Zach Bencal

@zbencal

EP 151: Zach Bencal (autogenerated)

Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it. Episode 151. Okay. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Zach Ben Cole, are you ready for this Zach?

[00:00:17]Zach Bencal: [00:00:17] Let’s do it.

[00:00:19]Dane Reis: [00:00:19] All right. Zach originated the role of Bobcat on the first national tour of Disney’s Aladdin and will be, and will be reprising his role in the New York company. Upon the reopening of Broadway off Broadway credits include the Anthem and the civil war regional credits include Goodspeed Hartford, symphony Forsberg Playhouse.

[00:00:40] Monomoy theater. NCL theater works USA and various New York city theaters. Zach attended  the BMI writer’s workshop in 2016 as an aspiring composer and obtained his BFA from the heart school. Zach, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done. But why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

[00:01:03] Fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional. In the entertainment industry.

[00:01:11]Zach Bencal: [00:01:11] Okay, well, thank you so much for having me Dane. Um, like he said, I am Zach Benco and I’m originally from Londonderry New Hampshire. Um, I have traveled all over the, the United States with. The national tour of Aladdin. I’ve been to 43 different cities and been on the road for two and a half years, but I am currently residing back in Londonderry, New Hampshire, um, because of COVID and, and everything.

[00:01:33]Um, I did originate the role of Bobcat on the first national tour, and I will be the first replacement, um, for Bobcat and the Broadway company upon the reopening. Um, I have done a lot of music

[00:01:42]position. I’ve music directed, various, um, Productions all around the New York area. Um, lots of children’s theater and I’m currently a voice teacher, so very musical, kind of kind of a Jack of all trades.

[00:01:56] Try to get my hand in

[00:01:57] Dane Reis: [00:01:57] yeah, brilliant. Well, for sure. And in a time like this, you know, we’ve got to be resilient and creative and think about how do we still do what we do when 90% of what we, what we do, isn’t even open.

[00:02:09]Zach Bencal: [00:02:09] I know it’s crazy, but that’s, that’s, what’s so important. And I think that there’s so many actors out there that have a lot of different skills that they bring to the table. And I think that’s a really important thing to foster as an actor.

[00:02:22]Dane Reis: [00:02:22] For sure. And let’s dig into this first section here and Zach, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone? Okay.

[00:02:35]Zach Bencal: [00:02:35] my favorite quote is you can’t move forward. If you’re too busy looking to the side. And to me, that basically just means you can’t continue on your path and achieve everything that you want to achieve. If you’re looking at other people, whether they be peers or just other people in the industry and your con, if you compare yourself to what everybody else is doing, you’ll lose sight of what your actual focuses and you lose sight of yourself.

[00:03:00]So it’s important to stay looking forward and keeping your eye on the prize for yourself.

[00:03:04]Dane Reis: [00:03:04] Yes, that is so true. And I really like your, I like your version of that quote as well, because something similar has come up a couple of times through interviewing other guests and you’re so right. And what I really love about you bringing that up is that again, here is another successful. Performer in this industry, everyone that is saying similar things to other successful entertainers, it’s clearly  a fundamental of this industry.

[00:03:37] That look, you have to stay focused on you. Sure you can appreciate and acknowledge what people are doing around you. Of course, you don’t want to be completely blind to what’s going on, but your focus has to be on. What you’re going for and not trying to deviate and try to be someone else or emulate, but to be you and move forward through this industry.

[00:03:57] And thank you Zach, for bringing that up, because it really truly has become such a fundamental of what creates a successful career.

[00:04:04]Zach Bencal: [00:04:04] Absolutely it does. I mean, the. Casting and everybody kind of that is making it, the big decisions wants to see somebody who is fully their authentic self and knows who they are and what they bring to the table. So obviously you don’t want to take that a little too far and become so tunnel vision that you become selfish.

[00:04:23] Obviously you have to. Work with so many other people and you want to be respectful and everything. And it’s obviously important to see what other people are doing, but it’s definitely about what you bring to the table and knowing what your strengths are and your weaknesses, and having confidence in that.

