D Kevin McNeirEducationLifestyle

Marymount Grad Poised for Acting Stardom

Young actors often seek an audience to highlight and share their work — proud of the result and eager to share the news with anyone willing to listen.

But upon viewing the just-released short film “The Bond,” produced by Connecticut Film Works and starring two newcomers, Sarah Innes and Alessandro “Alex” Accornero, I had to admit that these two young actors have promising futures before them and deserve to be acknowledged for successfully hitting the mark.

Accornero, a recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a BFA in acting, says it’s been his dream since his youth when he routinely watched his mother garner acclaim as an actress in numerous commercials, on stage and as a regular on the “soaps.” But he soon realized that he’d have to prepare himself and learn his craft if he too wanted to really become an actor — at least one that could financially sustain himself.

Now, upon completing his degree and hitting the audition trail, the 27-year-old actor, after facing the diagnosis of and overcoming challenges related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], says he’s found a way to make his perceived shortcoming become an asset.

“It was hard to find my way but I eventually discovered that acting, while not something that’s easy, actually came naturally for me,” he said. “I found that it [ADHD] forced me to the strengthen the parts of my mind that were weak. And my parents, especially my mom, showed me that that acting could be fun and possible, if I was willing to work hard,” said Accornero, who’s studied with Tony Barr, Jimmy Locust and mastered skills that include the delivery of several accents (British, Italian and Irish) and staged combat like boxing and mixed martial arts.

Still making his way, the young actor, Italian and African American by heritage, recalls the lessons gleaned from his favorite college instructor, Richard Niles, and how they’ve helped him keep his focus.

“The way the industry has evolved today, you must learn the business of acting if you’re serious about making it,” he said. “Professor Niles told us you have to ‘feel it from within.’ Still, when I graduated and had to face the real world, it often felt like someone had kicked me in my behind. Once, I had been a big fish in a small pond. Suddenly, I was a minnow in an endless ocean.”

Alex said he has a childhood friend, Brad, to thank for the push he needed.

“Our high school was holding auditions for ‘The Crucible’ and I’d never been in a play,” he said, adding that he he’d been advised that he needed to put a few productions under his belt before applying to college.

“I’d forgotten [about auditions] until Brad reminded me. I could hardly believe it when the director chose me for the lead role. It was the best experience I’d ever had — I was hooked,” he added.

‘Alex’ has pressed on, snagging a role on one of Netflix productions action flicks, “The Punisher,” which allowed him to secure his Screen Actors guild membership and prove that he could be a “bad guy.”

“I tend to be cast as a policeman or someone in the military — roles that are physically challenging,” he said. “So, in between learning lines, I have to get in my time at the gym.”

His latest work, “The Bond,” can be seen on the production company’s Facebook — a “short” that features ‘Alex’ as a soldier just home from war suffering from the aftermath of combat.

“Seeing the final edits was exciting,” he said. “And it’s been submitted in several film competitions. I may not be Robert De Niro or Sidney Poitier yet, but I’m keeping my eye on the prize and using them as my role models.”

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D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Award-winning journalist and 21-year Black Press veteran, book editor, voice-over specialist and college instructor (Philosophy, Religion, Journalism). Before joining us, he led the Miami Times to recognition as NNPA Publication of the Year.

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