Dallyn Bayles often spends months at a time away from home touring the country with the popular musical “The Phantom of the Opera.” But it hasn’t stopped him from keeping his family close and building their spiritual lives.
Though the actor/singer often travels thousands of miles from his wife and three children, they’ve found a way to still enjoy family night and have daily family prayer — something they’re grateful for in a hectic world.
“We knew that with my career as an actor that this was going to be crazy,” Bayles told the Times-News during a recent phone interview. “You’d think it’d be a recipe for disaster, being gone so much. And I guess it could be. But we make everything a matter of prayer and careful consideration. ... The Lord prepared a way for us to make it work.”
It’s worked, he said, thanks to modern technology.
Bayles, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, calls his family every night to have family prayer over the phone, and uses video conferencing for Family Home Evening lessons and Scripture study.
“Those kinds of things have really meant a lot to us,” he said. “I think I’ve gained a lot of appreciation of how important those little things are, to stay connected and stay close together spiritually. We actually grew very close together.”
Bayles currently is enjoying several weeks with his family at their New Jersey home, but plans to hit the road again in mid-May.
Eventually, he’d like to perform in southern Idaho. It probably wouldn’t be “Phantom,” but maybe one of his other projects. He formerly performed with the BYU Young Ambassadors in Coeur d’Alene.
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Bayles, 32, joined Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of “The Phantom of the Opera” about a year and a half ago as an understudy for the roles of the Phantom, Raul and Andre.
“I’ve played each of those roles a number of times,” he said. “It’s a very thrilling musical, one that I grew up with and which helped instill within me a love for broadway music.”
Despite his busy schedule, he’s also found time to make his own inspirational album, “Song of Redeeming Love,” recently released by Shadow Mountain, an imprint of Salt Lake City-based Deseret Book Co.
Bayles already had released one album, but was pleasantly surprised when Deseret Book approached him about the idea of releasing a second. It’s his first project with the LDS-owned publisher.
He says the project is a way for him to share with others his testimony about Jesus Christ as the Savior of mankind.
“I’m so grateful to create an album about the Savior, Jesus Christ,” Bayles said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do ... a whole CD about the atonement, his example, and his role in each of our lives.”
The album contains LDShymns, folk hymns and contemporary religious music.
“I love to be able to sing this music ... It’s something I can put my whole heart and soul into because I believe it (the message) personally. I hope people will feel that. That they’ll be strengthened by it.”
Because he was so busy, and because his wife, Rachel, is expecting their fourth child, Bayles said he almost gave up “Phantom” for good. But members of the play encouraged him to instead take a leave of absence.
He’s thankful for the time off, he said, and is glad he didn’t leave the production company permanently. When he rejoins the tour in May, he’ll be away until at least mid-November, when the musical wraps up in Los Angeles.
This time when he hits the road, however, it won’t be long before his family will join him. They plan to tour with him once school is out for the summer.
He looks forward to that.
He’s also grateful for modern technology, which helps keep him and his family connected when they’re apart. But, he admits, phone calls and video conferences don’t replace interacting with his children in person.
“I’m really grateful to connect back with life,” he said about his current leave of absence. “I’ve missed it so much, being a part of their lives on a face-to-face level.”
Andrew Weeks may be reached at 735-3233 or email@example.com.