Denver Actors Fund in Action: David Ballew

Financial-aid recipient: David Ballew has been an active actor in the Colorado theatre community for nearly two decades, with credits at local theatres ranging from Theatre Group to Equinox Theatre to Vintage Theatre and more. Memorable productions include Southern Baptist Sissies, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Jeffrey and Evil Dead The Musical. Most recently, David appeared in Vintage Theatre’s Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka and often can be found managing the bar at Vintage. He is originally from Farmersville, Texas, and is a former Head Park Ambassador at Elitch Gardens.

Actor David Ballew is also the Bar Manager at Vintage Theatre. Photo by McLeod9 Creative.

His medical story: David was recently overcome with pain from periodontal gum disease, but he has no dental insurance and knew he could not afford emergency treatment.

How the Denver Actors Fund is helping: The Denver Actors Fund helped David get an initial emergency exam at a Comfort Dental, as well as antibiotics for his infection. We then referred him to our new partnering dentist, Brian Kelly of Thornton, who extracted one tooth to relieve David of his immediate pain, and then arranged for Ballew to have a root canal later along with other essential work needed to bring his gums back to a healthy state. That involved creating and fitting five new teeth. Kelly has chosen to provide the bulk of these services as a personal, in-kind donation to the Denver Actors Fund. For the past 15 months, Ballew has receiving the essential treatment he needs at no cost to him – and minimal expense to The Denver Actors Fund. The value of Dr. Kelly’s ongoing treatment is, as of July 2018, $5,014. Of that, Dental Quest contributed $266.61 and Kelly billed he Denver Actors Fund for a paltry $164 in outside lab fees. That brings Kelly’s personal, in-kind donation to The Denver Actors Fund to $4,583.39. In addition, the Denver Actors Fund also reimbursed Ballew for the $63.97 in expenses he incurred for his initial exam, X-Rays and prescriptions before visiting Dr. Kelly. That brings the total direct benefit to Ballew through the Denver Actors Fund to $4,811.36. In addition, Denver Actors Fund’s transportation Action Team provided Ballew with rides to and from his appointments. (Thank you, Sean Mallary, Nita Froelich and Kristen Samu.)

Who is Dr. Brian Kelly? Dr. Brian Kelly DDS (named one of Denver’s top dentists by 5280 Magazine) is a former Broadway actor who also danced for the American Ballet Theatre. His Broadway credits include La Cage Aux Folles and A Chorus Line. Throughout the years, Kelly has been known to provide individuals in our theatre community with free or reduced-cost dental services. Recently, Dr. Kelly approached the Denver Actors Fund about an official partnership. Moving forward, Dr. Kelly has agreed to receive up to four emergency dental referrals each year from the Denver Actors Fund. These would be reserved for artists in need of immediate help moving from a diseased to a healthy state. Members of the theatre community must continue to apply for assistance through the Denver Actors Fund and are asked not to contact Dr. Kelly directly.

A message from David Ballew: “I am so thankful and grateful for The Denver Actors Fund. The kindness and feeling of community has really spoken to me in ways that I never thought possible. I love our community and how we reach out to each other in any way possible. I also want to thank Brian Kelly for helping me through this process. You are incredibly generous, and I can’t thank you enough for this. You and The Denver Actors Fund are going to be life-changers for me. Love and gratitude always.

Support the Denver Actors Fund: To help the DAF continue to help artists in need, mail a check in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link.

(Note: At the Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have his or her story told.)

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $245,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need. If you would to help us replenish our general fund, simply mail checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO, 80212. Or use this donation link.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here


To DONATE the Denver Actors Fund, please CLICK HERE (with our humble thanks)


Video above: The Denver Actors Fund receives the Colorado Theatre Guild’s 2016 Community Impact Award.

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $241,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers has offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here



Send checks made out to the Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80212


Ever thought about taking a more active role in the Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


Denver Actors Fund Film Series: Our next Denver Actors Fund film screening at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan’s Lake will be a “West Side Story” singalong at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, hosted by Traci J. Kern and Ryan Belinak. Reserve your preferred seat here.

Miscast returns Sept. 17: “Miscast,” which is presented each year by Robert Michael Sanders as a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund, is an opportunity for local performers to sing songs and act out scenes they would never … ever! … get cast to perform on any legit stage. Think gender-bending, race-bending and age-bending. Odd couples and mixed groups. Wrong is oh so right. “Miscast” has evolved over the years into one of the biggest nights of the year in the Colorado theatre community – and it is a really good show. “Miscast 2018” will be held Sept. 17 at a new location: The Mizel Arts and Culture Center. Tickets onsale soon.


Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more

By John Moore

Award-winning arts journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States by American Theatre Magazine during has 12 years at The Denver Post. Hen then created a groundbreaking new media outlet covering Colorado arts an culture as an in-house, multimedia journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He also founded The Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that has raised more than $600,000 for theatre artists in medical need. He is now a journalist for hire as the founder of Moore Media Colorado. You can find samples of his work at MooreJohn.Com. Contact him at