How a unique talent helped Adam Fasano overcome early learning differences…
By: Lauren Speirs
Originally from Dutchess County, New York, Adam Fasano started acting when he was just 8 years old. Adam’s Mom was a professional actress until she started a family – then she opened a dance school as well as a theater company called Trinity Players. Her goal was to give her children a tight-knit community and an opportunity to perform with her theatre company.
While his acting experience began with Trinity Players, Adam also performed in musicals and plays in school. As a young person, Adam was diagnosed with Global Dysphasia which affects the brain’s language centers and leads to difficulty expressing and understanding language. At one point, he took a break from theater and started writing lyrics for rap and found that he was able to teach himself how to read.
Adam Fasano in Footloose
Along the way, Adam discovered that theater was a great outlet for him and continued performing again in high school. Despite his learning differences, he really enjoyed acting in plays as well as musicals. “I liked the challenge (of performing plays over a musical) – I felt more grounded and more mellow.”
After being a snowbird for four years, Adam officially became a full-time Florida resident in 2020. One day over Christmas he was walking down 5th Avenue with his Mom and realized – “there’s a theater here!” After further research, “I learned that The Naples Players (TNP) was a community theater and they were doing The Music Man that season.” Adam could have auditioned sooner but he was intimidated. “When they were doing My Fair Lady I got scared because you have to call and make an appointment to audition. I thought, ‘that’s some broadway type deal!’”
Luckily for TNP, Adam was feeling braver for The Music Man audition and landed the role of Tommy Djilas. As far as his initial experience goes, Adam says, “It was great. Everyone was welcoming and there wasn’t a bad bone in anyone’s body. Dawn and Charlie (Fornara) are great and want to bring out the best in you. When you get hit with the reality of everyone’s energy, you just feel like you’re safe.” After The Music Man, Adam says, “I caught the theater bug again and fell in love with acting. It (TNP) felt like what I grew up with – the sense of community and family.”
Adam in The Music Man
Even though Adam has a new song coming out and wants to focus on rap, he still keeps coming back to TNP for more theater! “I always say – this is the last one but then I get the bug after doing a show. It’s so great and you want more of that. It really has to do with the environment and how professional everyone is. No one takes themselves too seriously. You really feel like we are all in this together and genuinely enjoying each other’s company. That’s why I keep coming back.”
A man of many talents, Adam is passionate about martial arts, drawing sketches, rapping, and editing his own music videos. Also, he practiced gymnastics when he was a kid and, if you catch him in a TNP performance, you might see him do the odd back handspring! “When I auditioned for The Music Man, they asked if I could do any tricks. I said I could do a back tuck and in my head I was thinking – can I still do this?! I did it and they were like- ‘you’re in!’”
Most of the time Adam knew he could count on landing those tricks but, “One time during Guys and Dolls I went to do a front handspring and landed flat on my back – it was so
Adam in The Wedding Singer
embarrassing! In another performance, I slipped during a dance sequence and sprained my ankle. The pants touched my heel, I slipped, sprained my ankle, did a forward roll – and then I got up and finished the sequence. My mom always taught me that the show must go on! With that mindset, no matter what happens to me, I have to finish the show. I always give 100% and go full out.”
Adam’s appreciation for the supportive family environment at The Naples Players stems from the encouragement and community that was created by his mom.. “She’s never critical after she sees one of my performances. She’s not judgmental and is really supportive. She’s also a snowbird so she gets to see me perform quite a bit at The Naples Players.”