2012-10-03 / Front Page

Chance audition earns young man a role in new movie, ‘Pitch Perfect’

Manalapan native Greg Gorenc took a year off from Tulane after the acting bug bit him

Greg Gorenc Greg Gorenc Greg Gorenc of Manalapan is unlike most of the undergraduates at Tulane University in New Orleans — he is about to make his feature film debut.

Gorenc, 20, will be seen in “Pitch Perfect,” which is set to be released on Oct. 5. The film focuses on Beca, played by actress Anna Kendrick, a freshman at Barden University who joins the school’s all-female singing group, The Bellas. The Bellas must compete against the school’s all-male group, the Trebles.

Gorenc will be featured on the big screen as one of the Trebles.

The Gorenc family is no stranger to the performing arts. Gorenc proudly described the talents of his sister Allie, 16, who had a recurring role on the TV soap opera “As the World Turns” several years ago, and his brother, Jonny, 22, who has launched a new music group called “The Pilot Kids.”

So it was no surprise that Greg, who graduated from Manalapan High School in 2010, had the performing bug, too. When he started his sophomore year in 2011 as a musical theater major at Tulane, Gorenc expected it to be just another year at college. However, an announcement that was made in his choir class changed his life. The instructor read an email which announced open casting calls for “Pitch Perfect.” A group of Gorenc’s friends decided to drive to Baton Rouge, where Universal Pictures was casting the film.

Gorenc decided to join his friends on the journey and to audition for a role in the movie.

During his audition, Gorenc sang a capella for the film’s director Jason Moore. Gorenc said that when he finished, Moore gave him the shocking news that he would get a second audition.

A few days later he was back, singing and dancing, trying to land a part in the movie. Less than a week later, Gorenc was offered a principal role.

“It was the craziest, most exciting moment of my entire life,” he said.

There was one difficulty in this equation — what would happen to his sophomore year at Tulane while he was filming the movie?

Gorenc said university officials were great about working with him to secure a semester off from Tulane without having to reapply for admission.

Gorenc moved into an apartment with two other cast members and began rehearsals, a schedule from Monday through Friday that was packed with four to seven hours of choreography training and two to three hours of singing. The young actor also got a makeover for his role. The natural brunette had his hair dyed bleach blond.

The film has a young cast and Gorenc said they all got along, which made his time on set a lot of fun.

When filming on “Pitch Perfect” wrapped, Gorenc was not quite ready to go back to school. Curious as to whether being cast in the film was a happy accident or something more, Gorenc decided to stay out of school for another semester and to see what other parts he could land closer to his Manalapan home.

It wasn’t long until Gorenc earned a role on stage in New York City in the play “Pinkalicious,” which was based on a children’s book.

While working on “Pinkalicious” earlier this year, Gorenc took a chance and auditioned for a regional production of the musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” He scored the role of Leaf Coneybear and found out he would be performing in Ivins, Utah.

Gorenc said he was on top of the world and excited to experience a part of the country he had never seen. He performed in Utah in July and August.

The young man has now returned to Tulane to take the sophomore year he had put on hold.

Gorenc said his experiences during the past year will always stay with him. The moment he saw himself onscreen in an advanced showing of “Pitch Perfect” is one that is impossible to forget. Seeing the final product cemented in his mind the reality of the whirlwind that had swept him up.

“Wow, this happened,” Gorenc said he remembered thinking while watching the movie. He said he cannot wait to see what other events will become a part of his reality in the future.

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