EP 6: Christine Zavakos

ChristineZavakos.com

Youtube: Quarantine Radio 19

Episode Transcript (autogenerated)

Dane: [00:00:00] You booked it, episode six, Hey, entertainers and performers of the world. I’m your host, Dane, Reis, and welcome to you. Booked it. Where I chat with inspiring entertainers, seven days a week by digging into their journey. We’re going to discover everything you need to do to be a successful entertainer, you know?

[00:00:25] Cause. Training, usually skips that part about how to actually make your skills work for you in the real world. Fellow entertainers, my drive here at you booked it is to share the inspiring and incredible journeys of successful entertainers. We are here to support your journey. So go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join the, you booked it, email community, where we dig deep into truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you book that next audition, submission or gig.

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[00:01:22] Let’s do this. All righty. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Christine Cavacas. Are you ready for this Christine? 

[00:01:34] Christine: [00:01:34] Absolutely. 

[00:01:36] Dane: [00:01:36] Christine has performed professionally in over 70 productions. Having a BFA in musical theater from point park university, traveling for the last decade on tours, cruise ships and regional theater contracts.

[00:01:49] She currently operates out of Indianapolis Indiana. There. She continues to perform as well as coaches, speech drama and choreographs slash direct. She worked. For such theaters as beef and board’s dinner theater, Casa manana, the human race theater co the rev carnival cruise lines and the Pittsburgh CLO favorite roles include ms.

[00:02:14] Sandra in all shook up Judy Turner in a chorus line, beggar woman in Sweeney, Todd, Sarah in company and Scarlet O’Hara. And I’ll never be hungry again. Christine. 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? Fill in the gaps, who you are, where you’re from, where you’re currently calling home and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:02:45] Christine: [00:02:45] Well, you covered a lot. but so I’m originally from Centerville, Ohio, and I come from a really big family and, you know, as a middle child, I had to find a way to stand out. So I have actually been performing professionally for more than half of my life, which feels really strange to say. I know like that actually sort of blows my mind a little bit, how old I am and.

[00:03:14] We won’t get into that part. But, I I’ve been, traveling and living like a nomad, for the last 15 years and I was ready for a change. So I am now residing in Indianapolis and here I like roughly perform in five shows a year. And I also direct and choreograph a few shows as well. So, yeah, I’ve made my living as a full time performer as well as educating in what I love to do, which is theater.

[00:03:51] Dane: [00:03:51] I love that. Well, let’s move to the next section and look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote you’d like to share with our listeners?

[00:04:03] Christine: [00:04:03] So, funny enough, I found this quote while grocery shopping a mug like on a coffee mug. I’m going to give the, a long gated version of this. So the quote is okay, sometimes on the way to your dream, you get lost and you find a better one.

[00:04:22] It is okay to change your mind. If you thought you always wanted to be a doctor only to discover after medical school, that what you really wanted to do was open a bakery. Then open a bakery. Life is too short not to follow your heart. On the coffee mug, all it said was sometimes on the way to your dream, you get lost and find a better one, but I felt like it deserved the entirety.

[00:04:47] Dane: [00:04:47] Yeah, absolutely. I love how it ends with the whole being a doctor and a bakery. So good. And I guess with that said, how have you applied that quote then to your daily life and your career? 

[00:05:00] Christine: [00:05:00] I listen to my instincts more. I think. Growing up. I always had this vision that I was like Broadway or bust, and I had just finished coming out of a contract that drained me a little bit artistically.

[00:05:22] And I was feeling like a little lost in my career thinking like, Oh, did I choose the right path? Like, what should I be doing? And. A friend of mine reached out to me and was like, Hey, I have this opportunity. And I think you are perfect for it. And it would be, educating as well as performing throughout schools in New York.

[00:05:49] And I was really torn because I was like, no, like I am supposed to I’m on this trajectory. Like I need to get on Broadway. Like I can’t be doing this like sidetrack, like children’s theater, like educational show and. I got to like the first week of rehearsal, I took the job because I was like, all right, like, this is something I’ve never done.

[00:06:14] Let’s go for it. See where it takes me. And like, within that first week I was wearing like, The shirt, the logo of the company. I had like people come up to me and be like, Oh, that was my favorite thing about growing up in this area. Like, I still looked forward to you guys coming in and performing for us.

