Sarah Rose Davis


EP 131: Sarah Rose Davis (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it episode 131. Okay. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Sara Rose Davis. Are you ready for the Sarah? Okay. Sarah is a Seattle based performer, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. After receiving her BFA in musical theater from the Boston conservatory. Sarah returned, Sarah returned to Seattle to begin her professional career at the fifth Avenue theater going on to star in roles, such as Maggie in a chorus line.

[00:00:39] And Linda Mason in holiday in other favorite roles include. Fanny Brice from funny girl, Rosemary, from how to succeed in business, Gladys from the pajama game. And many more. Sarah has been a guest performer with the Seattle symphony and has performed the national Anthem for the Seattle Seahawks and Mariners several times as always thanks to her family and boyfriend for their endless support in this wild world of live theater.

[00:01:09] Sarah. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:24]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:01:24] Yes.  um, like I said, I was born and raised here in Seattle and then. When it came time to pick schools, I was very much interested in getting as far we can Seattle as possible just to experience something different, which is why Boston pretty much this you can get, except for maybe my, um, um, and, uh, it was actually there that I discovered my love for Seattle again, because I realized what a rich city I came from that was rich with like arts and culture and live theater.

[00:01:53] So after school, um, it was really exciting to me to be able to come back home and have a really thriving theater career in my hometown, which is sort sort of of why I always just sort of stayed. I just kept booking work and booking work and staying in creating a life here. So that’s sort of how my theater career sort of spiraled here in Seattle, which I’m very happy about because I love the Pacific Northwest.

[00:02:14]As far as things I do besides theater,

[00:02:16] is that what you’re asking?

[00:02:18]Dane Reis: [00:02:18] Yeah.

[00:02:20] Sarah Rose Davis: [00:02:20] Yeah. To fill in, fill in the gaps. Uh, you know, I, uh, I’m close to my, at my parents here. I have a bunch of siblings that live all over the country, so I’m the closest here, um, which is really nice. My parents still live, you know, where we grew up, um, some close with them.  I’m the youngest of, um, gosh, how many of us are there?  So I’m the youngest of five, um, which is a lot, but we’re all like pretty far apart in age. So that was really fun. My oldest sister’s 20 years older than me. I have nieces and nephews that are basically, you know, closer in age to me than my sister. So I really big family, um, which is fun.

[00:02:52]And, um, yeah, I’ve been able to have a successful career here and it’s funny because you grow up thinking that you. Can only live in New York city or LA to have a successful performing career. And it was really, um, eye opening to realize I could do that here in Seattle. Little love, so much.

[00:03:09]Dane Reis: [00:03:09] Yeah, absolutely because you’re right. So many of us, we just think of those big hubs, even if you’re from an international place  when you think of entertainment and America, you think New York or LA really, and maybe some people will think Vegas in there, but Seattle really doesn’t get put on the list very often.

[00:03:29] Can you talk a little bit about the entertainment and theater scene in Seattle specifically?

[00:03:36]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:03:36] Yeah. So the cool thing about Seattle is we tend to be a place where, um, out of town tryouts happen, uh, the fifth Avenue theater, especially and village theater in a Siqua, I’m also act theater in Seattle. Um, they’re all pretty big hubs for. Uh, new works out of Momo out of, uh, LA or New York city to come and basically try out new material.

[00:03:58]I mean the fifth Avenue loan has sent about, I think, 11 new musicals to Broadway

[00:04:01] Dane Reis: [00:04:01] Wow.

[00:04:02] Sarah Rose Davis: [00:04:02] learning, like hairspray Christmas story. Um, Oh, gosh, there’s so many. Oh, Aladdin, obviously, um, something rotten. So there’s just, um, it’s a great place for the beginning of theater to start, and then it goes off and has another huge life.

[00:04:18] And sometimes we’re lucky enough and the show comes back and we get to do it again. So. It’s been really cool. I been able to be a part of, a lot of new works, a lot of new readings. We have a lot of new work, new musical festivals here. So I’ve had a lot of really amazing opportunities from this, this coast.

[00:04:34]Dane Reis: [00:04:34] Oh, that’s so good. And it’s, I’m so glad that you elaborated on that a bit because Seattle is you’re right. It is a beautiful city to live in and be a part of there’s so much going on there. And. It’s good for people to know that that is a huge, fantastic market for this industry that just goes missed out so often.

[00:04:55] Unfortunately. So thank you for expanding on that. Yeah. And let’s dig into this first section here and Sarah, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?

