Interview: Jordan Wolfe & Michelle Dowdy of MY CHRISTMAS DREAM

When life at work is as fun as life at home...

By: Dec. 08, 2020
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Interview: Jordan Wolfe & Michelle Dowdy of MY CHRISTMAS DREAM Steve and Eydie were a famous show business singing team who were a couple in real life. George and Gracie were the same for comedy and Tracy and Hepburn, for the movies. The history of the entertainment industry is filled with couples whose life offstage translated to a spark onstage (it doesn't always, does it?) and Jordan Wolfe and Michelle Dowdy are the couple on the block, carrying on the tradition of people in love at home and at work.

Dowdy, a Broadway veteran with a significant standing in the club community, and Wolfe, a musical theater actor-cum-composer, opted to shelter in place with family out west but their time in quarantine has not stopped the twosome from reaching their fans. With a weekly online music show and a healthy online presence the twosome has built on their visibility, reaching new fans all over the country with their whimsical chemistry and powerful POV as musical artists. Recently the couple released their first single, a holiday tune penned by Jordan after Michelle put the idea in his head. After hearing the song and putting it onto my own holiday playlist with expediency, I reached out to Wolfe and Dowdy to learn more about the way they work, the way they met, and the way the plan to Christmas in place out in Arizona.

This interview was conducted digitally and is reproduced here with limited edits.

Welcome, Jordan & Michelle! Thank you for talking with Broadway World on this fine holiday afternoon!

M: Great to chat with you, Stephen!
J: Thanks for having us.

Since this is our first time talking, officially, we should get this out of the way for the fans: you are not just a show business duo - you actually go together in real life.

J: Yes that's true! Almost four years now.

Interview: Jordan Wolfe & Michelle Dowdy of MY CHRISTMAS DREAM

We are going to need a little romantic backstory, here. Michelle, how and when did you guys meet?

M: We actually met years and years ago when I was asked to sing on the demo of a fun new musical Jordan was writing with a mutual friend.

Jordan, how long did it take before the romance blossomed?

J: We kept in touch over the years, but it wasn't until the summer of '17 (we're bad with dates!) that we started spending real time together. It was like she was right there all along.

And this one's for both of you - what got you started as the Jordan and Michelle brand that just put out a holiday single?

Interview: Jordan Wolfe & Michelle Dowdy of MY CHRISTMAS DREAM J: "Christmas Dreams" is our first single released as Jordan & Michelle, but we've always loved to sing together.

M: A few years ago, we created a fun 60's rock duo revue called 67: THE SUMMER OF LOVE SHOW, which we performed as Jordan & Michelle in New York and on the road. Then when Covid hit this year, we started doing live concerts online, starting with "Summer of Love" and eventually doing 10 others! Being able to make music together has really kept us sane these days.

Jordan this song was written by you - what does the songwriting part of your work life look like?

J: I'm primarily an actor/singer, but I'm getting more and more excited about writing and composing. In 2019, I wrote the book/music/lyrics for Off-Broadway's Night of the Living Dead! The Musical! - a zany rock musical comedy parody of the zombie film, which is now making the rounds in regional theatres. I'm excited to say that Broadway Records recently released the Original Concept Recording, which features both myself and Michelle.

"Christmas Dream" is my first stand-alone pop song. Quarantine has left us itching for new projects!

Michelle, you guys have been industriously producing weekly online shows for your fans. What has been your experience, these last months, being able to reach audiences in cities everywhere?

M: Well, it's been a wonderful way to connect with people far away, we just wanted to put a smile on their faces. The great thing about doing virtual shows is the live commentating. Getting to talk to so many people at once, being heckled, getting requests, feels just like NY. Engaging this way, makes you feel closer to them.

Put a picture in my head of you guys as a couple who works together - it's not always a win-win in show business, but you have made a real hit with the Jordan and Michelle brand.

Interview: Jordan Wolfe & Michelle Dowdy of MY CHRISTMAS DREAM

M: Well, it's mostly me, struggling with lyrics, and Jordan teaching me harmonies. He's a very patient man.

J: Haha. Michelle is much better at coming up with harmonies on the spot, and she handles the tech, because I'm HORRIBLE with technology! We usually make a long list of songs together, then narrow it down until it looks like a show. Then I start to work on arrangements.

In addition to being a brilliant singer, Michelle is also a natural-born host, and she's really great to play off of. That's what made the shows really fun.

Michelle, how did you guys decide on the billing?

M: I think we tried it both ways and I decided that Jordan & Michelle has a more fun ring to it.

