Talking With Antonio Cipriano: High School, Jagged Little Pill, and His Love For Performing
Antonio Cipriano is what you would call a rising star. At the age of 18, he has already been nominated for a Jimmy Award, starred in the new musical Jagged Little Pill at the American Repertory Theatre, had his own solo show at Feinstein’s 54 Below and has a YouTube following of 100,000+ views (and counting).
I got the chance to talk with Antonio about all things from managing high school and theatre to his start in performing to his journey with Jagged Little Pill. Here’s my interview with Antonio below!
Who first introduced you to performing and who has been your biggest theatrical inspiration in your life?
My parents were actually the ones who introduced me to theatre. When I was younger, I was very theatrical in almost everything I did. I would put on concerts and have costume parades throughout the house. My parents realized that they were going to need to use that big personality to my advantage. Not knowing much about theatre themselves, they signed me up for a three week musical theatre summer camp where I played “Zeke” in High School Musical at 8 years old. Ever since then, I haven’t stopped and now I have been fortunate enough to turn that into a career.
I’ve had many different theatrical inspirations throughout my performing career, but one that has been consistant from about the age of 12 has been Hugh Jackman. Ever since I saw him in the Les Miserable movie, I was hooked. Just the way he treated himself and others on and off the screen and stage was incredible to me and he has been a big role model for me ever since.
You were working on Jagged Little Pill while also maintaining high school work, how did you find that balance?
Working on Jagged Little Pill while also maintaining my work load was not always easy, but my school really worked with me because of what a big opportunity this was. While I was doing the workshop in November, Celia [Gooding] and I had to do tutoring for three hours before we could go to rehearsal. That was never my favorite thing, but it had to be done.
However, when I was doing the Out-Of-Town in Boston I graduated early given the fact that I had completed all of the requirements to do so. That was a big help giving me the chance to not have to miss rehearsal for school work.
What was your biggest take-away from the entire Jagged Little Pill process?
My biggest take away from my experience with Jagged Little Pill is the fact that performing professionally really is a lot of hard work and you need to give 100 percent all of the time. I also learned that the theatre is a family and there are always people willing to help you out especially me and Celia being so young. It was my first experience doing 8 shows a week and it can definitely be a daunting task, but the support and loving community we have at JLP makes it enjoyable every day.
Have you always preferred stage-acting versus screen-acting? What drew you to live theatre?
My whole life I wanted to be a stage actor. I had been told from many people that they want to see me on Broadway some day. It was always just a thing I loved to do. Recently I have been expanding my horizons and auditioning for both screen and stage projects. I have started to be drawn to both of them for sure, and I hope that my career will have a good balance of stage and screen.
What words of advice do you have for teenagers looking to go into performing professionally?
One thing that I had been told a lot before I started doing this professionally was the fact that you will get about 80 “NO’s” before you get 1 “YES.”
This is something I sort of did not really even think about because it seemed like such a crazy statistic and why would anyone want to go into a career where most of the time they’re told “no.” And that is a huge thing that someone who is going into the business (especially at a young age like me) needs to understand. I have auditioned for too many things to count and have not even heard back, but that does not stop me from doing the next one or the next one.
One saying that I always liked is the fact that a baseball player can go 3 for 10 at the plate and be an all star. That means he didn’t get on base more than half of his at bats and is still one of the best players in the game. It’s the same for for theatre. You may not get most of the things you audition for, but that one that you got can change your life.
All this means is that you need to be able to take rejection and turn it into motivation for the next opportunity you get. Learning to build up that confidence and patience is probably the biggest thing for me.
You can keep up with Antonio by following his social media, listed below:
YouTube: Antonio Cipriano Music
Thank you to everyone who read this blog post and to Antonio for taking the time to answer these questions. I hope you all enjoyed this post!
Sending love and light,