Without any previous training in acting or comedy, Vick Gonzalez, a fifth-year filmmaking major, has an impressive track record that dates back to sophomore year of high school when they unexpectedly got a leading role.
Gonzalez described the part as comedic.
“I knew I was ‘funny,'” Gonzalez said. “But getting to actually play a role where I was actively being funny in front of people was very interesting. I was like, ‘I think I like this.’”
Gonzalez has been a member of Montclair State University Players and Montclair Improv League of Friends (M.I.L.F.) group since his freshman year.
Dr. Everett V. Scott in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” one of the brothers in “The Odd Couple (Female Version)” and Colonel Mustard in the virtual production of “Clue (Stay-at-Home Edition)” are among some of the roles they have played since joining Players.
Currently, Gonzalez is playing one of their dream roles, Roger in “Grease (The Musical),” on April 22, 23 and 24 at the Red Hawk Nest.
Not only is Gonzalez extremely talented onstage, but he also admitted he’s notorious for having a strong, personal voice when it comes to writing. He cites American actor and SNL performer Fred Armisen as his biggest inspiration in comedy and writing.
“Being able to deliver a really authentic script that comes from my mind is my biggest strength,” Gonzalez said.
When discussing the production process of their senior thesis, Gonzalez confessed it was difficult, especially when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic arose. With a limited amount of funds and no defined set, they had to get creative.
“I improvised, if you will,” Gonzalez said. “I shot [my thesis] at my own house and bought little costume pieces. It was such a great set. I [was with] all my friends, my parents and my dog. It was the perfect way to end filmmaking at Montclair [State].”
The end product, “Two’s A Crowd,” tells the story of two polar-opposite best friends who find a dead body in the woods, which comes back to life and follows them back home.
Close friends of Gonzalez who have worked by his side in Players are witnesses to his commitment, whether it be filmmaking or performing.
One of them is senior filmmaking major Zach Abbruscato, M.I.L.F.’s director, who praises Gonzalez for their creative journey in college.
“[Gonzalez] has grown so much since we first joined M.I.L.F.,” Abbruscato said. “He always shines with characters, and you never really know what you are going see next.”
Additionally, Abbruscato can attest to the range of characters Gonzalez can portray.
“They have a stupidly good Cher impression that is always a treat to see,” Abbruscato said. “I could write a whole Wikipedia article on the characters [Gonzalez] does in M.I.L.F.”
Third-year political science major JC DeMaria, the president of Players and fellow M.I.L.F. member, discussed how much he admires the person Gonzalez has become.
“They are extremely dedicated to their craft and pour their everything into all that they do,” DeMaria said. “I am so proud to call [Gonzalez] my friend and comedy partner. The two of us can quip off each other for hours at a time.”
Gonzalez has achieved great things during their time at Montclair State, and their aspirations after graduation are more than promising.
“My goal is to get my license, work somewhere that’s transferable, save up money and eventually I want to move out to [Los Angeles],” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez fell in love with the west coast metropolis during his spring break trip, astonished by the number of work opportunities for aspiring filmmakers.
We wish them the best of luck in their path to stardom.
You can follow Gonzalez on Instagram @greasetwo and the Montclair State Players account @msuplayers.