Andrew Bullard considers himself more of a sidekick than a leading man — more Donald O’Connor than Gene Kelly, to use one of his favorite movies, Singin’ in the Rain, as an example.
But he’s selling himself short.
The junior theatre major from Colleyville exudes a light from within, his passion for his craft so clear and contagious. He recently delighted audience members as the Banks’ family servant in the 2015 Homecoming Musical Mary Poppins, earning cheers during his curtain call.
His talent is a blessing, and so is his ability to strengthen that talent at ACU.
The performance bug bit Andrew early on; as a child, he’d organize neighborhood productions of plays such as Peter Pan, and by middle school he was working with community theatres in the Metroplex. He loves creating, he says, and he knew he was destined to be an artist.
His grandparents alerted him to ACU Theatre, having heard about area students who were accepted. Once Andrew visited campus and got a taste for the competitive program, he knew it was where he belonged.
“It had everything,” he says. “It had a Christian environment and a ‘home’ feeling. I felt pulled to these people who are so loving and this community that is so enriching.”
Andrew landed his audition; securing financial aid was the next hurdle. His grandparents promised support, but he needed more to be able to afford school.
“It became a big concern for us,” he says. “I asked myself, ‘Is this really something I want to commit to?’ But God came through in a lot of ways.
“I’m extremely thankful for my scholarships. They help me do what I’m able to do, and I love every minute of it. I wouldn’t trade any second away from the time I’ve had here to cultivate my work as an artist for anything.”
Andrew’s degree focus is in acting, and he’s taking courses that will help prepare him for a variety of career paths in the theatre world. His dream is to own his own theatre, producing and directing shows and serving as a mentor to young performers.
He already knows how to recruit; in his spare time, he talks to high school students about why ACU’s program is the right choice. Here, he tells them, they will feel like they’re part of a family. That’s also what he tells the freshmen theatre majors he mentors as a peer leader.
“The faculty and staff want to help you in any way possible,” he says. “The same with your peers: They’re your brothers and sisters in Christ and in theatre, and they’ll support you 100 percent.”
Recruiting and working with freshmen has given Andrew a new perspective on his blessings. The students in his peer group will open up about their lives and find comfort in their new home away from home.
“I listen to stories of these completely beautiful people who have gone through so much and are willing to sacrifice so much for their art, and who are just looking to stand out, and I’m grateful there is a place like this where we understand,” he says. “Every single person here knows what they’re going through, and takes their hand and says, ‘Come on. I’ll help you.’ ”
Published: January 2016