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 San Diego State University in the MFA Musical Theatre program, and would enroll there in the fall of 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 continue to serve him decades after graduation.
After leaving San Diego State University, he performed in summer stock musicals, industrials, and small commercials, tending 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 on 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 Jesus Christ Superstar, H.M.S Pinafore, Houdini, Captains Courageous, and Damn Yankees. He would also perform in television and films, in such shows as "Guiding Light," "Sex and the City," "Serendipity," and "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (with Sir Anthony Hopkins), and lend his vocal talents to recording 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 the country’s finest stages, including Paper Mill Playhouse, Reprise! (LA), Manhattan Theatre Club, Virginia Repertory Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, and the Ordway in Minneapolis, among others.
Keeping busy between New York, Los Angeles, and Virginia, Mr. Ashworth has performed on such shows as "Frasier," "24," and "Spin City," films such as Beowulf and Man In The Chair, and recording projects with ProgRock records, including BabySteps, Chain.exe, Absence of Empathy, and 13 Days. His latest studio project is Dreams in the Witch House, a new rock opera based on the original short story by legendary horror/science fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft. He also lends his talents to various voiceover projects, commercials, and industrials, and has also performed at Disneyland (The Dapper Dans) and the San Diego Opera.
From modest beginnings, 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 Roger Daltrey 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," "The Florence Henderson Show") 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.
Copyright 2013. Jody Ashworth. All rights reserved.