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Andrew Cusmano: Living in the Lights

Nicole Goodman
Andrew Cusmano performing his monologue in West Highs 2023 Spring Play “Dear Chuck.”

Andrew Cusmano has been acting for seven years, three of which he has dedicated to the West High Speech and Theater program. His acting career began with simple community theater plays like “A Christmas Story” in 2016 and “Amazing Grace” in 2017. In 2023, he went to the IHSSA Individual Event All-State festival for his storytelling piece, “And Tango Makes Three”.

When reflecting upon what got him into acting, Cusmano stated, “It’s been so long that I honestly cannot remember the very first thing to get me into theater. Even before I started acting, I always loved the idea of getting to tell a story and be someone who wasn’t me.”

“I enjoy the escapism,” he says. According to him, the feeling of “being a brand new person” allows him to live in the life and background of his character. “I love getting to convey a message and theme through my work. It’s such a rewarding experience to put on a show and have your audience understand exactly what you mean.” Andrew wraps his audience members in any scene he performs by adding a very strong level of emotion, allowing them to feel the way his character feels.

Theatre has always been such a big part of my life. It’s my favorite thing on planet Earth to do!

— Andrew Cusmano

Cusmano’s biggest influences are absolutely heartwarming. “As of recently, my biggest influence to continue my acting journey has been Mr. Hirdler, a counselor at West!” Hirdler has constantly pushed Cusmano to reach his full potential as an actor by encouraging improvement and offering constant critique and recommendations. He also states that his mom has influenced his acting career the most. His mom, Robyn, has continuously supported his theater journey and has always been on board when he wants to take on the stage for another show. His mom never really did anything theater-related until she saw Cusmano audition for his first play, “How to Kill a Mockingbird”. Since then, his mom has been involved in a handful of plays and has even been a featured extra in a few local movies. “I owe a lot to that lovely woman.”

Cusmano’s world after high school is unsettled, but he states, “In a perfect world, I would love to make acting my entire career.” Anything from directing to costume designing overjoys him. Anything theater-related is something that he loves. “Theater has been my biggest passion in life since I learned it was a thing and I don’t plan to ever stop it after high school.”

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About the Contributor
Kaylynn Crawford, Reporter
(she/her) Kaylynn Crawford is a junior at West High and this is her first year on Wahawk Insider. Outside of Wahawk Insider, you can always find Kaylynn on the West High stages performing Theater Arts and Music. When Kaylynn isn’t on the stage, reading, or writing, she loves to be around friends playing games and singing karaoke.
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Comments (3)

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  • C

    Carol HoingSep 8, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    Kaylynn…I enjoyed reading your article. Keep up the good work.

  • A

    Andrew CusmanoSep 7, 2023 at 8:51 pm

    😀 Thank you so much for the article!!!

  • N

    Nura “Gris” NazrySep 6, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    much love to Andy & Kaylynn for this article. Never read anything from the Wahawk Insider until now.