Andrew Neiman

Andrew Neiman

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... at New York’s prestigious Shaffer Conservatory, where he’s studying to be a drummer. Specifically, Andrew has moved his dorm room mattress to the school’s practice room so he can hone his drumming skills at any hour of the day or night.

Profession... first-year jazz student. Andrew’s dream is to become the best jazz drummer in the world. Step one is to get into the school’s competitive studio band, which is run by legendary musician and conductor Terence Fletcher.

Interests... drumming, drumming, and drumming. Andrew will occasionally take a night off to go on a date or to see a movie with his dad, but for the most part he thinks about drumming 24/7. When he’s not in classes during the day, he’s rehearsing until his hands bleed at night. His biggest idol is "the world's greatest drummer,” Buddy Rich.

Relationship Status... it’s complicated. Andrew has a crush on a girl who works at the local movie theater. But even if he gets up the courage to ask her out, he’s not sure he can afford to have any “distractions” from his drumming career.

Challenge... proving himself to Fletcher. The legendary conductor is notoriously hard on his students – often verbally or physically abusing them. But his approval means everything to Andrew. Though Fletcher’s methods are harsh, Andrew thinks they’ll transform him into a better drummer. In fact, he feels harsh mentorship is a crucial part of jazz history.

Personality... ambitious, awkward, impulsive, abrasive, self-centered, and pretentious. Few 19-year-olds are as dedicated as Andrew, who sees his college experience not as a chance to find himself but as a place to launch his career. He doesn’t have many friends because he’s quick to judge other people and to tell them exactly what he thinks of them. Andrew’s hyper-focused on his career, and he truly believes that if he works hard enough, he’s destined for greatness. He explains, “I'd rather die drunk, broke at 34 and have people at a dinner table talk about me than live to be rich and sober at 90 and nobody remembered who I was.”


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