Read what he has to say about Patterson’s Wager in Biz Books: http://www.bizbooks.net/blog/biz-interview-alex-zahara
Alex reminisces about his UBC experience:
I came to UBC in 1991 with the thought of entering the film production program. I had always been interested in theatre and film and did the prerequisites required for the film program and theatre programs, in acting and production. So that means I took intro to acting courses, tech theatre and the film production entry courses.
I had a great time in all the courses I took and had a voracious need for knowledge and new experiences. The instructors were wonderful and such wealths of knowledge that I can’t imagine my time there without them. John Brockington, Stephen Malloy, Cathy Burnett, David McMurry-Smith, Neil Freeman, Ray Hall, Dr. Peter Loeffler, Gayle Murphy and many others. The support staff were just great as well, people like Karen Tong, Gail at the film department. They kept the place running and really cared about the students.
I worked darn hard and ended up getting offered a spot in the tech theatre program from Bob Eberle, was offered a spot in the film program and was pleased as punch when I looked up on the wall in the theatre department one day and saw my name on the list of people accepted to the BFA program too!
I had a major decision to make. As much as I loved film and the idea of becoming a director, I realized that the acting was more personally challenging so I accepted a spot in the BFA Acting program.
Over the next 3-4 years I rehearsed more scenes than I can remember and had some of the best people to work with, Simon Hayama, Peter Grier, Cheryl McNamara were just some of them. We put our hearts and souls into the work.
I was incredibly lucky to be cast in Marisol, directed by Richard Wolfe, one male actor played all the male characters in this Apocalyptic play! And I was also in Tom Scholte’s Waiting for Godot (WFG), playing Vladimir. Both of these plays were incredibly challenging for different reasons. The variety of the roles in Marisol was just incredible, especially giving birth on stage! But WFG was the single most challenging role of my career! Thanks to Peter Grier for getting us all through the run! He knew everyone’s lines and saved us a number of times! The play is so cyclical that we easily could get lost! One night I completely blanked after Pozzo and Lucky leave in Act II. Beckett writes in his pauses, silences and long silences but this was a looooooong silence. Fast thinking Chris Hawkey, playing Lucky, pretend to pull a wallet out and make change, I didn’t get it. Then he pretended to change his clothes, and it struck me, “My how they’ve changed!” LOL: We were a real team! Even got hockey jerseys with our character’s name on them. I still have mine!
UBC taught me that we are all essential parts of the show, from front of house, to costumes, to the director, no one is unimportant and we are all colleagues! My time at UBC taught me how to check my ego at the door and make everything about the story.
The moment I cherish the most is the day I actually became an actor, (in my opinion) it happened in John Brockington’s (JB) class. I did a scene from Hedda Gabler with my scene partner Alison Warren and JB said, “Well, Mr. Zahara that was shit. Remember it is not about what you feel, it is about what the audience gets. And we didn’t get nothin’. Wanna try that again?” I said, “Yes JB, I do.” I turned around to start again, and the walls of the house I was supposed to be in just shot up around me, I could see everything! I could smell the gunpowder and see the guns Hedda had been firing, I, Alex Zahara was gone, and the character Judge Brack was there. We finished and JB said, “Well Mr. Zahara how was that?! I told him, “I couldn’t tell you JB.” JB says, “Waddaya mean?!” I said, “ I couldn’t tell you, cause I wasn’t there!” JB, “Perfect! Remember that! We are moving on!”
I loved JB, he was a no BS kind of teacher and I really loved that! I didn’t need to be treated like a piece of fragile glass. Tell me what worked and what didn’t and lets make it better, and we did. Most of our instructors were like that, thank goodness! I am so thankful for getting such a strong base! It has helped me make it through this often turbulent world of acting. I have also branched into producing and directing in film and TV, and have directed a play in the past too.
Alex Zahara Bio:
Alex Zahara is a graduate of the Theatre Program at The University of British Columbia and has been a working actor for over 15 years. Based in Vancouver, Alex has over 100 credits in television and film and has appeared in numerous plays. Alex is a familiar face having guest starred in, Once Upon a Time as King Midas (recurring), Hell on Wheels, as Lt. Weston, (recurring) and as Dr. Renald in HORNS starring Daniel Radcliffe. Alex can be seen as the handwriting analyst Eduardo Navarra in the upcoming Miramax feature, The 9th Life of Louis Drax, starring Jamie Dornan. Alex stars as Baron Von Awesome in the Nickelodeon comedy, SUCKERS, set to air Halloween 2015. Alex also has a recurring role as Oberführer Oliver Diels in the much anticipated Amazon series, The Man In The High Castle, an adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel, due to be released November 2015. Alex recently co-produced and starred in the feature Patterson’s Wager, which won best Indie feature at the Winnipeg International Film Festival 2015 and won the Best Foreign Feature at the Big Island Film festival in Hawaii 2015. It was also featured in Variety Magazine.
His varied screen credits include: A Viking in The Thirteenth Warrior, starring Antonio Banderas and Omar Sharif; a gunslinger in Open Range with Kevin Costner, A naval officer in 2012, directed by Roland Emmerich, a Swedish immigrant in the western Gunless, with Paul Gross; a detective in Fringe; a magician in Supernatural; and Lex Luthor’s head scientist in Smallville. The credit Alex is most proud of, is his role as Karl Rademacher, in The Outer Limits episode “Tribunal” (based on holocaust survivor Leo Egan’s life) where Alex played the real life Nazi officer who ran the barracks of Auschwitz.
A familiar face to sci-fi fans, Alex has also appeared as 8 different characters on Stargate SG-1, more than any other actor, most of them in full prosthetic makeup. He’s also known for portraying “Dulann” the lead Minbari warrior monk who serves as first officer aboard the starship Liandra in the Sci-Fi Channel’s movie, Babylon 5 The Legend of The Rangers: To Live and Die in Starlight. Alex has also made guest appearances as “Johanssen” in James Cameron’s Dark Angel (Red, Rising), Andromeda (Music of a Distant Drum), The Immortal (Forest for the Trees), Welcome to Paradox (Blue Champagne) and First Wave (The Purge).
Alex also has many animation and video game credits including a number of commercials and industrial voice-overs: Gundam 00, Nana, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Iron Man The Armored Adventures and The Roswell Conspiracies, Telus, Canfor, The Source and others.
Alex has also received awards as a Producer for Patterson’s Wager for best indie feature and foreign feature in Winnipeg and The Big Island Hawaii, a Leo nomination for Best Actor in the short film Evirati and Jessie Richardson nominations for his work in the plays Mojo (Ensemble) and The Promised Land (Lead Actor) winning a Best Ensemble Jessie Award for Mojo.
- 9th Life of Louis Drax, I play a handwriting analyst. It stars Jamie Dornan and Aaron Paul for Miramax
- Brain on Fire starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Carrie Anne-Moss and Richard Armitage, I play Carrie’s husband.
- I am in the midst of pitching a web series called Charley, all about a boy who is a champion drone racer and another series about a reluctant Vampire hunter.
- Also hoping to be back on Man in the High Castle season 2, as Officer Diels, a Nazi officer.