My guests today on the Hometown to Hollywood podcast are Dave Thomas Brown and Amelia Bay. Dave is a triple threat whose roles on Broadway have included Elder Price in The Book of Mormon, Josh in Clueless the Musical, David Van Patten in American Psycho, JD in Heathers the Musical, and many more roles in touring and regional theatre. He played Elder Price on the West End in London as well as on Broadway.
Amelia is a professional hairdresser and wig maker for both Broadway and TV. Her credits include Law & Order SVU, Monsterland, Marvelous Miss Maisel, Be More Chill, She Loves Me, The Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys, and Aladdin.
Dave and Amelia are business partners and are also engaged.
We do a deep dive on the importance of training, audition advice, how to get started on Broadway (whether you are an actor or an artist backstage), surprises, challenges, and advice for people who want this life. It was especially fun to chat with both Dave and Amelia together, who bring such complementary insight into how the industry works.
Listen to the first 12 minutes here for free, or become a Friend of the Podcast for just $5 a month — and get access to the full interview, as well as access to the entire collection of over 100 other inspiring and educational episodes designed to help you succeed in the entertainment industry.
Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation (see if you can guess which quote is from which one of them!):
- “I fell in love with theatre because of CATS the Musical.”
- “I never thought I was going to be a musical theatre actor.”
- “I took that Shakespearean training and I put it into treating musical theatre like Shakespeare.”
- “Sometimes those big flashy shows on Broadway don’t deal with the kind of real issues that shows like Heathers do.”
- “I wanted to go to a school that specifically had a hair and makeup program, so that’s why I went to University of North Carolina School of the Arts.”
- “I spent 4 years at a conservatory studying acting. The next 10 years were a continuation of that training.”
- “I’ve always relied on the kindness of casting directors.”
- “Casting directors are your lifeline.”
- “You never know when your name is being tossed around after you leave the room.”
- “Know your craft, go in confident, perform the material, bring something that’s uniquely you, & you will be remembered.”
- “The best thing you can do as an auditioner is watch other people audition.”
- “I auditioned for The Book of Mormon for the 1st time 4 years before I was on that Broadway stage… while I was doing Heathers.”
- “My 1st job was Aladdin… then Jersey Boys… then it snowballed from there.”
- “I literally walked the NYC streets with my resume, looking up stage doors, trying to figure it out. You just have to put yourself out there.”
- “I got my dream role, & I played the lead in 600 shows of The Book of Mormon on 2 continents… & I still want more.”
- “Drop your ego at the door. Be proud of being good at a lot of things.”
- “Live a creative life. No matter what your profession is.”
Follow Dave and Amelia HERE:
Dave Thomas Brown
Their shared socials
The Line Learner App that Dave referenced can be found HERE
Dave Thomas Brown fell in love with theatre, singing, and performing because he was exposed to it as a child. Amelia Bay hung out with the theatre kids in high school in her small town and began doing the hair and makeup backstage, eventually running the department before she left high school. So often it’s a lucky accident that introduces us to something that can shape our lives: the chance attendance of a live theatre performance, a trip to New York or Los Angeles. In my own life, it was seeing a community theatre production of Mame with a family friend that left me mesmerized and in love with acting… which eventually led to my own children falling in love with singing and acting because they grew up heavily exposed to it. Which led to a lot of amazing things that continue today.
If you or your child have a dream of performing professionally, schedule a consultation with me, and start the new year off with some positive action toward that dream. In just 60 or 90 minutes, we can answer questions you didn’t even know you should ask, and create an action plan.
For a a delightful little 60 second treat,check out little Dave Brown singing with his father’s Barbershop Quartet on SoundCloud below: