Ten Minutes with Audrey Heffernan Meyer
A leading stage performer
Photos by Wendy Carlson
Audrey Heffernan Meyer, part-time Washington resident, is set to open off-Broadway in Romance Language, a new play by Roxbury’s Joe Godfrey. Meyer began her career in musical theater, took time off to raise her four children with restaurateur Danny Meyer, then started a whole new career as an advertising sales representative for Gourmet. Now she is back onstage, where she loves to be and where we love to see her.
Were you always interested in being on stage? Absolutely! I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an actress. I used to sing around the house with my father. He had this booming Irish tenor voice and we used to pretend we were Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald.
How did you get started? I went to Penn State and majored in musical theater and then moved to New York as soon as I graduated. We were told that if you wanted to go on the stage, that was the place to be.
What did you do while you were waiting for that big break? Like all aspiring actors, I waited tables and went to every audition I could. It was kind of fun, and after two years, I got my equity card.
How did you and Danny meet? We met in 1984. I was working at a restaurant called Pesca and I was going up the back stairs carrying a tray and Danny was coming down. Our eyes locked—we refer to it as the stairway glance that started it all. I was leaving to do a show out of town and Danny was planning a trip to Europe. We talked on the phone all the time and we also wrote a lot of love letters. We got married in 1988.
When you audition for a role and don’t get it, how do you bounce back? I try not to overanalyze. Now that I am back in the business I thought it wouldn’t hurt as much to lose a part—but it does! I have a certain maturity now and try to be philosophical.
How do your children feel about your acting career? The first job I got when I went back to acting was in the ensemble of the Bronx Opera Company. I didn’t have a leading role, but I got to play numerous parts, including a cigarette girl in Carmen. My kids came to see it and they were amazed— “That’s Mom?” They’ve seen every show I’ve done since then.
Do you have a wish list of parts you’d like to play? I am dying to play Desiree in A Little Night Music, but actually I would be thrilled to be in any Sondheim show.
What brought you to the Northwest Corner? When the kids were little, we rented out in Amagansett. The prices were crazy and it was taking Danny four hours to drive out from the city. So one day while visiting friends here, we looked for a house. We bought an old colonial with a great piece of land and have now been here 12 years.
When you are not onstage, what do you do? I go to Steep Rock, run along River Road. We go to Lake Waramug in the summer. Naturally, we are interested in food; we have a vegetable garden and we all love to cook. It’s all about family time.