CharterTech students learn acting is not a job, it’s a lifestyle

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Suzanne Marino/Celebrity impersonator John DiDomenico presenting a master class to the musical theater students at CharterTech High School, Thursday, Jan. 16. Suzanne Marino/Celebrity impersonator John DiDomenico presenting a master class to the musical theater students at CharterTech High School, Thursday, Jan. 16.

SOMERS POINT—Dr. Phil, Donald Trump, Austin Powers, Dr. Evil and Jay Leno all stopped by CharterTech High School Thursday, Jan. 16 to put on a master class for the musical theater students. That cavalcade of personalities came in the singular person of John DiDomenico, an actor who makes a living doing celebrity impersonations.

He offered a healthy dose of advice to the nearly three dozen students who are interested in acting as a career. “Look for opportunities to get in front of the camera,” DiDomenico told them. “Every college that has a film school; students will need to produce a film project and they will need actors. Find those opportunities and build relationships.”

The veteran actor who studied at Temple and worked at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia conveyed a story about relationships in the acting community that made the budding actors sit up and take notice. “Everyone here knows who Martin Scorsese is. He was a student at NYU and he put an ad up that he needed an actor for a project he was working on. Robert DiNero answered the ad and showed up to work in Scorsese’s film. That relationship has lasted through how many films and how many years? And it shows just how important it is to build relationships,” DiDomenico told the young actors.

When asked how he became interested in pursuing acting as a career DiDomenico said it was while watching “The Poseidon Adventure” was the film that him feel like he could be transported by a movie with its big sound and big effects and picture himself up on that screen.

DiDomenico urged the students not to be discouraged when they do an audition. “The audition process is the single worst process ever invented. It is the same as it was 100 years ago,” said DiDomenico. “It is a total mind game on purpose. They want to see how professional you can be under the worst case scenario. Sometimes it is between you and one other person and they will call you back and back again,” the actor said. “You just have to want it and you have to fit the part they are looking for.”

So how did he go from acting to impersonating celebrities? DiDomenico said he enjoys it and that it is like other acting jobs, he learns and breaks down the character. “If I want to do Dr. Phil; he is kind of folksy and he has certain physicality when he speaks. If I want to be Donald Trump there is a certain nasal quality to his voice and the sound has to come from the back of his throat,” explained DiDomenico. He said Trump was the toughest of all of the voices he had break down and listened to other impersonators before he could nail it.

He then ran through a bit of a monologue of Trump, Austin Powers and Dr. Evil and concluded with Jay Leno and he had everyone in the room laughing at the rapid fire progression from one voice and character to the other. DiDomenico keeps all of the voices on his Iphone so can just keep honing his craft and his voice.

For DiDomenico, a personal friend of school Principal Brian McGuire it was his first visit to CharterTech. He gave one final piece of advice to the students; “This is an amazing school with a facility and opportunities to get some really great experience. My advice to all of you is to remember that acting is not a career, it’s a lifestyle so take advantage of what your teachers and this school has to offer you to help you achieve your dreams,” concluded DiDomenico.

For more on John DiDomenico visit www.johnnyd.net and for more about CharterTech High School for the Performing Arts visit www.chartertech.org

The Love Guru, of of John DiDomenico's characters made its way into the film The Love Guru, of of John DiDomenico's characters made its way into the film


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