La-tino life a rich ex­pe­ri­ence

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage - Sara Fitz­patrick

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.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d464652

Zac Gower is per­form­ing Tel­lanov­ela at Fringe World Fes­ti­val.

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