Dec. 16, 2021

Alice Dyches, Singer, Songwriter, Actor

Alice Dyches, Singer, Songwriter, Actor
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Have you ever wanted to chase your dreams of performing musical theater on Broadway? Wanna know a crazy great tip for living in New York City? Rising Broadway star Alice Dyches joins me via zoom from her apartment in Harlem to talk about those things, magic moments, and more, including performing one of her original songs!

Follow Alice on Instagram - @alicedyches 

and on Twitter - @alicedyches 

Check out the single "No Harm" 

Alice's Book Recommendation: Madeline Khan: Being the Music, A Life 


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Like the only sound you'll hear is a windmill or an alpaca like yelling at another alpaca, but I mean.

Welcome to another episode of Chewing the Fat. I am your host, Big Robb. Thank you so much for tuning in, downloading the episode. I really appreciate it. Thank you for the folks that are supporting the podcast like Scott. Thank you for buying me a coffee at And of course, all of the notes that I get on Instagram and all like that, that really means a lot to me. I love doing this and I love reconnecting with folks. And one of my favorite up and coming artists,

I have on the show today all the way from New York City, please welcome Alice Dyches. Hello. Hey. What is up? How are you doing? I'm doing, you know? You're just doing. Life is crazy. Yeah. Life is crazy, but we're grateful and we're sticking with it. That is so awesome. Thank you so much for agreeing to be on and coming on the show. Alice, I've literally known you your entire life. I know, right? I've watched you grow up.

because me and your dad, Cliff, worked together at the radio station. And it is such a joy to see you following your passion. And that's why you're in New York. You know, you got some of that musical bent from your dad, I'm sure. But following your passion to go and to do theater in New York. Thank you for saying that. That's just amazing. It is so amazing. And it could be so scary. And we'll get into some of that stuff here. But...

What, where, where are you in New York right now? What are you, what are you doing? I live in Harlem. I'm on 150th street. So I'm about like 30 ish minutes from downtown theaters and everything. Currently just trying to pay the bills, get situated. I moved back up in September after being home for a year with COVID and everything with Eric Carter, who I think you might know. Yeah, I know Eric.

best roommate ever love him. So we're just trying to like get situated. Haven't done many auditiony things when it comes to the theater world, but I have gotten a couple of my first paid gigs in the city like singing cabarets, restaurants and stuff. So that's been really great. I've been working at grocery stores and restaurants and you name it, I've done it. And we're just...

doing it. Yeah, yeah. A true working actor. You're you're you're you're working so that you can act. Yeah, living the dream as they say. Yeah, so that you can perform. So where did your where did your passion for performing start? Well, I mean, you know, my dad's musical and so I grew up just always, always listening to music, whether it was, you know, classic rock from

the radio station or theater stuff, because I think a big part of it was my grandparents on my mom's side in Pennsylvania. Whenever I would go up to visit, they would always take me in to the city to see a show. It's like two hours away. And anytime I'd be in their car, they'd always have the Broadway station on Sirius XM on. And I just started growing up being like, I don't know, I just hear this Kelly O'Hara person singing and I really like her voice. Like, what's up with that?

And so a lot of it came from that, I think. I just, so many songs are like ingrained in my mind. I think, I think about it a lot, the song on the street where you live from My Fair Lady, that is one song that I cannot remember not knowing it. It's just been like, like put into my brain from such a young age, just from listening to it with my grandparents, stuff like that.

And my mom's mom was really musical too. I don't know, nature versus nurture is a big old thing, but I feel like there's something to do with what's in my blood. Yeah. And yeah, then I did stuff with the Augusta Players. I don't know if you were in Christmas Carol in 2009. Yeah, I think I was. I think we did- That was my first show. Yeah, I think we did Christmas Carol together. And that was just-

That was just the start of like stage. Oh my gosh. Ah, I love it. That is so cool. So who is some of your like inspirations then? When I hear you sing and I see you perform and I see your playlist that you're listening to, I feel like you have a very old musical soul. Yes. And very much in the vein of the singer songwriter and that type of stuff. Yeah. And I'm sure prior to that came from, you know, again, your nurture.

where you grew up and the music that was in the house and stuff like that. But who are some of your aspirations? Who are some of those artists that you just love? Barbara Streisand, for sure. From a young, young age. Linda Ronstadt, holy cow, just love so much. Recently in the past year, I have fallen in love with Susan Werner. She was really active in the 90s. She's a singer-songwriter and she's still doing stuff now. And...

