Amy Edwards

DONATE to END Human Trafficking

@amy_whelchel

@childrescuecoalition

@ourrescue

@abbamaniaofficial

@theredhotband

@johnnycashtributeshow

EP 78: Amy Edwards (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it, episode 78. 

[00:00:05] Oh, right. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Amy Edwards. Are you ready for this Amy? 

[00:00:14]Amy Edwards: [00:00:14] I’m. Ready. 

[00:00:15] Dane Reis: [00:00:15] right.  Amy has worked professionally as a performer for the last 15 years. She has toured 15,000 seat arenas singing with Australia’s most successful boy band human nature who have their own residency in Las Vegas. She was a cast member in one of Broadway and the West end’s longest running shows. Disney’s the lion King performing in Australia and China. 

[00:00:41] Amy. Wasn’t the original cast and dance captain and female lead singer in the acclaimed musical Priscilla queen of the desert on London’s West end. She has resided in the U S for the past eight years where she tours at performs with many shows. She was a member of one of Las most successful party bands, the red hot band, and is one of two leading ladies in the hit show, Abba mania 

[00:01:05] she also tours nationwide and all over Canada. As one of the Carter sisters in the man in black, a tribute to Johnny Cash in Vegas, she has performed any number of shows, such as legends in concert. Pin-up  and zombie burlesque. She has performed her own divas show on cruise ships around the world as a guest entertainer. 

[00:01:26] Amy now resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and is looking forward to once again, being able to grace, the stage, Amy, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you done, but. Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps a little bit more about you and what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry. 

[00:01:47]Amy Edwards: [00:01:47] Hi, Dave, thank you so much. That sounds really nice when you, uh, when you laid it all out like that, I was like, wow, that’s nice. Um, Oh yeah, it’s really nice. Well, as you mentioned, my name is Amy. Um, I’m from Sydney, Australia. He didn’t pick up the accent. Um, and yeah, I just moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where my husband is from. 

[00:02:09]But I have been living in Las Vegas for the past four years. I was in LA. For three to four years before that. So I’ve been in the States for eight years now. Uh, just moved here at the beginning of March. I am a singer performer entertainer. I do all those things. Um, yeah. And like you said, I’m currently before COVID whereas touring with some awesome shows, ever mania, the men in black. 

[00:02:35]Uh, forming. With my band, the red hot bands. Uh, who I’ve been a member with for about eight years now. I’m not touring or performing at the moment. So I really missed that, uh, travel life. This is just something I’ve been doing forever and ever. So definitely. Missing it, but really just trying to make the most out of this situation and so grateful to be able to do this with you. I just think it’s so great what you’re doing. So that’s who I am. 

[00:03:01] Dane Reis: [00:03:01] Wonderful. Well, let’s move on to this next section here. And Amy, I am a sucker for a good quote. What’s your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone. 

[00:03:13]Amy Edwards: [00:03:13] Well, I am too. I’m definitely a second for one, I think honestly. I really love. In a world where you can be anything. Be kind. 

[00:03:22]Dane Reis: [00:03:22] I love that. And 

[00:03:23] Amy Edwards: [00:03:23] Me too.

[00:03:24] Dane Reis: [00:03:24] a little bit on that, on how that has affected your career? 

[00:03:28]Amy Edwards: [00:03:28] I have brought that throughout my life, personally and professionally. It costs the costs, nothing to be kind stain. I mean, it really doesn’t. And I think there should be more kinds of people in the world. Um, I just love that because in a world where we can be. Anything just be kind to one another. It makes the world better. And also professionally as well. 

[00:03:49] You know, it’s such a competitive industry that we’re in. Um, but you can be competitive and you can be kind, why not so much easier. So I’ve really just. Kept that with me. And I think it’s served me well, because , it’s led me to where I am and I hope those that know me. Let’s say I’m a kind person. So, um, that’s something I’m really proud of.

[00:04:11]

[00:04:11] Dane Reis: [00:04:11] Yeah, absolutely. Well, I agree with you. I believe you are a very kind person, but also 

[00:04:16] it works out because. 

[00:04:18]The people that we are around all the time, the people that we are usually competing with for these jobs tend to be our peers and our friends in a lot of 

[00:04:27] Amy Edwards: [00:04:27] Hmm. 

