Hudson Galardi-Troy was bitten by the theater bug when he played Dill in “To Kill A Mockingbird” at Bay Street three years ago. Since then he’s gotten himself an agent, been in countless plays, and has again landed a part in this year’s production of the same play – but this time as one of the leading roles, Jem. The 11-year-old spoke to us about his love of acting and some of his hopes and dreams for the future.
By Mara Certic
What was it about that first performance that made you want to keep on acting?
Well, playing Dill was my first real performance, so when I went on I realized it was really fun. I just get this good feeling when I’m on stage. With everyone watching you it can get sort of pressure-ish, in a good way. So I just said “I want to do more of this,” so we went into the city and got me an agent and then we were sending me out to some auditions. I changed agents a few times and now I’m with Abrams Artists Agency and they’re really good.
Your mom, Susan Galardi, played Miss Maudie in “To Kill a Mockingbird” when you were Dill and now she’s your acting and singing coach. How do you like working with her?
It’s fun. I mean, I get to rehearse at home, so it’s not like I’m with someone I don’t know, so I don’t hold back. Like if I’m getting a singing lesson, maybe some people would be nervous but since I’m with my mom it’s just like “Oh hey, Mom!”
Literature LIVE is designed specifically for middle and high school students. How has being in the performance helped you learn about the book?
Well when I was first in it, in third grade, my mom read me five pages of the book every night until we finished it, which took a long time. But even though there are some bad words, and it’s from a time that wasn’t very nice, I felt that I was learning about the time period way before we started learning about that in school. So when we ended up studying that time in school it really helped me.
How does it feel to be back in the role that got it all started?
It’s a different director so it has a different sort of take and the other actors are very different. Playing Dill in “To Kill a Mockingbird” three years ago was really the first time I was in a play. Since then I’ve been in readings in the city, I got offered to go on the tour for Broadway, around the country, I’ve done my mom’s theater camp, I did readings called “Ashes and Ink” and “The Silent and the Beautiful” and I did “Galapagos”—I was a tortoise.
Right now, what would be your dream role to play?
Well, I know I’m too young to play the role but I really, really, really want to be in “Les Mis,” as that Javert guy. I also told my agent I want to be on “Modern Family,” but kind of as a joke. I really want to be on a sitcom. I just auditioned for a show on Nickelodeon, it’s a TV show based on the movie, “School of Rock,” and the call backs are next week. It would be for two months in L.A.
How much time do you spend at home in Sag Harbor versus travelling to the city?
Right now I’m not going to any auditions unless it’s really, really big, because I’m in “To Kill a Mockingbird” and I don’t have time. But after that, after “To Kill a Mockingbird,” I’ll go to the city for maybe one or two a week.
How do you strike a balance between your acting and being a kid?
If I get offered a role we make a list of pros and cons, so like: you’ll get a lot of money, but you’ll have to stay away from your friends, stuff like that. But normally, when I get home from school I take a 20-minute break, so that can be reading or playing outside. Then I get all of my homework out of the way. And then after that I can have a friend over, and we can go outside or go swimming. I like hanging out with my friends, I surf, I snowboard, I play a lot of sports. And I like to swim, I really like to swim.
To Kill a Mockingbird will be at Bay Street Theater until November 29. For more information or to reserve tickets call (631) 725-9500.