She's kind of, she was the catalyst of me this past year being like, oh my gosh, I need to get back into guitar and I need to start writing again. I just couldn't believe how this music was affecting my life and the words and everything. So yeah, I go all places from, you know, like Barbara singing 60s stuff to, you know, disco. So definitely I live in the 70s in my head.

That's okay. That's a good place to be. I think there's some great foundations in the music from that and some musicality that you just don't find in a lot of modern artists. And also I think some of that musicality of the 70s also lends itself to the stage too. In just the way that the songs are written and composed and things like that. Even some of the cheesy, it's like...

There's a reason they're making a Barry Manilow musical. You know? Right, right. So. Absolutely. Is there, is there a, like a role that is the dream role for you? Oh. Well, yes, I would love, I would love to play Anna in The King and I. That's, that's, so I have like realistic dream roles and then unrealistic dream roles that I.

I accept and I'm fine with it. Anna's the like biggest realistic one. I just would love, I love that music, anything Rodgers and Hammerstein, honestly. I love falsettos. I would love to be able to play Trinone one time. All of my dream roles happen to be all like middle-aged women. So I'm just kind of waiting to grow into the type. There you go, there you go. So what's the unrealistic, the unrealistic dream role? Oh.

Christine Dye, Phantom of the Opera. Absolutely. I have not a high E. So. I think I saw that where the tour was casting or something, I think I sent you a little, it was like, hey, by the way. So many people did. And I was like, you guys. It's not in my range. Stop hurting me. That is so cool. So with being in New York City, it's a big change from North Augusta, South Carolina.

For sure. Yeah, is that the first big move you made? I mean, had you really moved anywhere else other than straight to, you know, the city that never sleeps? Yeah, it was a lot. And thankfully, I knew it pretty well because I was so lucky that my grandparents would take me into the city so much growing up. So I kind of knew what the heck was going on with the subways and stuff.

I still took a lot of learning and still, I mean, to this day, some days I'll walk down the street and be like, holy cow, I'm in New York. This is crazy. It's definitely different. But I do love that everything's always open. You can always get Taco Bell, which is not the case in South Carolina. Yeah, I don't know. I love it. I really do love it. As much of a homebody as I am.

I do love being in the city that never sleeps. That's so cool. What's one of the, if you had a bit of advice for somebody that's looking to make a move like that, what's that piece of advice that you would give them?


I mean, this is dumb, but take your shoes off in the apartment because no matter what you do, because I don't think I have actually good advice on that. I mean, it's hard, it's crazy moving, but no matter what you do in New York, no matter, even if you do take off your shoes and you wear slippers in the house, your floors are always going to be disgusting. Like, I don't know, it just like comes in through the air. If you have a tiny crack in your window or something, you have like,

It's like the city street on your floors and it's the worst thing in the world. So I would say like trivially, uh, take off your shoes and save your money. I know it's so, it's so like easy to postmate food and stuff, but holy cow, sometimes things happen and you're gonna need to save your money. Gotcha. Um, as far as the, the decision part of that.

I assume the decision would be like, just do it. If you have a dream and it's something you want to pursue. Oh yeah. Just do it. And it's easier said than done a lot of times. Very much so. But I mean, and I'll tell you the, I guess I've moved in the city three times now. I've lived in three different apartments and every time it has been the worst thing I can possibly imagine. You are in the pits, you are so stressed, you're applying to different apartments and paying all these fees.

