Five Questions Friday

Time to meet… Andrew Kuhlman!

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Andrew Kuhlman is a STL based actor, director, teacher, and arts administrator. He serves as the Producing Associate at STAGES St. Louis and as an Adjunct Professor at St. Charles Community College. He most recently performed in the BRIEFS Short Play Festival and will next be seen in ERA’s production of Twelfth Period followed by SATE’s production of First Impressions.

Q: What was your first experience in theatre?

My first experience in theatre was in kindergarten. I was cast as Santa Claus in my elementary school’s Christmas pageant. The night of the show came and they put me in the full red suit and beard and up went the curtain. The first few minutes of the show went just fine. Kids playing dolls and robots came to life around the stage…but all of a sudden I didn’t feel so well and couldn’t really hide it. My teacher pulled me off the stage and we found that I was HORRIBLY allergic to something in the costume and my entire body was covered in hives. My parents took me to the hospital and a teacher finished the show as Santa. I like to say that I was literally bitten by the acting bug.

Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?

I honestly think the best piece of career advice I ever received was also a piece of general life advice. My amazing acting professor in college would always tell his students “you are enough.” In theatre, it is so easy to judge ourselves exceptionally hard. “I didn’t get this gig,” “That audition was awful,” “I got hives onstage and had to be rushed to the hospital”…you know, common things we say. But everything you do, every choice you make, it truly is enough. You are enough for all that you choose to do. Sometimes you will win, sometimes you will lose, but do not allow a casting decision or another person’s choice to determine your self worth.

Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.

I was doing a production of Moliere’s Learned Ladies in college and was playing Trissotin. It was an incredibly fun, foppy role and and I had on this pink silk costume. It was gorgeous, but silk is slippery. In one scene, I am chasing the young ingenue around the stage and I feel a button on my pants pop off. I’m thinking I will be fine as said pants have many buttons. Then I hear another pop, pop. My pants fall directly to the stage floor and there I am in all my tights glory. What do you do? You leave those pants around your ankles and chase that ingenue offstage. #DONE

Q: What is your dream role/show?

I would love to play Dr. or Peter Stockmann in Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People and Max Bialystock in The Producers. I have eclectic tastes.

Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?

This is difficult. I am a Bravo-holic, but right now I have to say I am most addicted to Kids Baking Championship on Food Network.

The show is phenomenal and makes me so happy. There’s also a child competing named Aidan who just happens to be a personality clone of me as a kid. My favorite quote of his: “I just want to straight eat this. What’s stopping me? My dignity.”


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Grace Austin is an STL based educator and director. See her work at gracemaustin.com.


***DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this post are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of THE SCENE SHOP.


 

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