[00:04:38]Dane Reis: [00:04:38] 100% and let’s get into this next section here. And Zach, of course you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer, and I think that you’d agree. That this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally, emotional industries in existence. And you know, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now.

[00:05:06] It takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while, yeah, there’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement being an entertainer. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:05:32]Zach Bencal: [00:05:32] I feel like I just have to say, obviously COVID is a very difficult challenge for everybody in this industry. I was supposed to make my Broadway debut in June and obviously because of COVID things happen and it will happen after this, which is super exciting and something to look forward to.

[00:05:47] So that’s obviously something that’s a challenge and I’m having to go back to the drawing board and reinvent myself. So that’s a challenge that I’m currently working through, which is. In a way I’m trying to enjoy the process. Um, but something else that’s that’s happened. Um, I, I took my equity card fairly early on in my career after graduating from Hart.

[00:06:04]Um, I did an off-Broadway show at the Lucile Nortel called the civil war. And then I toured with Kerrigan and Loudermilk show Henry and Mudge and I did. Obtain my equity card from that, I will say that taking my cards so early, it felt like the right decision for me because I am more of a character actor.

[00:06:23] I just was finding that I was getting super discouraged when I was just going to the open calls and everything. So I felt like for me, it was the right time to take the card, but I will say, I do feel in hindsight that it. Hindered me a bit, uh, from working regionally, I had so many friends that were doing the point system, as opposed to just taking their card right away.

[00:06:44] And they were working for years and years while I was waiting tables in New York and, and kind of hustling. That’s also, when I. Practice , and utilize my other skills. I was a voice coach and a voice teacher for peers in the industry. And that’s when I really started to get involved with some musical direction too.

[00:07:01] So like we said earlier, it’s important to kind of hone those skills. Um, it’s so funny because while there was a couple of years that I felt like I was the callback King, I would get far in the audition process, but I could never land it because  most of the theaters that I was auditioning for were looking for that one or, or maybe two equity contracts to fill and being a, uh, 23, 20, 22, 23 year old, it was a, it was a little bit challenging.

[00:07:27]Um, but I will say that I wouldn’t be where I am today. Had I not taken that card when I did, because the reason that I’m in Aladdin is because I went to an open call that I would not have. Been able to be seen for had I not taken that card. So yes, there is a bit of a lag, uh, for about a year, but it all worked out in the end.

[00:07:46] So that was something that I’m really grateful for that opportunity, because I had been fortunate growing up, you know, I was kind of a big fish in a small pond and I kind of got everything handed to me on a silver platter and not to sound cocky, but it just, I was the theater guy in high school, you know, so.

[00:08:01]To have those years in New York where I was hustling and humbled by the fact that I wasn’t booking work right away was essential to my growth. And in hindsight, those are the years that really like. Put some hair on your chest, you know, and you really figure out if you’re you’re a fighter and you have what it takes to be in this business, because those years take immense amounts of perseverance, you know, and you have to really, really work hard and keep your head in the game during times like that.

[00:08:25]So, um, I definitely feel like that was a growing point, um, for me and I, I am happy that it all worked out the way that it did.

[00:08:32]Dane Reis: [00:08:32] Yeah, I’m really glad also that you brought up taking your equity card because it’s one of those things. A lot of us will strive for it because if you want to do equity, caliber theater, you ultimately need one. Right? Right? kind of, they go hand in hand, but there is certainly a lot to be said about not necessarily making that your end goal, but instead, really being introspective with yourself and thinking, okay, what is it that I really want out of my career?

[00:09:04]And if an opportunity to take your card comes up, is it the correct time? Don’t just take it because you’ve been offered. It is what I’m really trying to say is. Get the opportunity. Think about it. Yeah. And really assess if that, if it is the correct time in your career to take it, maybe it’s the perfect time.

[00:09:22] Maybe you feel that it is the perfect time, then by all means do it. But maybe there are some other projects that you want to do that, you know, might be impossible once you do have it. 