[00:04:28] Dane Reis: [00:04:28] Let’s be supportive, let’s help each other out. And we’re all there to be professionals. We’re all there to book the gigs and get the job. But at the same time, if it’s not in the cards for you that time, that’s fine. You can still be supportive of your friends.

[00:04:41]Amy Edwards: [00:04:41] Absolutely. That’s exactly what I think. And you’re right. Like we’re all in this together. And , my bestest friends are in the industry. I met my husband in the industry, so  you’re right. Like where each other’s biggest support where our own kind of people, we get each other. , and there’s, there’s so much there’s work to go around, obviously, not as much right now, but generally there was so I just think, yeah, that’s just, I just love to live my life like that.

[00:05:10]Dane Reis: [00:05:10] Absolutely. And let’s not discount that people like to work with people that are nice and kind, and are easy to work with. So, It only serves you greater in your career for the longevity of your career.

[00:05:22]Amy Edwards: [00:05:22] A grade, no one likes the diva. I could. Diva on stage in a, not a diva to work with. Just like use your diva on stage, you know?

[00:05:30] Dane Reis: [00:05:30] go. let’s move on to this next section. And Amy, of course your, an entertainer. I am an entertainer. And I think that you would agree this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries we’ve probably ever experienced. And you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now. Takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while yeah. There is an outrageous amount of fun doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we are 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. 

[00:06:21]Amy Edwards: [00:06:21] I love this you’re so right. We are in. A brutally honest industry, something that, you know, you have to have thick skin for. We face rejection all the time. But honestly, that is what has gotten me through. Like, I think every audition that we go to is a challenge. You know, every job we’re going up for, it’s a challenge. Um, and everyone that we don’t get those failures, it just toughens us and it makes us even hungrier for the next one. And I don’t really view those. 

[00:06:52]Those jobs that I didn’t get throughout my career, there have been hundreds upon, I couldn’t even count. Um, has failures because I do as cliche as it sounds, I really learned from them.  rejection is obviously hard, especially when you’re younger in this industry, but it’s what makes performance so special. I believe, you know, we’re so it’s what makes us strong, adaptable. 

[00:07:16] And skilled. Um, I think every audition that I haven’t gotten is just an opportunity to see where I can better myself and just work harder. For the next one. But when I do think of  crazy challenges, I used to live in LA man, that is a tough, tough place. And I moved there when I was 25 and I. I had been performing for 10 years, uh, sorry, professionally for about eight to 10 years at that point. 

[00:07:44] And thank goodness, because if I hadn’t have gone through these failures and built this thick skin, man, I don’t know if I would have gotten through LA, but I did. And I’m like really proud of that. And I mean, there’s, there’s a million people more that want to do what you want to do in LA and. I’m just grateful. I had experienced rejection failure and. 

[00:08:06] had experienced successes, um, because LA was a big obstacle, but I got through it and I’m still standing. I’m really happy about 

[00:08:15] Dane Reis: [00:08:15] Yeah, absolutely. I love that. And you’re so right. That you just got to keep going and you have to experience those and you’re right. They are opportunities view them that way. Of course it’s difficult. Of course it’s hard, but. 

[00:08:29]Try not to have that pity party for yourself. Be upset for a moment. Sure. That’s totally fine. But you have to flip that around and you have to keep moving forward. 

[00:08:37]Amy Edwards: [00:08:37] Amen.

[00:08:38] Dane Reis: [00:08:38] Yes, 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 living or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that. 

[00:09:00]Amy Edwards: [00:09:00] Okay. So I love this. This is an interesting one because I started dancing at the age of six and then I started acting classes at around age nine and then singing lessons around 11. So. I’ve always performed, , from such a young age, it’s just always, it’s something I’ve known. This is what I wanna do. , since I was so young, I just didn’t really think. 

[00:09:24]There was going to be anything else. Cause this is just what I love to do so much. And my mom really instilled in me from a young age that I could literally. Be anything I wanted to be blessed that she’s the best. So I kind of just always thought I could do this for a living. Um, which, , I think is awesome. I never thought I couldn’t, but there is a moment, a memory I do have of my very first paid job. I was 12 years old and it was a. 

