Relax and Take Ten with Zana Gankhuyag, appearing as the Prince in Synetic Theater’s Sleeping Beauty through January 8. A proud Synetic company member, Gankhuyag shares his passion for theatre, his early hair-swooshing technique, and his advice for theatre students young and old.
1) What was the first show you ever saw, and what impact did it have?
I saw The Lion King on Broadway not too long after my family immigrated to the States. I was completely awestruck. That show just inspired me to keep creating and realizing my goals and dreams.
2) What was your first involvement in a theatrical production?
The first show I ever participated in was called The Stuck Pot. I was in the seventh grade at the time and don’t recall too much, except doing a lot hair swooshes.
3) What’s your favorite play or musical, and why do you like it so much?
That’s tough. I really love the classics like Waiting for Godot and Fences. I recently read Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi for a class, and really enjoyed it. Musical wise, I really love Billy Elliot.
4) What’s the worst day job you ever took?
I’d have to say waiting tables. While working as a waiter can be very rewarding, it can also be very stressful.
5) What is your most embarrassing moment in the theatre?
I had a friend persuade me to audition for Honk Jr. in the sixth grade. I got so nervous to sing that I ran off the stage, and sat in the bathroom stall and cried. I’m sure there are more recent ones, but I can’t recall them at the moment.
This show truly tests me as an artist. It pushes my physical stamina, my emotional maturity, and my understanding of ensemble.
7) Other than your significant other, who’s your dream date (living or dead) and why?
I would like to listen to Maya Angelou or Toni Morrison speak, and maybe help me make sense of this random world. (Also maybe Genghis Khan).
8) What is your dream role/job?
As cliche as it sounds, I am doing what I love right now. I simply love theater, and the amalgamation of so many elements. In the long run, way in the future, I hope to lead my own company that offers people a safe place to create shamelessly.
9) If you could travel back in time, what famous production or performance would you choose to see?
It would be interesting to experience the opening performance of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, and watch the audience go bonkers.
10) What advice would you give to an 8-year-old smitten by theatre / for a graduating MFA student?
To take deep breathes, and keep nurturing your imagination. The mind is powerful, never be afraid to trust your own voice and knowledge. Also, to take movement classes and connect with your own body.
ZANA GANKHUYAG is a Synetic Theater company member. His credits include Synetic Theater: Twelfth Night (Feste), Man in The Iron Mask (Fouquet), Romeo & Juliet (Romeo), As You Like It (Silvius), Alice in Wonderland (Dormouse), Much Ado About Nothing (Verges), Home of the Soldier (Kid), Beauty and The Beast (Ensemble), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Snake, u/s Puck), Hamlet (Guildenstern), Three Musketeers (Ensemble), Trip to the Moon (Pres. Barbonfouillis). Mason Players: Six Character's in Search of an Author (Young Actor). Yorktown HS Theater: One Person Show (Sosuke). Governor's School: It's Called Sugar Plum (Zuckerman). Training: Senior at George Mason School of Theater, Yorktown High School, Governor's School for Performing & Visual Arts, Synetic.