La-tino life a rich experience
EAST Perth’s Zac Gower stepped off the plane at LAX with one suitcase and no connections.
Within two years, he was rubbing shoulders with iconic soap opera family, the Abbotts, on CBS drama The young and there stless and dancing it up with the sexy young cast on Bravo reality series Vander pumprules.
He had minor roles – working at a cafe and performing on a float – but both experiences were priceless.
“You have to come in and really know your work and make it easier for the big-time players who are there every day,” Gower said.
“It’s fast. On Young and restless, they would say, ‘All right Zac, you’re going to stand here, say your two lines, hand her a coffee and then walk off to the left. Ok, we are good – three, two, one, let’s go’.
“It was a little relentless but I learnt a lot because I just had to go with my instinct and not overthink it so it becomes a really empowering and exciting way to trust your talent.”
Trying not to appear star struck, Gower quickly learnt how to curb his enthusiasm.
“Most of the stars were really nice, so I didn’t feel like I was in their way or belittled,” he said.
“I got very good at not being freaked out by meeting these people.”
The homegrown performer made the move to LA in 2012 after touring Australia with children’s shows and cabarets.
“You’ve got to follow that dream and see it out to its full fruition, so I went over to at least see what would happen because I knew in my heart that if I didn’t, then I would always regret it,” Gower said. “I was taking classes and then navigating how to stay and legally work, because I came over on a student visa, and then it all just started to evolve into meeting a lot of great people.”
After four years in La La Land, Gower opted for a change of scenery and moved back to Perth last year.
With a wealth of fresh material and newfound zest for home, he presents biographical show, Tel Lanovela – a play on words for a Spanish soap opera – at Fringe World Festival.
“Something that amazed and inspired me about LA was the really wonderful Latino influence; there was this whole world, including music and dance, which I didn’t know anything about until I got there,” Gower said. “So as I started my life in LA, a lot of it had this influence and when I reflect back on important moments there, there is a linking thread of this white guy with a pile of wonderful Spanish speakers around him.
“I wanted to tell that story here in Perth and find a way to link two detached cultures into one.”
Zac Gower is performing Tellanovela at Fringe World Festival.