[00:05:10]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:05:10] Oh, gosh, my favorite quote. Okay, well it’s real simple and it’s from a musical and my mother says it to me all the time. In fact, I have a tattooed on my wrist. It’s sing out Louise smile, baby. Which is just my, my mother sent that too. Sends that to me every time before I have a performance or a big interview, or what have you.

[00:05:34] She texts that to me almost every single time. I have a show, not every performance, but like on every opening night of a new show. So I have it tattooed on my wrist in her handwriting.

[00:05:44]Dane Reis: [00:05:44] Ah, I love that. So good. And let’s dig in to this next section here. And Sarah, of course, you’re an entertainer, I’m an entertainer. And I think that you would agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries in existence. And you know, you know, as well as I.

[00:06:08] That in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like your having now takes a lot dedication and hard work and while yeah. There’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement being an entertainer, doing what we do. There are also our fair share of challenges, obstacles, and failures.

[00:06:27] We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:06:41]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:06:41] You know, that’s like a, uh, that’s a big question. It’s a good question. Um, and I’d say I, I will start by saying, I think I learn a little bit from every show that I do and every, um, audition that I have, um, You know, and I think that’s, that’s the whole part of theater and you learn something about yourself through every, every, uh, audition and performance.

[00:06:58]Um, I’ve been in shows where I’ve, um, played very large roles and, um, have had difficulties figuring out how to have the stamina and, and energy to. Hold the show  together without totally  losing myself personally on the other side of things. And now how you sort of. Have to put almost all of yourself into it, but like leave a little bit at the end of the day. So you’re not just completely burnt out. Uh, I learned that, especially during funny girl, I was 25 playing Fanny Brice, and it was my first like really, really big role and, you know, carrying a show and you’re in every single scene and every single song.

[00:07:36] And you’re speaking for two hours and 40 minutes on stage, let alone, you know, all the songs you have to sing and. It’s a really interesting journey to figure out how to, keep my energy going and my spirits up and figure out how to, uh, just do that. And that, that was a great learning experience.

[00:07:55] That show. I wish I could do it again because just knowing what I know now and performing high perform now, I just wish I could do that show again.

[00:08:02] Dane Reis: [00:08:02] all right. Yeah. I’m glad that you talk about the stamina stuff a bit, . Cause I also heard that , you were hitting on kind of the emotional side of things as well. Not just the purely physical, you know, that is also a rude awakening. Once you start going into full runs and you’re really into it or you’re, you know, a month or so into something that.

[00:08:23]Your body has to adjust in that that is a challenge in of itself, but the emotional challenge as well is a real thing. And I’m glad that you brought that up and address that

[00:08:34]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:08:34] Yeah. I mean, I’ve, there’s a huge emotional side of theaters in general. Cause obviously, you know, we walk into a room, we auditioned for people and bare our soul in front of them. And they like you or they don’t, you get the job or you don’t. I think I’ve had a sort of unique experience here in Seattle where I have had the opportunity to audition for .

[00:08:52]So similar group of people over and over again, which has been really wonderful because they get to know you, the same thing happens in New York city. Right. You know, you see the same casting directors, but it’s such a big pool, but I feel like here in Seattle, I’ve had the opportunity to really. Have like good connections with everybody who does the casting here.

[00:09:09] And it’s been nice that when I do go into the room, like, yes, I will feel nervous. And sometimes there are a bunch of, out of town directors or producers or what have you. But, um, I still feel comfortable when I walk into the room. So that’s been something that’s a little bit unique about living in Seattle, or maybe even in LA or Chicago, where it’s a little bit smaller of a pool.

[00:09:29]Dane Reis: [00:09:29] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.

[00:09:54]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:09:54] I can’t, I only remember a time when I wanted to perform. I don’t remember a time before that. So I can’t say I had that aha moment about, yes, this is what I want to do, but I think I have had definitely had moments of like, yes, this is how I want to be a performer. Um, Uh, I keep going back to funny girl, but, uh, funny girl and, and roles like Rosemary and how to succeed Gladys in pajama game.

[00:10:18] Like I love playing a funny ingenue and. That is sort of like this little niche role, you know, you have you know, you have the ingenue and then you have like a little funny sidekick, but sometimes there’s a funny ingenue and I have sort of slipped my way into that, um, into that path. And once I started playing those roles, like pretty much back to back, I realized, yes, this is what I like to do.