J: And apparently "Steve and Eydie" was taken.

Let's talk about My Christmas Dream. Was this something that was planned, or was it a quarantine inspiration?

J: Total quarantine inspiration! It was Michelle's idea.

M: I told Jordan he should write us a new Christmas bop that we could release as a single.

J: I'd never written a stand-alone pop song before, but I loved working on it. The song was written, recorded, and released in the span of just a few weeks.

M: We also shot a fun music video for the song!

A lot of recordings this year have been done by remote. Jordan, what was the creative process like for this one, and how many different cities were involved?

Interview: Jordan Wolfe & Michelle Dowdy of MY CHRISTMAS DREAM J: That's so true. Luckily since Michelle and I are quarantined together, we were able to record the vocals together at Brick Studios, a great local studio in Arizona where we've been staying. Then our brilliant engineer Jim Morgan, who also worked on the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD! THE MUSICAL! album, mixed and mastered the track in New York.

Is there an entire Jordan and Michelle album in the works?

M: We have so many different ideas for an album, including a Christmas album, a Halloween album, and an album of our Summer of Love show.

J: Stay tuned!

What's the holiday season plan for you both?

J: We're hiding out with family here in Scottsdale, AZ, so we'll be here watching "Muppet Christmas Carol" on a loop.

Interview: Jordan Wolfe & Michelle Dowdy of MY CHRISTMAS DREAM Just before the show business shutdown, you were producing a duo show '67: The Summer of Love Show'. Obviously, it has had a pin stuck in it - but tell us about the show and what you see as the next step.

J: '67: The Summer of Love Show' is a rock revue we created of all the incredible songs that were released in 1967 - there's the Beatles, The Doors, The Beach Boys, Janis Joplin, Cream, all that fun stuff. The show was the first thing we performed together, and we're crazy about that era of music.

M: Yeah, we're old souls.

J: We'll definitely be bringing it back one of those days!

M: Hopefully soon!

We at Broadway World are encouraging people to do their Christmas shopping with creatives who are suffering from the coronavirus economy. Do you folks have things that our readers can give as gifts and boost your industry at the same time?

J: Be sure to ask all your artist friends what they're doing! So many performers have small businesses creating all sorts of wonderful stuff.

M: We have so many performer friends who are creating. On instagram, check out @SewSomethinElse. James Jackson creates beautiful lounge pants, caftans, pillows, and more! I have two caftans and pants myself!

J: Our friend, Broadway's Michael Buchanan, has a business called Bucky's Bows where he makes custom bow ties. Recently, he's redirected into making masks, which is wonderful.

M: And I'm sure we all know someone who has released music this year, especially around the holidays. Even if you can't afford to buy it, stream, like, and share. It's so important to support everyone's work in the community these days.

Michelle, you are quite active on the activism front. Is your passion for social justice something you learned from someone particular or is that a character trait you developed through your observation of the world?

M: I think my mother has taught me so much throughout my life, but one of the most important things she's ever said was, "Treat someone how you'd want to be treated.' I have always tried to lead with kindness and empathy, never judge. This has led me down a path to stand up to injustice, and teach empathy wherever I go.

Jordan, you write and perform a variety of musical genres - where are you finding inspiration these days?

J: I have very eclectic musical tastes because of how I was raised, and also from playing piano bar for so long. Sometimes the project dictates the musical style. For "Christmas Dream", I drew on my love for early 70's soul, especially "This Christmas" by Donny Hathaway (but covered by everyone.)

Interview: Jordan Wolfe & Michelle Dowdy of MY CHRISTMAS DREAM

Where can fans get their own copy of My Christmas Dream?

HERE's the link!!

You can download or stream the song everywhere, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon!

What Christmas movie will each of you be introducing the other to, this holiday season?

J: Thanks for reminding me, I have to make Michelle watch "Scrooged" with Bill Murray! One of my favorites.

M: I got Jordan to watch Jingle Jangle, and it's incredible!

J: Everyone needs to see it!

M: We're also big horror movie fans, so we like scary Christmas movies like "Krampus" and "Silent Night".

Michelle and Jordan, thank you so much for chatting with me today. I am excited to see what you create next. Happy everything!

J&M: Thank you Stephen for everything you've been doing to support and promote the arts and our NY theatre community!

Find My Christmas Dream HERE.

See the 67: The Summer of Love Show sizzle reel HERE.

Visit the Jordan and Michelle YouTube channel HERE.

Find Jordan Wolfe's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD musical HERE


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