Mr. Ashworth’s roots in music can be traced back to his first solo, “The Little Drummer Boy,” at age 6 in his hometown church in Hopewell, Virginia. His early days in music were strongly rooted in the church, and at the age of 14 his natural bass voice and heartfelt devotion to Christ made his move to performing in southern gospel quartets a logical one. Performing with such groups as the One Way Singers and the Kingsboys, he garnered jobs both in the Christian and secular music worlds, ties to which he still holds dear to this day.
After performing in several high school productions, Mr. Ashworth’s love for theatre would take him to Radford University under the tutelage of Prof. Charles Hayes. After graduation, his first professional job paid 60 dollars, performing in Neil Simon’s “The Good Doctor.” Not long thereafter, his first big gig was performing at the Italian show at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. At this same time he had been accepted to the MFA Musical Theatre program at San Diego State University, and would enroll there in the Fall 1992. Under the guidance of Professor Paula Kalustian, Dr, Terry O’Donnell, and Dr. Rick Simas, Mr. Ashworth learned the nuts and bolts of musical theatre, lessons which serve him to this day.
After leaving San Diego State University, he performed insummer stock musicals, industrials, and small commercials, andtended bar to pay the bills. Not long after moving to Los Angeles, Mr. Ashworth landed his first large-scale show, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” which was running at the Schubert Theatre and starring Susan Egan and Tony award winner Gary Beach.
After the close of Beast, Jody would set his sights on New York. Upon arriving to the East coast he landed work almost immediately, working at such stages as the Goodspeed Opera House, Baltimore Center Stage, and Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, and performing in shows such as H.M.S Pinafore, Houdini, Captains Courageous, and Damn Yankees. He would also perform in television and films such as Guiding Light, Sex and the City, Serendipity, and The Devil and Daniel Webster (with Sir Anthony Hopkins) and lend his vocal talents torecording projects with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Beethoven’s Last Night, The Christmas Attic)
National tours of South Pacific, Steel Pier, and Victor/Victoria would afford him the chance to perform on some of thecountry’s finest stages, including the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, and the Ordway in Minneapolis, among others.
Upon his return to Los Angeles, Mr. Ashworth has kept busy performing on such shows as Frasier, 24, and Spin City, films to include Beowulf, Man In The Chair, and recording projects withProgRock records to include BabySteps, Chain.exe, Absence of Empathy, and 13 Days. He also lends his talents to variousvoiceover projects, commercials, and industrials, and has also performed at Disneyland (The Dapper Dans), Reprise!, and the San Diego Opera.
From this modest beginning, Mr. Ashworth has gone on to perform on stages from Lincoln Center to the Hollywood Bowl, with such personalities as Bill Murray, Treat Williams, Reba McEntire, Deborah Gibson, John Lithgow, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Scott Bakula, Jessica Biel, and RogerDaltrey to name just a few.
In the near future, Jody will be starring in a new Sherman Brothers musical entitled “Merry Go Round,” which will headline Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch, Dancing With The Stars) and John Shuck (McMillan and Wife, Annie). Produced by Jack Stein (JNS Entertainment) and directed by Andy Belling, MGR will mark Jody’s first appearance on the Broadway stage.