An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!
Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 50 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.
For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews (1-17)
Adam Petzold, A Familiar Face in the Local Theatre Scene.
In this highlight we turn our attention to Adam Petzold, a prominent artist within the community. I asked Adam a series of questions. Here is what we discussed.
Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended etc.
I grew up in a small town called Frewsburg, NY which is about as far Southwest as you can go in New York. My graduating class was 90 including me. Everyone knew everyone else and where they kept their sugar and most people never even locked their doors. It was the quintessential, small town America, Rockwellian childhood. And as such, I ran as fast as I could out of there and have never gone back for more than a few days at a time. I am an only child of divorced parents and both facts greatly influenced who I am today. I chose to go to SUNY Brockport and it was one of the best decisions I have made because of the friends I met, the education I received, and because Rochester has become home. The choices you make define who you are. I went to Brockport to become a radio broadcaster and received my degree in Communications and ended up with a Theater major as well. I believe in God, fate, meditation, and most of all love.
I remember my first time I took the stage. I was in second grade and my teacher, Mrs. Secord, encouraged me and supported me. To an 8 year old boy it meant a lot. There were not many supporters of the arts in my small town. She died of cancer not long after which only enforced my love and appreciation for her and the art she supported. Later on in high school, I became involved in the local community theater at the Lucille Ball Little Theater. Lucille Ball was from the next town over and was a pretty big deal. She proved to the world and especially me that you can do anything you put your mind to even from a small, conservative town.
The first week of college I was so depressed I almost quit and went home. Then I auditioned for a show called John Brown’s Body at Brockport. Dick St. George cast me as a lead and, even though he doesn’t know this, he changed my life by casting me. It proved to myself I could act and gave me an outlet for my passion and most of all friends of a lifetime. It was such an amazing gift.
Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.
After college the nation was in turmoil and there were no jobs to be found in my field or anywhere. I let myself go mentally and physically. For the better part of a decadeI became an obese alcoholic full of self hate. . It wasn’t until I turned 30 and my son was born that I didn’t recognize or like the person starring back at me in the mirror. I sobered up and haven’t had a drop of alcohol in seven years.I traded my addiction for alcohol into an addiction to exercise. It took me a year and a half to lose 80 pounds and I have kept it off for the better part of five years now.
What do you believe sets you apart from other artists/entertainers?
My closest friends and fellow actors I think would say I am brutally honest but in a fun way. I have learned to know when to keep my mouth closed though. I think many people see me and only see my physicality and that has helped and hurt depending on what parts I audition for. I’m a big, loud, brash, guy and I have come to terms with that. It took me a long time to realize 90% of the time it isn’t your talent but your look that gets you cast. And there is only so much anyone can do to change their look. There are so many amazingly talented actors in this town and I am proud to be able to share the stage with them.
Do you have other interests or hobbies?
Being a dad is my number one job. I also work at RIT as a parking manager, I’m a personal trainer at the YMCA, a landlord, and an avid Mets and Packers fan. Add in acting and that is all the time I have. Oh, every now and then I contribute to Huffington Post. I don’t sleep much. Haha.
Any projects you have out or currently working on?
I was really lucky this year to be in Dashboard Dramas for Fringe, The Boys Next Door, and The Underpants both at Blackfriars. I re-tore my ACL during Underpants so I have been recovering and therefore unfortunately don’t have any projects in the works. Whenever I am not acting, I channel my artistic side into play writing.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
In the movies! I actually would like to do more on camera work. It’s such a different muscle. Other than that I just want to try and be the best dad, actor, and man I can be. I never want to stop trying to be better. There is such a fine line between being content and complacent.
What advice can you give to aspiring artists/entertainers?
BE YOURSELF. Know who you are and what you are good at and be confident in yourself. There is only one you. Actors are the bravest people I know. Don’t be afraid to fail. Life is short. The biggest regrets people have are the things they didn’t do, not what they did. Another big one is to listen. Listen to people, to your fellow actors, listen to yourself, your body. Pay attention, be present. By being present you become a more positive person and get more out of life. Find out what you love to do and do it, then find a way to make money doing it. Most of all, Love. Learn to love yourself. Love your fellow man and woman.
How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?