[00:09:52]TV commercial for Quantas airlines. My Aussies. No contest. I was very excited and I loved  every minute of it.  I loved being on set. It was the first time, you know, I was on set. I loved being in front of the camera. Shocking. I know. But I did. And I do remember thinking like, Oh, I’m actually  making money for this.  what, like at such a young age, it’s such, you know, you just think. 

[00:10:20]What is happening. And I thought, why on earth, if I can make money doing this? I remember thinking why on earth would I want to do anything? I remember saying to my mum like, Oh, this is what I’m doing forever. , absolutely.  why would you not? I just thought it was the coolest thing. That this is my job. So I do really remember that moment of like, wow, I would have done this for free, but I’m actually going to get paid for it. So this is awesome. That was definitely. Something, yeah. At such a young age that I was just fortunate enough that I do get paid to do that stuff. And so that was definitely an awesome moment. So yeah, from then on, I was like, Oh yeah, there’s, I’m not doing anything else. 

[00:11:01] Dane Reis: [00:11:01] I love that. And I want to piggyback on that question 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, what was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Booked it moment. 

[00:11:22]Amy Edwards: [00:11:22] Oh, I love this. Okay. So definitely I would have to say my biggest books at moment, as much as I loved that Quantas commercial. I don’t think that was it. It would have to be getting into the cost of Disney’s the lion King. Um, musical. So I was 18 years old. Um, and this was, you know, Not,  an amateur production of the show, which I grew up doing community theater. And that was the best thing ever. And I loved it, but this was,  the show, the one that is, is in numerous countries worldwide, like, you know, Julie Taymor is the creator and. 

[00:11:59] She goes everywhere and helps cost these shows. it’s been on Broadway for 20 years, the West end. So it was. It was huge. Um, and as I mentioned earlier, I had been doing TV. for many years at that point in Australia, um, but this was lacking was the first professional show. 

[00:12:16]That I had ever auditioned for. And all my gosh, dang.  I did not think in a million billion years I would ever get it. Like, no, this just, I just was. , it was just so excited and honored that I could even audition for the show that I was being accepted to be seen. Um, I truly that’s, I’m not saying that I never thought I would get this show. 

[00:12:38]Um, but it was an intense, intense or audition process. Like I want to say from memory maybe about eight different callbacks. Um, Oh, it was, it was huge that I had to go through I’m. Tiffany is no joke. Um, it is such a big process though, because you know, the show has to keep to it. Authenticity and throughout every production in the world. So there’s a lot that goes into it. You know, you have to, they want you to stay and I want you to dance. They want you to act. They want you to, , um, 

[00:13:06] Have a certain, you know, ethnicity about you as well. Obviously it is the lion King. Um, you also have to learn how to pop a tee. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show that you are using these incredible costumes and puppets. And so it’s a lot. So there were a lot of rounds. I mean, it was a singing round, a dancing around and. 

[00:13:25] , uh, puppeteering round, like it was a lot, so. My biggest book. That moment was definitely when I got the call to say I’d actually been cast and I was actually one of the youngest cast members. Um, obviously apart from the baby little Simba. Uh, to be cost, um, As an adult in the world. And so that was just like, what I am. This is not real. This is  a dream. So I will never forget that. That’s definitely. 

[00:13:52] men, I booked it. 

[00:13:58] Dane Reis: [00:13:58] Well, let’s 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. We are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years? 

[00:14:14]Amy Edwards: [00:14:14] Okay. Yes, it is. Such a bizarre time. I mean, the comfort that I get is that my pee is so many of us. You included, you know, we’re all in this together. Um, thankfully, it’s not like, you know, we’re alone in this, um, So I’m obviously for obvious reasons, not, not doing any performing on stage or anything right now,  with social distancing and theaters not being allowed. So, and I totally understand that we all need to be healthy and safe. 

[00:14:41]Um, but in, so I’m not. Performing, but I’m not a huge passion of mine that I would love to just touch on is, uh, being an advocate for human and child trafficking. Um, yeah, something I’ve just been really passionate about. Um, and what better time? While I am not performing. I’m usually on and off planes in and out of airports, touring all over, you know, busy, busy, no time. 

