How an Israeli-Born Actress Went From Serving in the Military to Performing In NYC

Maybe you’re not familiar with her name just yet, but you will be.

Israeli-born actress Adi Schor has been acting and singing since she can remember. She was born and raised in Tel-Aviv, the theatre capital of Israel, with big dreams of making it as a performer in New York City. As a little girl, she always performed in her living room to anyone who'd willingly agree to be her audience.

Adi Schor

“I was exposed to many different genres of theater from a very young age. Tel Aviv has it all - from large, impressive theaters to small, intimate ones, from musicals to plays to cabarets etc. There are many original Israeli productions being performed regularly, but also big international hits.”

She recalls the first time she caught the theatre bug, seeing an Israeli production of Fiddler On The Roof at the world-renowned Cameri Theatre.

“I was in middle school and I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I became obsessed with the soundtrack, the film (with Israeli actor Chaim Topol) and I can proudly say that since then I have seen the show in Israel two more times, one additional time on Broadway (with Danny Burtstein) and most recently the Yiddish production Off-Broadway.”

Adi went on to major in Theater in high school and began to cultivate her performance skills in her hometown’s community theater program, Chich's Neighbors. 

Only two months after graduating high school, Adi was called to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The Israeli Defense Forces is unique in its inclusion of mandatory conscription of women.

“There is something quite unique about dedicating yourself to something bigger than yourself like your country. I think as an Israeli, thanks to my service, I matured at an early age and achieved a sense of selflessness and responsibility I don’t know I would have had without it.”

Though she wasn’t allowed to perform during her military service, she was forced to think outside of the box.

“I tried having as many hobbies as I could,” she said, working as an assistant director of Chich's Neighbors. She eventually became one of theater’s official directors.

Adi Schor

Adi Schor

“Taking a break from performing never stopped me from wanting to – on the contrary! It created this hunger to get out there and start working towards it immediately by the end of my service.”

She continued to broaden her horizons, taking multiple dance lessons a week, signing up for a writing class, going swimming every Wednesday, taking private voice lessons and reading tons of books and plays.

“I wanted to keep the motivation running in my veins, and I refused to let go into a boring routine despite it being tempting. I’d watch videos of musicals I adored, fantasizing over performing them one day on big stages. I had no intention of giving up.”

Adi successfully completed two years of service with the Israeli Defense Forces, bought a one-way ticket to New York City, and is now a proud graduate of the Musical Theater program in the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA).

She has since been living in New York City for over 3 years, performing in different projects including musicals, plays, cabarets, commercials and short films.

New York City has forever been the theatre hub of the world, and a favorite for aspiring actors looking to pursue a career on the stage.

“I love the amount of opportunities. I love how everywhere you go there is a sense of creativity. This city is filled with people sharing the same hunger I have for this profession. Sure, it can be a little nerve-wracking, but it is also quite inspiring. Theater is my greatest love, and this city lives and breathes it.”

Adi Schor, Angels at Work

Adi Schor, Angels at Work

Adi’s first show in New York City was a musical called Angels at Work, produced by The World Voice Ensemble.

“What was unique about this experience was that it was originally in Japanese, and multiple people in the cast were international actors. I enjoyed taking part in a project that encouraged foreign artists and that combined the two things I love doing most- acting and singing.“

After performing the play at the Kraine Theater, the show was selected to participate in the New York New Works festival. This was the first time Adi ever stepped foot on an Off-Broadway stage.

And it was riveting.

“If I could tell 14 year-old Adi she was going to be performing on an Off-Broadway stage she would have probably lost her mind!”

The show is expected to perform again in the fall of 2020.

After her experience working Off-Broadway, Adi went back to the drawing board. She continued auditioning and working hard, partaking in various anything from musicals to straight plays, short films to commercials, cabarets to stage readings with world renowned creatives.

Most recently, she appeared in the Plaza Theatrical production of Annie playing Lily St. Regis.

She also took part in an all-Israeli cast performance of songs by Israeli divas called iDiva, which she has since considered “empowering both as an Israeli and as a woman.”

Adi Schor

Adi Schor

Overall, Adi has already been blessed with a well-rounded career in the arts as an international actress now based in New York City.

And she’s just getting started.

Her advice to other aspiring actors?

“Be kind, trust the process and don’t lose hope – if a door is shut in your face, find yourself a nice window to climb in!”

To learn more about Adi Schor, click here.

Be sure to check out the Actor Aesthetic podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Spotify, Stitcher, and more. New episodes every Monday!