Dawn Wilder was born in Manhattan. She began acting and singing lessons at the age of 6, and at 14 she appeared in the Off Broadway productions of “Runaways” and “The Me Nobody Knows”. After graduating high school at 16, Dawn attended “The American Musical And Dramatic Academy” in Manhattan where she was discovered by Rob Freeman. The producer of “Blondie” and “The Go Go’s” was highly impressed with her singing ability and went on to record several songs with her, “Sweet Sweet Love” being Dawn’s debut single age 17.
The chance to study in England came when Dawn was 18 and while attending “The British Theatre Association” in London, she was picked to perform at such prominent venues, as “Xenons” and “The London Palladium”. Upon returning to New York in 1987, Dawn began working in film and television and after landing a role as a Nurse on “One Life To Live”, she joined AFTRA, SAG and The Actors Equity Association. Since then, Dawn has appeared in numerous films as well as the television series “Dreamstreet”.
In addition, due to her striking resemblance to Susan Sarandon, Dawn was featured in “Ladies Home Journal” among other magazines as a photo double for the Award winning, doe eyed actress. In 1988 Dawn toured with “The Boxtops” and played The Palace Station in Las Vegas.
Dawn’s talent for entertaining led her to try her hand at stand-up comedy and she proved to be a natural! Throughout 1989 she kept audiences laughing at “Catch a Rising Star”, “Stand Up New York”, and “The Improv” in both New York and LA.
In 1995, this multi-talented performer was drawn back to her first love, music. Following her heart, she sat down and wrote 3 country songs, which she then recorded and produced and sent off to RCA Records. Joe Galante, President of RCA, called her at home a week later and suggested that with her beautiful, fresh sound and obvious writing skills, she should head to Nashville. Dawn moved to Nashville in 1995 and was immediately offered a contract to record five songs with “Poppin John Music”. “Arista” recording artist, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, sang harmonies on the recordings, all five of which were very well received in the industry. It was from this success, that Dawn began co-writing with many of the A list songwriters such as Jane Bach(The Last One To Know) Tony Stampley(Houston We Have A Problem) Tommy Barnes(Indian Outlaw). Within a year , she had produced four more songs with “Polygram Publishing”. In 1997 Dawn landed a lead role at “Chaffins Theatre”, Nashville in a pre-Broadway trial production of the new musical “Clue”. “The Tenneseean” said “I don’t know which is sexier, Dawn…or her voice.”
In 1998 Dawn moved to Key West where she continued to write and perform and in 2002 she was inspired to write a one woman show titled “Double Standards”. Costume Designer, Sushi (featured in The New York Times) was called upon to help create the costumes and the show ran off Broadway for several months playing to sold out crowds.
Dawn has used her phenomenal musical talents to raise money and awareness for causes close to her heart. She has headlined at Bourbon Street for “Womenfest”, 2 years in a row and in 2003, Dawn opened for “Kansas” at “Freedom Fest” in Windsor, Canada. For the last 2 years she has been the headliner in Reno at the “El Dorado Hotel” for “The Ronald McDonald House Annual Fundraiser” and in May of 2005 Dawn performed her original song “Cry of The Sea” for the international organization “Reef Relief” at The Southernmost Mansion in Key West.
Dawn Wilder has spent her whole life entertaining, whether with her unique vocal talents, her distinctive song writing skills, her exceptional acting ability or her hilarious comic gift. A versatile performer who is as much at home on the London stage performing serious drama as she is in her neighborhood bar in Key West singing pop classics to the locals and 3 million tourist alike. A true all rounder, whose undeniable talents have been proven by her accomplishments over the last 15 years as a professional entertainer.
“The Key West Citizen” says ” She has the voice of an angel…The crowds just love her…she’s great on stage, and even better when she comes out into the audience.” Dawn says, “When you do what you love to do, you just can’t go wrong.”