BWW Interviews: STANDBY's Assistant Director Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan

BWW Interviews: STANDBY's Assistant Director Andrei Nikolai PamintuanNew York, July 27, 2013--At this year's New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), "Standby," which is from the original concept of Alfred Solis, a Filipino playwright, is joined by another Filipino theater artist Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan as assistant director to Carlos Armesto.

Andrei, in an interview with, is elated to be part of "Standby" and extremely grateful to be working with an extraordinary talented team.

"This is my first time working on a show at the NYMF, which is something that I always set my eyes on doing, so I'm quite excited about it.

"I got in the show because I have worked with Carlos on two previous productions: The first one as assistant director for the first professional production of 'Spring Awakening' outside the Broadway and National Tour runs; the second for 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch.'"

His Break is a Learning Experience

Andrei admits that by being a witness to Carlos' directorial process throughout the rehearsals is such a learning experience.

BWW Interviews: STANDBY's Assistant Director Andrei Nikolai PamintuanHe further describes his director, "He has such a great eye for detail with a strong vision and point of view. You just know that the show will be great. He is a collaborator and is really open to working with our choreographer, writers and designers to create one cohesive artistic piece.

"He sees life in New York as tough, but he thinks it's tougher for those who did not go to a school in the U.S. or make earlier and previous connections, internships or mentorships in the theater industry. Also, he thinks that Asian American theater artists, especially actors, had to fight extra hard for their spot on the American stage, but he's determined.

"It's hard, but that is what's exciting about it, and you just don't give up."

As assistant director, his contribution to the production varies. But the one thing that has been consistent is doing dramaturgical work, which helps the director and actors get insights on the themes that revolve around the show's concept and storyline.

His Success has no Shortcuts

He believes that anyone who wishes to make it in a theater production in New York, one has to be "ballsy."

BWW Interviews: STANDBY's Assistant Director Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan"Research all types of avenues where you can hone your skills and shape your craft. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there: send out those applications; go on those interviews; and work extremely hard because people will see and notice what you do.

"I've learned not to sit around and wait for things to land on my lap. If anything, create those opportunities for yourself and don't be afraid to fail. Have a plan A to Z, so if a project is not for you, you get over the disappointment and go for another."

Apart from that, he highlights that one should always have that positive attitude and never feel that he or she is too good to do anything that is asked of him or her. "It's being versatile," that is what he is saying.

"When I did my directing internship with Revision Theater for 'Spring Awakening,' part of my task was doing administrative work before going to rehearsals. Prior to the evening performances, I had to clean portable bathrooms; sweep the theatre; sell tickets; put fliers on cars in the boardwalk; hand out fliers to people at the beach; sell merchandise; and be the house manager. Expect that you have to work your way up and be willing to do whatever it takes to reach your goals."

A Hopeless Romantic, too!

Andrei may seem not like a "hopeless romantic," but he is.

BWW Interviews: STANDBY's Assistant Director Andrei Nikolai PamintuanAmong the five leads in the musical "Standby," Andrei could resonate with Cynthia, played by Jenna Leigh Green.

Its story is about making connections, finding love and traveling on, which centers around five strangers who meet at an airport's standby line and must decide among themselves who deserves to get on the next flight.

For Andrei, "Cynthia is, in many ways, a romantic in her notion of whaT Loving someone entails. In the show, the audience will see how far one is willing to go to prove that love never dies even in the direst of circumstances."

Besides Andrei, Alfred and Carlos, bookwriter and lyricist Mark-Eugene Garcia, composers Amy Baer and Keith Robinson, choreographer Elisabetta Spuria, scenic designer Patrick Rizzotti, costume designer Jennifer Caprio, lighting designer Jake DeGroot, assistant music director Rob Cookman and casting director Daryl Eisenberg round out "Standby's" creative team.

"Standby" plays The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theater at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 W 42nd St. [between 9th and 10th Ave]) until tomorrow, July 28 at 5 p.m.

The musical stars Dwelvan David* (Peter), Alex Goley* (Andrew), Jenna Leigh Green* (Cynthia), Eryn Murman* (Samantha), Darren Ritchie* (Richard) and Matt Shingledecker* (Jonathan) -- *Member of Actors' Equity Association. Equity Approved Code.

For tickets, visit

Photo Credit: Brian Camarao

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NYMF THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author Jude Cartalaba

Jude used to contribute to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, BusinessMirror, StarStudio, Illustrado, and–to name a few. Currently, he writes for Philippines and (read more...)

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