Jay Sauls to perform May 18 at Wayne Community College
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 1, 2013 1:46 PM
It's been nearly a year since Jay Sauls took the leap and moved to the Big Apple.
But the Goldsboro native says Wayne County will always be home. And next month he will bring his off-Broadway show to Moffatt Auditorium on the Wayne Community College campus.
Sauls has always had a penchant for performing, no matter what career path his life has taken. A sought-after singer/master of ceremonies, he was executive director of the Miss Goldsboro Pageant for 12 years and has been emcee of the Wayne County Fair Queen pageant for the past 15 years. He also served as director of worship at St. Paul United Methodist Church for six years and taught in the public school system for five years.
It was when he began traveling back and forth to New York that he got a taste of a struggling artist's life.
"When I first started performing in New York in 2009, I did my show at the Paramount Theatre," he said. "I was very well supported. I was getting so many opportunities while I was living in North Carolina, I thought if I just lived there (in New York), it would also be easier."
To actually relocate and take up residence in the big city, though, has proven to be eye-opening.
"It's been really difficult, honestly, probably one of the hardest things I have ever done," he said. "I have learned so much about myself and about life in general.
"It's been tough. That's kind of what the show's going to be about. I want to share my journey."
Living in Manhattan, working as a personal assistant, Sauls said he has a lot of irons in the fire. He says he did a music video recently, met with a production company about a reality TV show and has started writing his own songs and working on an album.
But as large as the industry is, it is also very competitive and any delusions of becoming an "overnight success" have gone by the wayside.
Being a bit older and wiser than many of the fresh-faced kids who get off the bus bound for Broadway, Sauls said he has taken a more philosophical approach to the situation.
"As much as I love New York, my mindset is, at this point in my life, because I'm not 20 years old anymore, I feel like I have done more than I thought I would but I haven't done all I can do," he said.
He is bolstered and encouraged by the hometown crowd, which also led to the opportunity for a return engagement.
On Saturday, May 18, he will headline his own musical show, "What It Takes," at 8 p.m. in the WCC auditorium. He will perform with a five-piece band, musicians from around eastern North Carolina he previously worked with, including Thomas Vick of Goldsboro as his musical director.
"Some of the music will be original that I have written, some will be familiar from Broadway," he said. "The whole message about the show is the ups and downs."
One song, "There's Gotta Be More," he said, is one he wrote about some of the struggles.
"Everything can change in a day," he said. "Such a simple statement, but that got me through a lot of days here, along with prayer and family support."
The upcoming opportunity to perform in familiar surroundings is exciting, Sauls said.
"Coming home to do this, not having a bunch of strangers but having people that have always poured into my life," he said. "There's never a better performance than at home.
"I have always been an open book and I wanted to be an open book with this."
Tickets for the show are $15 and are available at Barnes Jewelers and Brown Bag Cafe or by calling 919-920-9678.