Former Drama Dawg gets nod for west coast talent event
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Copperas Cove High School Class of 2017 graduate Zackary Rokosh couldn’t believe the news when he was selected to attend the 16th annual iPOP! in Los Angeles next July.
For 22-year-old Rokosh, acting and performing has been his dream since his days as a Drama Dawg in high school.
IPOP, which stands for International Presentation of Performers, is held in Los Angeles every winter and summer.
Performers from more than 30 different countries attend the event for the chance to work with industry experts and participate in competitions in front of casting directors, agents and managers.
Rokosh will spend five days at iPOP! LA immersing himself in the entertainment industry, participating in events like a Celebrity Bootcamp, where he and the other aspiring performers will practice their skills with coaches. The week concludes with a final awards night dinner and gala, where the top performers will be recognized and those selected will participate in a fashion and talent show.
Rokosh became a student with the John Robert Powers schools, based out of Chicago, to hone his skills.
Through the John Robert Powers program, Rokosh ended up in Austin, participating in rehearsals and training for monologues and T.V. commercials, and then in Houston, where he and other performers from across the state showcased their talents.
It was at the Houston event last Saturday that Rokosh caught the attention of a representative for iPOP! and was invited to Los Angeles.
“I couldn’t believe it, I really couldn’t. I was overwhelmed,” Rokosh said.
Rokosh and his family moved to Copperas Cove about five years ago from Virginia Beach.
It was after volunteering for the Haunted Hayride at Ogletree Gap that Rokosh became involved in theater and acting.
He did shows at Viva Les Arts Theater in Killeen and as a student at CCHS during his sophomore, junior and senior years, but always as an extra. There was one time where he was cast as a lead. To be selected to go to Los Angeles was a shock, he said.
“All the judges there said that I was fantastic. The lady that invited me to iPOP said that I was the best one there,” Rokosh said. “I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it, to be honest. It’s insane.”
Rokosh said that he doesn’t have huge goals for himself.
“I want to go out there; I want to do my best in L.A.,” Rokosh said. “I want to put on a show. If I get signed, that is fantastic; I will run with that as far as I can, because an acting career is never guaranteed to last. If I can be the next Jim Carrey, that’s fantastic. If not, I gave it my shot.”
Rokosh added that he would like to become a theater teacher regardless of fame. He credits two of his high school theater teachers - Katy Tagliabue and Cody Edgar - with inspiring him to try his best.
Rokosh said he would like to do comedy if he is successful. While in Houston, he received feedback from some industry professionals, including one who told him he would be great for comedy.
Rokosh said as a young child, he watched Jim Carrey’s “The Mask” and “Ghostbusters” and “Ghostbusters II”.
“I watched those three movies so much that it burnt the tapes on the VHS, my grandparents had to go and get multiple copies,” Rokosh said. “I’ve always been this character of sorts. I’m real wacky. I like to have fun, I like to make people smile. It’s good to watch serious movies right now, but I think when you go to movies, it’s something you should enjoy, and I always enjoy laughing.”
Rokosh is now looking to raise money to pay his way to Los Angeles. He will need to raise funds for the transportation to and from Los Angeles, to pay for his hotel room during the five days, as well as pay for any meals and transportation around Los Angeles.
His goal is to raise $7,000 to cover all of his anticipated costs. Luckily, he has until May 2021 to raise funds before the iPOP event in July 2021.
Rokosh said he understands the skepticism around iPOP, but he feels confident in taking this path to try to achieve his dream.
“I’m fully expecting some people to be like, ‘Oh, he’s scamming himself,’ but I think the biggest thing is you know, this is somebody’s dream.” Rokosh said. “I’ve paid money to get trained to become a better actor, and now, I’m paying money to get the attention of these casting directors, managers, acting reps to put my talents in front of them. It’s no more than somebody chasing their dream, and yeah, it’s costly, but not everybody gets to do this. You never know unless you try usually.”
Rokosh has set up a Facebook fundraiser, called L.A. Fundraiser, found at https://www.facebook.com/donate/697949350760068/
He is also looking for any individuals and businesses to help by sponsoring him to help him achieve his dream.
Rokosh can be reached through Facebook under the name Zack Rokosh or by phone (254-661-3484) or email at email@example.com.