Meet Zack Canonico: Inside the Life of an Aspiring Actor

Name: Zack Canonico

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Secaucus, New Jersey

School: New York University

As an acting major at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Zack spends his days working tirelessly towards a degree in acting at the Atlantic Acting School, a subdivision of Tisch. While acting is Zack’s passion, he has opened his eyes to the endless opportunities that exist surrounding the acting world. In expanding these horizons, Zack is also pursuing a minor in the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. 

I had the opportunity to sit down with Zack, an experienced performer and a long time best friend, and ask him a few questions about his dreams.

How long has acting been apart of your life?

  • I have been performing in small school shows since I was in kindergarten, but it became an extracurricular that I was really passionate about at around age 10. 

Where does this love for performing stem from? 

  • I think it stems from the movies I watched when I was little. My favorite one was Grease and I would watch it over and over. I just admired how cool the T-Birds were, and I wanted to sing and dance like them as well. Also, my dad would take me to the movies constantly, so I think I’ve always known from a young age that I wanted to perform. I don’t think I ever realized until high school, though, that I would plan on making a career out of that creative side of myself.

What has been your favorite role in any production you have been apart of?

  • I’d have to say my most recent role as Ned Weeks in The Normal Heart has been my most challenging and my most significant role. 

What is your dream role? 

  • The musical theatre part of myself wants to say Mark from RENT is my dream role, but it would be an honor to play Prior in Angels in America or -  years from now, most likely, - Vanya in Uncle Vanya.

What do you plan on doing after graduation? 

  • Ah, the dreaded question. I’d say that I plan to audition for literally everything and anything. I’m open to theatre, TV, film, commercials, voice overs. I’m also interested in arts administration and I am minoring in entertainment business, so possibly something in that area of the industry.

Who has supported you the most as you’ve worked towards pursuing a career in acting?

  • I feel really grateful because most of my family and friends have constantly been my supporters in coming to see all of my shows and ultimately encouraging me to follow my dreams of acting professionally. When I’m feeling doubtful or unsure about myself or if pursuing this career is right for me, they are the ones who motivate and encourage me.

What are you passionate about?

  • Humor. I love being able to make people laugh and I really enjoy being around people who can make me laugh as well. The ease that comes with finding the humor in situations makes things that seem initially very challenging so much more bearable. 

What advice would you give to high school students who dream of studying acting one day?

  • Use every resource that you can in order to help guide you get on a path, whatever that path may be. Rely on those around you who you love and trust. See everything - good theatre, bad theatre, tv, film, etc. I know how daunting it feels to begin to make such serious life decisions, but trust your gut and do what feels right for you and what sparks passion in you. 

IMG Source: Zack ​Canonico

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