Shining Light and Creating Work to Showcase the Unheard Voices
Chazz is an ambitious, intuitive, and adaptive first-generation college graduate born in Los Angeles. Resilience, empathy, and a relentless work ethic has given him the foundation to be an asset to any project he is involved with. Growing up in a mixed Chicano and white family, he has profound insight to many emotions and challenges people feel today. This has granted him so many perspectives of the world that has fueled his writings and creative works to bring change and enlightenment to humanity. "We can make beautiful things out of our limitations". In 2020, he graduated with a BFA in Drama & Directing through the Playwrights Horizons program at NYU Tisch. He utilized his time in college to expand his skill set and identify himself confidently as a director, writer, stage manager, designer, composer, and project leader. Those responsibilities allowed him to elevate his collaborators through active listening, careful communication, and safety. Creating with design teams, production managers, and other directors and playwrights for his own projects and others has gifted him the technical and creative experiences of all sides of developing texts and ideas from the table to the stage.
"Even though I had a lot of privileges that permitted me to be here, I don’t feel it has to be as difficult to seize the opportunities to elevate oneself as it realistically is, and I hope to continue to amplify the unique and often unheard voices of those around us." - Chazz Padilla
I am a minimalist expressionist director, actor, musician, and writer who creates theatrical works to unravel society, psychology, and identity. I make work for myself and other people who feel like outcasts in their own homes. People who feel like the world around them wasn’t made for them, and they desperately want to know more about it in order to feel a sense of belonging. To know that other people feel the same terrifying feelings.
When I lead a project, I lead with joy in order to cultivate a company of collaboration, care, and open communication. My process starts with me falling in love with a text through thorough interrogation pre-production. We go on candlelit dates and have intimate interviews with each other. My wish is for that love to flow over to the actors’ hearts as well for us all to feel a shared sense of ownership over what we create together. At the top of production, I work with the actors to discover all the possible ways that the world of the play can function and manifest in their bodies and minds through exercises, experiments, and games, and then we work together to explore the psychology of their characters’ emotional experiences to every edge until we come to a place of safe and repeatable intensity.
New works are what I gravitate towards because they are vulnerable and ever changing in the process. With new works, the freedom for collaborative creation is expansive with the presence of writer in the room. When I work as a writer, I freeze my scripts as soon as possible after intense workshopping between drafts with the cast and creative team. I do this no later than a third of the way through the process leading to production. Directing through challenges is much more exciting to me than writing away from them. I’m interested in changing form and amplifying the textual themes by drawing new questions based on how they can be presented and perceived. Specificity through worldbuilding is something I do intuitively, so I am able to radically shift art styles between drafts of plays and productions in order to discover new ideas and elements every time I revisit a piece. My weakness is burying myself too deeply and too harshly into my projects because whenever I work, I am always striving to better myself and my craft in order to keep moving forward, but lately I’ve been working to enjoy the beautiful little moments of life that come out of the work before they flee away like rainbow butterflies.
Looking back on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, I felt like I achieved my personal goals despite the circumstances, and I felt fulfilled with the work I did with everyone involved. My top 5 personal goals with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World were to personalize ownership between myself and the company over an already-existing work, learn how to fight against the preconceptions that come from audiences with the source material while also weaponizing those notions, be in the moment with the impending doom of graduation looming over my every waking breath, productively manage when to take time off for myself and the company, identify when to best put on a hat, finish a hat, put away a hat, or abort/obliterate a hat.
~ Chazz Padilla