When I was in North Augusta trying to apply to all these apartments and not seeing them in person and everything, that was the craziest thing. And like every day I would talk to my parents and be like, are you sure? Like, what's going on? Cause you just, it's, you can't imagine how crazy it is. And then you finally get out of it and you're finally moved in and you're like, holy cow. I mean, I think I blacked out for like most of it because it was so stressful. But with the, what you were saying about the decision, if you,

have any inkling of doing it, like, and if you can do it, just, yeah, just do it because there's, there's nothing like it and you might not be able to do it again. And as crazy and stressful as it is, I'm so grateful. Yeah. I suppose having a roommate to move with you helps just a little bit in a decision like that, you know, financially, and of course you've got a great roommate and Eric.

So what's one of the takeaways from living in New York City? How long, so how long, so you went to school there, right? Yes, in 2018. I graduated in 2020, and then that's when corona happened. So I moved home. I lived in Pennsylvania for a while during that COVID year. And then I moved back to the city in this September. So.

sort of two and a half years sort of ish altogether. So what's one of the big takeaways that you've just fallen in love with in New York City? Is there like a pizza joint or a ramen house or something like that, or just the fact that you can literally walk and stand in Times Square and see the billboards and see the theater district and just walk past these iconic, you know,

places where just magic happens all the time. That is, I mean, all of those, all of those things you just said. Food-wise, there's vegan stuff everywhere. I'm just a little old vegan from, you know, North Augusta where there was never any options and now I'm like, oh I can go to a random modega and they have a vegan bacon, egg and cheese. On a more serious note though, it's the, it's completely the little magic things, the full circle moments that happen all the time.

And it's unbelievable when I think about it. But I just can't even fathom how many times, I'll be walking down the street and suddenly a Broadway legend walks by me and you just kind of get the like, oh my gosh, I'm here. That's crazy. Or so many full circle things have happened. The school that I went to.

a lot of the teachers were either currently in Phantom or had been in Phantom. And Phantom's been my like, that was the show, the movie, honestly, that got me into theater and singing and everything. And it was incredible to know people that are in it and, you know, to be able to go backstage so many times, it's definitely just the magic. You get these magic moments like every day, at least one small.

full circle crazy thing happens. So that's what I hold onto and that is the best thing. That's awesome. That's awesome. You talked about being a songwriter. I assume there's a lot of inspiration. Well, there's a lot. I mean, inspiration happens wherever you are, but I would think being in a city that gives you those magic moments every day, there's a lot of inspiration in that, right? It's the magic moments. It's the weird city sounds. You know, I'll be...

at work and hear like something beeping on the street. I don't know what the heck it is, but I'll be like, okay, I like that beat, like whatever. It's, I guess it's just, you know, there's more happening. So I guess there's more to take away from it. But I mean, in the same vein, I feel so inspired when I go back to my family's farm in Pennsylvania and it's just quiet. And you know, like the only sound you'll hear is a windmill or...

an alpaca like yelling at another alpaca, but I mean, it's definitely, there's more to take from in the city. That's awesome. So in your songwriting, do you find that there's a certain theme to it? Or I mean, or stylistically, what would you consider your style to be? I...

would like to call it folk. I, which I guess is what it is. That's imposter syndrome in me being like, I'm not really a songwriter. I would say folky. I don't know, stylistically, it's comprised of a lot of songs and people that I admire, little like, little things that they do on the guitar, certain, you know.

hammer somewhere and it's something that I picked up from listening to people. And that's what I think is the coolest thing about folk music and especially like just straight up acoustic guitar is that when you listen to people, it kind of gets ingrained in you, then you start doing it. And then somebody, you know, 30 years down the line might start doing it. But it started from this first person. So I definitely like to. Try to carry on things like that.

And it's usually somewhat personal. Sometimes it's hard to do that. And I've heard advice to be like, well, make up another situation or write about something else. You don't have to know what you write, but I find it at least right now in my life easier to write about what I know. Yeah.

That's great. That's great. I know it is the month of merriment. It's the month of music here on Chew and the Fat. Oh yes. I happen to see that you have a guitar nearby. Oh what? What just happened to? Oh! What? Is there something that you'd like to play for us? It could be one of your originals. Could be something holiday related. It's completely up to you. But ladies and gentlemen, Alice Dykes. Thank you. Thank you.

