NYCDA Alum David Del Rio, Roberto in The Belko Experiment
NYCDA: What was the tipping point in your career – that moment where everything changed?
Del Rio: After graduating from NYCDA, my first year I had no auditions, and then I had one audition for this Nickelodeon show called “The Troop,” and I didn’t hear anything for about 4 to 5 months. Then I got a call to fly to Los Angeles from New York to meet with producers and do a screen test. The very next day, they told me I had three days to pack my bags and go to Vancouver for six months. It was my second job ever and it was a series regular. I learned so much from such brilliant minds in this television industry. They taught me work ethic beyond talent.
NYCDA: Name an unexpected aspect of your training.
Del Rio: The idea of how you behave on set was something I didn’t expect to be so crucial to my career. Getting on set and before rehearsing any scene, making sure that I say hi to everybody from the producer all the way down to craft services, because the truth of the matter is they have the hardest job in the world, which is making me look good and sound good.
NYCDA: What project are you currently working on?
Del Rio: I’m currently in post production for my theatrical feature debut as a director. It’s a horror film called “Sick for Toys.” We shot for twelve days in January and are currently looking at the fourth cut after my notes and there will be more notes after that. We are slated to release in November. We are going after distributors and film festivals. I’m also reprising my role from “In the Heights,” a show I did on Broadway seven years ago. I’m going to do it again in Pittsburgh for a five show run in July.
NYCDA: Do you have an agent or manager or both?
Del Rio: I was introduced to my manager, Jeff Morrone, by Richard Omar and the late Joan See at The New York Conservatory. He’s been my manager for the past twelve years and still going strong. He works for Primary Wave, they started off representing writers, musicians and producers, and Jeff started the talent and movie production department. I’m also signed with Carlos Carreras from APA (Agency for the Performing Arts). I did a film called “Spare Parts”–at the time I was with Paradigm–and APA just came in and asked to take me on. I called Jeff and asked if this was the right business move for the both of us. I’m very grateful for my team.
NYCDA: What advice do you have for current students?
Del Rio: It’s the right time, right place and right role. Your fate is not in your control. The idea of you saying “I haven’t gotten an audition in a year or two, I’m gonna quit” as opposed to “I haven’t gotten an audition in a year or two, what can I do to make that happen.” A lot of actors have this preconceived notion that when they graduate from college they have all the tools that they need to be successful, but the truth of the matter is that everyone who’s come out of school and has a career has not sat back. They went out to network with the intention of having relationships, not with the intention of trying to book a job.
You have to constantly remind yourself that if you are in this business you are in the business of “no.” The “no” is a part of the industry and you are a part of that until it becomes a “yes.”
No matter what, prepare. Even if you have 1 or 2 lines or 9 pages or book the job, coach and prepare constantly. If you’re an actor, continue to coach. You’ll at least be as prepared as you can. The more I prepare, the more ease I have in the room and have a sense of play. I’ve had a better response towards myself as an actor whether I book the job or not. Feel good about your audition and when you don’t feel good about your audition, figure out what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.