Ensemble member Andrew Mayer opens up about making his Broadway debut and gives us a sneak peek into rehearsals.
Who: Andrew Mayer
Outside: The Imperial Theatre on West 45th Street
I know you’re in rehearsals right now for Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812—what can you tell me about it?
To say it’s a dream is an understatement, that’s for sure. I’ve been working towards a goal like this for pretty much my whole life. To finally be here and doing it... It’s no easier than I thought it would be. This show is a lot of work because I’m also playing an instrument—the violin—while singing and moving. It’s a challenge, but a very welcome one.
Is this your Broadway debut?
It is! And to be an originating member of the cast of a new show is the ideal for me.
Were you with the show prior to it coming to Broadway?
I’m a new member of the cast, so I felt a little like the new kid in school. But immediately, everybody was very welcoming and warm. I’m looking forward to cultivating that sense of ensemble energy. [This show] is way more than I imagined it was going to be! When they showed us what they’re doing here [at the theatre]—what they’re building—I thought it was going to be a lot, but this is way more. That’s made me more excited.
I think a lot of people are excited about this show because it thinks outside of traditional theatrical forms. Do you get a sense of that while in rehearsals?
Definitely… Just by looking at the seating chart, you can see it’s [designed to be] a completely different space [from] a usual Broadway house. Getting to rehearse that is a very different experience. It’s a good challenge!
How did your friends and family react when you told them you were making your Broadway debut?
It felt a little like a movie scene. I was in Texas visiting some family that I hadn’t seen in 13 years—I was there for my grandfather’s 90th birthday. My agent called me the second day I was there and told me that I’d booked this, so literally my whole family was there to celebrate. I came down the stairs with the news; it was the most surreal thing. We were all nursing our hangovers but had to break out more champagne.
You mentioned you play an instrument in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. Are you also a musician?
Yes. I’m part of a group in New York City called The Michael Hart Band. We do a lot of events in the city—that’s my day job. When I’m not acting I’m doing that, and when I am acting, I get to focus on that. I also do a lot of fight choreography for both screen and stage.
Do you think it’s important to be able to juggle multiple skill sets?
A lot of people talk about being a triple threat, but with my friends, we joke about needing to be a quadruple threat—because now you need to play an instrument as well as dance, sing and act. I think the more skills that you can bring to the table, the better. It makes you more creative in the room and more useful to the process.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 begins previews at the Imperial Theatre on October 18 and will officially open November 14.