On this episode of Going for Broadway, Mr. Andrew Cao joins Eryn to talk about his life as an actor. Andrew is currently in Aladdin on Broadway in the ensemble and as Omar’s understudy. Prior to Aladdin, he was in the Broadway productions of Anything Goes and Nice Work. Andrew Cao received his BFA in Musical Theatre and BA in Dance from the University of WI Stevens Point. He has also worked with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey where he was Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Puck in Midsummer’s, and has in worked in New York Theatres like the National Asians Artists Project, the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and NYC Center Encores. In addition to a whole lot of acting, he has also appeared in an episode of Mysteries of Laura and the 2015 Fall Pilot of LFE, The Story of Juan” and Nickelodeon’s “Backyardigans”.
Throughout the episode, Andrew talks a lot about his several various experiences as an actor. He discusses going to school and education, his rough experience with the Shakespeare Theatre, performing at the Tony Awards, and being an understudy and a wing.
One of the big take ways that Eryn got from this episode is how important it is to be well rounded. Andrew double majored in dance in college because he knew that directors try to take actors with a good aspect of being a triple threat. He said that one wouldn’t hire an actor for acting, and actor for singing, and an actor for dancing—but one that could do all three well! Another word of advice from Andrew is that both aspiring actors and parents must always be patient. It took Andrew eight years to get to where he is now, but he has plowed through it all and kept himself patient to be the success he is today.
In This Episode:
2:17- Andrew talks about when his passion of theatre began.
3:10- Why did you choose University of WI Stevens Point and why did you double major? Did you understand then that you wanted to be the Triple Threat that you are today and this was the way to become that?
5:53- How did your training there prepare you for all of your success today?
7:08- One of my directors shared with me something an actor from Jesus Christ Superstar told her…that many who get lead roles on Broadway typically grow out of the ensembles. Given that, actors/actresses must be able to dance very well…because if you can’t dance well, you will never make it in the ensemble, let along get a lead role. Do you think this is valid?
9:51- How important do you think it is to go to University or train in programs for the performing arts and investing that additional 4 years versus just start auditioning for jobs and going for it?
12:14- When you graduated from College, you went straight for Broadway. How long did you work in New York City until you thought, “Finally, I’ve made it!”
14:13- Can you take just a quick moment and share with us your experience with one of your early gigs, the Non-Equity, Educational Shakespeare Tour?
16:03- Also, in your earlier years in New York City, you were involved with the National Asian Artists Project…what was that all about?
16:50- Andrew and Eryn talk about his Broadway debut in Anything Goes and performing at the Tony’s!
18:45- Andrew talks about being a vacation swing in Nice Work.
19:59- You now seem to be the “Go To” guy for anything Westside Story…one of your favorite roles is Bernardo… have you ever gotten tired of playing a role like that?
21:38- Andrew talks about understudying Omar in Aladdin.
22:25- Are you training all of the time to keep in such great shape or is it a product of all of your dancing?
23:40- Andrew and Eryn talks about having agents and how they can help you.
24:27- In addition to acting, I see where you also teach workshops in Broadway Dance and Broadway Movement…is this something that you do quite often?
25:11- What last advice would you give to aspiring actors or thoughts for the parents of these young actors in reaching their goals in acting and potentially being on Broadway?
*Also, please excuse the yardwork going on towards the end of the interview…