Actor Patrick Andrews

Introducing an actor with a sharp trajectory: Patrick Andrews, 26, has quickly compiled a resumé of high-profile roles in both musical theatre (Cabaret, Into the Woods) and plays (American Buffalo, Do the Hustle, The Homosexuals). This season, Andrews is one-half of the cast of Goodman’s Red. So how does an actor go from dancing with a porridge bowl as “third orphan on the left” to one of the most coveted parts of the season? Read on—and meet more up-and-comers.

Andrews shares his rules for getting a foothold in the acting business:

Start early. “I did my first show—Music Man—at five.”

Learn to dance. “I studied ballet for years. I installed a barre in my apartment that I still practice at.”

Picture the outcome. “When I was 15, I wrote myself a fake acceptance letter from a [fake] Bob Fosse training school. It was like, ‘Dear Patrick, we are happy to inform you’—and then I listed all the people I’d be taking classes from.”

Find a mentor. “At 16, I was accepted into Ann Reinking’s Broadway Theatre Project. I took classes with Ben Vereen, Frank Wildhorn, John Kander. Kander became my mentor. I can talk about anything with him.”

Finish school. “When I auditioned for the touring company of Fosse, they told me they liked me but I had to finish high school. I remember them saying, ‘We can’t take him. His mom will want a prom picture.’ Spring break of senior year, the Fosse people asked me to join the company.”

Stop in Chicago. “When Fosse came through Chicago, I saw Barbara Robertson in Kabuki Lady Macbeth and Amy Morton and Guy Adkins and Francis Guinan in The Cherry Orchard. I knew this was what I wanted to do: act. So I had to decide—stay in New York and keep working in the chorus or move to Chicago and act. So I came here. The first job I got? Orphan in Oliver. Dancing with a porridge bowl in Lincolnshire.”

Change your look. “After I read for The Actor at the Goodman, [casting director] Adam Belcuore said I looked all wrong. I was in this Jesus of Nazareth phase, hair past my shoulders, scruffy beard. So I went to the barber and told him to make me look like it was 1930. Cut it all off. After that, things started opening up.”


Photograph: Brian Kuhlmann; Photo Assistants: Colin Beckett, Sean Costin; Wardrobe Stylist: Courtney Rust; wardrobe provided by Allsaints Spitalfields; Hair and Makeup: Jenna Baltes/Factor Photo; Chalk Artist: Dustin Yoder