Amanda Brewer Valley, B.F.A. in Performance 1994

Family photo from 2021 – left to right, John, Bridget, Amanda (holding Dominic) and Parker

Amanda has never had a problem standing up and talking to a bunch of strangers. “I’m a super-extroverted dramatic person. The first professional I encountered was my choir director Perry Nelson (a longtime local actor and musician). He put me front and center in the children’s choir and treated us like adults.”

Amanda at an auction with Poison Waters that was “Prom”; themed for a local School. Amanda was Jon Cryer as Duckie from Pretty in Pink. Poison was just fabulous as always.

Her earliest acting class was with longtime Richmond teacher Una Harrison, and rediscovered theatre at Freeman High School in Richmond. As for her time at VCU, Amanda recalls, “Gary Hopper taught us not just how to be good professionals, but how to be good humans. He was so kind. He got good performances out of us because he loved us.”

Amanda was one of the women highlighted in EASTMORELAND MAGAZINE for Women’s History Month, 2020

After graduating, she toured a children’s show for Theatre IV (currently Virginia Repertory Theatre) and called the experience, “the boot camp of being a professional actor.” She also worked temporarily for a local bank, while working as an actor in theatre. Among other shows, Amanda was in The Music Man at Theatre IV with Constance Wu. Her on-camera work included some Circuit City training videos for our own Jerry Williams.

Amanda and TheatreVCU grad Michael Todaro moved to Minneapolis in 1997, where her first gig was in Tony and Tina’s Wedding. That’s also where Amanda started what she considers the second stage of her career: improv. She worked at Brave New Workshop, which even took her to Edinburgh Fringe.

Amanda with Bridget and Parker at her and John’s 20th Anniversary party in Marblehead, MA in August, 2023

After a 10-month, long-distance relationship with her current husband, John Valley, she decided to move to Portland, where she performed until her two kids brought her to the 3rd phase of her performing career; as a Benefit Auctioneer. Auctioneering has melded her love of performance with the desire to help raise money for good causes.

Amanda as the on camera host for the live streamed International Auctioneer’s Championship in San Diego interviewing auctioneer John Nicholls, 2022
Amanda at The Benefit Auctioneer Specialist Summit in San Diego, July 2022. Benefit Auctioneers make up a very small percentage of the auctioneer profession. They go through specific training for donor engagement and strategy for nonprofits of all kinds to make the maximum amount of money at their fundraising auctions. Amanda is in the upper left corner in the back row, the first one on the left.
Amanda auctioneering for an independent school in the Portland area © Weeno Photography 2024

Amanda’s currently the Associate Director for Alumni and Parent Engagement at Lewis and Clark College and was proud to be the “Name Reader” at this year’s Commencement, where she wore VCU colors and vestments. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of one of the best days of these kids’ lives.”

Amanda in her office at Lewis & Clark College after her 10 years of service celebration (February 2024)
Amanda in her office at Lewis & Clark College after her 10 years of service celebration (February 2024)