Meet Adam Hyndman, an actor and a swing in the Broadway production of Hadestown and member of the board of directors for Broadway for Racial Justice (BFRJ). This multi-hyphenate, actor-producer-activist brings an inviting energy to every role he plays. And, above all, his mission to promote visibility and inclusivity in the stories he tells as an Afro-Filipino artist is always his driving force. Hyndman discussed with us how he readies himself as a swing, how he broke into the producing industry, and how he defines his purpose as a creator. 

How would you introduce yourself to our readers? 

ADAM HYNDMAN: I’m a producer by day (predominantly with Octopus Theatricals), Broadway performer by night (most recently in Hadestown), and activist 24/7. I’m honored to serve on the board of directors for Broadway for Racial Justice and consult in anti-racism for the theatre with Groundwater Arts. 

I’m passionate about empathy, intersectional narratives, advocating for marginalized voices, and future visioning. As a queer Afro-Filipino artist, my identity rests in various marginalized localities. My own lived experience informs how my art making illuminates systems of power. I’m passionate about creating possibilities for people to connect and activate their purpose. I work toward the manifestation of a diverse and inclusive world because the arts have the potential to reflect who we are and to create belonging for humanity in its many manifestations.

As a swing actor, what does a typical workday look like for you?

AH: A typical workday for me might involve running errands or taking in meetings in the morning or early afternoon. Physically, I rotate between days of self-care and training. One day I might workout at the gym, or I’ll rent a studio to dance through one of the tracks in the show. Then the next day I might get acupuncture and a massage or go to physical therapy. 

Once at the show, if I’m performing that night, I’ll run through any lifts or fight scenes with my castmates on stage. After that, I’ll check in with different department leaders to make sure I have everything I need (double-checking my costumes, props, etc.). Then I’ll do a physical warm-up and a vocal warm-up while socializing with castmates. Finally, I’ll take some time to meditate before the show. 

If I’m not performing that night, you might find me in the audience watching and taking notes. I might be backstage singing along with my sheet music at one of the monitors. Or I might be in the dressing rooms working on my laptop for a producing project or teaching gig. Every day is different, and every day is exciting! 

What pre-show rituals give you a sense of readiness?

AH: Readiness is the word. It’s about having a balance of rigor and rest. Being active in your preparation, and then trusting the work you’ve done when you step on stage. 

Breathing and visualization are my biggest pre-show tools. I try to slow things down so that I can feel embodied. Once the vibe and spirit of the piece gets grounded in my body, I can fully let go and adapt to anything that’s happening on stage. Because the show is always a living, breathing thing, you must study hard ahead of time and then go with the flow once you jump in. 

Describe the process of transitioning from actor to producer.

AH: There are infinite pathways into the industry. My journey is a testament to following our own unique calling. I’ve always been interested in having a career in the arts where I could work and have impact from many vantage points. 

I started gaining informal producing experience by facilitating the work of some of my peers. I’d act as a sounding board, an informal dramaturg, or an editor for a project. That morphed into becoming a strategist and an advocate for their work. I’d help them connect the dots to where they want to take the project. I’d use my network from performing to make introductions to potential collaborators that I thought could be of help. 

Then, I started seeking mentors in the producing realm and taking formal courses and masterclass-style seminars on the craft. I began forming relationships and the rest is history. 

Even as my producing takes off, I’ll still teach. I’ll still perform. I think the value of my producing perspective is that it’s informed by different professional experiences. I want to continue to occupy various lanes in the field simultaneously and think of it more as following the best-fitting opportunity for the moment, rather than cutting myself off to claim a particular role. 

I think that there’s such potential in the arts to be a multi-hyphenate because we can bring our artistry to so many different roles. Regardless of the capacity, my process is about holding true to my calling. To be a conduit of connection and to contribute to healing and empowerment. I can do that by performing in a narrative on stage. I can also fulfill my purpose by facilitating a project as a producer. And I can further fulfill my calling by teaching and mentoring. Always remember that you are limitless! 

Dylan Malloy  is a playwright and director whose first play, The Rocket Man, was adapted from a short story by Ray Bradbury and premiered in March 2021, after Dylan acquired performance rights from Mr. Bradbury’s estate. She’ll be attending Emory University as a playwriting major, with a double major in business on the arts administration track. You can find her on Instagram @dylan_writes.

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