It all started with a text from Maddie Pfeiffer (Grace) to Tom Libertiny: “I found him! And he’s in Nashville.”
The him, is Zach Ferrin, a Nashville-based actor, singer, musician, writer, costume designer, HMUA, and blacksmith. No, we don’t know when he sleeps either.
And the role that Maddie thought he’d be perfect for is The Bully.
It’s not an easy role to play considering that The Bully is both the Emcee and an important character in our show. One that gained further importance in 2018 when the Null Paradox script was re-written to include a new beginning and three different endings from which our audience chooses during each of our interactive performances. The Bully has to hold all of the craziness together while acting, singing, and playing a musical instrument or two.
Fortunately, after a road trip to Nashville: Maddie, Lauren Zoeller (Gertrude), and Tom were able to experience the talent of Zach first-hand. After Zach’s audition, it was a straight-forward decision between Maddie, Lauren, Betty Riggs (Assistant Director), and Tom.
Zach’s over-the-top talent makes him perfect for the expanded role of The Bully.
But don’t take our word for it. Here’s a few photos of Zach as The Bully during our recent photoshoot in Detroit.
We’re fortunate to have met Zach. Please welcome him to the role of The Bully!
Interview with Zach Ferrin
Question~What personality traits do you share with The Bully?
Everything I would say is sure to come across as either a brag or a rag because he’s such a cool character but also a little bit of a bugger! The Bully knows what he knows and is confident in that but, at the same time, he isn’t afraid to learn and question the things he is less certain of. I think he admires confidence but hates arrogance. He is selfish, but despises self-centeredness. I can relate pretty well to all of that.
Question~As an actor, what do you plan to bring to the story of Null Paradox live?
My goal is to entertain. The Bully is the emcee of the show, interacting with the crowd at times and then also he’s woven into the story itself. This allows for a lot of room to play, for me. Each performance will be slightly unique because my interactions with the audience can’t be the exact same each night. Inside jokes may form with a certain room, and some people may not respond the same as others to a question or a joke. So, I’m excited to bring my own personality and brand of humor to it, while still doing the character and story the justice that it deserves.
Question~In addition to being an actor, you’re a singer and musician. How do you go about both acting and singing during a live performance?
The band I play in is very theatrical. The music is first, but a level of acting is incorporated into our videos and live performances. In Null Paradox, the priority will be reversed, but acting through song is something I’m very comfortable with.
Question~You’ve performed in musical theatre, film, and music. What similarities and differences are there between those three types of performances?
It’s all story telling. Whether you’re singing, playing an instrument, or playing a character, you’re a piece to the overall puzzle. The means in which to get there and your role in it may be different, but the goal is the same: play the part that is required to help paint a picture – and add a few of your own strokes, where necessary!
Question~How much did you love performing the character Dr. Frankenfurter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and what attracted you to that character?
Oh! It was a dream. It’s been one of my favorite movies/musicals since I first watched it, and Frankenfurter is such a huge and outrageous character. Large heels to fill, for sure, but ones I would gladly wear again – fortunately, I made and own the costume, so it’s easy access for when I get a random urge!
Question~Where did you train for voice?
My bedroom and on stage, mostly haha. My parents both sang professionally when they were younger, so I grew up with music in the house and they taught me a lot about how to sing properly. From there, I started singing in bands in high school after being bribed into it, and haven’t stopped since.
Question~What’s your favorite musical or play and why?
Null Paradox, because they told me I’d get paid more if I said that…
okay, okay, Cabaret (stage version), Rocky Horror, and Hunchback of Notre Dame. In varying degrees, they all mix real elements of humanity with cartoonishness that allows you to have fun with it. I most enjoy things that don’t shy away from the struggles of real life, but instead force you to look at it in a more playful light. *insert some philosophically poetic statement about dancing in a hurricane*
Question~What’s the story behind Fable Cry? How did it all get started?
I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to play music, write scripts, act, or do visual art, and couldn’t be content doing just one thing. So, I decided to form a band where I could do all of it – write songs and albums, produce whimsical music videos, and perform my ass off and connect with an audience in a visceral way! It’s a major piece of my resumé, and has fortunately been a gateway to many of the other things I’ve done. Here’s a fun story that proves this fact: I met Maddie Pfeiffer (who is playing the part of Grace) at a show that both of our bands were playing. She told me about Null Paradox and that they were looking for someone to play the part of The Bully. Several phone calls, meetings, and an audition later, I got the part. And now here we are!