From New York City Broadway shows to big-time television, movies, music and campaigns, Bryan Terrell Clark shares his journey in those venues.
“I don’t feel like I chose Broadway, I felt like Broadway chose me,” Clark said. “I always kept acting and music separate most of my life. I thought musicals were corny for me.”
In college, Clark became acquainted with a friend’s older brother, who happened to be Broadway star, Billy Porter. Porter helped Clark discover that he didn’t like musicals because he hadn’t seen a good one yet.
This was true until he came across the musical Rent — a rock musical set in the late 1980s and early 1990s about a group of friends living in Manhattan’s East Village struggling to reach a life better.
“I became obsessed with musicals,” Clark said. “That was the first musical I felt like really connected to me, and it felt like it was actually talking about what was going on in the world.”
After immersing himself into the world of musicals, Clark understood that people sang was to express those feelings that simple spoken words could not interpret.
After graduating from Yale School of Drama as an actor, Clark moved to Los Angeles; all during the 2008 Writers Guild of America strike when job opportunities in television and film were scarce. So Clark turned to the music industry.
When the strike ended, he juggled two careers, one in the music industry and another in television and film. While doing a reading of a new play in New York City, he ran into a friend on the street, a choreographer. His friend introduced him to a new project.
“I auditioned, and I had no idea that it would become a Broadway show,” Clark said. “I was cast as Marvin Gaye in my first Broadway show Motown.”
It was a life-changing opportunity to play the role of one of his favorite Motown artists and learning from Berry Gordy, director of Motown.
“I felt like I learned a lot about what it means to be an artist and what it means to find what’s important for you in your life’s journey,” Clark said.
This opened new doors. He was later cast as George Washington in the Broadway show Hamilton, in 2017.
“Walking outside after that performance kinda felt like being in a boy band in the nineties,” Clark said. “I was very much aware how the world and culture was responding to the show, and I felt like it was an honor and a privilege to step into the role. It was life-changing.”
Aside from acting, producing music and shows, Clark also launched a philanthropic campaign called inDEFINED. Its purpose is to help people change their views about representation and empowering people to shed labels off.
“I think Hamilton is showing through its diversity and through its representation that America is an unfinished symphony and we, who are Americans, are completing and continuing to expand on what that overture,” Clark said. “In the same way, inDEFINED allows people to define themselves. I believe Hamilton is encouraging America to define itself as well.”
Aside from inDEFINED, Clark is building and creating new things for his career this upcoming year.
Clark will be performing at BYU-I for the first time.
“I look forward to getting out there,” Clark said.