Meet the young actor Micheal Andrew. No it isn’t a typo. The ‘e’ comes before the ‘a’. The budding thespian who is the Stamford, Connecticut-born and raised son of Haitian parents quietly embraces this unique aspect of his name. “It always takes them awhile to realize it’s not [an error], which is followed by me explaining that it’s an “on purpose” typo, then they usually give me a blank stare, then I respond with a smile, then it just gets awkward. It’s usually a good time.”
Andrew originally had his mind set on being a comic book writer. “From a very young age he was always telling stories or writing; thoughts…ideas…concepts,” recalls his older sister Marsha Blanchard. As Andrew got older, many people started steering him towards acting, most notably Blanchard. “He really didn’t consider acting until his freshman year in college,” she contends, “but once he did, he never looked back.”
Andrew credits the renowned Total Theatre Lab acting coach Caroline Thomas, whom his sister introduced him to, for helping him hone his acting skills. He’s currently working on a web series Love and Comics—which is self-written and produced.
Making it in the acting world is not only dependent on talent, but also depends on personality. And Andrew— whose first big role was in an off-Broadway version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—has plenty of that.
Says John Rankin, who originally met Andrew at an audition: “I have been on projects where there is a person on set who feels like they are in competition with all the other actors and are constantly trying to one up who ever they are doing a scene with, and it just creates a really uncomfortable situation.”
In terms of Andrew’s personality, says Rankin, it’s easy-going all-around. “Michael is really big on listening and talking through scenes seeing what works and what doesn’t, if he likes someone else’s idea more than his he will go with it.”
Erin Gould of Minimum Wage Entertainment, the producer of the show “Casters” on whose show Andrew had roles, admits to being impressed by Andrew. “He’s got a very natural vibe to his acting – it doesn’t seem like he’s “acting”, he’s just being. I think he’s got a very likeable quality to him. He can play the soft-spoken guy then completely turn that around and have an intensity to him.”
Blanchard sees nothing but bright lights in her brother’s future. My brother from a very young age was always a bit outside the box, when it came to how he saw life. Dreams were not just dreams, they were goals, no matter how far fetched or absurd, aaaanything was obtainable. So I see nothing but infinite possibilities for him in the future, writing, directing acting….anything involved with bringing stories to life.”
Shall we get into the mind of Micheal Andrew? He’s currently shooting episodes of Love and Comics, whose storyline centers on, well a comic book writer in search of the girl of his dreams. Ready?
Did you always know that you would become an actor?
Not at all, I was actually sure it was something I would never even have the courage to try, but I did always believe I would be creating in some way shape or form. I just never thought it would be through acting.
Are there any Actors who inspire you in particular?
Oh yeah. My big three of acting have always been Spencer Tracy, Will Smith and Tom Hanks. That’s my acting holy trinity.
When was the last time you were in Haiti?
Last time I was in Haiti was 2003. I was there to visit some family but there were a lot of negative reports in the air, regarding kidnappings and coups, you know, typical outside Haiti journalism, but when I got there it was nothing of the sort. I had a grand old time. Can’t go wrong with family, food, and weather.
When people see actors and comedians, things seem so easy. If only they knew.
A lot of rejection and ego checking. It sounds cliché, but persistence and smarts is the key. You can’t get negative and get down on yourself, you have to be persistent, get better, learn from your mistakes and keep going. And that’s for normal actor’s; imagine being an aspiring out of work actor with Haitian Parents? Yeah, believe me, persistence and positivity!
Help us picture your parents’ exact reaction when you told them about your comedian aspirations.
Well, there was a lot of teeth sucking, some mumbling and a lot of Kreyòl thrown in my direction. It wasn’t the most popular of decisions, but that was to be expected. I knew they only wanted the best for me and my future, it was just on me to show them that I knew what I’m doing.
Your online skits are quite popular. Why do you think that is the case?
Well they come from an honest place. And I think honesty resonates with everyone.
How does your Haitian heritage figure in your work as an actor?
Well with acting it’s always good to know who you truly are, your history, families history, all of it because these are things you pull on when you act. And as a writer, I always reference my Haitian family, so that helps too, haha. You know the saying “You don’t know where you’re going until you’ve known where you’ve been”? That really qualifies for acting and writing.
What’s your favorite Haitian dish?
I’m going to have to go with the generic favorite: diri sòs pwa nwa with griyo and some good ole’ bannan dous—sweet banana. You just can’t go wrong with that combination.
KREYOLICIOUSLY YOURS…MICHEAL ANDREW
The last thing that made me cry…A conversation I had with my dad
I would rather die than…Give up
Instructions to my future wife would include…I watch a lot of Laker games, you have been warned
Three words that describe me…Loyal, Determined, curious
The last prank I tried…Never been a much of a prankster
Most people don’t know that I…Am a Dean Martin Fanatic. Love the Rat Pack
If I knew I was going to die next week, God forbid, I would…Grab my loved ones and go around the world
Out of everyone in my family, I’m closest to…My sister
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s…Those who judge