PDM Alumni Spotlight

We are very excited to introduce our latest PDM Alumni Spotligh. Here we showcase what are past student are up to and share their experiences with PDM.

2018 PDM Alumni Spotlight on Ziad Niazi

  

               As a young boy, I tried my shot at sports, but never stuck to it. One day, my mama let me audition for a performance of Grease that Paul-Dean Martin was putting on at Woodrow Wilson Elementary school. It was always joked that I was Paul-Dean’s long-lost son because we looked so similar and he saw something in me that I didn’t see. I kept coming back for each of his shows and I finally broke out of my shell and made lifelong friends.


              Before I graduated from elementary school, I auditioned for the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) for Music and Theatre and was accepted. After doing PDM and Music and Theatre at OCSA, I realized I did not want to be onstage but still wanted to be involved in the arts. I realized making a career of technology and design would be easier than performing. So, I auditioned for production and design and have been doing live production sound, lighting, and management for the past nine years. 


             While at OCSA, I worked hundreds of shows and slowly began to fall in love with sound and the tech side of theatre. I mixed musicals, was an A2 for countless shows, and even stage-managed Oklahoma. In addition to the shows I worked on campus, I was the technical coordinator for OCSA’s premiere performing group MONTAGE and went out into the public running sound and lighting for their performances. 


             After graduating from OCSA in 2013, I went to Fullerton Community College to work towards my AA in the Arts. I was also hired full time at OCSA as production support and Technical Coordinator for MONTAGE. While at Fullerton College, I worked in the theatre department as an A2 and worked professionally with an audio company in LA. My professional resume includes award shows such as The Grammy’s, The Oscars, and the Golden Globes as well as private corporate events for NBC Universal.


             In Fall 2016, I transferred to Chapman University to get my Bachelor of Arts in Entertainment Technology with a Minor in Entrepreneurship. While at Chapman, I made connections with Cirque Du Soleil and traveled to Vegas twice to attend master classes with them. In Spring 2018, I was production manager on an all student run production of Chicago The Musical and I production managed the department’s Student Produced One Act’s. After graduating from Chapman University, I hope to apply to Disneyland, cruise ship, or a large production company so I can continue to learn how the live entertainment universe works and make a career out of it.


             I can honestly say, if it wasn’t for Paul-Dean Martin and PDM Young Actors Workshop, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with theatre and seen my passion for live entertainment technology. I am not sure what I would be doing with my life if I hadn’t auditioned for these shows and I thank my lucky stars every day that I had such a great mentor like Paul-Dean at such a young age.

   

PDM Alumni Flashback

Ziad Niazi performing the role of Bialystock from "The Producers" in "The PDM All-Star Revue" at The Curtis Theatre

PDM Alumni Spotlight

We are very excited to introduce a New feature to our web site. THE PDM ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT. Here we will showcase what are past student are up to and share their experiences with PDM.

2018 PDM Alumni SpotLight on Asialani Holman

  

                In the 4th grade, a tall man in a jean jacket covered in Disney patches walked into my classroom. The class was full of murmurs. “Who is that?” “Does he work for Disney?” It was Paul Dean Martin, promoting the PDM Young Actors production of Hercules, which would be the first musical I’ve ever performed in!


                 Who knew this would be the start of my career as an actress? PDM Young Actors Workshop introduced me to my true passion, theatre. The next year, I did another PDM show, Beauty and the Beast. I had my debut speaking/singing role as “Chip the Cup”.


                 A couple years later I auditioned for my middle school’s musical theatre program and got accepted. My passion continued into high school where I became head of the drama department’s tech and design committees, as well as acting in every play. Upon graduating high school I applied to CSULB, where I was accepted into the performance tract and got my BA in theatre performance. Now I’m auditioning for grad schools!


            Over the years I’ve been in roles such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, and Marcy Park in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. I’ve done university performances, community theatre, and professional productions. In addition to my theatre training, I have studied stage combat (I played Anakin in The Art of the Sword) and clowning, where I played a ballerina and performed The Nutcracker… on stilts!


           For my daytime job, I work in the entertainment department at Disneyland, where I’ve done shows like Pirate Palooza. I’m also a part of the Disney Special Events Team when they need performers for weddings, marathons, and New Year’s Eve television specials. In addition, the Special Events Team works with Make-a-Wish children, making magic moments happen everyday. 


          My diverse background and enthusiasm for theatre all started with PDM. I would never be where I am today without PDM. Mr. Martin saw something in me and inspired my inner creativity. Without his passion for the art and patience for beginning actors I may have never gotten to enjoy all the wonderful experiences theatre held for me. I can’t thank Mr. Martin enough for his dedication to theatre and fostering the potential of young actors. 


Here I am in my most recent role, Heather McNamara in Heathers the Musical.

PDM Alumni Flashback

Asialani Holman as Chip the Cup in "Beauty and the Beast"