Actor and Director
By John Midkiff
Growing up in New York City, Andrew Berardi was always fascinated with museums. He loved to explore the collections and dreamed of one day going to work in one. When Andrew was eleven, his father, an airport customs official, accepted a new position at an airport in Georgia. Through high school, Andrew enjoyed school but was never interested in theatre. However, he did maintain his love for museums and the art and collections showcased within them.
It wasnt until after high school that Andrew fell into the theatre. A few friends were acting in a show, and they invited him to come watch. When he noticed a flyer for upcoming auditions for A Christmas Carol, he initially laughed it off. But his friends convinced him to give it a try.
I was terrible. I dont know why I did it, but it worked out. The director ended up giving me the part of the undertaker because I was so stiff, Andrew said regarding his first audition. That would be Andrews first role of many.
In college, Andrew decided to major in the sciences because despite his passion for museums, he felt it would be easier to find a career after graduation. While pursuing his degree, Andrew became unhappy with the way things were going. He was successful, but his heart just wasnt in it. He decided to change his major to theatre and performance study and never looked back.
Throughout his acting and directing career, Andrew has been a part of nearly 35 productions. When asked which was his favorite, he couldnt choose. He did admit that he was particularly proud of Urinetown the Musical, which he both acted in and directed. Urinetown was Andrews first Broadway production as a director, and he was subsequently nominated for an award for the show. Andrew also spoke highly of Seussical the Musical, a production that he acted in twice, saying that the themes and the shows important message make it one of his favorites.
With his level of experience and success, Andrew could be working for some of the larger theatre groups. However, he says that he prefers working with nonprofit organizations. In fact, nearly all of Andrews work has been for nonprofits.
Currently, Andrew works for Kennesaw State Universitys theatre department. His advice for anyone interested in the arts is to remember that the path is very seldom straightforward, you have to be willing to take whatever turn is offered to you, and stay focused on your goal to succeed.
John Midkiff is a student in the MFA creative writing program at Reinhardt University, 7300 Reinhardt College Circle, Waleska. 770-720-5582. Reinhardt.edu/Graduate/MFA-CW/