[00:10:40] Like I played, Oh, you know what? I left off. My bio was hope in your in town. I just recently played that. And I, that she is a funny ingenue. Um, so. Once I discovered those roles in my mid twenties, I was like, yes, this is what I want to do. I want to, I want to be the funny, the funny engineer.

[00:10:55]Dane Reis: [00:10:55] Oh, that’s so good.  And it’s great. Cause you found your, you found exactly what it is and that’s so hard as well for us sometimes to really figure out what is it specifically that we want because we all start pretty broad. For the most part, we go, I just want to be in theater or I just want to dance.

[00:11:11] But as you go along, you’re able to really start concentrating and whittling it down to exactly what type of work really truly makes you happy. And I think that’s when this career gets really exciting.

[00:11:23]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:11:23] Totally. Like, I think about it, like in, I’ll go back to like when I was in college, right. I’m in college, like 2006, 2010. Wicked had been on Broadway for however many years now. And everybody’s like, Oh, are you a Glenda? Are you, are you an Elphaba? And I’m thinking, I think I’m both like them I’m like combo. Right. I was never, like I thought, I thought I was an alphabet. Right. You know, you think like the team more serious, like brassy character, then there’s Glenda. Who’s like the light. No legit funny soprano, but I’m like, I’m somewhere in between. I always was. And I never knew what that. Was, and then I get a role like Rosemary and how to succeed and like, like, Oh yes,

[00:12:01] Dane Reis: [00:12:01] yeah, there you are. Ah, love that. And let’s piggyback on that real quick and talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it and what was going on in your life. And what about that moment makes it your favorite?

[00:12:24] Booked it moment.

[00:12:26]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:12:26] Fighting girl will always and forever you. My favorite role I’ve ever played dream role. Want to play it a hundred times when I found out I got that role, I mean, I was the happiest I could have ever imagined being to get that role, but I would say when I booked, when I auditioned for hope in your, in town, I was three and a half months post vocal cord surgery.

[00:12:51] Dane Reis: [00:12:51] wow. 

[00:12:52] Sarah Rose Davis: [00:12:52] It was my second vocal cord surgery and I was three and a half months postsurgery. I had been in lots of rehab and therapy. My voice was super strong. I was, I was cleared. I had been singing. I was part of my therapy and I had auditioned for hope. And if you know, you know, you’re in town at all, you know, she sings following my heart and it’s like this beautiful high legit, you know, floaty song and it’s gorgeous.

[00:13:14] And to be able to feel confident to sing that song. Three and a half months after surgery and then find out. So the next day I have my, uh, three, I don’t know, have a three and a half or maybe, yeah, it was four months post surgery checkup. And I’m sitting in the checkup, sitting in the chair with my, um, With my doctor.

[00:13:34] And he’s about to put the scope, you know, through my nose and look at my vocal chords. And I get a call and I look at my phone and I realize it’s the theater I just auditioned for the day before. And I’m sitting here and they say, okay, you know, they have the, they have the microphone down your throat or the camera down your throat, sorry.

[00:13:47] And they say, okay, sing a song so they can look at your vocal chords while you’re singing. Well, I sang follow your heart from your in town. Fast forward, end of the appointment, it was, everything was healthy. And I checked my voicemail and I had booked the role of help.

[00:14:02] Dane Reis: [00:14:02] Oh, 

[00:14:03] Sarah Rose Davis: [00:14:03] was a little moment where I was celebrating, you know, the health of my vocal chords.

[00:14:08] And I had booked this dream role of mine. And it was just amazing.

[00:14:12]Dane Reis: [00:14:12] , I love that. Especially with having to come straight out of a surgery, basically. Can you talk a little bit about your vocal surgeries and how that came about that journey?

[00:14:25]Anything, any opinions on vocal health, anything along those lines?

[00:14:30]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:14:30] Yes. I’ve actually, I’ve written a couple, not papers, but like, you know, little outlines about this. Cause I’ve, I’ve taught locally here semester classes about vocal health , and my experience and wanting to normalize vocal injuries. Yeah. Um, so I’ll have to go back two vocal cord surgeries, both unrelated issues and on one, on each vocal cord.

[00:14:51] So just totally freak accidents that I’ve had to have two, but I’ve recovered twice. So I’m happy about that. My first one was actually my freshman year of college. Um, I discovered that I had a polyp on one of my vocal chords and for anybody who doesn’t know what a polyp is. If you’ve heard of nodes nodes in your vocal cords is more like a hard callus where a polyp would be more like a blister.