[00:09:30] Zach Bencal: [00:09:30] it’s, essentially kind of what I was saying earlier about. It’s, it’s kind of goes off of what my point was earlier being, you can’t move forward. If you’re too busy looking to the sides, taking your equity card is such a personal journey. Um, and it’s such a personal decision that you have to really think about what’s right for you and, and what you want, you know?

[00:09:46]Yeah. It’s a very personal decision for sure.

[00:09:49]Dane Reis: [00:09:49] yes. And don’t take it just because you saw a handful of your friends, take it and now it’s working for them. Maybe it’s going to be brilliant for you. Maybe you get more out of your career. If you delayed taking it.

[00:10:00]Zach Bencal: [00:10:00] Exactly. Definitely.

[00:10:02]Dane Reis: [00:10:02] brilliant. And let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.

[00:10:25]Zach Bencal: [00:10:25] so I. Was very musical. And I was very outgoing as a, as a little kid. I loved all the classic movies, you know, as, as we all did, you know, the sound of music, music that was sort of sort of Oz, all those things. And I used to sing and dance all around the house, but I saw my cousin. Play the scarecrow when I was six years old and a production of the wizard of Oz, like a camp production.

[00:10:50] And it really all just clicked for me. And I know that sounds ridiculous being a six-year-old, but when I realized that you could sing and tell those stories that I love so much from the movies, when you could do that, when I realized you could do that on stage, it was, it was signed the deal for me, you know, and there’s so many people that. Get started later in life. And, and I think that that’s great. Yeah. That they found out, like whether that be later in high school, that they really wanted to pursue a lifetime of theater because they were bitten by the bug. Then that’s great. Everybody’s story is different, but I truly, this is not an exaggeration have known what I wanted to do since I was literally six years old.

[00:11:23] There’s just never been a question for me. There was never any debate of whether it was the right choice or not. I was so all in from the time I did my first production when I was literally seven years old, um, it was Hansel and Gretel. And I was sold, you know, I was, I did roughly 70 productions around the Southern New Hampshire area.

[00:11:42]Um, by the time I graduated high school, I had amazing teachers. I w I did some incredible shows. The Southern New Hampshire, uh, theater scene is actually a hidden gem. There’s a lot of amazing talent. That’s come out of this part of the country. And I feel super fortunate enough to have grown up in this area because I was around amazing, amazing people. but

[00:11:59] Yeah, I’ve really, truly, always known what I wanted to do. So then after that I knew I was going to go to college for theater and I knew I was going to move to New York and try to make it

[00:12:08]Dane Reis: [00:12:08] Oh, that’s so good. And you know what? I really enjoy that you are, then you discovered it so early. I am 100% that late into high school guy, because I played sports growing up and I got injured out of everything. And then I had nothing to do. And then I had a friend of mine or a friend of my sister’s said, she said, Hey, we need a guy to help lift some girls in this Christmas show.

[00:12:32] I did that. And I’ve never looked back. So.

[00:12:35]Zach Bencal: [00:12:35] That’s awesome.

[00:12:36]Dane Reis: [00:12:36] Everyone’s got a different journey and I think it’s great. That’s what I love about this industry.

[00:12:40]Zach Bencal: [00:12:40] Yeah, me too. It’s awesome. Everybody’s stories are different and that’s what they bring

[00:12:43] Dane Reis: [00:12:43] for 

[00:12:44] Zach Bencal: [00:12:44] that’s what makes you unique?

[00:12:46]Dane Reis: [00:12:46] For sure.  And let’s piggyback on that question. What was your number one? Booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it, what was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Booked it moment.

[00:13:07] Zach Bencal: [00:13:08] Well, I definitely have to say my favorite book. That moment was the day that I booked the first national tour of Aladdin. It was still to this day. I’m pretty sure the best day of my life. It was the culmination of everything that I had worked hard for and it was an amazing day. Um, so a little bit about what was going on in my life during that time.

