PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: War Horse Star Andrew Durand
By Matthew Blank
December 4, 2012
Andrew Durand, who stars as Albert Narracott in the Broadway production of War Horse, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Other theatre credits include Spring Awakening (Broadway), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (West End), The Burnt Part Boys (Vineyard Theatre, Playwrights Horizons), Yank! (York Theatre) and The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown (Goodspeed).
He has a BFA from the Boston Conservatory.
Full given name:
Andrew Christopher Durand
Where you were born/where you were raised:
I was born in Marietta, Georgia. I was raised in Georgia til I left for college. Apart from one year when we lived in Washington state.
I am on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius. I definitely have traits of both.
What your parents did/do for a living:
My dad was a business man. He managed the sales of dry wall and paper products for the company Georgia Pacific.
If you look on those little automatic paper towel dispensers, they will have a little triangle on them with a "GP" in the middle. That's my dad.
My mom was a "stay at home" until she got bored and came to be a lunch lady at me and my sister's middle school. Having your mom as your one of your lunch ladies was the coolest. I always got free slushes for my friends and I.
I have a little sister named Mary. She is a hair stylist in Georgia where we grew up. She just got engaged and will be getting married in about a year. She is the coolest little sister ever.
Current audition song/monologue:
I sing "Jessie's Girl" for a lot of auditions. Sang it at my college showcase as well. Usually goes over pretty well.
Something you're REALLY bad at:
Dancing and math. Yuck.
First Broadway show you ever saw:
I think it was Hairspray.
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations when first starting out?
I had so many amazing mentors growing up in theater. That's what is so wonderful about a good community theater.
The sense of community, family, and the joy of playing within a world of characters and situations was so inspiring, and is still what keeps me intrigued in theater.
Current or recent shows you recommended to friends:
One Man, Two Guvnors Tribes Peter and the Starcatcher
Favorite showtune(s) of all time:
Sondheim is pretty awesome. I also really like the music in Pippin and Little Shop of Horrors.
Some favorite musicals:
Ha! Pippin and Little Shop of Horrors and The Burnt Part Boys!
Your personal vocal or acting idols, living or dead:
Daniel Day Lewis, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury… to name a few.
MAC or PC?
Most played song on your iPod:
"Feathers" by Coheed and Cambria
Last book you read:
"Gypsy Boy" by Mikey Walsh
Last good movie you saw:
The last movie I saw in theaters was "Paranorman" and I thought it was pretty awesome.
Pop culture guilty pleasure:
Ha if we're talking "guilty," then probably Beyonce or Ke$ha. Also "Jersey Shore" and "Flavor of Love." Flava Flaaaaave!!
Three favorite cities:
New York, London, Paris
First CD/Tape/LP you owned:
Blink 182's "Enema of the State"
First stage kiss:
When I played Peter in Heidi in like 5th grade.
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager:
Aw man that's hard! I got to do hundreds of plays growing up. Some fun ones that come to mind now are when I played the Earthworm in James and the Giant Peach, Norman in The Boys Next Door and Stefano in The Tempest.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:
Well, I've always performed... so I guess when I had to start making a living!
How you got your Equity card:
I got my Equity card performing in shows at SpeakEasy Stage in Boston where one of my professors was the Artistic Director.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal:
One of my favorite post-show places is called Sun Chan on 104 and Broadway. Some of the most delicious Japanese food ever.
Favorite liquid refreshment:
Pre-show, water. Post-show, I love a delicious beer.
Most challenging role you have ever played:
Definitely, by FAR, the current role of Albert Narracott in War Horse.
What was most challenging part of rehearsing/prepping for War Horse?
Building up the stamina to get through the show 8 times a week physically, vocally, mentally and emotionally. Also, finding the innocence and naiveté of Albert and building the very special relationship he has with Joey.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
Actually, last week the wrong collar was set for Joey. It was Topthorn's collar instead.
I tried for a few minutes to make it work, while Katy Pfaffl made up music and I made up lines to kill the time. Eventually I had to literally walk off the stage in the middle of the show to retrieve the correct collar. This all happened in front of about a thousand people. That was not a very happy time.
Worst job you ever had:
Leading man role you've been dying to play:
One that hasn't been created yet
Leading lady role you wish you could play:
Ursula the sea witch
Something about you that surprises people:
I have Tourette Syndrome.
Something you are incredibly proud of:
My achievements and remaining true to myself within a business that can be pretty crappy and mind/spirit altering at times.
Something you're embarrassed to admit:
I can be a dishonest person at times.
Career you would want if not a performer:
I'd like to live somewhere rustic and beautiful and be a farmer or something like that. Live off the land and work with animals.
Three things you can't live without:
Human connection, beauty, adventure
Words of advice for aspiring performers:
Remain true to yourself. Don't let anyone tell you how something should be done like an audition or performance or whatever. If you remain true to yourself, you will attract the type of work you want and the type of people you want to work with.