NEW YORK CITY — While auditioning recently or a part in “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” Adam Stedman went through an identity crisis.
“I actually went in to play Satan and came out with the role of Jesus,” Stedman said. “It was quite funny.”
Stedman, a Lumberton native, is in his third year of school at the New School in New York City, and is quickly making a career out of acting, singing and dancing. Stedman has done numerous commercials and productions, and is currently an understudy for the show “The Addams Family.”
“It really took me a little while to really understand that it’s not ever going to come to you, you just have to go out and get it,” Stedman said. “I just made hundreds of resumes and hundreds of pictures and things just started snowballing. It’s really about who you know, when you know them and where you’re at.”
Stedman was heavily involved in theater while growing up —and credits Jeanne Koonce, the director of local acting group Studio One, with helping him grow as a performer.
“If it wasn’t for Jeanne Koonce, I wouldn’t be in New York right now,” Stedman said. “I did Studio One since I was 13 years old and she really just took me under her wing.”
When he was 10 years old and at the Movie Mart in St. Pauls with his mother Cathy, Stedman knew what he wanted.
“I turned to my mom and said ‘I’m going to move to New York and I’m going to be an actor,’” he said. “And since then they have always let me do what I wanted to do.”
His father, Danny Stedman, hoped his son would go into medicine, but saw that acting was what made him happiest.
“We’ve known since he was a little boy that his destiny was in the arts,” Danny said. “He almost came into the world singing and acting.”
Stedman graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in October 2010, and is now pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Musical Theater.
Stedman, self-described as gangly and tall, was preparing to do his first national commercial — for the fall collection of Levi’s — the day he spoke to The Robesonian.
“I have abnormally long legs and I don’t know where I got it from because both of my parents have short tiny little legs, so they picked me up like a hotcake,” Stedman said.
He has been in a commercial for the OWN Network’s “Nate Berkus Show” and had a part in Bravo’s “The Fashion Show.”
“That was a really funny experience and getting to meet the real housewives of Orange County and Jersey,” Stedman said. “It was at CBs studios in New York and there was a long audition process … One of the things was something about elegance so they had us dressed in high-end waiter outfits and we got to play along with the ladies so it was fun.”
Stedman is working on a project now with Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon, but said he can’t give details just yet.
New York has opened a lot of doors for Stedman, one being the chance to perform cabarets in little clubs around the city.
“After the curtain closes on Broadway, the curtain rises on cabaret performances,” Stedman said.
Even with his television exposure, Stedman said his love of live theater will never fade.
“Stage theater has as place in my heart that will never be taken precedence over,” Stedman said. “It’s got a poignancy to it that is just so moving for the actor and for the audience.”
Stedman’s ultimate goal is to act on Broadway.
“Some people get their kicks from climbing mountains and riding roller-coasters,” Stedman said. “But if you are just meant to be a performer, then there’s nothing else that’s going to give you that satisfaction. It’s a tailored adrenaline rush.”
— Features Editor Amanda Munger can be reached at (910) 272-6144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.