Kent Boyd was just a small town kid from Wapakoneta, Ohio when he charmed audiences and judges alike and became the first runner up on the seventh season of So You Think You Can Dance in 2010. Since then, he’s been steadily building up his resume, which now includes a role on ABC Family’s dance-inspired dramedy Bunheads.
Wetpaint Entertainment recently caught up with Kent to get an update on his career and the advice he would give other SYTYCD contestants ready to take advantage of their momentum.
Wetpaint Entertainment: It's so exciting that you're going to be on Bunheads. How did it come about?
Kent Boyd: Well, I had auditioned for another part, and I got a callback for it. I came in, and I read in front of the producers with six other actors, and after that we all had to dance for the part. The producers were like, ‘He's not right for the part, Carl is dorkier.’ But Marguerite Derricks, the choreographer, came up to me and said, ‘Kent, they want to create a part for you. You're going to be the cocky guy with Sasha.’ That's so great!
It was kind of crazy how everything happened, but I guess that's how a lot of people get their parts. They go in for something, and they end up with something different. It's great that there's finally a scripted show about dance on TV. When a show like this comes around, does the entire dance community start buzzing about how it's a potential job? Yeah.
I had originally auditioned for one of the dancers and made it to the end. By the end of the audition, we had figured out that they were looking for very young dancers. If you didn't look like you were a young high schooler, then you weren't going to be on it. So, obviously, everyone was super stoked about the audition, but then they realized what kind of audience they were going after.
And so, from there they picked their dancers. But you can still pass for a high school student? Yeah. I totally did, and I made it to the end. They were like, you look really young, just keep smiling. “Oh, perfect, I can play 14.” (Laughs) .
What's life been like since So You Think You Can Dance?
Oh, it's been amazing. After the tour I moved out here to Los Angeles and I've been really pursuing acting.
I just filmed a movie in Puerto Rico with Chris Scott, one of the SYTYCD choreographers, and it's called Teen Beach Musical. I got to act in that as well. I auditioned as a dancer, again, and then I went in and read for part, after part, after part, and finally, I had booked one. My character’s name is Rascal, and it was just an amazing, amazing thing to do. I got to sing and act and dance, and it was crazy just to get a little part I was super proud of. It's kind of like the new High School Musical, but different.
And I've done some guest starring on Shake It Up. I’m just trying to work my way in, using my dancing to really bring something extra to the table that other actors can't. I really have to use my dancing to get my foot in the door.
It's really starting to come together. I mean, I've put in a lot of work for the past two years, getting my acting skills up to par with my dancing. So it's been such a challenge, but I love to really surprise myself with what I can do with a character in the scene.
Did you have an edge from being on a show that so many people have watched? Do people recognize you from that?
The show helped so much. The hardest challenge being an actor is getting into rooms to audition. That's a whole 'nother beast. But if I get in, they’re like, ‘I loved the dance you did with Lauren,’ or ‘I love that dance you did with Neil.’ So from there, I have something to talk about with them, and then they can escape from their world of auditioning.
What would be your advice to the new So You Think You Can Dancers, because they're eventually going to come off that show and enter the real world?
I think my advice for the new people that come out is that whatever they want to pursue, whether it be dancing or acting, they just need to know that it takes time. And no one's going to hand you anything. Regardless of what people say, like, ‘You're amazing!’ — wait until you see it in writing and you're at that job. There's been so many times where people have said stuff to me, but it didn't matter because it wasn't in writing.
I just think that you have to really be smart and you have to work hard.
But you have such an edge that other dancers who haven't been on the show or haven't had that exposure don't have. So you really have to use that. And that doesn't mean that's who you are. You can be whoever you want to be when you're out here!