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David grew up in Lakeland, Fl. His family had a history in music, his father having sung in professional gospel quartets, his mother a singer and instrumentalist.

Crystal Lake Elementary

He attended Crystal Lake Junior High School, where he won the Outstanding Bandsman Award in the ninth grade (which was a big deal at the time).

David graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. His last few years there, he was the first ever freestyle drum major of the Gator Marching Band, President of Phi Mu Alpha, and a member of Florida Blue Key and Omicron Delta Kappa.

After one year as the band director at Ocala Forest High School (where he received a First Chair of America Outstanding Band Director Award), David attended Louisiana State University as a graduate assistant in the School of Music.

University of Florida Gator Band

Among his activities in the instrumental music program, David played trumpet in the LSU School of Music's #1 jazz band and directed the #2 jazz band. While at LSU, David performed trumpet with B.J. Thomas when he brought his concert tour into Louisiana.

After one year at LSU, David moved to Las Vegas, embarking on a professional trumpet career. Among his highlights was playing with Lynn Nicholson. It was while in Las Vegas that David was bitten by the acting bug.

drum major rehearsal

He began his theatre study at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas working with Jerry Crawford, and soon transferred to the University of South Florida and enrolled in the theatre program there. At the end of his first year, he began receiving offers for professional acting work. Before another year had passed, he was given his Actor's Equity membership, performing leads in plays and musicals in the Tampa Bay area.

After a couple of years of nonstop performing in Florida and nudging from L.A. based friend and director Annabelle Weenick, David moved to Los Angeles. He quickly found agents and began building a TV and film resume, supplemented with commercial and modeling work. Wanting a break after working five years in Los Angeles, David accepted the lead actor/singer position on the SS Norway, which toured the Caribbean. Originally contracted for three months, he stayed on for one and a half years. Too much fun.

Joan and David 2009

Leaving the Caribbean, David shot a couple episodes of the Superman TV series at Universal Studios Florida. On his way back to LA, David detoured through Denver, where he had been contracted to play Curly in a production of Oklahoma! for the umpteenth time.

It was in 1991 while in Denver that he met his wife, Joan Hess (formerly Joan Leslie Simms). Interestingly, after avoiding many opportunities to meet, David and Joan were cast in a commercial opposite each other the day before Joan's birthday, and that began the passionate and dramatic relationship that lasted 25 years.

David and Joan moved to New York City on Memorial Day 1993, and were married on August 11, 1996 in Pueblo, CO. They lived in an apartment on the Upper West Side for 15 years before buying a home just across the river in New Jersey. In the spring of 2016, Joan decided she wanted to take her life in a different direction, and Joan and David went their separate ways. Although the marriage and romantic relationship ended, they remain friends to this day.

Sweeney Todd National Tour

David's career has mostly been filled with theatre, acting on Broadway, National Tours, Off-Broadway and regional theatre. He was cast as a Sweeney Todd and Judge Turpin standby in the 2005-2006 Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd, and then was cast as Sweeney to lead the National Touring production of Sweeney Todd, which he played from 2007-2008 to great critical acclaim.

Herbie in Gypsy (2018)

He has won three different regional theatre acting awards while being nominated five times, most notably receiving Chicago's Jefferson Award for his portrayal as Charlie in Shenandoah at the Marriott Theatre in 2007. He has also shot TV, film and commercials in New York City, most notably playing parts on Madam Secretary, The Americans, Elementary, The Good Wife and Royal Pains.

He lives in West Orange, NJ to this day, surrounded by the many deer, raccoon and hawk that share the neighborhood.


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