Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spotlight On...Andy Phillips

Name: Andy Phillips

Hometown: Lafayette, LA

Education: MFA, The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University; B.A. Mass Communications, LSU

Select Credits: Marisol (Golf Club, Lenny), Memory of Water (Mike), Jesus Hopped the A-Train (Valdez), Election Day (Edmund), Two Women On a Precipice (Man), The Escape Artist (Harry)

Why theater?: The energy! The exchange with a live audience is a feeling like nothing else. I got a laugh in my first production when I was 10 and I’ve been chasing the itch ever since.

Tell us about Jesus Hopped the A-Train and Election Day?: Jesus Hopped the A-Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis mainly focuses on the relationship between two inmates in New York's Rikers Island prison. It is a beautifully layered story exploring among many things: faith, justice, and right vs. wrong.  It's funny, it's sad, it's truthful... what more can you ask for? Election Day by Josh Tobiessen is a romp! It's a hilarious play where small town mayoral politics, renegade activism, familial drama, romantic turmoil, drugs, and alcohol all mix together for one unforgettable cocktail of crazy fun.

What is it like being a part of Jesus Hopped the A-Train and Election Day?:
In Jesus Hopped the A-Train, I play Valdez, a prison guard at Riker’s Island whose treatment of the inmates is cruel, to say the least. The role is psychological demanding, but the love and energy of the cast makes the experience absolutely gratifying. Performances 4/30-5/3. In Election Day, I play Edmund, a hippie rogue eco activist who will stop at nothing to make the world a greener place. I have yet to make it through one rehearsal without breaking character and laughing my head off. This show is a blast! Performances 5/7-5/10. I am immensely proud to be a part of these shows and cannot wait to share them with an audience! They are being produced as part of the Actors Studio Drama School Rep Season and admission is free!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Any story told with a great deal of passion and truth, no matter the theatrical form, speaks to me. It sounds vague to say, but the world around me inspires me as an artist. Especially living in a city like New York. I literally don't even have to leave my apartment to soak up something interesting. The sounds through thin walls or city noises outside the window on any given day alone are enough to inspire a character I'm working on or a poem I'm writing. I listen and I'm inspired.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Biff in Death of a Salesman

What’s your favorite show tune?: Hairspray – “Can't Stop the Beat”

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Mike Nichols

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Shia LaBeouf because you just never know with him... and I'd love to see what he'd do with the role. It would be called "Andy Phillips' Andy Phillips as Told Through the Eyes of Shia LaBeouf."

What show have you recommended to your friends?:
The Old Man and The Old Moon by PigPen Theatre Co. I'm a such a huge fan of these guys! I saw this show a couple years ago and haven't stopped thinking about it since. And now they will be doing it at Williamstown this summer. If you can get there, do it!

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: Yeezy - "Get Em High"

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Late night banana pancakes

What’s up next?: After four shows in six weeks of repertory, the immediate plan is a nap on a beach. And then this summer I'll be shooting a short film I wrote.

For more on Andy, visit www.actorandyphillips.com and www.facebook.com/actorandyphillips