Meet Zach Winston, actor, wannabe pro wrestler and VTG Literary Manager. In True Believers, Zach is playing Billy, cyborg rights activist and video-blogger with a passion for ruin, and disdain for order.
How did you get involved in theatre? What is your first theatre memory?
The first thing I can ever remember wanting to do was direct movies. However, filmmaking is not the most accessible activity for a 7-year-old. So my mom suggested that I join drama club. I was resistant at first but, in fifth grade, I finally did it. Originally, I wanted to assistant direct or stage manage. But, like all elementary/middle/high school drama clubs, they were a little short on boys. So I ended up getting cast as the antagonist in some sexually frustrated original melodrama called “Penelope, Pride of the Pickle Factory.” I don’t remember the story too well but I seem to recall a lot of emotional abuse towards my all-female pickle factory staff. I was in fifth grade.
If you weren’t in theatre, what would you do?
Pro wrestling. Definitely.
If theatre is not your full-time job, what else do you do? How does it connect to your life as an actor?
I’ve worked a variety of jobs over the past few years. These include scooping ice cream, giving tours in a pirate costume, and sitting in a cube at a health insurance company. The one thing they all have in common is that I’d rather be doing theatre. Plain and simple.
What is your favorite thing about your character?
Billy is very passionate about the things he loves. We can all relate to that, but what makes it interesting is that he’s passionate to a destructive level. He’s not trying to be malicious; he’s not a monster. After all, Iago isn’t interesting for an audience to watch unless the actor justifies his actions. I think my favorite thing about Billy has been walking in his shoes and seeing what makes this seemingly troubled kid do the things he does. It’s been an interesting journey, and I’m itching to see just where it brings my performance.
What is the most nerdy thing about yourself?
When I’m at the gym, I listen to WWE entrance music. There. I said it. Happy?
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After being conned into auditioning for A Skull in Connemara in the summer of 2009, Zach is honored to be working on his fourth production with Vagabond Theatre Group. Since then, Zach assistant directed VTG’s IRNE award nominated production of Burning the Barn, and penned last year’s piratical sea epic, The Unfortunate Cutthroats. Other local acting credits include Hair (Counter-Productions Theatre Company), The Boys of Winter (Boston Playwrights Theater), The Shape of Things (Salem State College, Student Theatre Ensemble; KC/ACTF Irene Ryan Scholarship nomination), and Tigers Be Still (Zeitgeist Stage). Zach works as Literary Associate, and can be seen reading stage directions at VTG’s new play reading series There Will Be Words. He would like to extend his thanks to the VTG staff, designers, and performers for their endless inspiration and passion. In case he doesn’t get the chance to do it in person, Zach would like to extended a special “thank you” to each and every person in attendance for, without an audience, it’s merely a rehearsal. And last but, certainly, far from least, Zach would like to thank VTG’s unsung hero, guardian angel, and resident “proud mom,” Cynthia Winston.