Dallyn Vail Bayles is living the stereotypical life of the aspiring thespian. He's now in New York well, he actually lives in New Providence, N.J., which is a train-commute away where he holds down 2 1/2 jobs, one as an administrative assistant at a legal firm, one as an usher at the New American theater and the other as an intern at a talent agency.
He auditions a lot.
He gets callbacks a lot.
He hasn't got his "big break" yet but he knows it could be out there.
"It's crazy. It's fantastic. I love it," he says. "I'm paying my dues."
He knows it was a risk, moving his wife and three children to the Big Apple. It's not only about as far from home as a boy from Green River can get, but he's also one of hundreds, even thousands, of talented young men with the same dream.
But it was also something that he knows in his soul that he had to do. If you don't do everything you can to reach your dreams, he says, they will stay only dreams.
Bayles talked about that on a recent visit to Salt Lake City, where he performed as part of the Days of '47 concert and gave a performance in Centerville. He is returning again for a solo concert Friday night in Provo. That concert will feature songs from his "Prayer" CD, released locally a year ago, which includes songs from Broadway productions such as "Les Miserables" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," as well as other inspirational and supplicatory numbers.
The CD received a Listener's Choice Award for New Artist of the Year at the recent LDS Booksellers convention held in Salt Lake City.
It's fun and exciting to be back, he said. He's always been appreciative of his many supportive fans, and he loves the songs on the CD. "They are woven with thoughts of the power of prayer. I think they are the perfect songs for me; I love Broadway, and I love inspirational Christian music. These songs bridge the gap."
Both those elements have played a role in his career to date.
Bayles fell in love with theater when he was in the ninth grade, and his teacher, Mrs. Jenkins, took the class to see a production of "Les Miserables."
"When I saw that, I was blown away. I wanted to be able to do what those people had done. I wanted to be able to give to other people the same experience they had given me. From that point on, I learned whatever I could about it. That goal, that desire never left my mind."
He did have some second thoughts, however. "How stable of a career can it be? So, I decided I should have a fallback job. I was going to be a doctor." In fact, he jokes, "That's how I tricked my wife into marrying me. I was a pre-med student."
But the desire to act and sing never left him, "and after we were married, we talked it over. I knew I had to come back to it. I felt it was where I needed to be."
Since then, he has had a lot of success on stage and in film. While he was still in college at Brigham Young University, he was cast as Feuilly in the Broadway touring company of "Les Miz," and performed in the show's China premiere with the original Jean Valjean, Colm Wilkinson. He later took over the role of Enjolras and toured with the company for more than a year.
He played Alma Richards in the "Light of the World" during the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. He portrays Hyrum Smith in the LDS film "Joseph Smith, The Prophet of the Restoration" and has appeared in LDS pageants in Nauvoo, regional theater in Seattle and in the Fullerton Civil Light Opera's production of "Phantom of the Opera" in Los Angeles.
So, he feels he is ready for the next step.
"My main goal, of course, is to provide for my family." His children are now 6, 5, and 2, "and I'm feeling like a family man. But this is an exciting time in their lives, too. They have adapted well to the changes."
There's an energy in New
York that's unlike anything else, he said. "I affiliate with actors all the time, and the more we mingle, the more you realize we're all in the same boat. We audition, we struggle, we live the life of an actor. But we all have a passion for it; we all love doing it. We can't see ourselves doing anything else."
So far, he feels like he's been laying the groundwork. "I've had very encouraging reaction and comments." One opportunity was to perform in a musical called "Children of Eden," by composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (of "Wicked" fame, among other things). It was presented in a concert style format, "and I sang the lead role of Adam. Being able to work with Stephen Schwartz and his son, Scott, along with some other great Broadway talent, was like a dream come true."That may open new doors. One thing he had learned is that you never know. "There's no set path that every actor takes. You never know where lightning will strike. All I can do is go in and do my best. Sometimes it comes down to a different color of eyes or hair. I can't second guess. I can do my best, and try to blow them away and then go to the next audition. But it's an exciting road to be on, and I'm very excited to see where it leads."
If you go ...
What: Dallyn Vail Bayles
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Covey Center for the Arts, 425 W. Center, Provo
How much: $12, adults; $10 students and senior citizens
Phone: 852-7007Web: www.dallynvail bayles.com