[00:13:28]Like I said earlier, I was kind of the callback King. At that point. I had made it really far in an audition process for another big show on Broadway. And I had, had worked chins with the casting director and all these things and I didn’t end up getting, um, but out of that audition process, um, They felt that I would be appropriate for a lab.

[00:13:46] And so I got called in for a Latin out of the blue. Um, and it was unbeknownst to me that I was even in, in my name was even in their mounds, you know, so it was very much a surprise when I got the call that they wanted me to come in. For this show. So, um, I actually got a phone call that they wanted me to come in on a Wednesday and this was a Tuesday.

[00:14:06] And the woman on the phone told me that basically they had tried to get in touch with me earlier, but their email had gone to my junk folder. And so they were going to reschedule my audition and this whole, all this, all this craziness, um, And I, I was like, no, I can do it. I can do it. I can do it. And so I, I hustled and I prepped everything and I, I went in for my first audition for Aladdin, but that audition process was crazy.

[00:14:26] It was about, um, six rounds of callbacks. Yeah. And the whole audition process was a month long, which was really crazy. So every time I would go back, there was another person in the room, a music director, assistant casting, associate director. And then finally, for the final, final callback, there was about 30 members of the Disney creative team.

[00:14:46] It was. Basically the most intimidating thing you could ever think of. 

[00:14:50] Dane Reis: [00:14:50] Yeah, 

[00:14:51] Zach Bencal: [00:14:51] situation because Casey Nicholaw was there for the final callbacks of course, um, that they actually brought in all of the guys that were up for the, the role of Aladdin’s three friends. We have Babcock who I play Omar and Kaseem and they brought in myself and like two or three other guys, and they’re like five guys for Omar and five guys for Cassie.

[00:15:12]And they actually brought us all into the room together, which is something that I’ve never heard of anybody doing. And basically Casey had all of our headshots on the floor and he was mixing and matching different people. So he’d say, can I see Zach Bob bill? And we would do the scene and then he’d say that was great, blah, blah, blah.

[00:15:28] And then he called three other people and he would mix and match. So it was really. Kind of a crazy experience to see your competition, but at this level, everybody was so truly amazing and brought their own unique flair to the roles that it is a scary situation. Ended up becoming a really fun and interesting one because at that level it’s like any of us could have done the roles.

[00:15:48] It just, it was a matter of what the creative team felt was appropriate for this part. So. At first glance, it sounds like that could be a really intimidating experience, but I remember leaving that final callback and everybody was basically congratulating each other and sharing contact information. And they were like, let me know if you get it.

[00:16:05] You know, You know, everybody was just super supportive because at that level it’s like, well, if it’s not me, it’s you, you know what I mean? you, you know what I mean? So it was a really interesting experience. Um, but yeah, I was, I really had. a different perspective during that, during that audition process. Because like I said, I had kind of shifted gears almost to musical direction and, um, co composition and everything.

[00:16:23] So I remember thinking when I started that audition process, that I was like, you know what, I’m not going to get all hyped up and nervous and try to be something that I’m not, I’m like, cool. And. If I don’t get it, I don’t get it. And that’s, that just is what it is. And I had such a different air, um, throughout that audition process.

[00:16:40]Like, I don’t want to say I didn’t care, but I wasn’t letting it dictate my life. And I feel like that is what essentially really helped me throughout that process. You know, of course I wanted to do well and want it to succeed, but to me it was like, great. If it him, if it does it. Then, you know what? I have these other awesome opportunities to focus on.

[00:16:58]Um, but I will say, gosh, the day that I got that phone call, it was the happiest day of my life, you know, and I knew that from that day on that my life was going to change and I was going to have this amazing opportunity. So that was definitely my number when I booked it moment for sure. Sure.

[00:17:12]Dane Reis: [00:17:12] Oh, that is such a good story. And you’re right. It’s such a unique, final callback for sure. Having everyone in the room and play around with it. And what I really, really appreciate about that story is you said a couple of things you said first. it wasn’t that you didn’t care. You just went in there and did it.

