Top Quotes from Brian Stokes Mitchell

That’s the magic of art and the magic of theatre: it has the power to transform an audience, an individual, or en masse, to transform them and give them an epiphanal experience that changes their life, opens their hearts and their minds and the way they think.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I love being outside, and I love the fresh air.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I love seeing the stars, and I love being around my friends and family.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I’m one of the few lucky actors in the world. I’ve never waited tables. I never pumped gas. I’ve always earned a living. I never had to borrow from my parents. I was the first in our family to own a new car.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I think the problem is when people hear ‘arts education,’ they think, ‘I don’t want my son to be some painter that’s going to be hanging in some museum after he dies. I don’t want my daughter to be a struggling artist making no money.’ People don’t realize it’s more than that. It’s beautiful. It brings beauty to our lives.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I’m the chairman of the board of the Actor’s Fund. It’s an incredible organization. It helps anybody that has made their living in the performing arts and entertainment: actors, singers, dancers, film producers, agents, managers, ticket takers, writers, anybody in times of need or crisis.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I was raised on jazz. My father, from the time I was born, used to get up early on Saturdays and Sundays and put on Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Kenny Burrell, Sarah Vaughn, John Coltrane – all these great, classic albums.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Performing in the theater is a very ethereal profession because you do it once and it goes out into the ether and it goes into people’s minds and that’s the only place that it ever exists. And it never exists truly; it only exists in the way that people think they remember it. But it’s a really powerful way to tell a story and to pass something on.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

My mother was the first African-American policewoman in Seattle – recruited, actually – and she did it for only 2 years, as she did not want to carry a gun. She worked mostly on domestic disturbances. The NAACP wanted her to do it. She did not actually have the temperament to be a cop – she was very sweet. She had a Masters in social work.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Kiss Me, Kate’ was my ‘Ragtime’ Tony.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I kind of feel the career chose me. My motto has always been, ‘Go where I’m wanted.’

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I love rearranging and reimagining tunes, so I want my audience to enjoy hearing songs in a new way and make their own discoveries.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I always like to talk about how important space is. Art is in the spaces. Anybody can sing a note; it takes an artist to sing the spaces. Anybody can paint a brushstroke; it takes an artist to know when not to put the brushstroke.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

The first time I really had an influence on a show was during ‘Ragtime.’ It’s still the most magical show that I’ve ever done.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I studied arranging and orchestration a number of years ago, so I have a home studio and arrange about three-fourths of my songs on the computer. Since writing orchestration is tedious, I often put an arrangement on the keyboard and let someone better-qualified finish it.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

When you have a community that’s strong in the arts, it brings all sorts of attention and different businesses into the community.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

People comment on the way that I phrase. And in my 20s, I realized, my phrasing is jazz phrasing. I don’t comply strictly with musical theater phrasing. Musical theater tends to be very one and three, and jazz is definitely two and four.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

One of the best pieces of wisdom I ever got is you work because you work, meaning you work because you’re saying yes to things, and you’re connecting with people.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I love the theater, and I just don’t love television like that.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

When I was 6 years old, I asked my parents for an organ. I don’t have any idea why I wanted an organ.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I’m not a pop singer; I’m not a jazz singer. And I know I sing like not a whole lot of people do; I also know that a lot of other people act like I do. And better than I do. But what informs the singing is the acting. They’re not separate from each other.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

For a while, I couldn’t get arrested in television because everybody thought of me as that guy on ‘Trapper John.’ So I thought, ‘Great, I’ll come out here to New York and do some theater, and when they get tired of me, I’ll do something else.’

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I think I just had it by osmosis: an appreciation of Duke Ellington before I really even knew who he was.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Music is liquid. It’s meant to be messed with and played with and stretched and pulled and pushed, I think.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I’d been playing the piano since I was 6 and wanted to be a composer, but I also wanted to be an actor. I decided to just pursue both and see which won out.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

To me, a theater is a kind of a sacred space. It needs a kind of ceremony, like what happens when you consecrate a church.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

To me, a theater is a kind of a sacred space. It needs a kind of ceremony, like what happens when you consecrate a church.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

That’s what I love about New York. So many people crowded together, pushing against one another. And that’s what I hate about New York. So many people crowded together, pushing against one another.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I hate those vacuous musicals, the happy-happy, ‘Let’s have a good time’ shows.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I wouldn’t call what I do ‘dance.’

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Fear is destructive. Fear and creativity don’t mix. Ultimately, it doesn’t do you any good.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

My favorite music is jazz, actually. It’s what I listen to, it’s what I was raised on, and it’s what I prefer to sing.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

My father was a huge jazz fan, so I remember him playing Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn, and Count Basie.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I gravitate to rhythmic music, so I listen to jazz, world music, Indian music, Hawaiian music, all kinds.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Oddly enough, I almost never listen to show tunes. But there are some shows I love, like Adam Guettel’s ‘Floyd Collins.’

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Years ago, I couldn’t get arrested in commercials because of my look: ‘Is he Jewish, Hispanic, or African-American?’ I ended up doing voiceover work, which has been great. Honestly, I can’t complain.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to work on Broadway, but it doesn’t give me an outside life. So I decided to go into the concert world. I do 40 to 50 shows. That takes one to three days a week, and I’m home the rest of the time.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Doing eight shows a week is hard.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

The thing about doing concerts is that it’s doing a live show. It’s on my schedule. It’s songs I want to sing. It’s saying what I want to say. It’s working with the people I want to work with. I don’t have to worry about pleasing other people – I can do what I want, and people come along and go for the ride.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I can’t remember ever not singing.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

The first audition I did was for ‘Trapper John, M.D.’ I was surprised to get the part, and then to have it last for seven years was a bonus.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

You lose more than you win in life, and that’s OK. That’s the nature of life.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Variety is the key to not being bored.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

My job as an entertainer is to give a great show.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

My family’s very, very mixed. I am, I guess, a kind of melting pot in a person.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

When I moved to Los Angeles, I thought, ‘Whatever hits, I’ll go that direction. If it’s music, fine; if it’s acting, fine.’

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I’ve always felt that my career was in wiser hands than mine. Whatever, in its good time, is supposed to happen will happen.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I love doing theater. It’s what I grew up in and is my roots. I get a huge fulfillment from it. But if my path is to go someplace else, hey, I’m there.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Each time I have performed in Utah, I had a great time, and the audiences seem to enjoy what I do. The audiences are very warm and very appreciative.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

There is a built-in appreciation for music that is so much a part of the LDS culture. Utahns know that music can be divine and can touch a person’s spirit in a unique way.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

I can count on one hand the number of conductors-composers-arrangers that I enjoy working with, and at the top of that list is Mack Wilberg. I feel like I’ve known Mack forever. I’m just nuts for him.

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Music, for me, is the most sacred of the arts. I say that because music communicates in a way that no other art form can. All great art has a spirit that we recognize and appreciate, but music goes directly to your heart.

Brian Stokes Mitchell