WOOHOO!! I JUST ADDED “THEATER ACTOR” TO MY CREDITS

Ngo Okafor in his first stage production

Ngo Okafor in his first stage production

I received a message on FaceBook from Ashley Bell. Ashley Bell is Yale University graduate and the founder of Divaria Productions here in  NYC. Divaria Productions is an Opera Production Company. Divaria Productions produced a Spanish zarzuela, La Dolorosa, in honor of International Women’s Day on Saturday March 8 at 7:30 pm in collaboration with a company in Spain, la Riojalirica. There was singing in Spanish but there was also dialogue mostly in English.  The director of the show was looking for someone to play Padre Lucas, a priest. And that’s where I came in.

The show was presented at the piece in Old St Patrick’s Cathedral in Soho, a beautiful church with a history of immigration. I was so excited to be in this production because for my entire career as an actor, all my work was in film and TV. I had always thought about doing work on stage because all the great actors had done it and continue to do so. I was a bit nervous because besides the stage work that I had done in theater class, I had never been on stage.
The Cast of La DolorosaThe stage is very different from film or TV. The audience is live and you only have one shot to get it right. You can’t yell cut and start over. You don’t have several takes to get it right. You only have one shot!! This is the reason why rehearsal is so important. We rehearsed for an entire week, in a freezing church, in order to make sure that there weren’t any mistakes. On Saturday, it was go time. When it was show time, I wasn’t nervous because no one was going to punch me in the face. This is one of several great tools that boxing has given me. After fighting large grown men in front of huge crowds, for many years, very little scares me. No matter how bad I may screw up on stage, no one is going to punch me in the face.
The audience loved the show. It was sad because once the show was over, it was done…FOR EVER!! You can’t go back and see it ever again. It was so much fun and I look forward to doing it again. I would like to thank Ashley Bell and Anton, our director for giving me the opportuinity to be in a stage production.
Stay tuned for more
Ngo

 

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