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Shining Stars: Sam Gasch

Sam Gasch enjoys performing in improv shows. [Courtesy Sam Gasch)

Actor, writer and singer Sam Gasch acquired his love of acting when he was in a play in first grade at Tucson Hebrew Academy. He also acted in plays in high school and college. Now living in Los Angeles, he is still pursuing acting, although he is more interested in writing for film, television, and web series.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in drama and economics from Colorado College in Colorado Springs in May 2010, Gasch, who is now 30, spent the summer in Tucson researching the film industry in L.A., while trying to get involved in local films. He moved to L.A. that September.

“For the television and film industry I feel there are more opportunities in L.A.,” Gasch says. “The area is very compelling and I love living here. I have more passion for Hollywood than Broadway.” He gets back to Tucson every few months to visit his parents, Janis and Danny Gasch, and his grandmother, Chava Gasch, who recently moved to Tucson from Montreal, Canada.

Gasch, who prefers comedy over drama, has acted in live theater, including Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” and “Snoopy! The Musical,” and written for or acted in several projects, including short films he calls Saturday Night Live-type comedy sketches, podcasts and web series. He also is part of a writing group with some friends. While waiting for his acting/writing career to take off, he considers himself fortunate to have gotten a background in economics since he supports himself as an independent bookkeeper.

He’s trying to get more writing projects. “In L.A., they say you have to make your own work,” he notes.

“Tournament,” a film script Gasch was hired to write, was produced and shown at film festivals, and was shown in Tucson in November 2017. The feature-length film follows a group of nerds who play in a card game tournament, exploring what sort of people play these games and what drives them. The audience response to the film has been very positive, he says.

Gasch continues to refine his craft.

“It is common for people in this industry to continue their training by taking workshops and classes,” he says. “Actors always need to be sharp, and you always have to keep yourself on the game, and besides, they are also fun.” Attending the taping of television shows has helped him learn more about writing sketches, and he has taken workshops on topics such as commercial technique, improv, and commercial voiceover.

Gasch’s current goals include selling a TV comedy pilot he wrote, and seeing the completion of two action/comedy film features he is co-writing with friends.