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Entries in Zachary Infante (3)

Tuesday
Sep022014

Call Answered Again: Zachary Infante: Pyre Cantata

Zachary Infante"Call Me Adam" reconnects with actor Zachary Infante. This time around we talk about him starring in and co-producing in Trevor Bachman's Pyre Cantata which will play HERE Arts Center (145 6th Avenue) from September 4-7Click here for tickets!

A mythic, soulful, vocally pyrotechnic adaptation of Antigone, this electric new musical follows four young siblings as they try to fix the broken city of Thebes. The music, a soulful fusion of R&B, gospel, and musical theatre exquisitely sews together quick humor with alarming tragedy. Appealing to lovers of Greek drama and good music alike, Pyre Cantata is a fiery new twist on a centuries-old myth.

For more on Zachary be sure to visit http://zacharyinfante.wix.com/zacharyinfante and follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

1. From September 4-7, you are co-producing and starring in Pyre Cantata, a new musical retelling of Antigone. What made you want this project to be your first venture at producing? Why did you want to star in it as well? Watching Trevor Bachman’s work grow over the last five years has been an enriching experience for the soul. I feel that producing his work is the right step forward at this point. Being able to play and develop Pyre Cantata with Trevor keeps my eyes open to the reality of these characters.

2. How do you balance both producing and acting? Do the lines ever get blurred? Thankfully our director, Chris Bowser, has been a great hand in this balance. After one of our production meetings I left my script in the rehearsal studio. He reminded me that he’s happy to have me on the team and wants my passion for the production to stay as strong as my love for the story. That was a real game changer and has kept my eyes on the ball.

Zachary Infante and Travis Kent in Trevor Bachman's "Pyre Cantata"3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Pyre Cantata? Throughout the the life of this piece, it's music and lyrics have managed to reverberate beyond the theater. An audience will undoubtedly find the controversy in Pyre Cantata to be relevant in our world today, and I hope it will stir a dialogue about war and corruption.

4. What do you identify most with about the story and your character "Eteocles"? This guy is driven by his faith. "Eteocles" puts so much trust in the people he loves and I believe that to be true of my relationships with friends and family.

5. What has been the best part about working with this cast and creative team so far? I’ve loved coming into the rehearsal room and being able to greet other young professionals working toward a common goal. I see the passion in everyone’s eyes during our runs and how easily we’re able to pour love on each other in and outside of rehearsal.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

6. If you could be an original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? Crema de Piragua. It’s been my favorite flavored ice since childhood and I’d love that taste to last after the summer.

7. How do you want to be remembered? I’d love for my children’s children to remember me as an honest and romantic old man who was generous and faithful.

Zachary InfanteMore on Zachary: 

Born at Mount Saini Hospital in Spanish Harlem, Zach's Dominican and Puerto Rican roots run deep. Though a native New Yorker, his family made a move to the suburbs of New Jersey where he spent most of his childhood. The theater community in Roselle Park shaped Zach into the young professional he is today, and fostered his passion for the arts at a young age. After years of performing in his living room and with local theater companies he began working professionally scoring roles in commericals and on television, and so the legend beings.

Tony Award winning director Julie Taymor and Zachary InfanteAt the age of ten Zach landed a role in Paramount Picture's School of Rock starring Jack Black, Joan Cusak, and Miranda Cosgrove. Fueled and desiring more he pursued a BFA in Drama at New York University. While studying at NYU he was in his first musical theater production at The Paper Mill Playhouse. It didn't take this sprite to realize that the stage is where he would be able to hone his craft.

Following the completion of his training at the Collaborative Arts Project (CAP21) and the Experimental Theatre Wing (ETW) Zach began working on the classics with Tony Award winning director Julie Taymor (The Lion King, Across the Universe) in the inagural production of Brooklyn's newest premier company Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA). The fall 2013 production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream led him over to Hartford Stage where he worked with Matthew Lopez on his most recent development of Somewhere a play with music by Bill Sherman (In the Heights) starring Tony Award Winner Priscilla Lopez (A Chorus Line, In the Heights).

Zachary Infante in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"The classics seem to be where the stars have pulled him as he'll be returning to TFANA in the fall for Sir Michael Boyd's production of Tamburlaine in a major production of the rarely produced play by Christopher Marlowe. Through the inbetweens Zach has been working with Tony Award nominated director Michael Greif (Rent, Next To Normal, If/Then), and as a reoccuring character, Senate page "Tomas A.L Quiroz," on the Amazon Prime original series Alpha House starring John Goodman and Mark Consuelos.

Zach has also been developing several new works with composers Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Trevor Bachman, and Bobby Cronin. Most recently has been given the opportunity to host the national singing competition Can U Sing with judges Erin Christine (American Idol), Kristen Huffman (Company), and Greg Nobile, (Tony Award winning producer of A Gentlemans Guide to Love and Murder).

