Bill SoriceIf Hostos Stage Manager Bill Sorice looks familiar, the New York native is also an actor who has appeared in feature films, commercials and other productions.  In 2013, Sorice landed the role of an eastern European mobster named “Gabor,” acting alongside some Hollywood heavy-hitters, including Edward Furlong, Gary Busey, Margot Kidder, and Lee Majors in “Matt’s Chance.”

Sorice is also no stranger to the film festival circuit. He has already written, directed and produced three award-winning short films, which have been featured at various festivals around the world.

Now, the actor who helps the Hostos Repertory Company stay at its best, is in the new science-fiction film, “Beta Test.”

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Richmond Hill/Ozone Park Queens, NY. A few years after high School I moved to Manhattan where I lived in Chelsea (before it was the “Chelsea” it is today), East Village and Carnegie Hill.

When did you start acting, and what got you started?
I started acting in 1994 in college. There was an audition flyer posted in the hallway on a bulletin board, so I figured what the hell, I always wanted to try acting, so I auditioned and I got cast in a supporting role. I then got bit by the bug, as they say, and have been acting ever since.

When did you arrive at Hostos, and what have been your roles?
I arrived in 2009 as a College Lab Tech. My main role was being the Stage Manager for the Hostos Repertory Company, as well as support staff for all things relating to Visual & Performing Arts Unit, our productions and the acting courses. I create programs, flyers, postcards, take headshots, and other duties. I’ve actually have taken on a lot more responsibilities. In addition to our Main Stage and Repertory Theater, we recently constructed the Black Box Theater, which I now manage.

How have you liked working with students as a stage manager?
It has been a blast. We have had technically run student productions where I have trained students on the lighting and sound equipment to run during the shows as well as overseeing the production. I also work as an acting coach helping the students prepare for their midterm and final performances. There are some very talented artists here.

Why did you choose Hostos?
I received my BFA is in Communication Arts, which translates to having studied all things production related—writing, directing, producing, editing, acting, etc. and also photography. After college, I was working fulltime as a commercial photographer for four years and out of nowhere the company downsized nationally. It was then I decided to try education.

What other careers have interested you?
I actually always wanted to work for a college, unfortunately I never went back to school to get my master’s degree, and so there are not that many opportunities to teach at a University without a post-graduate degree. Hostos was hiring for a College Lab Tech in Theatre. It was a brand new position, and with my BFA and years of field experience, I was offered the job.

What is your favorite movie?
I hate this question, because there are so many great ones. Most people would probably expect me to say, “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas” which are both on my list. But I have multiple favorites by Woody Allen, The Coen Brothers and Guy Richie. Other include: “Pulp Fiction,” “Midnight Cowboy,” “Run Lola Run,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Reservoir Dogs,” “Casablanca,” “Fight Club,” “Seven,” “Silence of the Lambs,” “The Usual Suspects,” “Memento,” “Rear Window.” The list goes on and on …

What advice would you give Hostos students about getting into “show business?”
Have you considered our Dental Hygiene Program? (laughs).  … The first thing I would ask them is, how are you dealing with rejection? Secondly, have as many skills as possible to use for “survival jobs.” There is a very small percentage of show biz people that earn their entire salary from “The Biz.” You need to have others skills to pay your bills when you are in between acting jobs.

What roles might people know you from?
I’m not a well-known actor, but fortunately I do get work here and there. Some years back I did a New York lottery commercial playing “Lucky Two Fingers.” It ran on national television for about 18 months including the YES Network so it played during Yankee games. I did get recognized, now and again, but I’m a character actor, and rarely play roles where I look like myself as a day to day civilian. In “Beta Test” I play (a Middle-American TV host), “Matt’s Chance” (an eastern-European closeted gay mobster) and “Brutal Massacre: A Comedy” (a sheriff).

Who has been your favorite actor to work with?
I have been very fortunate to have worked with so many well-known and/or talented actors. But I have to say, I really enjoyed working with Edward Furlong on “Matt’s Chance.” He was the No. 1 lead and I was the No. 2, so we spent nearly a month together on and off screen. Eddie is a really cool guy and a fine actor. I honestly feel like we had good screen chemistry.

Where can people see “Beta Test”?
“Beta Test” opened on July 22, 2016, nationwide in select cities.

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