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April 17, 2013

Clinton native Villa lands guest-starring role in NCIS: Los Angeles

CLINTON — A former Clinton resident, who has spent time on New York City’s stages, is continuing to pursue his acting dreams in California, this time on TV.

Zach Villa will portray a musician in an upcoming episode of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” which is set to air at 8 p.m. April 23 on CBS.

“I think mothers should get sneak previews, is what I think,” his mother, Sheryl Villa, said of her excitement in seeing her son’s TV performance.

Zach’s parents are looking forward to seeing previews, as well as the entire episode itself. Sheryl said she and her husband, Larry, are hoping to have a small viewing party.

“I think every television should be tuned to that program that night,” Sheryl said.

Zach graduated from the Juilliard School in New York in 2009. For the past couple of years, he has lived in New York, performing Shakespeare in the Park and on Broadway in “War Horse.”

Zach and his girlfriend made the move to California in early September. While he loves New York, he felt they were both at a crossroad in their careers. They both wanted to work in film and television and knew there were more opportunities in Los Angeles.

“I feel that the film media is really, really rewarding for actors,” Zach said.

When Zach’s agent told him about the audition for the role on “NCIS: Los Angeles,” he expected to get five or 10 minutes on screen.

Instead, he found it to be a much bigger role. He was excited to learn that he would be singing and playing guitar for the role. He recorded a song that will be used in the episode.

He was on the set for approximately a week in the middle of March. Zach said the other actors were consummate professionals who were fun to work with.

"They were just as interested in giving their best performances and making sure I gave my best performance," Zach said.

Zach is currently portraying Orlando in a film adaptation of Shakespeare's "As You Like It," being filmed in Death Valley. Zach expects it to make the festival routes.

Zach enjoys being in California and working in television and film; however, he does hope to return to the stage some day on his own terms. Right now, he is keeping himself open to various opportunities. He added his main focus is to continue working and "telling great stories along the way."

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