’04 lost count, somewhere around 130, of the Broadway audition rejections he received. But, he still never stopped auditioning. After nine months and multiple auditions, Hardy landed the role of a lifetime, in the Broadway production of “The Book of Mormon.”
“I’ve found that when I tried to play a certain character in the way that I thought the director or casting agents wanted, it didn’t work,” Hardy said. “What sets you apart is you. Don’t be safe. Be you.”
Hardy played four different roles during his five-year span with the production. It was a demanding schedule, with eight shows and only one day off each week. Despite the marathon pace, Hardy says he truly enjoyed the work.
He met recently in a Master Class with Middle and Upper School students to talk about his successes and also some of the failures, disappointments, and lessons he has learned along the way.
“I thrive on being creative,” he told the students. “It was incredibly rewarding to work with such creative people, but at the same time, as a creative person, I struggled with the fact that I was doing the same job every day. As an actor, you have to find a way to keep your creative side happy and fulfilled, so I took risks with my acting and tried new things often.”
Hardy, who is the son of third grade teacher Ms. Barbara Weaver, was born and raised in New Orleans and attended St. Martin’s. He also participated in the musical theatre program at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts during his high school years. He went on to Florida State University's renowned Music Theatre Program, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts.
He has participated in several national tours, including “A Chorus Line” (in which he played the role of Bobby) and “CATS” (in which he played Skimbleshanks). He has worked at several regional theaters, such as the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Seaside Music Theater, Gateway Playhouse, Tulane Summer Lyric, and Le Petit Theater. Hardy is a frequent guest faculty member at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts where he trains high school students in acting. He has also taught numerous master classes at universities, high schools, and dance studios around the country focusing on areas such as acting, coaching, audition technique, jazz dance, and musical theatre dance.
“Having any performing artist talk to students is inspiring and provides insights,” Director of Performing Arts Meredith Dieth said. “I especially love it when our alums come back to their alma mater to meet with current students. It is exciting to see St. Martin's alumni achieving their goals and sharing the message that big goals are not out of reach as long as you work hard and are prepared.”
St. Martin's performing arts curriculum offers students the opportunity to explore the arts through various performance types in the areas of theater
. Students at all grade levels have the opportunity to perform on-stage, while students seeking less visible roles can pursue set design, lighting design, sound design, and audio recording. Learn more about the arts at St. Martin’s