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Sergio Di Zio

“As actors, we don’t have that control as the career is going to do what it’s going to do… Stay open. That’s our job as actors; allow whatever happens to come in and ‘act’ on it if required.”

Christina Cox Photo. Please visit her Instagram: @christinacoxphoto or her website: www.christinacoxphoto.

Joe Szekeres

I’m slowly beginning a check-in on theatre artists whom I’ve profiled. Here’s the link to the first I compiled on Sergio Di Zio:

Fast forward three years from our world ‘being on fire,’ as he called it this past summer. The SAG (Screen Actors’ Guild) Strike was still in full swing at that time, and Sergio shared his thoughts:

“It’s so similar again to what the pandemic felt like. Testing was stopped on everybody on site…People were terrified about what the industry would look like…and it didn’t help that there was so much on the internet about things over which there was no control. Would it have been a long or short strike?”

Like everyone, Sergio has moved forward personally and professionally on many levels. But he has battle scars like all of us.

He still doesn’t know what the industry will look like after all this post-pandemic change and trusts the universe will work its magic in ways he can never understand to keep him active in the business. His father was ill during the pandemic and sadly passed away. Di Zio was also in a long-term relationship, which ended.

But he chooses to keep going.

Sergio calls himself lucky. He is genial, and he is affable. He seems to avoid negativity and always seems to look for kindness. He does yoga most every day. Daily rituals keep him ready and focused when the work comes. He continued working through the pandemic as an actor and is genuinely grateful for that.

He was a guest star in a recent ‘Law and Order Toronto: Criminal Intent’ episode just before Christmas and set to air in the spring. He also appeared in the Christmas Movie “We’re Scrooged” on UPtv. He’s also thankful for the Ontario Christmas movies he has filmed, respectively from last year’s ‘Undercover Holiday’ (Hallmark) and starring roles in ‘Angels and Ornaments’ and ‘Anything but Christmas.’

Di Zio’s words for these faithful viewers: “God Bless Them, Everyone.”

He appears in an independent LGBTQ2 film called “This Time,” directed by Robert Vaughn, that will be making festival circuits at the time of this article.

This month, Sergio is part of a generation-spanning ensemble in ARC Stage’s production of the Canadian premiere of Joanna Murray-Smith’s ‘Rockabye’ from January 26 – February 11, 2024, at Toronto’s Factory Theatre. Directed by ARC’s Co-Artistic Producer (and Artistic Director of Port Hope’s Capitol Theatre) Rob Kempson, the production is billed on the website as “a satirical and dark portrait of our self-involved, celebrity-obsessed culture.”

Di Zio says it’s gold if any actor can work in January because things usually dive in winter. He likes the work ARC has produced over the last while and says:

“It makes me smile when I think about ‘Rockabye’ and what the company has accomplished. ARC selects really good material and interesting projects. The part I will play in ‘Rockabye’ is something I am really looking forward to exploring.”

Sergio will appear with Megan Follows in the Canadian premiere of ‘Four Minutes Twelve Seconds’ directed by Mark McGrinder and presented by Studio 180 Theatre at Tarragon Extraspace from April 20 to May 12, 2024. Appearing alongside Di Zio and Follows are two rising talents: Jadyn Nasato and Tavaree Daniel-Simms.

He also stars in and produces a terrific web series, ‘I Will Bury You,’ that I finally had the chance to watch over the Christmas and holiday season. Its birthing process was fascinating.

In a no-budget filmmaking world, Di Zio, Colin Glazer and writer/director Ravi Steve Khajuria created ‘This is Not a Drill,’ a short film that defied its financial constraints. It played in several festivals that garnered much interest for the film’s limited budget and crew. Because of this fervent interest, the three of them continued with another short, ‘You Hired a Hitman,’ which played a few more festivals. Audiences loved how they were diving into this darkly comic series. A third short film was then shot – ‘The Grave Decision’.

Following these three shorts filmed over two years and into the pandemic, the team received funding from Ontario Creates and The Canada Media Fund. These funds allowed the opportunity to shoot the five-episode “I Will Bury You Season 2,” which connects to the YouTube link at the bottom of this article—a ten-day shoot with a paid crew over the summer. I recommend ‘binging’ it all in one fell swoop. There were moments of dark humour where I knew I shouldn’t be laughing, but I did. I wanted to see where the story was headed next.

Di Zio glowingly spoke about the element of play and the joy of exploring creatively with somebody else while filming the web series.

The story follows two brothers (Di Zio and Colin Glazer) who attempt to carry out their late mother’s (Clare Coulter) wishes to bury her ashes in the places she loved…if the brothers can only figure out where those places are. ‘I Will Bury You’ pushes dark comedy and humour to another level as these two brothers aren’t necessarily bad people; they are making very bad decisions that left me in fits of laughter.

