While I have featured several actors from the UPtv film Runaway Romance, I am still quite ecstatic to highlight yet another one of the dynamic cast members, the supporting lead, Beau Davidson. I actually saw him first in a Hallmark movie (but didn’t realize it at the time), but after seeing him in this most recent film, I did my compulsory research and was awestruck at the accomplishments this young man has under his belt in a variety of different artistic fields.
RH: What inspired you to get involved with the performing arts?
BD: I feel as though it was always a part of me as a child. My grandmother played piano, and some of my earliest memories are listening to her play and also singing and dancing to Michael Jackson. Getting toy pianos and drums as Christmas gifts probably prodded me along, and it just seemed like I had a natural affinity for the stage. Going to concerts by Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, and Garth Brooks really spurred me to pursue entertainment. They say you “get bit with a bug” and I certainly felt that.
I began acting in regional theatres fairly early, and it was my first real girlfriend, the “Gretel” to my “Hansel” in one of these shows, that encouraged me to begin voice lessons at her studio in Memphis. This teacher, Bob Westbrook, also coached talents such as Justin Timberlake, a contemporary and competitor of mine. I also began classical voice lessons in high school, which prompted me to audition for Northwestern University’s School of Music in voice and opera. I was accepted and graduated with some excellent training from that program.
You and I have something in common as I was also operatically trained. Why did you choose to go a different direction musically?
Well, I would say that I have managed to incorporate my classical and operatic training in almost everything that I do. People who hear me sing can hear the training, even in some of my most pop-leaning songs. It has allowed me to create far more diverse music that perhaps I wouldn’t have without that training. And I would consider myself a classical crossover artist anyway, so I use that training in all of my performances.
You were involved in theater during college. Why/How did you decide to get involved with acting in film/TV? What was your first professional role in film/TV?
At Northwestern, I gained my Equity card through a performance as the Prince in The Little Mermaid at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and also as Frid in the Ravinia production of A Little Night Music with George Hearn and Patti LuPone. But it was my move to Los Angeles immediately after graduation that led to my first TV role in Days of our Lives. The casting director, Fran Bascom, highly respected Northwestern graduates, and gave me my first shot. I then gained my SAG card from a small, co-starring role in Gilmore Girls, in which I get into a spat with Paris. Oddly enough, every GG knows that exact episode and season.
You have had some serious accolades in music. Please tell us about a couple of them and how they came about.
This is where I think my education and training paid dividends. I met Bold and the Beautiful creator Lee Phillip Bell in my early days in LA because she was also a Northwestern alumna. She introduced me to her son, Brad, who produces the show, and was now aware of my musical ability. Only after moving to Nashville in 2008 did we truly connect though, as I sent him a video of a brand new song I had recorded called “You’re All I Ever Wanted.” He immediately contacted me to ask if I would sing it on the show, where he would write me into it. That premiere, if you will, led me to create a music video for the song, which I envisioned would have a documentary feel to it. I contacted the Air National Guard and Dept. of Defense to gain access to their personnel and equipment.
“Blessed,” both as a composition and as a short film, was nominated for Mid-South regional Emmys. In 2013, I was selected as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans,” an award given for seventy-five years by the US Jaycees. In part, I was awarded this honor because of the humanitarian work “Blessed” had achieved in honoring service members. So in essence, I attribute these accolades to great education, training, and a vision of something bigger than my own desires.
You were in a Hallmark movie–The Ultimate Legacy. How did that role come about for you?
My agent sent me to the audition, which required singing ability. The role was to play a musician, but as we all know, actors have ghost singers all the time, so musical talent is not always required. When I auditioned, the director asked me to improv a scenario in which I was addressing a veteran audience. I began to quote from my song “Blessed.” Lo and behold, I was cast in the movie, and in the script, I noticed that they had added my song, which I would perform. I suppose that as fate would have it, I was singing, composing, and acting in this film, which is such a great way for me to express my talents.
People from far and wide, even as far as Russia, have discovered my music as a result of The Ultimate Legacy. It has an amazingly broad reach, and perhaps my song can have a diplomatic function someday.
Recently, we saw you in Runaway Romance on UP. What did you enjoy about playing that character? What was the on-set experience like?
We filmed that one in Kentucky, just as I did with The Ultimate Legacy. Kentucky, like Tennessee, is a very hospitable state, so it was really great to film right here in the South. It seems I am always involved in outdoor scenes shot in the summer, so it was quite hot, of course, but all of my co-stars were really terrific.
I had no idea Tatum O’Neal would be playing my mother until less than a week from shooting with her, so I knew I needed to be on my game. I love my role of Scott Adson because his arc goes from beloved reality star to the antagonist in this plot. It’s the juiciest of all the roles, and I love dialing into that transition. We shot the film at a rather rapid pace, so there wasn’t much room for re-takes. I was so pleased with the overall look of the film. Brian Herzlinger, our director, was terrific at steering our ship.
I understand a sequel is in the works. Anything you can tease about Runaway Romance 2, or do you think/hope your character will be back?
Please tell us about some of the charitable causes you support and why they are so important to you.
I have worked with veteran-focused nonprofit Purple Hearts Reunited, an organization whose mission is to find and return purple hearts and other medals of valor to those who earned them, or the next of kin. This relationship enabled me to write a song about the Purple Heart and its meaning.
I also love wildlife, so organizations such as National Wildlife Federation are important. I worked with National Geographic and the Big Cats Initiative to raise awareness for illegal trophy hunting, with my re-imagination of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” These artistic ties to great organizations are real joys of my work.
Elvis had vocal talent, stage presence, acting chops, and that rare ability to just interpret and convey a song. We don’t see that very often these days in musical acts. We see shells of people going along with some label’s idea of what people will buy, which has dumbed down the listener and the artist. In other words, artistry is quite rare. Elvis brought his soul to every performance, and even though he did some movies that perhaps were not A+, he still showed he had real acting ability too. I appreciate everything he brought to the table, and I think a lot of his soul came from the Memphis gospel roots. I aspire to his multi-talented and multi-faceted career.
Sometimes, I am fortunate enough to encounter an industry professional who literally has it all: brains, talent, pragmatism, benevolence, oh and good looks to boot! In the case of Beau, he is the entire package and I have no earthly idea how I did not ever think to investigate this incredible human being sooner than now. Being a musician myself, I will always reserve a particularly special place in my heart for those who not only create music, but also choose to use that medium to motivate and inspire. Furthermore, the fact that he is uncommonly self-aware of the right way in which he should go about pursuing his career in the arts is something that I do not always witness in a world of artists who labor to be what everyone else expects him/her to be instead of being true to oneself. The fact that Beau has chosen Elvis and other authentic performers as the stimulus to his artistic pursuits is something that is not only commendable but undeniably astute. It would appear that Beau has an excellent head on those shoulders of his, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to observe and support his giftedness in the recent movie Runaway Romance.
While we await Beau’s other artistic achievements, I invite everyone to look up his past works.(Runaway Romance and The Ultimate Legacy are notable works that Hallmark viewers will definitely enjoy.) Similarly, I would invite everyone to check out his links below and follow him where applicable if you would like. While Beau may not be a household name in every family in this world, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the people whose lives he has impacted with his acting, music, and philanthropic activities are acutely aware of who he is, and I can only thank him for continuing to give back in every capacity. As long as Beau continues to hone his abilities and practice them with reverence and humility, I have no doubt that his career will continue its steady, upward climb.