[00:15:10] So that’s like the quick and dirty way of describing it. I had that surgery when I was 17 and everything went fine. And I, um, you know, I stayed in college and everything. I just was going to mass general to do, um, therapy, vocal therapy and speech therapy and all that stuff. And I recovered perfectly fine.

[00:15:26] Everything was great. And then, uh, fast forward, you know, 11 years and I’m. Doing holiday Inn at the fifth Avenue theater playing Linda Mason. I’m having my I’m in the best vocal health I’ve ever been. I mean, I’m singing 20 Irving Berlin songs every night. It’s like gymnastics have a role that that’s the craziest role I’ve played.

[00:15:46] I think besides Fanny Brice and, um, unfortunately about of bronchitis was going through the cast and I made it through the whole show, but at the end of the closing, I got sick. I got bronchitis and I just. Coughed and coughed and coughed for weeks and weeks and weeks. And I actually hemorrhaged my vocal cord.

[00:16:01]Dane Reis: [00:16:01] Oh, 

[00:16:02] Sarah Rose Davis: [00:16:02] and from that, yeah. And from that I had, um, scar tissue that needed to be removed. So that was my last surgery that I had basically. Um, it’s kinda like bruising your vocal chords, you know, but it’s really thin delicate tissue. So I had to have surgery injury to remove scar tissue and, um, Yeah, it was pretty devastating.

[00:16:20] I was supposed to play Amber in hairspray, which was another dream role of mine. And I had to, I had to drop out three weeks before we started rehearsal because I had to go on vocal rest for basically didn’t speak for five weeks and then lots and lots of therapy. Like I, like I said, it was really rough, but, um, You know, um, You know, I came back and like I said, three months later, I was auditioning for shows.

[00:16:42] And five months later I was performing, um, at this little burlesque club we have here in Seattle called the CanCan culinary kitchen. , like eight months after surgery, I was playing hope in, um, you’re in town.

[00:16:53] Dane Reis: [00:16:53] Wow. That’s so good. And  for everyone that’s out there, could you, could you give, um, some insight that. Would lead to anything that any symptoms that might, that someone may feel within themselves to be like, you know what, maybe I should go have this looked at because I think a lot of people just don’t know.

[00:17:12] And can you speak on that just a little bit?

[00:17:14]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:17:14] Yes. So, um, You know, the F the first surgery I had, I did notice that my voice changed, like something was different. I can’t even describe it very specifically. Other than that, I knew my voice. I knew what happened when I sang, like, what it felt like when I would mix their belt. And something just felt not quite right when I would transition parts of my voice.

[00:17:32] So that’s what I knew to look. And the second time, I mean, I knew something was wrong. That was like, I just coughed and coughed and coughed till I was almost practically choking. And, you know, just because somebody has bought bad bronchitis or bad cough does not mean they’re going to ruin their vocal chords.

[00:17:46] I just specifically, you know, I had a little blood vessel that was visible in my vocal chords and for whatever reason I made, maybe I just like, I have bleeds easier, but, um, um, I knew something was wrong. Like that was very clear, but what I will say to somebody who. Isn’t quite sure. You know, like check in with your voice every day.

[00:18:06] That’s the best way of knowing, and yes, there’s going to be variances from day to day, but if you notice something really drastic, like when you go through your mics or through your, you know, through your break, um, if you notice that something feels different or feels wrong or hurts, or you’re, you know, that’s when you sort of sort of know, and anyone who’s super in tune with their voice, I have a feeling that.

[00:18:27]You’ll know when something’s really, really wrong.

[00:18:29] Dane Reis: [00:18:29] Wonderful. Well, thank you for that insight. And let’s see, take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And Hey, it’s a weird time, right? We’re amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:18:49]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:18:49] Right. So I was, I was in a production of sister act at the fifth Avenue theater. Um, we were supposed to open March 14th. So as you can imagine, here in Seattle, everything shut down, uh, you know, 250 people or more, uh, concerts or events was shut down March 11th. So we were shut down just three days before we had an audience.

[00:19:10] We were in the middle of tech. So it was so sad. Cause I don’t know what it was about that show, but if you’ve ever done sister act, ladies, that is a hard show. There’s so many words, so much singing. It’s just, we worked so hard and um, it’s really sad. We didn’t get to that

[00:19:25] show. Oh man. Um, But yeah, as far as performing, you know, we’re pretty locked down tight here in Seattle, as far as what you’re allowed to do.