Monday
Sep012014

Call Answered: Kiah Victoria: Pyre Cantata, The Lion King, and Music

Kiah VictoriaMaking her Broadway debut at 10 years old as "Young Nala" in Disney's The Lion King, "Call Me Adam" chats with actress and singer Kiah Victoria about starring in Trevor Bachman's Pyre Cantata which will play HERE Arts Center (145 6th Avenue) from September 4-7Click here for tickets!

A mythic, soulful, vocally pyrotechnic adaptation of Antigone, this electric new musical follows four young siblings as they try to fix the broken city of Thebes. The music, a soulful fusion of R&B, gospel, and musical theatre exquisitely sews together quick humor with alarming tragedy. Appealing to lovers of Greek drama and good music alike, Pyre Cantata is a fiery new twist on a centuries-old myth.

For more on Kiah be sure to visit http://kiahvictoria.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

1. From September 4-7, you will be starring in Pyre Cantata. What made you want to audition for this show? This music is killer and the cast is not only full of incredible artists but also my dearest friends. It’s a win across the board.

2. What do you identify most with about the story and your character "Speaker"? The "Speaker" posses a feminine power that I admire and in may ways aspire to. In a male dominated world she’s still running shit. She knows the secrets of the city and uses that knowledge and wisdom to protect her family. 

Kiah Victoria rehearsing "Pyre Cantata"3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I hope audiences leave the room feeling a sense of triumph. Whether it’s from the incredible music, or the plight of "Ismene," I hope people feel that amidst darkness there is a spark of light. This story is as much about dysfunction as it is about pure potential.

4. What is the best part about being in the early stages of show's creation? It’s such a RIDE. I was in the first reading of Pyre about 4 years ago, so to hear the development since that time is pretty remarkable. The best part is witnessing all of Trevor’s work and growth being manifested into this production. And as a cast we’re making new discoveries that are further building upon his genius.

Cast of "Pyre Cantata"5. At age 10, you made your Broadway debut as "Young Nala" in The Lion King. What was it like to make your Broadway debut at such a young age? Was it everything you dreamed it would be? The Lion King was kind of magical. It was one of those experiences that completely clarified for me that the stage is where I belong. The music, costumes, lights, dancers, singers and the beautiful New Amsterdam became my home. My dad also made his Broadway debut in The Lion King playing drums in the orchestra! We were the first ever daddy-daughter team. That was such a surreal, proud moment to see him up in the balcony holding it down, while I was riding around on an ostrich with "Simba." AH!

Cover design by Rog Walker6. Since then, you also started writing your own music, releasing 2 EPs and some singles as well as perform around the world in concert. What do you get from working on your own music and performing concerts that you do not get from being on stage? I feel a deeper sense of ownership when I’m writing music. It’s much more of a challenge for me than being on stage. But ultimately each piece of my artistic creation and development makes me feel alive. I wouldn’t trade one for another.

7. What is the best part about meeting your fans around the world? Well, this question makes me feel rather fancy. I feel love from all angles when I come into contact with people who appreciate my artistry and what I create. That enthusiasm is so special.

8. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I always felt a deep, inexplicable desire to perform. I’m not sure if I had a say in the matter. It feels like that desire always was and will be forever.

Kiah Victoria singing9. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Oh man, so many people! Nabil (Video Director), Miguel (Artist), and 40 (Producer) come to mind.

10. What's the best advice you've received so far? "Treat everyday as a rededication to your craft." – Martin Scorsese (NYU ‘14 Tisch Commencement)

11. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? Hmmm, probably that I have more strength than I realize.

12. Having success at such a young age, how have you been able to stay grounded? I’m a person. I think if I remember that, I’ll be good. 

BONUS QUESTIONS:

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Flight.

14. If you could be any original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? Raspberry. For sure.

15. How do you want to be remembered? As a giver of joy and ferocity.

More on Kiah:

BLENDING INTIMATE VOCAL PERFORMANCE WITH THE OBSCURE SYNTHETIC TEXTURES OF TRIP-HOP PRODUCER TOLU, 21-YEAR-OLD KIAH VICTORIA EMERGES FROM THE GREAT CITY OF NEW YORK.

THE MTV COLLEGE WOODIE NOMINEE HAS TAKEN HER TRAVELS AROUND THE GLOBE, LIVING IN BOTH GERMANY AND KENYA FOR A SHORT TIME BEFORE RETURNING TO HER RIGHTFUL SPOTLIGHT IN MANHATTAN.

