SOUTH AFRICAN ACTOR PRODUCES HIT SKETCH COMEDY SHOW -Kirsty Coetzee
Johannesburg-born Ricky Cruz (22) has surpassed expectations as head writer, director, producer and lead actor in a sketch comedy and improvisation show on the stages of North Hollywood, the hometown of American comedy.
Beginning his career in 2010 in a supporting role in the famed local Spud movie, Cruz moved on to sharpen his skills with leading roles in local theatre and commercial campaigns. After matriculating from high school, he snatched up the opportunity to study in the USA with the renowned New York Film Academy(NYFA).
Cruz has been practising his skills on popular online web series comedies. He has also busied himself with internships, the last of which was with the famed Groundlings Theatre and School. The Groundlings Theatre has since hired Cruz as a permanent Stage Manager, subsequent to his graduating from the NYFA with cum laude results.
It’s been during his time with The Groundlings that Cruz has put all that he’s learned into action by writing, producing and directing the hilarious sketch comedy and improvisation show, Made in the 90’s. Over the month of April 2016, the production took part on the stages of The Sherry Theatre in North Hollywood, an early playground of some of America’s most talented comedians.
Made in the 90’s, was sold out throughout its season, and received rave reviews all around. Speaking of the show, his first smash hit, Cruz comments, “The show has a very special place in my heart.” Those involved, both crew and cast, said to have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the production, which was clearly apparent on the stage.
Attributing much of the show’s success to The Groundlings Theatre and School, Cruz also states, “I translated what I learnt about sketch comedy writing and development and improvisation into an original sketch comedy show similar in style to that of The Groundlings. I really believe in the Groundlings approach to character work and feel like it truly is a formula for success when it comes to comedic writing.”
The future looks bright for this easy-going and charming South African star. With his fearless approach on comedy, acting and producing, Cruz is well on his way to making his mark on American comedy.