Drew: I think I’m still discovering who Drew is. I’m still discovering my likes and my dislikes, what I’m capable of, how strong I am, what I can take and what I can’t. Drew is an ever-evolving, faithful, God-fearing man.
TEOP: What are some of your passions?
Drew: My passion would have to be the arts, just in general. I know that's a wide spectrum, a wide genre to say that is my passion but I really do believe that anything dealing with the arts - whether it’s an artist, a painter, theatre, movies, television, music, anything dance related, anything along those lines is something I’m passionate about. I’m passionate about people who pursue those endeavors and those fields. My overall passion is to bring awareness to the arts. And dibble and dabble in things I’m able to do myself. So my passion is making people more passionate about the arts!
TEOP: What is some of the best advice you’ve received?
Drew: “Don’t sell yourself short!” I think that’s the best advice I’ve ever got. Know your worth, know your value. Don’t let anybody else tell you how much you’re worth - because only you know. Only you can be the deciding factor. Only you can set the bar. And that has been the best thing that anybody could have told me. And that’s gotten me through so many business transactions, and personal transactions with friends. I’m not gonna sell myself short and I’m not going to let anyone around me sell themselves short.
TEOP: What are some of the fears you have, in life or in your career?
Drew: I can’t really say that I vocalize fear. I can’t really say that I, sorta, let fear in. Just because I am spiritual, in a way, that I have so much faith and so much belief that fear doesn’t exist anymore. I think that fear left me when I picked up everything and moved from Indiana and moved to New York, on a whim, with pretty much nothing. So I’ve been through a lot since living here so I don’t think that I have too much fear of anything anymore. I think New York has dissolved any fear that I might have. Because there is so much faith and belief in what I’m doing. I just have so much going for myself that there is no space for fear.
TEOP: Who are some of your role models?
Drew: You know... growing up I thought that a lot of the performers that I looked up to, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Norm Lewis, Billy Porter, those were my role models, those were people I admired and wanted to be like. In this time, since I am doing something different other than performing, they’re still my role models - just in a different way. I look at them and how they manage their business. Not even just their performance and what they bring to the theatre stage and what they bring to the stage in general when they're performing, but how they handle their business outside the stage. You know, Brian Stokes Mitchell has been a consummate performer for many, many years. How has he made his longevity happen? So I still say those are my role models, but currently my main role model is still my dad. My dad has always been such a hard worker. He doesn’t talk much, he’s just all about his business. He’s all about making the moves, and showing you what he can do rather than talking about it. There’s nobody like him, and nobody that inspires me like he does. So as much as I love Billy Porter and Brian Stokes Mitchell and Norm Lewis and those men I look up to in the performance aspect and the performance world, and even in the business aspect, none of them can top my dad.
TEOP: What would you tell your younger self?
Drew: I would say “Drew.”
He would say, “huh?”
And I would say, “you know you the shit right!?”
He’d say, “yeah… yeah...”
And I’d be like, “No. No, Drew. Say you the shit and really mean it!”
And he’d say, “I’m the shit. I’m the SHIT. I AM THE SHIT!”
I would tell my younger self that I am the shit because there is nobody else that is going to pump me up better than me.
TEOP: And how do you see your future self?
Drew: I imagine this everyday. I imagine my future self everyday when I wake up. I try to make the decisions that my future self would make, on a daily basis, to get me to where I wanna be. My future self is a very active, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually active person. And when I say active I mean I am consistently doing the work to enhance all aspects of my life. I’m more about taking care of myself more than ever before. My future self is a multi-million dollar business man who is God-fearing and fine as hell. And able to move around in this world and be worry-free. That’s where my future self is.
TEOP: What are some of your favorite pastimes?
Drew: When I get time to unwind I really do just love going to the theatre. I like going to the theatre. I do it for my job constantly, but if there’s ever a moment where I can get away and see a show where I don’t have to work, where I don’t have to do any press, where I don’t have to interview anybody; but it’s something about being able to just go to the theatre in my sweatshirt with a baseball cap on, real incognito. The times I’m able to do that… I feel the most alive, I feel the most centered, I feel the most joyful. I love theatre so so much, I cannot imagine not being able to go and partake at the drop of a hat. So I do that even on my spare time, I’m like I wanna see a show tonight, they not giving me free tickets, but Imma just go and Imma pay my money and go see and support. Not even just about support, I wanna change my own life. I wanna change my own perception of this world. And I always walk out the theatre, almost like a spiritual experience, a brand new person. People leave their love on the stage, so I love being able to go and witness and bring some of that love home with me!
TEOP: Do you miss performing?
Drew: For anybody that has ever had a love of acting or performing, there’s never a day you don’t miss it. I definitely miss performing, I definitely miss being in a think-tank for a character. It… you gone make me sad thinking about this. There’s something to be said for someone who puts aside their lifelong dreams for the benefit of others. I don’t know what’s to be said, but I’m sure there’s something. That was a big deal for me in pursuing this goal, in pursuing Broadway Black. It was no longer about me. It was no longer about my head-shots, or my 16-bar cut. It was no longer about what tattoos I could have or do have or how I thought of myself as a performer. And as someone who’s always been center stage, that’s difficult. So yeah, I miss it a lot. But there are sacrifices that you have to make in order to achieve what you want to achieve. And I’m not putting those dreams down, I’m just putting them in my back pocket.
TEOP: What is your favorite Theatrical Piece?
Drew: My favorite theatrical piece really was Dreamgirls the Musical from 1981, the original. Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holliday. The original, not the movie. I can’t iterate that enough. That’s my ultimate favorite musical of all time. But when they made it into a movie it sort of became a cliche to have it as a favorite musical. Because everyone thought they knew what Dreamgirls was because they saw the movie, but really didn’t know anything about Dreamgirls because they’d only seen the movie. Whoo, I get pissed about it. So now, since everyone is on the Dreamgirls bandwagon, my favorite musical is Caroline or Change. The music is phenomenal, the story is great. It’s like one of the most beautiful, thought provoking musicals I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing.
TEOP: What is your favorite song?
Drew: My favorite song, in general!? What kind of cruel question is this? (Laughs). Hmmm… I mean cuz you know I’m like a music head so being a music head I have so many different genres going on in my brain right now. And I wanna be all PC and give you a fucking broadway show-tune that you really wouldn’t know and make you do your research, but would that really be my favorite song? So I think I’m going to go with… this is hard… (thinks) I want it to be a good one but I don’t know! I would have to say my favorite song would be my mother’s favorite song, which she absolutely loves. It’s Kim Burrell’s “Have Faith In Me” - it basically talks about my mom’s favorite scripture. “I can do exceedingly, abundantly, above all, that you ever ask or think of me.” Mark 11, Verse 23 & 24. That is a song my mother loves to hear me sing, that I sang back in college and she never lets me forget it. So I sing it for her like every year for her birthday or for some special occasion because I love the joy she gets from that song. She absolutely loves that song! And I would say I do too because it helps me to remember how good God is, and how strong my faith has to be to keep moving, and that there’s nothing impossible for me to achieve because God is with me. So thanks Mom!