We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Tsao and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
We are located in Seattle, which certainly does not have the density of aspiring actors that New York or LA have. However, there is an ardent and worthy legacy of performing arts in the region. Seattle has always been a theatre town.
The Studio Seattle was started to teach the acting process from the ground up with one simple caveat: we teach to professional industry standards.
As someone who worked in professional theatre and television and taught at the University of Washington’s Professional Actor Training Program, my background and approach are defined by what process and standards the industry demands of actors.
We have found that our message and mission are resonating with our students.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to make my way in both professional theatre and television without having to give up either. I am often asked about the relationship between these dramatic forms. The answer is that there is only a difference in the form. The foundational truths about drama and acting are the same. This realization helped me immensely during my career: I approach directing a sitcom the same way I approach directing Shakespeare and vice versa.
There are essential, unwavering elements to creating quality drama. They have been the same elements at work since the time of the ancient Greek dramatists like Sophocles. I have always insisted on these elements in my work, and I hope to instill these principles in our students
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.
Seattle offers so much diversity of experience. Amazing restaurants, spectacular natural environments, a vibrant cultural scene. I would be sure to touch on these to introduce someone to the great northwest. Also, I would take them to Twede’s Diner in North Bend because no trip to Twin Peaks would be complete without a visit to Norma’s.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many mentors and teachers have contributed to my career in the performing arts: the directors Alexander Mackendrick and Libby Appel, brilliant acting teachers like Jon Jory and Mark Jenkins, as well as a host of others during my career.