We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Pifko and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My grandfather used to tell us, ‘Try everything: travel, eat, love, experience…all of it. Find something you love to do, then get so good that you get the respect of your peers in that field. If you can achieve that, you’re set’ Never looked back. Okay, that’s partially true. I took a MAJOR detour and got my honors in microbiology from U of T, but all the while singing show tunes which TOTALLY messed up my titration calculations when working in the lab. Clearly performance was the way to go.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The general idea of a career in the arts is this: start, never stop, keep going until you die. That’s pretty much it. Okay, it’s a bit more than that. There are two types of people that you see along the way – paragons of virtue and cautionary tales.
Cautionary Tales exist to show you – don’t get twisted up emotionally in a career snafu without learning from it and moving on; win the bigger battle, and don’t get mired in the politics of ‘small’; etc etc.
Paragons of virtue – Allison Janney, Gael Garcia Bernal, Beyonce, Jim Carrey – these are the people who one might easily say, ‘Okay, they’ve reached the top of their profession, and they can coast a bit’. But the fact is, they don’t stop. And their problems are your problems, the decimal place is just in a slightly different place with them. The general issues – artistry, money, ownership of your creativity, drive – it’s all the same issue, so if you can manage it now, you can manage it later on in your career.
Beyond that, have an unending sense of play, and you’ll forever have Mel Brooks as your spirit animal 🙂
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hit up Solvang – a little slice of Holland in the TMZ. Eat at Kinari or Tu Madre in West Hollywood
Take a motorcycle ride up the PCH.
Rent a Yurt in Joshua Tree. Why? Because you get to say ‘Yurt’ a lot. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents, who always supported our diving into the arts. Silivo Tallevi who was the best science teacher a person could have. But more than that, he instilled a work ethic that applied to anything I might do.
Becky Drysdale, head writer at The Tonight Show, but known to me as the best improv teacher I ever had.
Lenora Eve, from my time in NYC, and the greatest singing teacher/sherpa a performer could hope for.