It is extremely difficult to make your dream come true, but so rewarding. It is that much more difficult when you have two dreams, but Priscila Zortea is beginning to feel the immense satisfaction that comes with achieving both dreams: dancing and acting.
Since graduating from HB Studio’s acting program in New York City, the Brazilian native has been quite busy. Priscila appeared in the regional musicals A Chorus Line, The Music Man, Joseph and the amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, as well as several commercials and industrials, which launched her career into a large list of achievements.
She acted in the feature film A Journey to a Journey directed by Canadian Barry Germansky, the short film Unveiled directed by Klemen Novak, and the webseries Distortion based on super hero fights. She danced with Gotham City Cheerleaders in New York, which is an unofficial dance team that supports the New York Giants, and with them had the opportunity to dance on HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. She also was a dancer in the 2015 season of LA KISS football, making her rock ’n’ roll dream come true.
In a short time, Priscila Zortea, has an ever growing list of achievements. To find out more about this up-and-comer, make sure to read below.
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What made you get into acting and dancing?
PZ: My mom took me to my first ballet class when I was three years old and I haven’t stopped dancing since! I fell more in love with ballet and performing as each year passed and in a way I knew I wanted to keep doing that. When I was around 12 my dream to become an artist became stronger and I felt like I could talk about it and try to improve myself. I told my dad that I wanted to dance “seriously” and asked if I could attend a better school. We lived in a very small town and there weren’t opportunities available for me. I’m very thankful to have a supportive family! My dad said yes and my mom started driving me to a bigger city an hour away a few times a week so I could take dance classes and perform.
My love for acting also was always there but once again I didn’t know what to do about it. I remember playing in the background of my house as if I was an actress performing something, or I would dress up and sit by the trees and pretend I was Alice in Wonderland, or a character from a TV show I happened to be watching at the time. But there was no way to really go after it. I did some theatre in school but that was about it.
Then also when I was about 12 or 13 I went to my first audition for TV. I read about it on a newspaper, it was an audition for the Brazilian version of Argentinean TV hit Chiquititas. I had no idea what to expect but I went to this audition in the capital of the Estate I lived in. I had a great time, even though I had no idea what I was doing.
What do you like about acting and dancing?
PZ: I think art in general is such a wonderful way to express yourself and connect to other people. I always felt like myself dancing, like my best self, like my true self, like the person I wanted to be. And then when I found out I could also talk it was even better! Acting is an amazing exercise to get to know yourself and I feel like I’m always learning how I truthfully react to things and how I feel about different situations that I don’t get a chance to explore in ‘real life’. Also, the fact that a character has the power to connect to the public, it makes my work even better. It’s such a powerful thing when you can relate to characters you see on TV or films. You can feel like you’re not the only one who’s going through that. You can feel supported. You can feel hopeful. You can dream about a happy ending just like the one you saw and that’s priceless! And as an actor I’m the one who will pass that message to you, the public. And I love that responsibility.
What are the challenges to acting and dancing?
PZ: Being vulnerable in front of strangers, be willing to show your true self, those are challenges to all artists. We just use our experiences and our emotions, and we show the most beautiful and the ugliest things about ourselves. That’s a scary thing. Human beings tend to hide and feel comfortable and by avoiding their honest feeling. Artists are not allowed to do that. It seems vague but those things are a huge part of our daily challenges. A dancer needs to always be in shape, eat well, be strong, have technique, but also be artistic. We need to learn choreography quickly and give a voice to it immediately, and those are lifelong challenges for us. There’s no such thing as perfection but we’re always working towards it. Acting makes you question so much about yourself in different situations and your relation to other people. then you put yourself in a position of being judged for who you are, the way you look, the way you speak, the way you react to things, the limitations people say you have, and much more. You really need a tough skin to keep true to yourself and move forward believing that the answer you have is the right one, and one day you’ll show it to the right person and the right time and it’ll give you a career and sense of fulfillment.
What made you want to move to LA?
PZ: I graduated from a theatre program in New York City and then worked there for a couple of years. I then found an audition to be a dancer for the arena football team LA KISS in Los Angeles and moved here to dance for them last year. It was a dream come true! The owners of the team are Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons from the band KISS and I’ve been a huge fan of them since 1997. Rock ’n’ Roll is my biggest passion after acting and dance! I couldn’t believe I got the opportunity to represent their brand!
What are you currently working on?
PZ: I’m in a play called Wonder Women at The Next Stage Theatre in Hollywood. It’s a comedy directed by Chris Berube. I play the role of Mistress. She’s slightly based on the Catwoman and it’s a very fun role. The play is about female super heroes who decide to rebel and go against the league that makes them be sidekicks to male heroes, wear skimpy outfits and never get the job done by themselves. They’re showing that they are better than that and deserve respect!
I’m also collaborating with screenwriter CJ Walley on a short film to be shot in Vancouver in July.
What are your plans for the future?
PZ: I want to be a working actress in American television. I want to help bring even more diversity to what you see on your TV and I want to be an example to everybody who thinks they can’t dream too big because they were born in a small town with no opportunities, or because someone told them they have limitations. I want everything to be possible for me and for anybody who dreams. I dream of being the first Brazilian actress to be respected worldwide and accomplished in different fields.