Diversify your portfolio—it’s a phrase often heard in investment circles. Applying it to the world of acting might seem strange, but Andrew Duplessie ’11 is steadily building a “portfolio” that fuses both professions.
Duplessie has always been one to cross boundaries. An up-and-coming performer in TV and film, he nonetheless favored sports as a child, and he never attended formal acting classes at Trinity-Pawling. But he quickly found his footing in the one-acts regularly staged at the School. “There was no stereotypical ‘theatre kids’ group,” says Duplessie. “Athletes and other students alike all participated. There was a lot of camaraderie.”
Entering Tulane University, the newbie thespian found himself smack in the middle of a bourgeoning film production scene—one that has recently outpaced both Los Angeles and New York. Even so, it was Duplessie’s extracurricular interests, not his academic goals, which focused on drama. “I didn’t really know about the New Orleans film boom,” he admits, “but when I got there it immediately struck me that I could pursue acting and finance simultaneously.”
Duplessie is majoring in finance, but he recently appeared in the season-opener of American Horror Story, the phenomenal TV series from Glee creator Ryan Murphy. He’s also taken on daytime television (General Hospital) and worked in feature films—alongside Danny Glover, Tom Arnold, and other high-profile names. So why is he gearing up for Wall Street?
The easy answer would be about practicality, having a fallback if the acting doesn’t work out. But for Duplessie it goes back to lessons he learned at Trinity-Pawling, which emphasized “utilizing your time wisely to become multitalented.”
Hence, his advice to younger actors and aspiring business leaders is the same: “Diversify your background. Investment banks and casting directors both want the most well-rounded candidate.” For Duplessie, all life challenges require “an open mind to building your craft.”