[00:06:34] And then I saw this mug yeah. In a Wegman’s in New York that said like on your way to your dreams, you might get lost and find a better one. And like, at that moment it clicked for me, like how much. Education it’s important to me and working with kids and sharing my passion for the theater, because like the reason I’m a theater kid we’ll get into that in a little bit is because of an obstacle I overcame and not sort of fitting into the mold.

[00:07:11] And I want to be. That person. And that says like, it’s okay to be different and yeah, you have so much talents to offer to the world. Like if you don’t fit into a little niche, it’s okay. And I think I was putting myself in a box. I was putting myself in this, like I have to be a star. I have to be this like Broadway performer.

[00:07:37] And I realized like, no, I need to be somebody who inspires. Our future performers, as well as being a performer myself. Like I found a nice niche now where I’ve performed full time. Yeah. And educate on, on the side and that’s yeah. a really good mix for me right now. 

[00:08:01] Dane: [00:08:01] That’s great. I love how you’ve your entire career.

[00:08:03] Your life has really embodied that quote to the max. And well let’s move. So the next section, so Christine, of course you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer and I think you’d agree. The entertainment industry is one of the most subjective, brutally honest. Personally emotional industries, either of us know about, and you know, as well as I that to create and to have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work.

[00:08:36] And while of course, yeah, there is an outrageous amount of fun and excitement being on stage, 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 if we want to keep doing this. 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 

[00:09:02] Christine: [00:09:02] because of it.

[00:09:03] So to tie, I am too, why I have an educational brain to me now is a challenge I actually had to deal with really early on. Was a speech impediment as a young kid. I couldn’t pronounce my Aw ours. My L’s my T H is, and I had a list. And so I worked with the speech pathologist and she was the one who actually suggested I get into theater and I obviously no longer have a list.

[00:09:37] And I think. Working through that shortcoming or impediment doesn’t have to impede me and my goals. So when I have been met with rejections in my career, it just taught me to fight harder and train longer. And it’s definitely like put a fire in me that like, I can overcome anything. So. I find I’ve gotten a lot of strength from my obstacles early on in yeah.

[00:10:10] Mike career, as well as just like my childhood of not getting roles because I had a list until I was 18, but, I think that’s it. I think that’s like sort of the biggest challenge and obstacle I have had overcome in my life, which has made me a fighter in this industry. 

[00:10:33] Dane: [00:10:33] That’s amazing. And I have no idea.

[00:10:36] I love that story. Yeah. Let’s move to the next section now 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 living or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that 

[00:10:58] Christine: [00:10:58] without. A doubt.

[00:11:01] It was my first job. I booked out of college. So I did go to school for musical theater. And at the time I had been auditioning for this company for the last two years. Okay. while I was in school, it was called Pittsburgh civic, light opera, or PCLM. And this year I didn’t audition. I didn’t really think the whole season was right for me.

[00:11:28] So I sort of wrote it off. And then I got a call back for that bet in beauty and the beast, which I ended up booking. And the reason this was my huh kind of moment was aye. Was cast alongside like Broadway that’s rising stars. Like Natalie Wise was in that production with me. And I remember rehearsing and just feeling like, okay, arrived.

[00:12:01] Like this is sort of it. Like, I got to perform for a sold out nearly 3000 seat theater. And I remember and stepping on. Yeah. Oh yeah. Like it, I had chills when I walked onto the stage and like, I looked out into the, like the empty seats. Yeah. Thousands of people who are going to be seeing me in just a few days, I was, it took my breath away.

[00:12:32] I had. costumer just to me and one other person in my dressing room, I wasn’t allowed to touch my own wig. Everything was like, sort of done for me. Like everything was so professional and I think working among. People who’ve already like, quote unquote made it in the careers. I felt like, well, I deserve to be in this career then, like I’m working alongside these people.

[00:13:04] I have to be just as talented. Yeah. And that definitely gave me the confidence and motivation. I needed to say, I’ve 

[00:13:12] Dane: [00:13:12] got this. That is such a good story. And I’d love to piggyback on that too. Your favorite number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If those happened to be a part of it, what was going on in your life?

[00:13:28] And what about that moment? What makes it your favorite? Booked it moment. 

[00:13:34] Christine: [00:13:34] I could probably tell you. You where I was for every chronic contract, I have been offered because it’s never not exciting, but this is my favorite book, DIT moment, because it’s a theater. I grew up in vain. It’s an equity theater in Dane, Ohio called the human race theater company.