This is an original called When You Say I Love You on Betty, my Blue Ridge guitar that I got this year. Can you hear that all right?

At first it was the way you moved, the way you let me be. At first it was the way we spoke in synchronicity. Like morning doves flying in sync, we were on the brink of something.

Of course, I mean for me but not for you

But I'm to the point where I imagine your arms around me And I'm trying to sleep And up until now it's been so, it's been well, who can tell? I guess it's in between But I don't

Let's go

So that's why I say I know

You say I love you

Talks are the taking of long ways to walk down by the stream. Teasing the mutual enemies, wheezing of laughter.

See you perfect one day but then poison the next and that is in a way you should

gave me your heart and I'm grateful for that but I don't think I have mine again and up until now it's been so well it's been well who can tell I guess it's in between


So that's why I say

Say I love you

I was in luck, my heart was stuck, so I breathed you in

To the point where I imagine your arms around me And I'm trying to sleep

Until now it's been swell, it's been well, who can tell? I guess it's in between Cause I'm to the point where I imagine your arms around me When I'm trying to sleep

Until now it's been how it's been Well who can tell? I guess it's in between

This goes So that's why I say I

You say I love you

I say I love you

That's that. Great. That was great. Thank you so much. I haven't done that one in a while. Oh, that's a great one. That's a great one. Thank you so much. What was the inspiration for that? Definitely being in, well, getting out of a relationship that is not necessarily

bad. But you're going different places, you need to move on. It's hard. It's kind of written from the perspective of the person who's less attached. I mean, that kind of sounds harsh, but, you know, when somebody else is very attached and you're not

separating because of a big fight or anything. It's just kind of what needs to happen. And it's really frustrating. So that's kind of where that came out of. Well, it's beautiful. It's beautiful. Thank you so much. Thank you.

All right, Alice, this is the part of the show where we like to dive a little bit deeper into like mental health. You know, being a performer, moving, you know, completely to the, you know, other end of the Eastern Seaport, basically, from where you grew up. Hello, down there. Yeah, a lot of stuff can, you know, play on your mind, whether there are times of just like, how am I gonna survive? You may get depressed, anxious.

Worry some just blue sad days. Maybe you didn't get a role that you auditioned for it's a lot of stuff that goes on so How much how do you stay positive and keep the dark at bay? Well, um, I mean you're right with there are so many factors I mean

Forget being an actor and all that stuff, because that's a whole lot of trauma that you're piling onto yourself. But I mean, moving and I am really grateful to have such a good relationship with my mom. We are attached at the hip and leaving that, leaving my dogs, coming to this concrete jungle, it was a lot of...

I had to adapt a lot as the, you know, tourist hippie nature lover that I am. And that did a number on my brain. And then you add the musical theater school aspect of it all and you're constantly being told, no, that's not right. Try it this way. And you know, what if your heart was so in the way that you just did that song? And it's a lot. The biggest thing I found in that aspect is

that you just can't look for validation in other people. You just, I mean, I have found when I start getting in that groove and it happens all the time. I mean, you know, I feel like the journey is the destination. You're always gonna be working on yourself. But if you're looking for validation from a teacher or from a casting director or from anybody, anybody on the outside.

You are never ever ever going to be satisfied. You've got to figure out what you like and what makes you happy and what makes your soul full. And that's truly the only thing that matters. And then antidepressants are great, to be honest. Moving was a lot, a lot was going down. This past year was crazy for so many people.

And I also have a thing called PMDD, which is kind of like PMS times a million. And then you add like another week to it. And dealing with that for a while, wondering why the heck I want to punch glass so often. Not really. My mom and I joke. And finally, you know, talking to somebody, seeing a doctor and asking for help was the scariest thing ever.

but goodness gracious has my medication helped me. I used to be really embarrassed about it, not even wanna take it all the time, cause there's so many things that happen in life and you're like, well, that's not me. Of course I'm okay with it, but that's not me. But now it's like every morning when I take them, I am just so grateful that I get to feel okay.

