Echo goes behind the scenes with actor and director Andy Meyers release debut
By Richard Schultz – March 26, 2015
Living your dream can be exhausting, but most often it is exhilarating. Just ask Andy Meyers, a director and actor who has spent the past six months as a guest artist at Arizona Broadway Theatre.
His daily routine is vigorous as he wears many hats at any given time – depending, of course, on what productions he has his hand in.
Meyers, who is currently featured in the ensemble of Les Misérables, is busy performing nightly while also preparing the lead role in not one, but two other musical productions: The Emperor’s New Clothes and Sweet Charity. He will also be directing an upcoming production of Pinocchio.
Meyers is also currently the artistic director at Fort Peck Summer Theatre in his home state of Montana. There, he’s led the company to record-breaking seasons, splitting his time between hiring and managing a staff of 35 or more, marketing, directing, choreographing and performing.
He’s also served as a guest director, puppeteer and/or actor at various theatres around the country, including the Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre, Missoula Children’s Theatre and Papermill Theater.
As an actor, his notable credits include the national tours of Annie and Bus Stop, and his Off-Broadway role the 35th Anniversary revival of Dames at Sea. He holds his Master’s in Musical Theatre from The University of Montana.
Meyers recently gave Echo Magazine a behind-the-scenes look at a typical day in the life of a busy theatre artist.
Echo: What’s a typical day for you?
Meyers: I get up early and prefer not to rush into my day. I then start my water routine to avoid becoming dehydrated. I always vocally warm-up in the shower. I’ll take a walk for 40 minutes. I always have a destination. Often it is for bagel and coffee and then I’ll review material for the day.
Echo: When does your day of rehearsals and performances begin?
Meyers: Rehearsals begin at 10, but I usually arrive at 9 a.m. At ABT, we rehearse until 6 p.m. with an hour lunch break. When I was directing The King and I for ABT earlier this year, I utilized a structured approach to the rehearsals. I write endless notes in advance as part of my preparation. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time [and] by arriving early, I’m available to the cast. I also like to touch base with the staff and update them on any new information during the lunch break. Lunch is also a great time for me to work on my lines.
Echo: Les Miz is such an iconic show; what’s it like to be part of this production?
Meyers: This is my first time performing in Les Miz. There are so many are fans of the show who truly love the songs and story. For some, it’s their first time at ABT. This show is so well structured and it flies by because we are so busy. It’s a steady pace, but not frantic. Everyone in the company doubles in multiple roles. As part of my pre-performance, I check all my costumes and props. ABT’s crews are terrific and have it all ready and make it easier for the actors. Make up takes about 15 minutes. I have my routines put my mind in performance mode. I have nine costume changes.
Echo: How do you maintain the energy for such a full day of both rehearsals and performances?
Meyers: I have to admit that I am a big fan of naps. Sometimes you just have to power through it all. The directors here are understanding about the need to conserve energy in rehearsal. By doing so, I can be full energy for a performance later that same day. [Beyond that], the cast and I truly get lost in the music and that gives us energy.
Echo: How do you spend your day off?
Meyers: I’m a movie buff. So, I always want to catch up on movies. Hiking trips are great too. I like when I play tourist. It’s great to see other local shows as well. I’m impressed with how much young talent is here in the Valley.
Through April 4
Arizona Broadway Theatre
7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria