during this time of uncertainty, we continue our SPOTLIGHT series on individuals who inspire and are living their dreams. we spent time with timothy hughes, actor, currently in the cast of HADESTOWN.
hello! big thank you for being with us.
please tell us the story of your first audition in nyc.
TH: I actually don't remember my first audition in nyc, but I do remember auditioning for college theater programs with a dramatic Stephen Sondheim ballad usually sung by a love sick middle aged woman. I had a lot to learn about finding audition material that better suited me!
were you ever the shortest kid in school?
TH: absolutely not! I've always been one of the tallest in school. I was born tall.
best advice you've ever received?
TH: I've had a handful of people give me wonderful advice throughout my life, but Andre DeSheilds Tony award speech encapsulates all of the best:
"one, surround yourself with people whose eyes light up when they see you coming, two, slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be. and three, the top of the mountain is the bottom of the next. so keep climbing."
TH: so many dream roles. top of the list are Emcee in CABARET, and originating new roles, yet to be written for the stage, in new shows.
what is your definition of the word "happy"?
TH: a foundational belief that despite all adversity in a day, I will always stay grounded by the roots I've planted for myself.
with the world on collective lock-down, are you following a daily routine to keep your mind and body in tact?
TH: I am trying! each day I'm trying to do some version of physical activity, singing, reading a book, investing in new skills (a new language, writing), and allowing myself some mindless fun which usually ends up being Netflix or a classic robin williams movie.
how do you stay grounded since broadway has shut down?
TH: see above! truly, a daily workout has been essential to both my physical and mental health. also, using the time to reinvest in old skills and creatively develop new ones has been fun.....so far.
favorite nyc refuge?
TH: my apartment? isn't that the responsible answer?
what have you discovered about yourself now that you have been practicing self-isolation and social distancing?
TH: in my career, I have been lucky enough to work consistently as an actor, but I am no stranger to the "downtime" between gigs and shows. I've realized this is the case of a lot of actors, and as a result, many of us have developed skills to self motivate and are able to productively use this period of time to rest, reflect, and recharge skills. I've learned that Broadway's hard, my body is thankful for the rest, but I desperately miss the magic of connection that only theater can provide.
who is your performing idol?
TH: I idolize some of the best "song and dance" men: Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Tommy Tune, Ben Vereen.
3 favorite movie musicals?
TH: west side story, grease, the sound of music.
3 movies that have inspired you?
TH: just 3? ok, shawshank redemption, dead poets society, and......goonies!
favorite nyc neighborhood?
TH: west village
many people are now working remotely/ videoconferencing....are you and the cast of HADESTOWN holding remote rehearsals and practices? if so, how has that worked?
TH: the company of HADESTOWN hasn't started rehearsals again yet. I can imagine how we would rehearse via video conferencing, but we are a resilient comapny so we will make it work if need be.
tell us how you practice reading hate and increasing understanding in your daily life.
TH: these days, so much hate is spread through lies and misinformation. I try to counter that hate by educating myself with facts and realities. It's difficult in the current climate, but proactively seeking multiple credible sources to better inform myself helps ground me. in my opinion, seeking different perspectives often increases empathy and practicing empathy is the best way to erase hate and increase understanding.