[00:17:33]Right. And that has become a consistent feeling that guests on the show have, have shared that when they go into a room and when they, when it was their booked it moment, they booked it because they were really, truly authentically being themselves. They went in, had a great time, had fun. Yeah. When you look at it from the outside super high stakes.

[00:17:54]Right. But. It’s how you felt that energy that you brought into the room that calm is what  ultimately landed you that gig. I also really like how you said yeah. At that level, any one of us in that room can do the role. It has everything to do with what the creative team wants, and that is out of your control.

[00:18:13] So have fun, bring you to the table and. Have that calm because that’s what gets you booked

[00:18:20]Zach Bencal: [00:18:20] definitely. I remember a vivid moment being like, like when we were at that final callback, I really remember the moment where I was. I actively chose. I was like looking at basically my angel and my devil. And I was like, should I indulge this and get really nervous right now and freak out. Nope. Let me just breathe through this and realize out of my hands.

[00:18:39] So I better just enjoy this experience and it was an active choice. I remember that day, but it was very free, you know, you know, I was just like, whatever, let’s just go do it and have fun. And, and I agree, I’ve talked to a lot of them, whether people who, um, had that had that similar experience, um, and that’s definitely interesting to me that it’s people booked the jobs when, when they were just being their most authentic self.

[00:19:02]Dane Reis: [00:19:02] for sure. I know. I personally can attribute everything. That I’ve booked to that feeling. I can pretty much, I guess hindsight, let’s say that hindsight, thinking back when I look on all the jobs that I’ve booked, I go, yeah, that’s exactly how I felt. And if I really think about it, I almost felt like I left those rooms going, you know what?

[00:19:22] I think I got it, or I felt really good about it. You know, there’s just like a different kind of feeling leaving that room and. What I really think is so important to take away is that this is a consistent thing that is coming up from all of guests, like you, that have had such great successful careers in this industry that continue to say, Hey, this is how I felt when I booked it, I was , truly authentically myself and calm and relaxed, and I had a great time.

[00:19:49] And that is. Why this podcast is so important for anyone that’s listening out there to take that away and realize, Hey, this is coming up again and again, and again, and again, to pay attention to that and to know that this is how some of the biggest roles that people have ever, ever booked are getting booked is by having that calm.

[00:20:07] So thank you for sharing that.

[00:20:09]Zach Bencal: [00:20:09] absolutely.

[00:20:10]Dane Reis: [00:20:10] Great. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And it’s kind of kind of a weird time, right? We’re amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:20:29]Zach Bencal: [00:20:29] Well, I definitely think that this, this is a great time to be working on those passion projects. Of course, the projects that you’ve wanted to do for years, but never seem to have the time to do it. Um, so I’m working on a couple of things like that. Uh, I’m lending my music skills. I play piano and, and yeah.

[00:20:42] All that good stuff. So I’m lending my musicality with any opportunity that I have. I’ve done a couple of various projects to help different theaters either that I’ve worked at, um, or friends need help, like raising money for these community theaters. Um, Around the country, you know, really the small theaters that are really hurting right now.

[00:21:00] They’re not, obviously they don’t have the big Broadway budgets. So it’s really important that people who are active in this career are doing things to help the little guys, because that’s essentially where we all got started. So I’ve been doing a lot of projects like that. Teaching some classes at the community theater shows that, um, Um, I also am a voice teacher.

[00:21:19] essentially full-time right now. Um, and that’s a lot of fun. I’ve, I’ve worked with some amazing voice teachers, um, in New York city and I’ve been taking voice lessons for over 15 years. So I feel like I have a lot of great things to offer, which is super exciting. Um, and some of my students are friends.

[00:21:36] That are my age. Some are a little bit older than me. Some are a little bit younger, so it’s been interesting to work with different age groups and people and, and kind of hone their skills because they love music as much as I do. So that’s been really fun. Um, I also am in the process as, as we said, of transitioning into another aspect of the business for the time being so.

