On Thursday, March 22, actor Tim De Zarn joined McNicholas Theatre classes to talk about his experience in the film industry. Tim De Zarn is the brother of McNicholas Theatre Teacher Teresa De Zarn, and was back in his hometown from Los Angeles for the Horror Hound Film Convention in Sharonville, a gathering for horror film fans where Tim was asked to sign autographs and answer questions.
Both Tim and Teresa are McNicholas alumni, although Tim said he did not truly start his acting career until after high school.
“During high school, I would audition for the musical every year, but would always end up quitting because [in the 60s] it wasn’t the ‘cool’ thing to be doing,” Tim said. “Teresa was really my inspiration to pursue my passion in acting. She kept working towards her goals in theatre after high school, and that gave me the push to do the same.”
To pursue these goals, Tim moved to New York and did work Off-Broadway, but he credits his big break to the work he did on the TV show NYPD Blue after he moved to Los Angeles. Some of Tim’s other roles were in films like Cabin in the Woods, Spiderman, and Pay It Forward, and TV shows such as ER, Seinfeld, and Grey’s Anatomy. Tim says that while he would make a living purely off theatre if he could, the TV and film production have been wonderful experiences because they’ve allowed him to live the lifestyle he wanted.
“When people ask me who I am, the first thing I say is that I’m a father,” Tim said. “The TV producer for NYPD Blue once told me he thought I could make it as a movie star, but honestly I’m okay that that never happened because I’ve gotten to spend my life with my family. I have no regrets.”
After giving theatre students a brief background on his experience, Tim watched and critiqued student monologues. Among the students who performed were seniors Matt Gabbard and Mark Boehm, who said that having Tim there was extremely helpful.
“By performing the monologue on stage and then in front of a camera, I felt like I really learned a lot about how different it is to act for theatre versus film,” Gabbard said. “Acting for film is different than I expected, and Mr. De Zarn gave some great advice that I wouldn’t have known myself. I really like how Ms. De Zarn is bringing in so many different resources to help us.”
“I want to go into film making, so I thought having Mr. De Zarn there gave me a much more realistic expectation for what it will be like,” Boehm said. “It was nice to have someone that had actually experienced it, and could tell me how things will really be in the real world of film.”