So far, the series has had over 350K hits. You can subscribe to the ‘I Will Bury You’ link at the bottom of this article. If these numbers increase, there is potential for a third season.

The performing arts industry is still in recovery from the last three years. Audiences are slowly returning to the theatre. From my experience, I’ve discovered they want stories they remember to help uplift them. And that’s great. Many audiences are also looking for stories of challenging material that will confront pertinent social issues head-on.

These kinds of scripts and stories are the gifts of the performing arts and remain why Di Zio chose to become an actor. But these last three years have also taught him a valuable lesson as an artist:

“The goals happen as you go. You can’t re-create a red carpet…it’s letting go and do with what’s actually happening and finding the creative life in all of this.”

Our conversation then turned to some terrific summer theatre around the province where whip-smart and knowledgeable Artistic Directors understand the temperament of their respective communities.

Does Di Zio have any interest in performing summer theatre?

He spoke of frequenting a favourite coffee joint at the corner of Danforth and Broadview and its proprietor, Saverio Cosenza, who sold the business to open ‘Downtown Espresso’ in Huntsville. Cosenza told Di Zio there’s a summer theatre in Huntsville and that the actor has to come to do a show. Although the summer is a busy time for actors for film and television work, Di Zio said he’d consider the drive to Huntsville because he missed the coffee and the hangouts.

Might he consider summer theatre?:

“As actors, we don’t have that control as the career is going to do what it’s going to do… Stay open. That’s our job as actors; allow whatever happens to come in and ‘act’ on it if required.”

Does Sergio have any thoughts regarding writing or directing in the future for film, television, or the theatre?

He has.

He loves reading and writing and has been journaling since he was sixteen. He was finishing Alan Rickman’s biography and found it fascinating as it delves into the actor’s notes about returning from rehearsals with questions and comments about the day on set or in the theatre.

Sergio grew up with stories. He ponders the responsibility of putting pen to paper to tell the story of the last few years of his late father’s life. Di Zio proudly stated that his grandmother was one of his best friends. When he was younger, he would sit and listen to his grandmother tell stories about her holding Sergio’s mother's hand and running when the Allies bombed small Italian towns because the Germans were hiding munitions in these small villages. Sharing these stories is important because it’s part of who we are.

Writing intrigues Sergio, but it’s hard when one has chosen to be an actor. The process of writing requires attention. Sergio has found he’ll start to write, and then he gets a big job because he’s creatively open as an actor to take on that task. The writing then goes to the side while he works on a film or a television series.

Periodically, Sergio will post online the final product of a cooked meal. I asked him if he had further thoughts and considered a YouTube cooking series for novices like me who want to impress others.

He laughed uproariously and added:

“No thoughts. If you want to watch somebody screwing it up more than ever, then sure. Cooking is new to me…my partner loved cooking, and I learned by cooking with him. The pride came from learning together. When I found myself alone again, I felt I had to learn how to cook for myself; otherwise, it’s going to be takeout all the time. Cooking has been a good process of learning how to do, and it’s been good.”

As we concluded our conversation from the summer, I told Sergio I was headed to New York City the next day to review Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill’s “I Got the Job: Songs from My Musical Past.” He appeared rather excited for me and thought it was awesome that I would write my first Broadway nightclub review at 54 Below. Sergio had listened to a podcast about the life of Lucie’s parents and her younger brother, Desi, and how life transformed them into the individuals they are. I’m surmising that he also grew up watching all the Lucy series when he was a kid.

Di Zio said he was to have gone to New York City in the fall for an acting seminar. When he heard Arnaz-Luckinbill was already in town, he wondered if she might make another appearance. If she did, Sergio would undoubtedly be there.

And as for that acting seminar in New York City, Sergio, it’s great that you never stop studying and honing your craft. He’s back at classes on Monday night in Toronto, and that’s never changed. For him, studying and learning is not a one-off, nor does he ever intend to stop.

If you did make your Broadway debut, that would be fantastic.

Canadians and Ontarians know you’re one of us. And I know you’ll never forget where you came from.

To follow Sergio on ‘X’ and Instagram (and see pictures of his cooking): @elisasboy72.

To recap Sergio’s stage appearances and web-series:

ROCKABYE (An ARC presentation at Factory Theatre). Tickets are now available:

FOUR MINUTES TWELVE SECONDS. (A Studio 180 Theatre presentation at Tarragon Theatre’s Extraspace.) Tickets are now available:

I WILL BURY YOU. To watch and subscribe, go here:

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