Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Andy Karl has made his mark in the Broadway community. He originated the roles of "Luke" in the Off-Broadway smash hit "Altar Boyz" and "Adam" in the Off-Broadway show "Slut". He's starred on Broadway in "Saturday Night Fever","The Wedding Singer" and "Legally Blonde" and toured the country with "Disney On The Record", "Cats", and "Tommy". You can now see Andy in the hit musical "9 to 5" playing the character of "Joe", the love interest for "Violet", played by Allison Janney. For more on Andy Karl, visit: www.andykarl.com
1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Well it's really a two part answer. My very 1st inspiration (to perform) came from my chorus teacher back at Towson High. He asked me to audition for the summer musical "Oklahoma". I didn't expect to be offered a role in the show but was cast as the shows' villain, Judd Fry. That same week I broke my foot skate-boarding (oops). I staggered into rehearsal with crutches and a cast. Though this could have stopped the average High School performer from making opening night, a unique blend of tenacity and creativity took over as I designed attachments to my cast that looked astoundingly similar to a real boot and nixed the crutches. I went on for all 3 performances to triumphant applause from parents.
The first person to inspire me to take theatre seriously as a career was a director at my college musical. I was majoring in music, and paving my way to teaching, but still took part in musicals. Now there are some people you work with that have that sort of innate artistic vision that you can sense right away. Everything they do is for the crafting of the show and its success to tell a story...Todd Pearthree back in my hometown was 'that guy'. Everyone in the community new that he was one of the best directors to work with. One day in tech rehearsal he was talking to me and asked what I wanted to be. I told him I would probably teach music...he looked at me a little oddly and said "I think you may want o give the performing a go because you'd be a success at it."
That was the first time I remember knowing I had to really give it my everything.
2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? I have been very fortunate to work with some people I've never dreamed I would. Directors like Joe Mantello & Jerry Mitchell, actors like Allison Janney & Mark Kudish. And since I've already performed in over 5 shows with my Orfeh, I will have to tell you someone else. I guess to answer this question I must go back to the previous question of "who inspired me". The one musical I would listen to day in and day out before I came to Broadway was 'The Who's Tommy'. That CD and production changed my idea of musical theatre all together. I knew I had to get to NYC and fast. Michael Cerveris filled my ears with the holiest of Rock Opera, and has since been an idol of the Broadway stage. He is the one true person I would be honored to work with. I've also met him in gatherings and he's just a really cool dude as well.
3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Though Orfeh would say I have an unusually tremendous talent to mess up a clean apartment in record time, I personally disagree.
I do, however, have a unique ability to burp long and loud on Que. I've actually used this ability in performances across America when I was on tour with 'The Who's Tommy' and I was Uncle Ernie’s off-stage belch. 100's of performances and I never missed a beat.
4. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? What, and miss all the fun? Never!!!!!
5. Who do you consider to be your hero? Obama, Dolly Parton, Scarlett the Cat that pulled her kittens out of burning house, and the people of NYC.
6. Favorite way to stay in shape? Be in a profession that requires you to look good in tight brown shorts. Legally Blonde kept me going to the gym. Since that show ended I've decreased my gym time but still try to maintain.
7. Boxers or briefs? Fitted boxers or briefs that don't squeeze :)
8. Favorite kind of shoes? Casual sneakers-no laces-black. (Adidas has great ones)
9. Favorite ride at an amusement park? "Gravitron Starship 2000" ..."The Zipper" is a close 2nd.
10. Favorite Actor? Phillip Seymour Hoffman is such a kicka** actor, amazing in everything he does...even 'Twister'. I also think Brendan Fraser is very underrated these days. His work in Bedazzled is very versatile and very funny.