[00:13:58] I’d had the privilege of working them for them a few years previous. And I had gotten a call back for the Baker woman in Sweeney Todd. And at the time I was performing in Indianapolis and it’s a two hour drive. So I got the call back material. I rehearsed and prepared as much as I could. I drove two hours there to do this audition.

[00:14:23] And I kid you not. I walk into the room and I say, Christine, it is so good to see you. We think you’re too young for the role, but we figured we’d see what you would do with it. And I was like, huh, I can, she used to be a really annoyed that they’ve wasted my time I am or B say. Well, screw it. Let’s just like, have a great time in this audition.

[00:14:49] So I did what I prepaid haired and they like sort of nodded and shook their heads for a second. They’re like, can you try it this way? And I was like, yep. Because like, I had nothing to lose. Yeah, they already think I’m too young for the part. So like, let’s do it. And I took the note and I did it, and then they, they asked the musical director who was on the keys.

[00:15:13] They’re like, do you think you could use her in the show in some way? They’re like, he’s like, yep. Yeah. So like I walked out of there being like, Oh, well I’m in the show. I didn’t get the thicker woman, but like I’m in the show. Yeah.  at the time I’d already had a contract booked in Indianapolis doing a different song, time show called into the woods and a week or so later I get a phone call from the human race theater company and they said, You were our first choice to play the bigger woman in Sweeney Todd.

[00:15:49] And like, I was in like company housing and like the studio apartment. And like I had that like, love actually moment where the woman’s silently screams, like at the bottom of the stairwell, as you like compose yourself and bring gear like them, the phone back to your ear and same. Well, I’ll think about it.

[00:16:11] And, yeah, it was so exciting and it gave me a great reminder that you do the work and then you, I just have to let it go. I booked that show because I had nothing to lose and it was like, let’s have fun. And that’s like what theater is supposed to be. You’re supposed to have fun. And I think auditions and callbacks can often be.

[00:16:42] Very nerve wracking. And that just like was a great reminder that they sort of freed me have any obligation to like, I dunno, it freed me up when they were like, you’re probably not getting the part. And I was like, all right, then let’s have a good time. So that was definitely one of my favorite moments. 

[00:17:07] Dane: [00:17:07] I love it.

[00:17:08] And you know what? I think it’s, it’s so easy for us as entertainers to lose sight of the fact that what we’re doing. Yeah. Entertainment at the end of the day, that’s the end product. It’s going to be entertainment in some form and that it’s fun. And this is what we love to do. And we oftentimes put way too much pressure on ourselves when we’re in those auditions, in those callbacks.

[00:17:31] And I personally can attribute. Every single time I’ve ever booked a gig or a job. Yeah. That’s how I felt in the audition. I was like, Hmm, I got nothing to lose. Let’s do it because that’s how everything is able to all of your talent, everything that you have to give, just that’s what people see. Not, not the desperation or not the, the nerves that you, they have built a wall of in 

[00:17:56] Christine: [00:17:56] front of you.

[00:17:57] Absolutely. I think. Had they not said that it could have gone a very different way. And 

[00:18:08] Dane: [00:18:08] for sure, 

[00:18:10] Christine: [00:18:10] the other like remarkable, crazy thing about that job specifically is I was saying like, I had already had a contract for, into the woods that was happening at that time. And I went to that theater company and they worked around my schedule.

[00:18:26] I literally was. Rehearsing in Indianapolis for eight hours a day for, into the woods driving two hours to perform in Sweeney Todd at night, and then driving back two hours to rehearse for, into the woods. So I got to do too iconic Sametime shows at the same. 

[00:18:50] Dane: [00:18:50] Oh, my gosh. That is wild. That’s like summer stock by crazier.

[00:18:57] Christine: [00:18:57] I did that too. I see. 

[00:19:01] Dane: [00:19:01] But would you ever take that back? I mean, come on. That’s 

[00:19:04] Christine: [00:19:04] amazing. No, it was, it was, it was kind of funny, like as you’re learning into the woods and all the crazy lyrics at that, like I felt like I had schizophrenia, which sort of worked perfectly as I went into the bigger woman for the evening, trying to play both because on top of being.

[00:19:25] A roll in, into the woods. I was Florenda. I was understudying the Baker’s wife. So I had three different song, time roles circulating my brain. Yeah. 

[00:19:39] Dane: [00:19:39] Wild, 

[00:19:40] Christine: [00:19:40] but I wouldn’t take it back for anything. 

