed by it anymore. I've even laughed about it a couple of times.

Any other good come out of the experience?

Simpson: It's hard to top.

In other words, after that it's going to be tough to embarrass you?

Simpson: I mean, I could forget to wear pants to a show and not be as embarrassed as I was that night. Now I can just go out there and do my thing.

Fill in the blank: From now on, I'll ...

Simpson: Take control of my life. That's my new rule. That night I was battling my voice. I've learned how seriously you have to take care of your voice.

What else?

Simpson: I don't really care what the critics say. All that matters is what my fans think. They're the ones who really listen to my music, and they're the ones who relate to it.

Since we last spoke, you landed a movie role.

Simpson: It was like a vacation. I've been working really hard this past year, and I had the chance to take a break and do this movie. I only have a small part.

You didn't want a starring role?

Simpson: No. So many singers take on a lead role and they're not ready for that. I'm trying to grow and develop as an actress.

What's the difference between acting and singing for you?

Simpson: There's less pressure on you as an individual when you act because movies are a group effort. You also play a role when you act. When you sing, it's just you alone.

Do you have a preference?

Simpson: I don't want to choose between one or the other. They're so different. But in a way it was fun to take a break from singing to do the movie.

Would you ever consider giving up music?

Simpson: Never. I'd be so sad if that were to happen. I feel like I've really come into my own, and I've been writing a lot.

Has the "SNL" experience worked its way into a song?

Simpson: Not specifically about "SNL," but what I learned from the experience.

Which was?

Simpson: That there are some seriously mean people out there.

Your fans are pretty loyal, aren't they?

Simpson: Oh gosh, yeah. They have been amazing, saying they love me no matter what. I've gotten e-mails that say, "I've been to your shows and I know you can sing." I think they know I'm just a normal girl. In school somebody might tease or make fun of them -- they know I went through the same thing.

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