The full-body quahog suit would fit behind the stainless steel counter but the squid costume, well that would surely get stuck in the exhaust fan. There’s only just so much room behind the line of Andre Boudreau’s Southeast Light Delights food truck, parked in the shadow of Block Island’s historic lighthouse, where he lives. Having already caught his squid’s head in the Yellow Kittens ceiling fan years ago, Andre has learned his limitations, holding himself to being a business owner, chef, ordained minister, house painter, father, film actor, husband and patron of the arts.
He has married more than 70 couples since 2001 and for many years, ran one of the island’s marine septic pump out boats, which is how he met Supreme Court Justice Maureen Goldberg one summer. She later married Andre to Lisa Nolan on a schooner which they never actually reserved for the small family wedding or even mentioned their intentions to the ships caretaker. Having just awakened to their unexpected arrival, he was, of course, cordially invited to attend. Andre is a consummate, natural funny man, one of the lucky few who can make anyone laugh or not think twice about showing up at a party dressed as a clam.
There is less time for house painting when the summer season arrives and his food truck is a busy destination for hungry tourists walking, biking or riding mopeds up a long, steep and curvaceous Spring Street. The signature dish may be his amazing Lobster Roll, but it’s a thick Lobster Grilled Cheese with sauteed fresh lobster, heirloom tomatoes, smoky bacon and a top secret cheese flooding the whole deal that has become a real favorite. He pours endless cups of Del’s Lemonade, frequently bewildered watching some take a haul from the yellow waxed cups before adding shots of coconut rum or champagne from mini bottles before climbing back aboard.
After cooking, painting, officiating weddings and shuttling his son Jacques around the block, there’s the acting. He’s worked in all the major genres: slasher, comedy, zombie apocalypse, Frankenstein, exorcist and old fashioned bloody murder in movies like The Disco Exorcist, Murder University and Atomic Brain Invasion. His most recent role is in William DeVogue’s upcoming film, Unveiling, where he plays an abusive stepfather to the real-life Middletown resident who believes he’s Bob Dylan’s son. This love for acting has landed him in almost 30 films and introduced him to many key people behind the scenes, so now he passionately supports bringing a filmmaking program to the island school, with cameras and professionals to visit and teach.
Looking out his living room window, he shrugs as a half dozen kids ignore the “Danger Eroded Bluffs” sign hung on a fence meant to keep them safe to shoot selfies from a clay ledge without any real support. Building the infrastructure for island students to develop shorts or features would bring a higher level of training for careers on either side of the camera, on or off the island. “I want to bring those opportunities to these kids,” he said. In the 2008 cult classic, Nun of That, Andre played a character named Lucky and as the squid suit sits in the attic, it’s a role that suits him perfectly.