Age & Hometown: 24; Richmond, Virginia
Current Role: A Broadway debut as Sky, Sophie’s spirited (and snorkeling) groom-to-be in Mamma Mia!
Take a Chance on Me: At age five, Resnick’s singing talent was discovered by a family friend when, in the backseat of her car, he would sing along to Raffi. “I didn’t sing like the other kids,” Resnick recalls, so his parents immediately signed him up for theater classes. The actor made his stage debut in a community production of Oliver—not in the title role, but as a featured soloist. “I was too fat to be Oliver,” Resnick quips. “Way too fat.” The actor briefly put acting on hold to play basketball, which went “super terribly,” despite the fact that he was taller than most of his teammates. “I would shoot and miss every time,” he says with a laugh. His parents’ advice: “You know what? Let’s go back to theater.”
Food, Glorious Food: After graduating from Carnegie Mellon’s drama program (in a class with Mary Poppins star Steffanie Leigh and Resnick’s best pal, In the Heights alum Kyle Beltran) and a brief stint on season 10 of American Idol (“I made it to Hollywood week!”), Resnick headed to New York. He took a job as a singing waiter at the famous Ellen’s Stardust Diner, and for the next two years “got an education” serving up burgers and belting Broadway hits—including the title tune from Mamma Mia!, which plays right next door. “We sang it 17 times a day,” Resnick recalls, admitting that ABBA on repeat sometimes became too much. “I would infamously yell, ‘Stop singing Mamma Mia! Stop it!’ Of course, I’m the one who got Sky.”
Clothing Optional: When Resnick found out he’d be starring on Broadway, he was overjoyed…and terrified. “Sky wears absolutely no clothes for the entire show,” the actor jokes. To prep for wearing his character's skimpy swimming shorts and chest-baring snorkel suits, Resnick quickly enlisted the help of a personal trainer. Now, as the new guy on Broadway, he looks to his Mamma Mia! castmates for tips—especially theater vet Aaron Lazar. “I bombard him with my life and he gives me the wise advice of an old sage,” Resnick says. And remarkably enough, the catchy Mamma Mia! score has grown on the former singing waiter. “It’s such a feel-good show,” he notes. “Performing for 1,500 people every night is amazing. You absolutely can’t walk away from it in a bad mood.”
Zak Resnick in Mamma Mia!