Through countless submissions of artists, there are few that stand out due to the wonders of an artist. New York Art Life is happy to continue introducing artists you need to have your eye on, as they will inspire you to experience life and art differently. We are pleased to speak to Zoey Zo, the New York-based actress, and singer. Her experience with theater and film as well as opera is quite exquisite, and we cannot wait to find out more about the way her performances have made her feel.
NY Art Life: Thank you for sitting down with us today, it is such a great honor to meet you and talk about your work.
Zoey Zo: Thank you! It’s my pleasure to chat about what I do.
NY Art Life: I’ve read so much about what you do. It’s so exciting to see someone live their dream and share their passion with the world. You mentioned once that you were the first musician in your family, how did it feel starting that journey and having so much success as you go on?
Zoey Zo: That is true! There weren’t any musicians in my family, so I had to learn everything, and I created so many authentic techniques and ways of singing and performing. At first, it was definitely a bit scary and challenging because I was really independent on this journey. But it was also really special because I had this big dream that was mine and now, I’m working with phenomenal artists and directors whose vision I admire.
NY Art Life: What a beautiful journey! You’ve had great success working with incredible directors and artists, such as your two plays which were produced by Long Island Children’s Museum. One was musical and the other was a play, how did you find those experiences, and what was your favorite thing about performing there twice?
Zoey Zo: I definitely loved being on stage at Long Island Children’s Museum. The most recent production was My Butterfly, a beautiful musical. My character’s name was Shai in that play and I loved playing her so much. It was really different from the previous play I did at the museum, which was called Lyle the Crocodile. This one was a comedy and my character differed greatly from Shai. I loved being on that stage and embodying two very different characters. I believe that was a very beautiful moment for me.
NY Art Life: That’s incredible. You were also part of Children in the Playground the reading, which was directed by Benjamin Smith. And you also have a strong presence theatrically overseas, which is extremely impressive. How did that experience change the way you perceive the world of performing arts?
Zoey Zo: It definitely affected the way I wanted to create and share my passion. It felt intensely artistic in being able to connect with other people and project my passion, as they received it so beautifully. I loved being part of Children in the Playground, Benjamin’s vision is truly profound and iconic, and the script perfectly held elements of the human condition and emotional complexities. That was what drew me into performing. And being in Taiwan definitely grew my image of the performing arts, and how much I loved being part of that scene. I performed twice at Zhi Yin Black Box Studio, and both times were very endearing. The plays were Profile Face and The Explosion of 8-12.
NY Art Life: Lovely, thanks for sharing that with us. You were also part of two extremely successful opera shows. One was Puccini: Suor Angelica and your character were La Cercatrici. Tell us an interesting fact about that show!
Zoey Zo: Oh that was such a special show. I remember nuns following me during the opera, that scene was very interesting and well received by the audience.
NY Art Life: How interesting! Tell us more about your singing style?
Zoey Zo: I love singing, I’m happy to have developed my own style in my vocals. I’m a legit soprano singer, and my vocal range is A3-D6. I was also part of Meng-Chun Tsou Vocal Recital as a soloist in National Taiwan University Concert Hall.
I love bringing out the classical style of opera yet approaching it with modern productions, and I believe a part of singing is also performing and giving the stage more than words, which works well with my style.
NY Art Life: That’s brilliant. I’m so impressed by your work and the way you cover so many different things with your skill set. You’ve also starred in a number of films, what can’t you do?! Two of the films you starred in were very different; Loneliness Can Be Murder and Musee My Fantasy. How did those experiences set themselves apart on an artistic scale?
Zoey Zo: Thank you for your kind words! I enjoyed the transition of those two films, particularly because of how different the characters were. In Loneliness Can Be Murder, I played a lonely girl who was going through the complex emotional changes a human goes through. It was really intense. But then I was a rebel girl in Musee My Fantasy. It was interesting to see how I glided from one world to another and how I gained emotional depth within my characters while trying to relate to them and see the world from their eyes. That’s definitely one of my favorite things about acting.
NY Art Life: I love the way you described that. How about we close on a piece of advice for other artists?
Zoey Zo: Sounds great! I always think finding your true style will help you in becoming the best artist you can be. There’s so much to discover in that process, and so many people you’ll meet along the way that will influence your life in a way you’ll be happy about. And never forget to train and learn from others.
NY Art Life: We know that you are performing in an extraordinary and award-winning musical. You will be in Avenue Q at Studio Theater’s Bayway Arts Center until September 25th. All of us and our readers will not miss this appointment.
Zoey Zo: Exactly. Thanks for pointing out this brilliant show. I’m waiting for you all at the theater, don’t miss it.