[00:19:43] Dane: [00:19:43] Of course not. Well, let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to?

[00:19:51] And. Of course being amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years? 

[00:20:00] Christine: [00:20:00] So the projects I’ve been focusing on is a group of us. Gotten together. And we are doing something called quarantine radio 19, which started out as entertainment for nursing homes.

[00:20:15] And shut-ins during COVID, which has now migrated to the general public as fun way to connect during the time of social distancing. And we are recording. Old timey radio shows. So like those shows from like the forties. so we’re having those like play in nursing homes and we’re meeting like three times a week to get that together.

[00:20:39] And it’s, we’re doing that through zoom, which has been really nice to just like see other human beings faces. because I have only seen like, One or two other people during this time. So that’s one project I am working on. And then I did actually just book a show earlier today. And so I’m really looking forward to being part of the cast of beehive the sixties musical.

[00:21:08] And then after that, I will be performing a new Zs. And as far as like, where I see the entertainment industry moving forward. All I have to say is theater. People are resilient and I know we will come back stronger and better. From this pandemic. 

[00:21:28] Dane: [00:21:28] I agree and congratulations for on that booking that job as well.

[00:21:35] Christine: [00:21:35] Yeah. That’s another show. I did not addition for it, but here I am. 

[00:21:41] Dane: [00:21:41] There you are. Good. Well, let’s move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it B 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.

[00:21:58] Are you ready? 

[00:22:01] Christine: [00:22:01] Yes, I 

[00:22:01] Dane: [00:22:01] am. All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer? 

[00:22:11] Christine: [00:22:11] Self doubt, but I am now my biggest advocate instead of being my biggest adversary. Sorry, 

[00:22:18] Dane: [00:22:18] love that. And second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:22:24] Christine: [00:22:24] So my freshman year of college, John Amplus told us the first Dave class that you have to develop an outgoing personality. And if you don’t have one fake it.

[00:22:36] Dane: [00:22:36] Love that. I’ve never heard that before. I love that. And the third question, what is something that is working for you now, or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on?

[00:22:50] Pause 

[00:22:51] Christine: [00:22:51] both before and now I am . I make sure I surround myself with creative people that lift me up and inspire me to be better and to do better. 

[00:23:05] Dane: [00:23:05] That is super sound advice. Fourth question. What is the best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, a podcast, maybe it’s a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.

[00:23:21] Christine: [00:23:21] All of these are books. the first one is the artist’s way. The second is you are a bad ass and three is the secret. I 

[00:23:31] Dane: [00:23:31] love it. I’ve only of all those three, I’ve only read the secret, but I’ve seen the other ones on the shelves in target. 

[00:23:38] Christine: [00:23:38] We’ll pick them up. They’re good. 

[00:23:41] Dane: [00:23:41] 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.

[00:23:55] Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same? 

[00:23:59] Christine: [00:23:59] I get out of my own way. I would have moved to New York city right after my PCL contract. And at the end of the day, I wouldn’t take things. So personally, you think those. Great are my little tidbits. 

[00:24:19] Dane: [00:24:19] Love it. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in the industry that you would like to leave with?

[00:24:30] Our listeners? 

[00:24:31] Christine: [00:24:31] Talent is important, but it’s not enough. And what I mean by that is. Directors want to collaborate with somebody that they get along with that they want to grab a beer with. So remember to just be kind. Be eager, but not desperate and give 110% in the rehearsal process in the performance process and take the notes.

[00:25:02] Dane: [00:25:02] Love it. Yeah. And to wrap up this interview, 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? 

[00:25:14] Christine: [00:25:14] Well, I w. I’d love to promote more quarantine radio 19, which can be found on YouTube, Facebook, and our website. I also have a website of my own, which is Christine zyvox.com.

[00:25:31] And, and if you are in the Indianapolis region, you can come see me and beehive in Newsies. 

[00:25:40] Dane: [00:25:40] Wonderful, Christine. It has been a pleasure to have you on today. Thank you so much. 

[00:25:45] Christine: [00:25:45] Thank you so much. 

[00:25:49] Dane: [00:25:49] Thank you so much for joining us today. My one call to action for you is to go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join our free email community.

[00:25:59] Where we dig deep into a continually growing resource of truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you advance your entertainment career. Don’t miss an episode. We have a new guest, seven days a week search for you, booked it on Apple podcast or your favorite podcast app and subscribe today.

[00:26:22] All the best to you. We’ll see you tomorrow.