Advice From a NESA Alumnus on Broadway

By Promise Pitman

NESA Musical Theatre and Dance majors with NESA Alumnus Andy Richardson.

NESA Musical Theatre alumnus and Broadway veteran Andy Richardson visited the Musical Theatre and Dance majors on October 11 to watch and critique performances from NESA’s production of Disney’s Newsies the Musical. He gave the performers insight about his experience of being a newsie on Broadway, as well as tips for auditioning and being a professional artist.


On Broadway, auditioning is an everyday game, so when asked if he had any tips, he gave expert advice.


“Be as confident in the material and yourself as possible,” he said. However, he warned that being over-confident in your material can result in disastrous consequences for a performance.


Richardson shared a little piece of wisdom take into any audition room.


“You really have to give it everything you have,” he said. “Even the smallest audition deserves and demands your attention and your care.”


As a performer whose Broadway career had started even before his arrival to NESA, he has learned that comparing yourself to others is harmful.


“Do not compare your performance or try to take on someone else’s,” he urged. He described an experience he had when rehearsing Newsies where he caught himself trying to mirror what he had seen other actors do. He said he regretted not sticking to his own devices, and in the end saw a growth in his own performance when he went his own way.


Richardson affectionately reflected on how NESA helped him develop into the person he is today.


“NESA is what really helped me grow confident as a performer,” he said. “This is an amazing environment of encouragement. [The teachers] are here to help you grow, if you put in the work. You need to take advantage of this, because not everybody has this.”


Richardson was cast in the original cast of Newsies when he was a Sophomore at NESA. He jumped at the opportunity and sprung into intense rehearsals as the soon-to-be fan favorite was pieced together with his help. Though Richardson left NESA for the bulk of his high school years, he still graduated, but Broadway style.


“It was a Wednesday matinee and immediately post-bow I graduated high school,” he said “The orchestra played and everything.”


He recently graduated from New York University after taking a year off to do the national tours of Newsies and Kinkyboots before starting the national tour of Wicked in 2018. He chuckled at the memory of juggling college and an intense Broadway show. He would often have jam-packed days of matinees and studying backstage.


“It was all just a matter of carving out time,” he said.“Yeah, it was hard, but worth it!”


The NESA cast of Newsies was touched that Richardson found the time to return during his busy days of performing. They saw their time with him very beneficial and found themselves referencing the little nuggets of knowledge he left them during rehearsals.


Keep up with Andy Richardson on Instagram @aricha3 and Twitter @AMRichardson3

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