[00:15:06]Performing. And so now I’m not. So I’m really pouring my energy into.  trying to get into volunteering with some amazing organizations here in Georgia. Um, I’m also doing, I’m doing a fundraiser at the moment actually. It’s I have it’s through an amazing organization called child rescue coalition. Basically what they do is they build technology. 

[00:15:26] And they give it to law enforcement and the law enforcement uses technology to track predators online. And they’ve just done amazing things. They’ve saved 3000 people there. Arrested 13,000 people. It’s just such amazing things. They’re doing sign bowing to do 100,000 steps between now and September, um, to raise money for sexually abused children. And that’s just something I’m. 

[00:15:49] You know, loving I’m so grateful I can help in. Um, also tomorrow. it’s  well, day against trafficking in persons. So, and actually. Um, participating in a demonstration in Atlanta tomorrow through operation underground railroad organization, they’re hosting, um, marches and peaceful. 

[00:16:10] Protests demonstrations all over the country just to speak for traffic, to children and just to have a voice. So that’s what I’m doing at the moment. I’m just trying to help as much as I can and be of service and just follow something I’m really passionate about. And so that’s what I’m doing at this current time, pouring my energy into. 

[00:16:31]Um, I think how do I think the industry is going to look. Going forward. I think it’s going to look differently. Definitely at least for a while. Um, I don’t, I don’t know if you know. Are we going to be doing virtual performances for a while? I don’t know. I mean, that’s something that I’m totally on board with. I don’t know if it looks like. 

[00:16:53]Empty theaters with social distancing for awhile. Um, what I do know is is that people are going to be craving to be entertained. That’s for sure. And I know that we are all going to be so ready. To entertain. So, you know, this is the kind of people where we are. We’re adaptable.   we know tough times. So where is billion? 

[00:17:18]Performance or such resilient people. I know we will be able to get through this. However it looks and we are going to be on stage. Soon enough. Um, once again, I certainly know I’ll be ready for it as well. Um, so, , however, it looks, I know we will adapt and I know we will. 

[00:17:34]My performance, we’re going to come back better than ever before. 

[00:17:37]Dane Reis: [00:17:37] Yeah, I love your insight on that. And I love all the work you’re doing for all of the human trafficking and. 

[00:17:45] everything against any sexual abuse children. It’s so fantastic that you’re devoting so much energy  to that cause. And especially now, I mean, I think  we can all. Agree that. Human trafficking is an awful thing and it’s. Travesty that that exists in this planet. But. I never really. 

[00:18:07]It’s one of those things that never really struck home in a way until I had my daughter and she’s three and a half now and well over three and a half, I can’t believe it. 

[00:18:16] Amy Edwards: [00:18:16] Oh, 

[00:18:17]Dane Reis: [00:18:17] , it makes things more real, nothing, obviously seven has bad has happened, but it’s your daughter. It’s the connection to that. And the thought of that is so. Crazy. And it’s so scary and I’m so glad that you are being so proactive about it and helping the community.

[00:18:34]Amy Edwards: [00:18:34] Thank you so much. Thank you, Dane. That means so much. I only hope and urge that, you know, more of us can, can do stuff to help. And like you said, I don’t yet have children of my own, but. I do have a little 18 month old niece that I’m completely besotted. Um, and you’re right. It, it does really change your view and make you think, wow, like this is real and this hits home and , if anyone was to harm them, you, you know, it’s just, it has really made it. He made me even more. 

[00:19:03]Passionate about it. Um, so I really appreciate that. Thank you.

[00:19:06] Dane Reis: [00:19:06] Yeah, of course. And it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening round. 

[00:19:17] 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?

[00:19:27]Amy Edwards: [00:19:27] I’m ready. Let’s do it.

[00:19:28] Dane Reis: [00:19:28] All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:19:35]Amy Edwards: [00:19:35] Probably knowing that I’m not always going to have work. It’s kind of going to be feast or famine, but honestly, I didn’t have another option. So I was gonna make sure I succeeded.

[00:19:43] Dane Reis: [00:19:43] Great. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:19:49]Amy Edwards: [00:19:49] My mom has always said, just do it as long as you enjoy it, do it. As long as you enjoy it, there was never any pressure on me to keep doing it for any other reason, other than I enjoy it. And to this day, I still enjoy it. Thank you. Ma’am.

