Friday, December 2, 2016

Spotlight On...Andrew Mayer

Name: Andrew Mayer

Hometown: Staten Island, NY

Education: BFA in Acting from Boston University School of Theatre, Manhattan School of Music (Pre-college), LAMDA classical intensive.

Select Credits: Recent credits include: Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway Originating Cast), The 12 (Denver Center - World Premiere Rock Musical), Dying for It (Atlantic Theatre Company), Fiddler on the Roof (Barrington Stage Co. and Westchester Broadway Theatre), Prince of Egypt (Developmental Workshop)

Why theater?: I have been involved in the arts and theatre since I was very little. I have always had a love of stories. It brings me joy to pull people into other worlds and expand perspective on the world. As I have gotten older and more experienced I think what has personally sustained my passion in this infinitely difficult business is my genuine interest and love of the process and not just the product or final validation. Aside from that mental stamina, I am also a very physical person and often (especially in the show I am in now) I have felt akin to an athlete training for an event when doing this work. I love physical work and play, and the ongoing challenge and need to be consistently present and ready for anything is the most fun and engaging job I could ever see myself doing. And to call it a job sometimes feels very strange … which is another good sign.

Who do you play in Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812?: I am a member of the ensemble. I also play violin on stage for parts of the show.

Tell us about Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812: It is based on a 70-page slice of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. It takes us back to 19th century Russia without any particular reverence to period style … which is part of what makes the piece so powerful in my opinion. It breaks so many barriers with music, story, set, costumes, casting, and hopefully expands what Broadway commercial theatre can be. The ensemble plays a HUGE role in the show and is charged with furthering the story and atmosphere for everyone in the space. Definitely a different experience depending on where you choose to sit!

What is it like being a part of Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812?: It has been the most challenging thing I have ever approached physically and mentally … but it has also been incredibly rewarding. I am grateful that this show specifically is my Broadway debut.  It has at one point or other called on all of my skill sets. I have had to integrate my work as an actor and mover with my abilities as a violinist and singer … all at once. I would say our cast is in some of the best shape of any cast on Broadway right now (our set is a Stairmaster). Every day has its own challenges but part of what gives me energy is the cast and camaraderie. I joined just for Broadway and many of these guys have been together for multiple prior versions of the show … yet from day 1 I felt completely a part of the group. From the cast, to crew, to creatives there is no real drama backstage, there is no bad energy, and everyone is genuinely there to support each other and the show. I think that is part of what makes us all able to do it full out 8x a week. It is a joy.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I find myself inspired by the kind of work that makes me think but also that has been clearly thought through by the creator. I enjoy polished pieces that still have a raw energy on stage. I don’t consider my work lazy and I don’t like watching things that have been simply thrown together and ask us to do the work to figure out what it means. Specific work as an actor and a creative is much more stimulating and effective to watch. I love that kind of work and those kinds of artists.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Specific roles … hmm … I love Marius in Les Mis, and chased that around for a while (still made it to the Imperial Theatre without him I suppose, so it worked out haha). The Phantom would be amazing. Bobby in Company would be fun. I do love me some good action though (stage or screen) … could never turn down a good fight if Zorro or something came swinging into town. Now THAT would be my JAM.

What’s your favorite showtune?: That one changes daily. At this moment … typical showtune doesn’t come to mind as much as “Scenes From and Italian Restaurant” does by Billy Joel … (Movin’ Out? Hey that should count!!)

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Brian Stokes Mitchell. Sir Ian McKellen. I would die.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I would play the mysterious character who shows up with cryptic facetious knowledge about the future to myself in the past … but we don’t know it’s me … cause I would for some reason enjoy screwing with my former self. What would it be called? Maybe - “Let’s Go With That …”

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I actually would love to see something groundbreaking akin to the first “moving picture” or Stravinsky’s first performance of The Rite of Spring. As for theatre … the original Streetcar would be pretty amazing to see or an original Shakespeare at the Globe.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Obviously see Great Comet! Ha. But otherwise recently I really loved The Humans and I loved Something Rotten (especially if you know some musical theatre!)

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Probably at this point I’d say its my motorcycle. That was no joy to my mother and I definitely felt guilty for a moment but the pleasure outweighed that pretty readily and still does. I love that thing.

What’s up next?: More Great Comet hopefully for a while. The run is off to a solid start so fingers crossed the momentum continues to build. Aside from that, check out some fun over at “The Hunted: Encore!” - recently released the first part of a web series. I also have some skits in the works and a cool fight short on the way to be released very soon.

For more on Andrew, visit www.andrewCmayer.com

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