David Gore: The boy behind the jokes

by Armina LaManna

Published: Tuesday January 27, 2009

Glendale, Calif. - "Armenians have been around forever. When Columbus came to America, Armenians were already living in Glendale!" This is one of the jokes in the repertoire of a young comedian and actor, David Gore.

At 12, David already has a pretty impressive résumé of acting and voiceover credits. This charming and charismatic youth sat down with the Armenian Reporter to discuss his career, achievements, and aspirations. With his father sitting at the next table, David passionately talked about his life in the entertainment industry. Some of his mannerisms were so mature, and his loyalty to his passion so unwavering, that at times he seemed much older than he was.

Born in Hollywood to parents originally from Yerevan, this child actor has the ambitions of an adult, along with principles and desires by which he lives. "I would very much like to be a president, or a prime minister, or a king of some country," he said. "And with that title I will make the world a better place, prevent wars, prevent stupidity, and help the economy of the entire world, not just one country."

David was eager to tell me about his beginnings in performing and what he had achieved so far. "I started acting when I was about nine," he recalled. When I was really small, I did impressions of people, so when I was at the store one day, someone suggested acting. My dad asked me if I wanted to, and I said sure."

David's father, Haik Mkrtchian, took him to a couple of acting classes, got him an agent, and drove him around town to auditions. Haik himself took an acting class to gain better insight as the parent of a child actor. "When I was young and living in Yerevan, I myself had dreamed about acting, but stayed away for one reason or another," Haik explained. His support of his son made a real impression on me.

When I asked David about how he knew that he wanted to pursue acting, he was quick to answer. "After taking acting classes, I saw that it was fun," he said. "And when I got my first role, I liked it even more." That first role was in a Jeopardy! commercial, during which he wrapped the host in toilet paper. Since then David has earned a long list of credits, which includes appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live as an Oscar Mayer Kid and on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet as a comedian. Most recently he has appeared as Zigfee in Nickelodeon's Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh. "Zigfee didn't speak English. Just random gibberish that [the screenwriters] wrote out for me," David said. There is also his voiceover work as Scooter in the 3-D animated feature Fly Me to the Moon. David Gore has been very busy.

"Whatever comes up, I do," he said. "Voiceover work, acting, comedy. I've recently done a lot of comedy. My dad writes the jokes for my routine and then I fix his [English] grammar, because he still spells a lot of the words wrong." The latter comment made Haik blush over at the next table. On December 14, 2008, David performed at the Armenian Comedy Awards, held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, where he won a Future Comedian Award.

To the question of what it was about acting and comedy that appealed to him, David said, "I like to make people laugh and enjoy making Christmas Specials." He added that he despises clichés. "In ten years I see myself as a good, well-known actor," he noted. "Definitely in a very good college. Even if I become a famous actor, I want to go to college for sure."

When the conversation turned to his schoolwork, David's mannerisms changed and he suddenly resembled other seventh-graders. "I don't like school, but I know it's good for me," he said. "I don't really like my English teacher, so that makes English [class] sort of boring. I like my math teacher, though. I like science, math, and history." He went on to tell me that he likes to read fantasy books.

I asked David if he had a mission in life, irrespective of his career goals. "I want to take away evil and ignorance," he stressed. "I don't want any more racism or pollution." David then went on to draw parallels between the injustices of today and those written about in Steinbeck's The Pearl, which he is now reading. "I want to eradicate all that bad stuff, all that greed," he said. Asked about what he does specifically to help curb pollution, David lit up: "I take all my cans and give them to my grandparents, because they recycle. Whenever a light has been left on, I turn it off." He then threw a look over at his dad at the next table and added: "Sometimes, a lot of times, my parents leave the light on in one room and go off to another room. So I then have to turn it off behind them."

To become more knowledgeable about his craft, David has spent a lot of time watching tapes of actors and comedians such as Christopher Lloyd, with whom he actually worked on Fly Me to the Moon. "I learned that a good comedian isn't afraid to look funny," he said. "I learned that there are times when I have to be real and times when I have to exaggerate." David also told me about his process as an actor: his dad helps him read over the scripts a few times to find out the given circumstances - i.e., the descriptions of places and people that the author shares through either notes or other characters. "Then I say all my lines and my dad says all the other lines, until I have them memorized," David explained. "My dad takes me to movies, so that I can learn their [actors'] expressions and specifics like that." David also talked about actors who get scripts sent to them and who on occasion even turn down roles. "I'd like to be in that position one day," he added.

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Reporter closing

The Cafesjian Foundation has taken a difficult decision to close The Armenian Reporter. We regret that we are forced to take this decision after more than eight years of publishing. We thank our readers and all individuals who have contributed to the Reporter. Kathleen Cafesjian Baradaran Chair, Cafesjian Family Foundation

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