[00:21:55]I’m working hard on getting my stuff together for TV films. So I’ve been working on, um, my reel and I’ve been doing some voiceover work, which is really exciting. Um, the acting real for TV film has been a cool experience because I’ve actually been writing a lot of my own material. Um, Um, cause I have an idea of.

[00:22:14] The character that I really want to portray. So I’ve been forcing myself to actually write the scenes, which has been an interesting thing. I’ve never written, um, scripts or anything like that. So that’s been a fun process and project to work on, and I am planning on moving out to LA in January. Um, so I, I hope to make some great connections.

[00:22:32] I have a lot of good friends out there. Um, so I’m, I’m really excited about that. And then how do I see the entertainment industry moving forward? I think that once we open once Broadway reopens and we’re able to have live theater again, I think that we are going to thrive. I think that the Broadway community is going to absolutely thrive and I’ve heard some people say, Oh, it’s never going to be the same.

[00:22:54] It’s never going to be what it was. People are absolutely craving theater, you know? And the so many people are doing amazing projects on zoom and it’s great. The things that people have been able to create and come up with, but. To me, there’s just nothing like being in a theater and feeling that energy.

[00:23:11] So I really feel like the, the country as a whole is craving live theater theater. So I think that once it’s safe, it’s gonna boom, big time.

[00:23:20]Dane Reis: [00:23:20] I really like your optimism and your insight on that. And I’m inclined to agree with you. I think there’s such a, there’s so many creative things happening right now that when they have the opportunity to be shown to the world and to a live audience, get out of here, it’s going to be amazing.

[00:23:36]Zach Bencal: [00:23:36] Oh, totally.

[00:23:38]Dane Reis: [00:23:38] Yeah, and it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?

[00:23:56]Zach Bencal: [00:23:56] I am ready.

[00:23:58]Dane Reis: [00:23:58] All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:24:04]Zach Bencal: [00:24:04] I would say the, the inconsistency of work, um, was a little bit daunting to me. And the fact that you basically have to put. Your life in the hands of the decision makers, you know, you have to relinquish the decision-making and I’m a control freak. So I hate being at the whim of somebody else. So that was a little bit scary for me.

[00:24:22]Dane Reis: [00:24:22] Oh yeah. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:24:29]Zach Bencal: [00:24:29] Not to be cliche, but the best piece of advice I’ve ever received is you are enough. And not just in the general sense, you have to believe that you really are. Because as we said, the more authentic you can be, the more success will definitely come your way.

[00:24:43]Dane Reis: [00:24:43] Yes. And the third question, what is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause

[00:24:56]Zach Bencal: [00:24:56] I think this goes for, for now and before. Um, staying healthy is, is super important. I mean, our bodies are instruments, so it’s absolutely imperative that we stay sharp and healthy and on it. Um, I think showing up in every sense of the word of the phrase is really important showing up. Literally on time, but also showing up and being super present with the people that you’re working with, getting involved in whatever company you’re a part of and getting to really know your fellow cast and crew, especially on tour because the cast and crew on tour, they’re your family.

[00:25:28] So it’s important to really foster those relationships with the crew in every different city. And it’s important to just show up and be reliable in every sense.

[00:25:38]Dane Reis: [00:25:38] such good advice. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology you found is helping your career right now.

[00:25:53]Zach Bencal: [00:25:53] I have to say, I’d say I have honestly learned so much from watching different videos on YouTube. The videos that backstage puts out I’ve found to be super, super helpful in terms of creating this real, which is something that I’m actively working on. Um, and there’s so many different masterclass videos, different.

[00:26:08] Videos from different casting directors that give their opinions and perspective on, on reels and everything. I feel like you can learn so much from watching things on YouTube. So I would definitely say, I feel like YouTube is my main source right now for educating myself.

