From the youth church choir in Rocky Mount, NC to Broadway to Motown The Musical…what started out as hopes and dreams quickly turned into a reality for Malcolm Armwood who started singing in church at the age of 5. Armwood grew up in Rocky Mount and began to partake in acting in his local church plays for some time.
At age 15, he decided to get involved in small local plays in the community. While there, his vocal coach saw talent in him and suggested that he audition for The Wizard of Oz for the local community theatre. He followed pursuit and landed his first real role.
“I knew right then and there that acting and performing is what I wanted to do” said Armwood. He continued doing community theatre shows throughout his childhood and went on to attend East Carolina University (ECU). Armwood joined the ECU Theatre company and landed feature roles in various plays such as The Wild Party musical and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Musical. After graduating from ECU, Armwood landed a gig working on a non-region cruise line for 6 months.
“I knew my goal was to get to New York City but I knew I needed money to support my dream, so I had to save up.” Working on the cruise was a good experience for Armwood. He was able to indeed save enough money and he move. After moving to New York, he auditioned for Motown. He received a few call backs but did not land the role. Armwood was still determined to pursue his dream and with being new to the audition process the big city, he took some time to practice and better himself.
Armwood was informed that Motown was going to be having auditions again for the second tour and he immediately seized the opportunity. By the time the second auditions came around Armwood had been to a decent amount of auditions and felt really prepared and determined to make the cuts this time around. Armwood went to auditions and after 3 or 4 call backs he received the news that he had landed a role in Motown.
When asked which character Armwood most identified with, he responds with the character of Miki Stevenson. In Motown, Miki Stevenson is in charge of the A&R department and recruiting local talent and musicians. He also did a little bit of song writing. Armwood described Miki Stevenson’s character as over the top, outgoing and funny and loves to have a good time. Armwood described himself as a scaled down version of that character.
“I love to have a good time and joke around” said Armwood.
Armwood didn’t start listening to Motown until he got to high school where he was introduced to a Motown station on Pandora, a music-streaming internet service. “The pros to being in a production company is having the opportunity to travel and tell such an amazing story based off of real facts of how Motown really shaped history to so many people at a time” Said Armwood. “And also being able to reach out to kids and inspire them to pursue their dreams.”
Armwood talked about a specific show where they performed in front of about 1,000 high school students and the thrill of being able to teach them how the music of Motown really changed America and how it really brought people together was really touching to him. “Having the ability to teach others, seeing the joy on their faces and the amount of excitement they would bring is just everything to me” said Armwood. We also had the opportunity to go to the kid’s drama classes where they had a chance to perform for us.
When having to list a con, Armwood just talked about things being hard to be on the road and away from family.”
According to Malcolm Armwood, goers should expect to see a phenomenal history lesson form of production full of energy and excitement with amazing music and more.
The play will be coming to Durham’s DPAC August 1-6th. Get your tickets now!
Motown The Musical
A Celebration of the Music that Transformed America
It began as one man’s story… became everyone’s music… and is now Broadway’s musical. MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” experience the story behind the music in the record-breaking smash hit MOTOWN THE MUSICAL!
Tue, Aug 1 – Sun, Aug 6, 2017 For tickets or more information: click here