[00:19:34] So I really haven’t been doing a lot. Yeah. Um, performance wise, but I, I am pretty, I’m artistic and creative, like with my hands. So I, I. Have been doing embroidery and I have a little like embroidery, you know, Instagram and I sell embroidery. And that has been keeping me super, super busy, which has been awesome.

[00:19:53] I also, as many actors have other side gigs. Yeah, we do. Most of them obviously used to be. Some type of performing, but I also do hair and makeup for weddings and special events. So even with the restrictions, we’ve actually surprisingly been quite busy. The last couple of months, that’s been keeping me busy as far as what I’m looking forward to, man.

[00:20:13] I just want some live theater to come back. I just want to sing. I bought myself this microphone, so I could at least just do sit in my closet and record music. So the combination of those things has at least been keeping me. 


[00:20:27]Dane Reis: [00:20:27] Ah, fantastic. And it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?

[00:20:47]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:20:47] I think so. Yes.

[00:20:49] Yes. 

[00:20:49] Dane Reis: [00:20:49] right. 

[00:20:50] right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:20:57]Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:21:03]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:21:03] So take everything. Everyone says to heart, a hundred percent. Everybody has their own opinions about you have your own opinions about yourself.

[00:21:11]Dane Reis: [00:21:11] exactly. And I think there’s also something to be said about the fine line of not taking it to heart, but also being open to hearing things and going okay. Does that apply to me? Is that worth fitting into my life and taking that on. To not be so shut off or to let your ego take over 

[00:21:30] Sarah Rose Davis: [00:21:30] Yes. 

[00:21:31]Dane Reis: [00:21:31] And the third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause. 

[00:21:43]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:21:43] Embroidering. I, it was something I could do backstage and it’s something I can do at home. It’s a traveling craft. I love it.

[00:21:50]Dane Reis: [00:21:50] beautiful. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology you found is helping your career right now.

[00:22:04]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:22:04] Whoa. Gosh, that’s a good question. a few of my favorite comedic TV shows because they remind me what I love about performing and it is comedy and that would be the office, the good place shit’s Creek and Frazier.

[00:22:18]Dane Reis: [00:22:18] ah, all good shows and I love shit’s Creek. And actually. As we’re recording this today’s episode that came out with Michael Judson buried, you know, have you heard of him yet?

[00:22:30]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:22:30] No, I haven’t.

[00:22:31] Dane Reis: [00:22:31] Okay. Check them out on tick talk or Instagram. He’s like blown up. He’s a streaming sensation. And he does these parodies, uh, where he is Moira Rose.

[00:22:43] And it is hilarious. You, if you like shits Creek, you will die when you, when you watch 

[00:22:49] Sarah Rose Davis: [00:22:49] Okay. 

[00:22:49] Dane Reis: [00:22:49] hilarious. And then listen to his episode too, cause that’s also a really good one. And the fifth, the question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do?

[00:23:10] Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:23:13]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:23:13] I think I would keep it the same. Maybe not hesitate getting my tattoos . When I did, because you know what you’ve discovered those up.

[00:23:22] Dane Reis: [00:23:22] Yeah, there you go. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.

[00:23:35]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:23:35] be someone that people want to work with over and over and over again and know your stuff. Like no, when you have to learn something, learn it and know it, commit it to heart and be open for change.

[00:23:47]Dane Reis: [00:23:47] Oh, that was all gold. Thank you so much for those. Just give a quick rewind for that, everybody. And listen to that little bit and do wrap up this interview, Sarah. It is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:24:09]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:24:09] Um, you know, the best way would be just my Instagram. I have two different Instagrams one’s for embroidery, uh, which I saw some of my embroidery through there. And the other one would my regular Instagram, Instagram handles just Sarah Rose Davis. And my embroidery Instagram is Sarah Rose underscore and broderie which you can also find listed at my regular Instagram.

[00:24:25] I have a website, but it’s, you know, influx, I need to update it. Obviously it’s as websites go, sometimes they fall behind on the up. I wouldn’t say you’d find anything too entertaining there. However, my website is Sarah Rose, and there’s some fun old videos on there. And, um, pictures from productions and a handful of YouTube videos and stuff.

[00:24:48]Dane Reis: [00:24:48] Beautiful. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything. Sarah just said into the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with her. Sarah, thank you so much for being here and joining me today. It’s been a pleasure.

[00:25:04]Sarah Rose Davis: [00:25:04] thank you for having me.