[00:26:22]Dane Reis: [00:26:22] brilliant. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:26:39]Zach Bencal: [00:26:39] you know, I would keep it the same, but I would really tell my younger self to try and enjoy the process a bit more, you know, being on this side of it and knowing what I know now, I’m so grateful for the way that I hustled and kept my eye on the prize and everything. But. I was almost, um, at times manic because I was so hungry to work and be on Broadway and be a performer for a living that I didn’t always enjoy the audition processes or the little projects here and there as much as I could of like, I always was thinking once one step ahead, as opposed to being super present all the time.

[00:27:15] So I would just tell myself to enjoy the ride a little bit more, enjoy the ups and downs, you know, and breathe.

[00:27:22]Dane Reis: [00:27:22] Yeah. That is incredible advice. I’m actually relistening to the book, the power of now, have you read that book?

[00:27:32]Zach Bencal: [00:27:32] No, I should. I’m going to write it down.

[00:27:35] Dane Reis: [00:27:35] .  I read it. And you just go back when I was at the Boston conservatory and I’m realizing, listening to it now, I feel like I didn’t even read it, even though I know I read it.

[00:27:44] I loved reading it, but I’m listening. It’s just, it’s making more sense in my brain than it ever has before. I would really, truly, it’s all about being present. It’s the power of now after all is the title, but it is a very cool book. And I’m only about halfway through at this point and I started yesterday, but it’s mindblowing.

[00:28:04] So check it out.

[00:28:05] Zach Bencal: [00:28:05] really? Yeah, I definitely will. I think that also this whole COVID situation actually will help us  I think that. Being home during this pandemic has shed light on the actual important things in life. You know, I feel like we were all going a mile a minute and I kind of attribute that to the mindset that I was in, you know, um, we were just going, going, going, and there was actually no real time to kind of stop and breathe and appreciate.

[00:28:28] Yeah. The people around you in the situations that you were in, whether they were amazing situations or challenging, you know, they’re definitely, they happen to teach you something, you know? So I feel like because of COVID I think moving forward, I know, I mean, I speak for myself, but I feel like I will just breathe and be able to be more present and appreciate what’s happening in my life at that time.

[00:28:49]Dane Reis: [00:28:49] For sure. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.

[00:29:02]Zach Bencal: [00:29:02] I would just say, be true to you and be as authentic as you possibly can and be nice too. Everybody, you know, that’s something that, again, when we’re going a mile a minute, sometimes we might be a little cold to somebody, you know, you know, I don’t know, not outwardly mean, but we might not be as warm and welcoming as we can, but this industry is so small. It’s important to have time to really care and foster relationships with the people around you. So be nice to everybody and show up on time.

[00:29:33]Dane Reis: [00:29:33] yes, a hundred percent be nice to everyone that will get you a long, long ways. In this industry and to wrap up this interview, Zack, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:29:52]Zach Bencal: [00:29:52] well, I am currently accepting students for voice lessons and coaching. So whether you want to develop some of your technique, we can work on that. If you have some songs that you just want to dive into and songs that you were a little bit scared to tackle, um, I love doing that too. So I’m definitely accepting students.

[00:30:10] You can find me at www dot Zach Benco. Dot com and my social media is Z Bengal and it’s the same on Instagram and Twitter. And you can reach me there.

[00:30:22]Dane Reis: [00:30:22] Perfect. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything Zach just said into the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with him and be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, any art or entertainment educators, you know, and really anyone.

[00:30:43] You know, You know, aspiring to create a career in this industry, you booked. It is the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a successful career in this industry, case in point, everything Zach just said in this entire episode, so much gold, so much, really, truly actionable insight you can take away from it.

[00:31:06] And as of today, there are now 151. Episodes of you booked it. Loads of guests for you to go listen, to get their own unique insight and perspective on this industry. So much to learn. Make sure you subscribe, make sure you share it. So you don’t miss tomorrow’s guest. Zach. Thank you so much for being here, sharing your journey.

[00:31:28] All of your insight. It’s been a pleasure to have you.

[00:31:30] Zach Bencal: [00:31:30] thank you so much, Dan. It was awesome. Thanks everybody.

[00:31:36]