[00:20:01]Dane Reis: [00:20:01] Yes. Third question. What is something that is working for you now, or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.

[00:20:12]Amy Edwards: [00:20:12] Well, I was in a really amazing place before our industry went on, went on pause. It took many hard years of hard work. , blood, sweat, and tears. But I had built up a repertoire of shows that I was doing consistently where I was freelancing, but jumping show to show. And that was my full time. So I was at a great point where I could have that freelance lifestyle, but it’s my full time job. It was a dream. 

[00:20:34]Dane Reis: [00:20:34] Love it. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? whether it’s a book, a movie, a YouTube video podcast, maybe a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now. 

[00:20:49]Amy Edwards: [00:20:49] Um, well for what I’m doing right now, definitely a lot of human trafficking, , documentaries that you can watch, um, following just a lot of organizations and people that inspire me on social media. I mean, the internet is like, you can find anything you want on the internet, so you can Google anything. It’s all at our fingertips. So I just like to make sure that my feed and everything I’m consuming is just people that I aspire to be like, And who I want to be in, who inspire me and who I admire. , but yeah, the, the incident. And you can find anything on the internet.

[00:21:18] Dane Reis: [00:21:18] I love it. And I love that you said, you know, you can, you can find anybody who you want to be like or model things after. And. You’re so right. And there’s so much to be said about what you choose to. Put into your brain and what you choose to consume, and that has a very real impact on the person you become and it to not discount that.

[00:21:40]Amy Edwards: [00:21:40] Yes, it does. Oh my gosh.  if you change your feed,  to look how you want it to look, you know, you can fill it with whatever you want and that’s really what I’m doing right now. Just people that really. Inspire me so that, , in this tough time I can look and just feel great. When I look at my Instagram, you know,

[00:21:58] Dane Reis: [00:21:58] Absolutely fifth 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, would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:22:15]Amy Edwards: [00:22:15] Honestly, I feel like I had to learn face the challenges and failures to get to where I am today. So I probably wouldn’t change anything, but if anything, it would be to just have the knowledge and the foresight that it is going to be. It’s going to be tough. You know, it’s not always going to be. You know, everything’s not always going to go your way. , but don’t doubt yourself, Amy, , just keep going. Just, I would just want to have the belief in myself that I will succeed. It’s going to be tough, but I will get there. So I think I would just like to give myself a little bit of that wisdom.

[00:22:44]Dane Reis: [00:22:44] Yeah, I love it.  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.

[00:22:54]Amy Edwards: [00:22:54] Never give up. It sounds so cliche, but that is the only difference between you and the person standing next to you. If you don’t give up, you will succeed. This is a tough industry, but all my gosh, it will be worth it. , hang in there, do not give up because you are going to get experiences and you’re going to see the world and there’s nothing like it. So. Literally just don’t give up.

[00:23:23]Dane Reis: [00:23:23] Absolutely. And to wrap up this interview, Amy, it is time to give yourself a plug. can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? And is there anything you want to promote? 

[00:23:36]Amy Edwards: [00:23:36] Okay, well, um, I am not on Facebook. I’m, I’m a Martian. I want to, if the only people is probably not on it, but I do love Instagram. So I would love you to come in. Request hangout with me on Instagram. It is Amy. M Y underscore Welchol w H E L C H E L. That is my married name. My stage name is Edwards, but come and hanging out with me on Instagram. , also , if you go to my Instagram in my bio, there is a link to this fundraiser that I’m doing for child rescue coalition. So, if you feel any way inclined to donate or not, you just want to find out information or just how to look. Um, I would love that just to have a peek at what I’m doing, the link is in my buyer. And that would mean a lot, not just to me, but to the kids. 

[00:24:24]Thank you. 

[00:24:25] Dane Reis: [00:24:25] Wonderful. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to both the fundraiser and her Instagram in the description of this episode. Amy, thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s been a pleasure to have you.

[00:24:41]Amy Edwards: [00:24:41] Thank you so much, Dean. I just love that you’re giving us a voice in this time. It means so much, and I’ve just absolutely loved chatting with you. Thank you. 

[00:24:51] Dane Reis: [00:24:51] Thank you.