ANDERSON LIM is an actor/ singer/ dancer and producer last seen in The Awesome 80s Prom (OffBway). He has also enjoyed The Karaoke Show (OffBway) directed by Diane Paulus in the roles of sultry blonde teen Lola as well as the wildly innebriated 50yr old Noah. Other favorite credits include ~”Divalogues” (OffBway), U.S. National Tour of Cinderella (Ensemble), ’99 & 2000 European Tours of Hair directed by Jim Rado (Margaret Meade), Secret Garden (Archibald), Joseph…Dreamcoat (Joseph), West Side Story (Chino), As You Like It (Le Beau/Amiens), Stop the World… (Littlechap), Man of La Mancha (Sancho), Snoopy (Linus). Self-produced cabarets: Andy – The Musical (Producer’s Club), Everything I’m Telling You Is More Or Less True (Helen’s Cabaret), and Working Guy (Duplex Cabaret). Mr. Lim’s zany party impersonations include Cartman of South Park, Carol Channing, George Takei & Kasey Kasem!
The representative bio above used for theatrical programmes does not tell you that Anderson was born on September 30th near the perfectly conical Mayon volcano in Naga City, Philippines. Nor does it tell you of his trilingual elementary school years in the city of Manila , and eventual migration to San Francisco, California at the age of twelve. Eighth grade at Star of the Sea Grammar School was a crash course in assimilation, and allowed for his first stage endeavour as Gabriel in the Christmas play.
Anderson transitioned into an artistically appropriate adolescence at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, where his passion for the performing arts met a fierce ignition. Roles like Boris Kolenkhov (You Can’t Take It With You), Allan Woodward (You, The Jury) and Sneaky Fitch (Death and Life of Sneaky Fitch) further whetted his appetite for the stage. These led to his fateful auditions for Young People’s Musical Theatre program which was casting teens for West Side Story and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. This San Francisco Recreation and Park Dept summer program, started and cultivated by Diane Price, marked Anderson’s first musical theatre roles as Chino (West Side) and Twimble (How To Succeed…).
The “Company” (as it is more affectionately known) was a complete immersion into the performing arts discipline with acting classes, vocal coachings, tap/jazz/ballet dance instruction and rehearsals for full length musicals during the day, culminating to performances in the evening. With much gratitude to Diane Price, Anderson’s summer of love and theatre became a perrenial passion, starting with the title role in the Company’s fall production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat. Subsequently spanning a two year period, the sequence of significant roles that built his resume and stamina include: Benny Van Buren (Damn Yankees), Linus (Snoopy), Prez (Pajama Game), Audrey 2 (Little Shop of Horrors), Tommy French (Smile). Finally, as a Company alumnus, he sunk his teeth into the character of Littlechap in Stop the World, I Want to Get Off popularized by the likes of Anthony Newley and Sammy Davis Jr.
On a collegiate level, Mr. Lim pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Drama at San Francisco State University. The well rounded curriculum not only provided further performance opportunities in productions such as the Pablo Neruda inspired Blaze & Death of Joaquin Murieta, San Francisco Mime Troupe co-production of Spain, and the role of Archibald in Secret Garden, but also refreshingly called upon a new skill set as choreographer for his departing production ~ Hair, the American Tribal Love Rock Musical.
Anderson simultaneously kept himself on the charts outside of university pursuits. Original musical workshops like Waiting at Patroni’s by Lawrence Rush broadened his exposure . Not to mention working with community theatre companies , from Oakland Ensemble and their production of Kurt Weill’s Lady In the Dark (Russell Paxton), Masquers Players’ Day In Hollywood, Nights in the Ukraine (Chico Marx), Penisula Civic Light Opera’s La Cage Aux Folles (Lo Singh) and Singing In the Rain (Ensemble). Eventually, Mr. Lim ‘s labor of love blossomed into professional employment in longer running shows. From Theatreworks’ Skin of Our Teeth (Telegraph Boy), Belrose Dinner Theatre’s Man of La Mancha (Sancho) , Shakespeare at the Beach’s As You Like It (Choreographer, Musical Director & roles: Amiens / Le Beau) & Merry Wives of Windsor (Page), Univ of Massachusetts’ Moby Dick the Musical (Sam), to the campy cult musical Whatever Happened to BB Jane? in San Francisco’s historic vaudevillian Victoria Theatre .
With a substantial performance based resume, Anderson graduated to writing, producing, and staging his first one man show, Empowering Dreams. From the project’s funding/story development/ production rehearsals/ shopping for concessions/ performance / strike, this experience validated his working knowledge of the business called “show”. More importanly, it fueled his eastward migration to the home of theatre ~ New York. Six months of research for an apartment and a dayjob led to a redeye flight on Tower Air. With blessings at the doorstep from his dear mother, a few close friends ushered him to the airport, and eventually his boarding gate (a luxury of the pre-9/11 past) with a hug and a tear.
Landing theatrical/performer representation and management came almost as instantly as landing in New York. Anderson excitedly hit the ground running with daily auditions, resulting in several industrial gigs. Survival jobs which included aerobic teaching, temping at an investment bank, as well as managing the personals section of an alternative newsweekly became the weekly routine. With this drill down to a science, he showed up for a Hair audition at five thirty in the morning and earned a callback. The early bird gets the worm indeed as the job was successfully booked for the Italian Tour of Hair directed by original cast member & co-creator Jim Rado. He performed in ten cities during his first year’s engagement and subsequently twelve cities on his second. Milan is particularly special for Mr. Lim as Teatro Smeraldo’s audience of two thousand serenaded him with “Happy Birthday” (in Italian) during the curtain call. More importantly, “Hair” has blessed Anderson with lasting friendships.
Thanks to the lasting bonds of Hair, Anderson found comfort, solace and clarity during the dark days of 9/11. Unemployment and a large debt were ample reasons to permanently return to San Francisco in this time of emotional and economic devastation . It was time to re-evaluate the reasons for being an actor, and whether he would divorce his espoused career. Was it because of his dream to work on the Great White Way? Was it because of his wish that the entertainment industry would finally create the Asian-American equivalent of Tom Hanks/ Denzel Washington/ Will Ferrell void of over used and dated stereotypes? Or was it his way of finally owning his life and the reality that New York is to be lived at one’s own risk?
Auditioning seemed out of place, dreadfully inappropriate and almost disrespectful given the city’s collective grief. Just as his acting professor Lynbarbra Mahler used to interject during a scene, Anderson asked himself “What am I doing?” The response “Doing what I love” was enough to prompt this young hopeful’s return to New York after a month-long break. There was much to fear, yet so much more to love about New York City and its boundless possibilities in the subsequent days of healing. This leap of faith rewarded Mr. Lim with Cinderella, The Karaoke Show, Divalogues , and The Awesome 80s Prom. He has also found purpose in his dayjob, serving as a healthy counterpoint to his theatrical workload.
Anderson believes that people are the best books to read. So who knows what lies ahead for this man of many hats. You’re invited to stay tuned…and read on. After all “…all the world is a stage and we are merely players..”.