Award winning Actor, Dancer, Choreographer Julian Gjaci was born in Mirdita, Rreshen in Albania in 1992 to Albanian parents Leze and Hil Gjaci. He attended the prestigious University of Arts in Tirana where he blended his two passions acting and dancing.
Julian Gjaci won first place as “Solo Artist” and has had a successful career in both dancing and film. In 2008 and 2009 he was part of the American Production “Kids Who Care” a popular musical in Dallas, Texas. Julian had key roles in both shows “Let my heart sing” and “District 11” as actor and dancer.
Julian moved to USA in 2014 and started his BA studies in Acting at the New York Film Academy. He taught hip hop lessons to youth in New Haven, Connecticut. He also worked as a Hip Hop Dance teacher at PAACT company. He has appeared in MTV music videos and has performed live on national TV programs.
Julian took acting classes at the well known TVI Actor Studio in New York, the nation’s largest acting school known for famous actors such Eva Langoria, etc. He played lead role in “Tough Day in New York” directed by Sabri Pajaziti.
In the following interview with NY Elite Magazine, Julian Gjaci talks about his acting and dancing career and his future plans.
Interview with actor, dancer and choreographer Julian Gjaci
NY Elite: Julian, you started at a very young age to be involved in acting, dancing and singing. How was the experience in “Kids Who Care” production?
Julian Gjaci: Honestly if we are talking about boosting the confidence of a 15 years old boy, this was it. Going from a small town in Albania to the States was like a dream. My family did a big effort for me to afford the trip and when I arrived there I was amazed. The company called “Kids Who Care” with the producer and director Deborah Jung and the warm welcoming people of Fort Worth / Texas, made possible for me to participate in the big musical at one of the biggest theaters “Scott Theater”. That was life changing. That was the moment I actually realized that, that’s what I want to do in life.
NY Elite: What were your early beginnings in your career?
Julian Gjaci: After a lot of local shows during the time I was in Rreshen High School, the time to go in the University arrived. I decided to audition, to get in the national University of Arts Tirana. Out of hundreds applicants and after tens of auditions, the judges, namely Gazmend Gjoka , Ermira Gjata and Rovena Lule, decided to believe in me and gave me the opportunity to be one of the 10 winners of 2011 . Another unbelievable dream coming true, because I realized that my big hobby soon will turn into my job. I had the opportunity to be part of the National Theater and other important theaters by having small roles that gave me a lot of experience. I played in various shows such as “Caligula”, directed by Esmeralda Stafa, “Mbreteresha e Akullnajave”, directed by Qendrim Rijani, etc.
NY Elite: What are some of your projects in both acting and dancing?
Julian Gjaci: My dancing career was also great. My first appearance was in a music video in 2010 “B.O.B ft Adelajda – We so fly” and than followed by being the main character at “Fjolla Morina – Fb” which made a great impact on people. Than the biggest achievement was appearing as a solo robotic dancer at a MTV music video by the International artist Inusa Dawuda- Satisfaction , a work done by AK Filmwork in Tirana. Also during a talents competition I won the first place as a solo robotic dancer which followed by having an invitation to host “Blaze Master Jam Albania”, a breakdance competition. I had appearances at national Tvs such Tv Klan “Zone e Lire” and Promozone. I also had a performance at Top Channel “ Pasdite ne Top Channel” during a charity cause which we danced in the street to raise money for charity and the people in need. B Concept founded by Bora Kokedhima hired me as the choreographer of Albanian Fashion Week in Tirana which we had performances in the biggest clubs in Albania with my group.
I also write essays, songwriter hip hop. I am an underground essay writer and poetry, which can be used on rap songs. I still have it unpublished yet, but when the time comes I will release some work.
NY Elite: What interests you in acting?
Julian Gjaci: I love shooting films. I had the chance to shoot different films and to express different characters which makes me realize how much I love the film and how much work I have to do, to make myself a better actor. Some of my works include: “Nga e Para” Altin Celmeta, “Unfriend” Xhulio Hajdaraj , “Three Blind Birds” Albana Kozeli , “Poker Follow” Ergys Meta, etc.
NY Elite: What lessons did you take away from your upbringing in Albania?
Julian Gjaci: I want every young person in Albania to realize that everything you learn is very very important, all the methods and learning systems have of course differences between them, but the core is always the same. So never hold back and think how unfair things are, just go there and get what you want. Instead of excuses start finding solutions. Appreciate your teacher and the things they tell you, they are there for a reason and probably they know a lot more than you.
NY Elite: In “Tough Day in New York” you played a lead role. What was it like working with director Sabri Pajaziti?
Julian Gjaci: Working with Sabri was such a pleasure and mostly and enjoyable time in the set. A very smart calm director which appreciates the actor and gives him space to experiment on the role and to make a better film. We also had a great cast with Gjilberta Lucaj, Marko Caka which is a pleasure to work with them and the things they teach you are priceless , since I was the youngest among them.
NY Elite: What is your involvement in Albanian Fashion Week NY happening this March 2016?
Julian Gjaci: The Producer of the Albanian Fashion Show in New York city, Mrika Krasniqi, hired me as a marketing director and also as the choreographer of the show who will be held in March in Manhattan. This is a great showcase opportunity for me in which i have a surprise performance during the show.
NY Elite: We hear that you want to give “America’s Got Talent’ a shot. What can we expect from you in 2016?
Julian Gjaci: My future plan is to be part of one of the biggest Talent show in the world “America’s Got Talent” with a performance who has never been seen before. I am still looking for sponsors , since its something that costs to make it happen because it will be a whole show with my ideas that i have. I cannot reveal many details, but its gonna be something that doesn’t need much comments, just appreciation and to enjoy.