Keep On Working: Rego Park’s Vic Bagratuni Chases Lifelong Dream of Acting
By Benjamin Fang
For as long as he can remember, 26-year-old Vic Bagratuni wanted to be an actor.
Growing up in an artistic household, everything was an artform. Both of his parents are musicians, and he comes from a long line of artists, actors and directors. “Everything that I did from a very young age on was pointed toward the theater,” he said.
Bagratuni was born in Armenia. At age 2, his family moved to Germany, where his parents still live. After he graduated from high school, he moved to New York to study acting, first at the Lee Strasberg Institute and then at the Actors’ Studio.
He lived in Rego Park with his aunt, who has resided in the neighborhood since the early 1990s. Even after he decided to move out, Bagratuni stayed in the neighborhood. He lived there for almost six years, and still visits occasionally.
“Queens has such a great variety of cultures coming together,” he said. “It’s pretty clean, secluded and beautiful.”
When he wasn’t practicing his craft, Bagratuni spent his time in the borough’s peaceful parks. Whether it was the grassy lawn at Astoria Park or the active Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. He said he felt inspired by them.
“I remember going there and spending a lot of time reading plays and looking at the scenery,” he said. “I don’t know why, but there was a certain vibe that I very much liked.”
In his half-dozen years in the Big Apple, Bagratuni said he ran into a few celebrities, including idols like Al Pacino and Christopher Walken. He met Pacino while he was an intern at the Actors’ Studio, where Pacino served as one of the artistic directors.
“One evening, I was just having my shift and I was in the office. The doors rings and I look up,” Bagratuni said. “He marches in and gets his email, and I’m like, ‘wow.’”
They had a brief interaction, where Bagratuni asked him questions about acting. He later called it an inspiring moment. He also met Christopher Walken randomly inside a cafe. They had a ten-minute conversation, where Bagratuni told the actor how much he appreciated his legacy.
“That’s why I love New York so much, because these people are available,” he said. “It means so much to young actors to actually meet their idols.”
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