Pearce Joza is an alumnus of the Durango Arts Center youth theater program. Early this October, he returned from Hollywood to screen his new short film, “Under The Lights,” and answer questions from the community. Sponsored by Express Employment Professionals and The Payroll Department
There may not be stars in the sidewalks of Downtown Durango, but Hollywood isn't too big of a dream for some. For Pearce Joza, the Durango Arts Center was the catalyst for his career as a television and film actor.
So Durango Arts Center was really also one of the first things that made me really want to be an actor. Really made me want to be creative and make people feel things, create things or something. Some new stuff, make people feel- New ideas, think new ideas, leave with a different perspective that they maybe didn't have coming in.
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I joined Durango Arts Center when I was four. So right after I moved here, my mom took me here and showed me a production of "Frog and Toad" actually. And I was sitting in the audience and I was like, wow, this is so great! Why am I not up there? I want to do that. I don't want to be in the audience. I want to be performing and pretending I'm a snail. And I was at the Durango Arts until I was 11, maybe 10. And around that time was when I started begging my parents to take me out to Hollywood.
Joza drew a crowd of young thespians and fans to the arts center for a screening of his short film "Under The Lights".
We came to see Pearce Joza, who I'm a fan of his. I really liked him in Zombies 2. and Lab Rats were my two favorites.
Yeah. I came here to see "Under The Lights", the short film, and I really enjoyed it because I have experience with this kind of thing and Pearce Joza's one of my idols. So.
At 19 years old, Joza's career has spanned seven years. He's worked on projects for Fox, TBS, and Disney. In the midst of his rising success, he was proud to return to the stage of his formative years as a performer.
I really think that Brenda Macon is such an incredible person to be heading the Durango Arts Center. I wanted to come back and support as best I could. You know, people pay tickets to come in, donate to the Durango Art Center, that's wonderful, but also I really wanted to see the kids, which I did. And that was awesome to see all the kids who are now putting on Willy Wonka. I just- I understand now, which is really cool. I didn't get to play Willy Wonka, but that is cool.
In December, "Willy Wonka's and the Chocolate factory", I will be Charlie.
And "I Miss High School" will be opening with a performance that takes place in a small diner.
I love to see new talent. And I love to see people so passionate about art. And I, you know, in my opinion, theater, film, you know, TV, is art. It's a medium that is so important. But without the Durango Arts Center, without the community in Durango, there would be no what I am now. I would not be anywhere, you know, without the support of all the people that I went to school with, from elementary to middle school, at Mountain Middle School. All my teachers, so supportive. All my friends, wanting me to be successful, pushing me forward and always there for me to bounce ideas off of when I was a crazy kid. I wanted to do this really weird thing, but it's a great place to grow up.