It's something that I really want to spread now that I, you know, am experiencing it, that it's so okay to get help in that way. And, um, you need to think of it as not, you know, this medication that's gonna, uh, uh, cover things or change you in a bad way, it's something that's healing you and helping you heal. And, you know, it's different for everybody. Therapy is great too. Um, and I am, I come from a.

privileged place, but still therapy is really hard to afford. So I think you got to pick your family, choose your people. My friend Joan says, who's on your team? You should be able to count the people on your team on one hand in life. And I try to make sure to always have my life team in mind and keep them.

the kind of people that you want to surround yourself with at like the best and the worst parts. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's important, being able to find those people that allow you to be yourself, good or bad. And there's no judgment there, but there's also, you know, gentle encouragement, there's support. Yes. Because, you know, it's, if you are surrounding yourself with just, you know, yes men.

that's not necessarily good for you. Yes, you want people that are gonna like, yes, go audition, go do this thing, play that song, write that song. Yes, you want that. But also, you want people that'll call you on your bullshit too. Yes, absolutely. You know, I mean, I think that's really important. And sometimes it's hard to, because we're all, you know, as humans, just so don't wanna show the ugly, you know? And that's why it's important to find people that you can show you ugly too.

And that's a big reason that I love theater so much too. I feel like, I mean, without theater in my life, you know, as an art form, I don't know what the heck I would do or be like, because I feel that the biggest thing that I love so much about live theater is you're just teaching empathy to people. And you are, you know, if you're the actor up on stage, like breaking down and showing all the ugly.

That's telling at least somebody in the audience, oh, it's okay to show my ugly. Oh, thank God, you know. And you're so right, you need people to call you on your crap in a gentle and loving way. And if your best interest is in their heart, you know, you'll know that because you picked them to be on your team. For sure, sure. And you're right, I think as actors,

you know, we're trained or we learn to connect with those emotions inside and display them for other people to see, to allow them to know that it's okay. Yes. And I think, you know, yes, the stage is very freeing, but sometimes when you're not on stage, you seal right back up just like anybody else.

Mm-hmm. You don't want to show those things because although that was the role I was playing that's what you know That's what Bobby was feeling for sure, you know for sure and being able to still Be be yourself be true to yourself bring that into those roles you're playing and then Put the role aside but then being true you and displaying that to your you know to your gang to your crew

is so very important. Absolutely, absolutely. It's hard, it's hard. If, and when you're talking about, you know, seeking help in medical.

help too. There are a lot of people that there's again a stigma, oh I'm on this medication, like I said it's blurring me, it's blocking me, it's making me something else. I love the perspective you have that it's making you better, it's healing you. Yeah, and when I first started too I was like no I don't, I'm tired, I feel blurry, I don't like this and you know of course if that's something that continues you can try other things and I'm really lucky that the first

worked great for me. After a couple weeks of getting used to it, I was just fine, you know? It's not like you're great and happy and peppy all the time because nobody's, nobody should be really great and happy and peppy all the time. But I mean, absolutely, I really had to change the way that I thought about it instead of, this is something wrong with me and I'm just gonna have to take medicine for the rest of my life, which I might not.

to cover it, but no, this is something that's helping me to heal myself. Like there's a reason this exists. There's a reason that scientists are putting money into things that help people's brains because we deserve to live an okay life.

All right, Alice, this is the third segment of the show. It's time now for the Fast Five. Fast Five. Yeah. Do-do-do-do-do-do-do. Fast Five. It's the Fast Five. Fast Five. Sorry, I don't have a theme song, still working on it. I love it, I love it so much. We're stopping some things here. Fast Five is powered by Poddex. It's an app created by my friend Travis Brown. It's created for podcasters, but they're conversation starters, they're great.

It's over 4,000 questions and it's got an app and it also has like physical cards that you can have. You can carry some around in your back pocket. Like if you ever just need to talk to somebody and want a weird question, there you go, boom. Check out Poddex. As a matter of fact, if you go to slash poddex, use the promo code chew, you can get 10% off of your Dex. But I'm gonna hit the randomizer here and we're going to hit your fast five questions. No wrong answers. First thing comes off top of your head. Ready? Okay. Here we go.

