Darick Pead as the Beast. Photo by Joan Marcus

Darick Pead as the Beast. Photo by Joan Marcus

Utah native Darick Pead is currently starring as the Beast in the national tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. UTBA sat down with Darick to get to know him and talk a little about his life as the Beast.

UTBA: Tell us a little about yourself.

Darick: I was born in American Fork, UT, and lived my whole life in Orem, UT (excluding two years when I served an LDS mission in Pennsylvania and a couple of months living in Provo, UT). I went to school at Brigham Young University for acting. I originally wanted to be a doctor, but realized I can be whatever I want to be as an actor. I didn’t want to limit myself to one profession. As an actor, I could be a doctor, a nurse, a patient, and a Beast.

I’ve been able to participate in a lot of theatre in Utah. The very first part I played was the baby Jesus in my family’s nativity scene. I was a little old for the part because I actually walked up to the manger and laid down when the time came. Other than that I played in different venues like Bonneville Elementary School, Orem Junior High School, Timpanogos High School, Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, the SCERA, Hale theaters in Orem and West Valley, Sundance Summer Theatre, and now I am playing the part of the Beast in the North American Tour of Beauty and the Beast!

UTBA: How did you get started in theater?

Darick: I got started in theater probably in my fifth grade year at Bonneville Elementary School—a big year for me. I had an amazing fifth grade teacher who complimented me on the things she felt I was really good at doing, even though I spent a lot of time in time out and was a terrible student. She was very patient with me. She could tell I wasn’t a very good student, but she started to cultivate the artistic side of me. I auditioned for the part of Toto in The Wizard of Oz and I thought I had that in the bag. I had a callback for the part and everything. I was actually a little disappointed when she gave me the part of the Scarecrow because I REALLY wanted Toto. During the rehearsal process she told me I was really good at falling; that made me feel pretty good. The one night we performed I messed up one of my lines and said it early. The time came a little later to say that line in the right place and I remember thinking I had to say it differently because I already said the line once. I said the line and I remember it very vividly because the audience laughed really loud at the way I said the line. It made me feel pretty good. My 5th grade teacher told me that I probably shouldn’t do the show because I was so behind in school, but she wanted me to do the show anyway because she said she saw something in me. I don’t know what she saw, but I did the show and I loved it!

What also really was life changing that year was I got to watch my brother and sister perform in Man of La Mancha at Mountain View High School, and after watching two of my heroes perform on that stage I was hooked.

UTBA: What shows would Utah audiences would recognize you from?

Darick: At the Hale in Orem I was in A Christmas Carol (Young Scrooge), Beauty and the Beast (Beast), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon), Disney’s Aida (Radames), Little Shop of Horrors (The Dentist), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Freddy Benson), 110 in the Shade (understudy Starbuck, Starbuck), The Drowsy Chaperone (Adolpho), Xanadu (Sonny); Hale in West Valley’s The Drowsy Chaperone (Adolpho) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Freddy Benson); Brigham Young University’s Berlin! (Lt. Hansen), Oedipus (Oedipus) and The Elephant Man (Frederick Treves); and Sundance Summer Theatre’s The Fantasticks (El Gallo).

UTBA: What productions have you done outside of Utah?

Darick: Besides my current tour, nothing.

UTBA: You’re currently starring as the Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. How did you land that role?

Darick: I moved to New York and was submitted by a friend. They saw me on pretty much the day of the final callback. I sang, “There Once was a Man” from The Pajama Game. Then they asked me to read and sing for Gaston and the Beast. I sang and read for Gaston first because I was less familiar with that and then I read and sang for the Beast. After I sang the Beast’s only song in the show, “If I Can’t Love Her” the associate director asked me to sing it again but directed me on how he wanted me to sing it. I sang it again and then he asked me to come back for a dance call. I was not very excited to come back for the dance call because I’m a terrible dancer. I went back to the dance call and, indeed, I was terrible, but he asked me to stick around and sing and read again for the Beast. I read the scene first and then sang the song two more times. We talked briefly and he had a lot of positive things to say (except about my dancing he said, “Dancing’s just not your thing”). I then thanked them for their time and I walked out of the room. The next day I got a call and they offered me the part of the Beast.

UTBA: What was your reaction when you found out you got the part? Where were you when you found out you got the part?

Darick: I was in my apartment in Harlem. My reaction was very excited and nervous. I don’t know; it was crazy because I walked out of the audition feeling really good about it, and I wasn’t sure if they would offer me the part. I felt like I did a good enough job in the audition that if I was right for the part they could cast me. I got the call and I remember saying something to the producer about being very humbled to be receiving this call but very excited. I was ready to get to work. My family’s reaction was much better. They screamed for a good 30 seconds when they found out. They were really excited for me. It’s pretty amazing to have such a wonderful and supportive family.

UTBA: What’s the best part about being the Beast?

Darick: The best part about being the Beast would have to be the journey of the character. I get to be me in many different forms. It starts with the Beast being really mean and selfish but it ends with the Beast changing and becoming someone who is full of real love and un-selfishness.

Honestly, it’s really fun to perform with this cast. They are really talented. I would say that is the best part.

UTBA: What’s it like being on tour?

Darick: I personally love it. It’s amazing to tour the city by day and do a show at night. It is a job, and it can get hard at times, but I really love doing it. There is always something to see or someone to hang out with. I don’t know if I would have seen all the places I’ve seen without being on tour. It really does feel like the cast, crew and orchestra are all one big happy family. We’re really good friends. I don’t know what I can compare it to. Quite honestly, what I feel the most and am so grateful for is that it’s amazing to get paid for what you love to do.

UTBA: Any other cool tidbits you’d like to share?

Darick: I get a lot of question about the actual costume and makeup. The makeup isn’t too bad. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes to put on, including my wig. My costume takes about ten minutes to put on. It takes 5 trucks to haul the whole show around. It takes about 4 hours to take down and 8 hours to put up.

UTBA: Any words for Utah audiences?

Darick: Come see the show in Boise or Vegas. That’s as close as we get. The show was actually in Salt Lake City last year and everyone on tour that was in the company when it rolled through there LOVED Salt Lake City. It makes me proud to say I am from Utah.

Darick Pead plays the Beast in NETwork’s Presents: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, currently touring the U.S. The show visits Las Vegas, Nevada, and Boise, Idaho, in April of 2013. For more information and the touring schedule, visit www.beautyandthebeastontour.com.

Photo by Joan Marcus.