Note: Braden Allen King’s final show as Billy in Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) in Walnut Creek, California was on November 11, 2017.
Debut: November 4, 2016 (Deal Park, NJ) February 14, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) October 13, 2017 (Walnut Creek, CA)
Total Performances as Billy: 33 (Deal Park, NJ = 7) (Anchorage, AK = 8) (Walnut Creek, CA = 18) No partial shows
Braden Allen King was 13 years old (D.O.B. = 23-Sep-2003) when he debuted as Billy in the Axelrod Performing Arts Center (PAC) production of BETM in Deal Park, New Jersey. Braden is from Fairfax Station, Virginia, where he lives with his parents and two siblings.
Dance has been a part of Braden’s life from day one, as his mother is a dance teacher, so he started dancing when he was just four years old. His training has taken place at Strictly Rhythm Dance Center in Alexandra, VA, and NYCDA Conventions. In addition to his dance training, Braden also takes voice lessons with the Laurie Nelson Voice Studio at NM Productions.
Braden has won many awards at dance competitions, including at Believe Talent, NYDCA, JUMP and World Dance Pageant. One of his most recent accolades was when he was crowned 2016 Teen Mr Starpower Myrtle Beach with his performance to the song Dancin’ Fool. Here is a video of his winning dance:
Credit: Video by DancingMrB
Braden was discovered by the Axelrod PAC at an open audition in Manhattan, after being told about the audition by his agent at Clear Talent Group. He had seen BETM on Broadway and felt a connection with the character of Billy since they both loved to dance. Braden won the coveted role, beating out about 30 other young hopefuls.
The director of BETM at Axelrod PAC, Liz Piccoli, had this to say about Braden, “The young man is obviously a star who spins on his axis like a planet! At 13 he already has a phenomenal work ethic, an electric personality and a solid dance technique. At his audition he showed us six perfectly executed pirouettes: he is simply awe-inspiring!”
The following video shows Braden rehearsing Electricity and Dream Ballet:
Credit: Video by axelrodartscenter
Performing in BETM in New Jersey created some logistical problems for Braden’s family, since they live in Virginia. His mother, Liz King, took on the task of home-schooling him in New Jersey and she then returned home on weekends, when Braden’s father swapped places with her.
Braden’s favorite part of the show is performing Electricity. He says, “It makes me feel like me. I love when I’m dancing ‘cause I always feel electricity and sparks of energy. I just feel like I want to entertain the crowd, make them feel happy. Because when you make them feel happy and you see them laughing or crying, you know you’ve accomplished what you meant to do.”
Here’s a video of Braden talking about playing Billy. It also features rehearsal clips from the Deal Park production:
Credit: Video by axelrodartscenter
With his debut as Billy on 4-Nov-2016, Braden became the 172nd young actor in the world to play the role of Billy Elliot on stage in a professional, regional or community theatre production of the musical.
Credit: Photo by Amy Hall
In December 2016, Braden was cast in a second regional production of BETM, this time much farther from his home in Virginia. After auditioning in Los Angeles, Braden learned that he had been cast as Billy in the Anchorage Concert Association’s production of BETM in Alaska to be presented from February 14-19, 2017.
Credit: Photo by Kerry Tasker
A year on from his first appearance as Billy, Braden, now 14 years old, embarked on his third production in the lead role. He starred in Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s (CCMT) production of BETM in Walnut Creek, CA, from October 13 to November 11, 2017.
CCMT was very pleased to have an experienced Billy such as Braden on board for their show, and his participation was made possible by a generous grant from the Diablo Regional Arts Association. Executive Producer Wendy Wilcox said, “The unique demands of the role of Billy required us to search far outside our casting circle. Billy is an intense role for a young actor who not only has to have the skills of an accomplished actor and the voice of a great singer, but one who also has the dance training needed to perform this incredibly rigorous role.”
For more information about Braden visit:
To The Axelrod Performing Arts Center Main Page
To The Anchorage Concert Association Main Page
To The Contra Costa Musical Theatre Main Page
To A Complete Listing of All BETM Articles