What was the last book you read? Being the Music of Life. It's a biography of Madeline Kahn. Oh wow. Love Madeline Kahn. Me too. That is so good. Have to check that out. What's it called? Being the Music of Life? Being the Music and then it's like, colon, a life. It's by William V. Madison. Highly recommend. Excellent. Excellent. I'm gonna check that out. All right. Question number two.

If you could be reincarnated as an animal, what animal would you choose? Oh God. Oh, probably a whale. I don't know. I just think they're so, I just, I would love to swim and also be majestic. Yes. And they have those beautiful voices. Woo. That's awesome. It's funny. Cause I always say that I would love to come back as a whale shark. Oh.

That was my first thought. Because a whale shark has no natural enemies. And I just love people. You're right. And so it's like, and they're beautiful too. I changed my answer. No, no. Because you know, they have a whale shark at the Georgia Aquarium named Alice. Oh, maybe you are already a whale shark. So we'll just be whale sharks. What? That's awesome. No. Question number three.

What did your 15 year old self imagine you'd be doing right now? Oh I know it was only a couple years ago, but Probably this yeah Yeah, probably this I Yeah, that's awesome good on you a little 15 year old Awesome that is awesome that your 15 year old self knew you'd be on my podcast. That's so cool

This is my dream. All right, there's question number four.

Which do you think is prettier, a sunrise or a sunset? Sunrise. Yeah? Yeah. Okay. I thought it was gonna be hard, but actually that was an easy one. Sunrise for sure. Yeah. See, I love sunsets, but I see them more often. Sunrises, I don't see as often, so I think I appreciate them more. Yep, that's the thing. So that's just cause I'm a night owl, so I don't get, I don't really see sunrises a whole lot. So. All right, and here we go. Question number five.

If you could co-write a song with someone, who would it be? Oh, Susan Warner, Susan Warner, everybody who's listening, go check her out. Absolutely. If I didn't like poop myself out of, you know, terrifiedness. Maybe that's what the song's about. Meeting your idol and pooping. I'm so scared. That is so cool.

Thank you so much, Alice. That's our Fast Five. That's the show. Thank you for being here. This was so fun. Thank you so much for having me. Oh my goodness. I really appreciate it. If folks want to keep up with you and your journey in New York City and all of the amazing stuff that you're doing and listen to me people, you need to, you need to follow Alice. Understand and remember the name, Alice Dyches. You are going to hear that often in the theater.

realm of Broadway and also music. So remember the name Alice Dyches. So if folks want to get on the early train to be in the Alice Dyches fan club, where can they find you? You can find me on Instagram. I share a lot of music stuff there. Facebook, Alice Dyches, Twitter, Alice Dyches. It's all Alice Dyches. And I have a new song out. I wrote with my friend, Will Lasseter called No Harm. It's on all the platforms. You can get it on Spotify, Apple Music.

So yeah, if you want to check that out. I love it. I'm really proud of it. So cool. I'll put the links for that. And as well as where folks can find you in the show notes and people can find you there on as well. Again, Alice, thank you so much. I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors. And I absolutely, 100% am a fan. And I know you're gonna do great things. I just know you're gonna do great things. Thank you so much. Oh, thank you.

Thank you. And if you would like to support this podcast, you can buy me a coffee at Until next time, I look forward to the moment where we have to sit a spell and chew the fat.

Alice DychesProfile Photo

Alice Dyches

Actor singer person

Alice is a Singer/Songwriter/Actor person living in NYC trying to do the thing. She grew up in North Augusta, SC where she found a home in the Augusta Players family and solidified her desire to be on the stage. She moved to New York in 2018 to attend a Musical Theatre conservatory and since then has been part of workshops and cabarets around the city. COVID-19 sent her home to South Carolina for a year, but it also gave her time and space to reignite a love for guitar and songwriting. She released a single this year and has plans for more music in the next year. She also has a cat named Elsie who doesn’t let her sleep at night, but she loves nonetheless.