KIAH HAS GARNERED THE ATTENTION OF NYC’S BROADWAY STAGES, NBC’S THE VOICE, AND THE CLIVE DAVIS INSTITUTE OF RECORDED MUSIC. SHE HAS STUDIED ABROAD IN BERLIN, EXPLORING THE DIVERSELY RICH MUSIC CULTURE OF THE HISTORICAL CITY WHILE CONTINUOUSLY COLLABORATING WITH HER PRODUCER TOLU, AND INTRODUCING HER DISTINCT SOUND TO THE EUROPEAN CITY-CENTER.

Monday
Feb202012

Zachary Infante: Songs For A New World Interview

Photo Credit: Laura LucI first interviewed Zachary Infante, a performer continuing to rise up in 2010 after seeing him in a reading of Bobby Cronin's W2ML (at the time I saw Zachary, it was called "The Beaten Path"). Since that time, Zachary has continued on with W2ML as it moves forward with it's fruition to hopefully being a full production, he has starred Paper Mill Playhouse's "Peter Pan" (alongside Nancy Anderson), and most recently, went back to Paper Mill Playhouse this past summer to intern at their Conservatory to foster his directing/coaching skills.

Currently, Zachary can be seen in NYU GAP's production of Jason Robert Brown's "Songs For A New World" through February 25th at The Shop Theatre in NYC (721 Broadway). Tickets are available for purchase starting one hour before show time. To reserve tickets in advance (limit: 4) or for more information please email NewWorldGAP@gmail.com.

For more on Zachary be sure to follow him on Facebook!

1. What attracted you to "Songs For A New World"? My director Danny Baird, along with the NYU GAP Board for collaborative student projects, proposed implementing movement into the traditional song cycle. The concept along with the direction and choreography allowed me to keep in mind the challenge that Jason Robert Brown's music and lyrics present. I wanted to get into the stories told in this piece and so I felt motivated to make changes in my own life. The process this show demands as well and the amazing group of collaborators I'm working with made this production irresistible.

2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? The power to change had been something I've taken from this experience and I hope that people leave this show feeling empowered to act in those tough moments of indecision. Living through this movement and having experienced the real people I'm working with outside of rehearsal has been such a motivation to enact positive change in my life and encourage those close to my heart to do the same.

3. What do you identify most with about your character "Man 1"? This is a tough one, I guess because my process has been so much about discovering how different I am from "Man 1" but I know in my heart this character is driven in the same way I am. I often feel pressure to produce a result but getting to know this character has helped me to accept the passion behind that desire. There's nothing wrong with trying to change the world and this character has helped me to embrace that drive in me while remembering that to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

4. What do you like most about singing the music of Jason Robert Brown? The strong intention behind the orchestration tingles my nerves. I get the chills listening to the introduction of "King of The World" and it brings an energy to the storytelling which allows me to feel truly safe in the lyric and intention.

5. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Most recently I've become all the more anxious to work with LaQuet Sharnell. I saw her work in Lysistrata Jones and in Bobby Cronin's Holiday concert and she really is a passionate artist with so much to say and so much left do in this industry. I admire her genuine kindness and honesty in her craft, her energy gets me all bubbly! She has an impeccable talent and reputation and the chance to sing, dance, or speak with her would rock my world!

6. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Getting back to the importance of the storytelling and development process fulfills my artistic self. I love when a director, choreographer, or composer aren't afraid to have those challenging conversations with an actor or ensemble to articulate the message being sent. The collaborative process and the challenge it presents excites me.

7. Where is your favorite place to practice on your own? At this point in my life, I love grabbing a studio after classes at CAP21 and moving around in an open space. There are so few chances to do that in such a cramped city but the space of an open studio feels so right.

8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I've learned there's no fault in loving what you do and in embracing how you identify as an artist. Studying theater has certainly created a stigma for me that actors can't get away from their work. WELL AMEN to that, I remember reading in a fortune cookie once that work isn't work if you love what you do and I love any chance I get to develop my artistic self.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? It came from my first year studying at NYU - CAP21. As a young actor, I've found the importance of self-awareness and acknowledgement. Thanks to the faculty and my colleagues at CAP21, I know the importance of breathing and leading from your heart. To me it now feels so fundamental, but it really has been the catalyst for so much of my artistic progress.

10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I'd dream about the first gay couple to be married under US Federal law, hopefully someday soon that dream will be reality!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to spend your day off? I really enjoy time to myself recently. Yoga, sleeping/snuggling in or reading a book in silence bring me the most peace.

12. Favorite website? AHHH! I LOVE CNN and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. I usually start my morning with a few news videos on CNN to keep myself updated on the world and then I go liberal with my girl Rachel.

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Superpowers turn me off. I'm much more into Batman, since he uses his passion to drive him. But the power to be listened to and respected seems "super" in todays times. So..I'll go with the power to be heard and respected :)