Local couple living the Broadway life in NYC shifts passion to renovating RV after pandemic closes theaters

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Dave Thomas Brown and Amelia Bay are living by the old show business saying, “The show must go on.”

“You know, we got to pivot, do something else,” Brown said.

Brown, a Winston-Salem native and UNC School of the Arts graduate, was living out his dream. He was on Broadway, in New York City, with the lead role in the musical “The Book of Mormon”. Then the pandemic shut down all the theaters.

Bay, Brown’s fiancée and a fellow School of the Arts grad, was also without a job. Bay was a hairstylist on Broadway and working “The Book of Mormon.” For the couple’s next act, they turned to their favorite activity, camping.

“We always loved camping, the coziness of having a home on wheels. We always wanted to renovate homes,” Bay said.

The couple found the RV they wanted to renovate. A 1979 Dodge Cruise Master. The 20-foot RV had the finest 70s-era features like shag carpeting and wood panels. Brown and Bay thought it would be an easy fixer upper. That wasn’t the case.

“The entire thing is water damaged,” Bay said. “We took it down to the shell. It was in way worse shape than we thought.”

They didn’t give up. The theater team gave their project a name, “BB and the RV,” and the show was on. The camper was gutted, shag carpeting tossed, new cabinets installed, and the RV got a new paint job. The transformation was logged on the couple’s social media channels. The renovation also gave the normally busy couple a chance to re-connect.

“It’s given us a chance to spend a lot more time with each other and families and refocus our priorities,” Brown said.

Plus, the renovation allowed them to look into their future.

“I’m kind of glad we didn’t get married because now the hardest thing we ever done, until kids, is under our belt,” Brown said.

The big day is coming for the couple. The pandemic pushed their August 2020 wedding into 2021. The RV renovation is just a few weeks away from completion.

What’s next for “BB and the RV?”

“We are going to take her on the road and give her some love and let people enjoy her and do this again,” Brown said. “We are going to sell her to the person that will love her just as much as we do.”

To see how Brown and Bay modernized their 70s era camper, check out their YouTube channel.

“BB and the RV” is also on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

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