Born in Herkimer, New York, Chick Vennera's career in entertainment had an early start. Beginning dance lessons at the age of three, piano at seven, clarinet and saxophone shortly thereafter, Chick found his passion at a very young age. Chick continued his musical education throughout high school, singing and playing in nightclubs as well as school dances. Upon graduation, Chick left New York bound for California to study acting at the esteemed Pasadena Playhouse. Two years later, Chick entered the... more
Born in Herkimer, New York, Chick Vennera's career in entertainment had an early start. Beginning dance lessons at the age of three, piano at seven, clarinet and saxophone shortly thereafter, Chick found his passion at a very young age. Chick continued his musical education throughout high school, singing and playing in nightclubs as well as school dances. Upon graduation, Chick left New York bound for California to study acting at the esteemed Pasadena Playhouse. Two years later, Chick entered the Army where upon completing basic training he was assigned to the signal corps. It was while in the signal corps that Chick won the Third Army Entertainment Contest and was reassigned to Special Services and later the Third Army Soldier Show. Chick spent the balance of his military commitment singing, dancing and playing music for the troops. After completing his military commitment Chick returned to the West Coast where he continued to work as a musician playing in various nightclubs in the Los Angeles area. It was during this time that he auditioned for the Academy Award winning choreographer Onna White who was choreographing Disney On Parade. Chick spent the next two years touring the United States, Canada and Mexico performing as a dancer, acrobat and clown portraying many Disney characters. After the Disney tour, Chick worked with director/choreographer Joe Layton dancing and working as a back-up performer for Raquel Welch and the Sid and Marty Croft Review, in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. During this time Chick went to New York to audition for a new show called "Grease". Chick won the role of "Sonny" and performed first in the "Bus and Truck" Tour, and then later in the second National Tour. When "Grease" broke the record of longest running musical, Chick performed the role of "Sonny" on Broadway. After leaving the "Grease" tour, Chick again returned to Los Angeles where he began studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse with acclaimed director and teacher Milton Katselas. For the next two years, Chick acted various rolls in film and television until he returned to New York to do the play "Jockeys" directed by Milton Katselas. Chick was awarded the Theater World Award for his role as "Angel" in "Jockeys". Back in L.A., after "Jockeys", Chick starred in "Thank God It's Friday" where, as "Marv the Leather Man", he performed the now famous dance on seven cars in the parking lot of a Hollywood discotheque. Casting director Marion Dougherty, who had seen Chicks performance in "Jockey's", asked him to audition for the role of "Danny" opposite Richard Gere and Vanessa Redgrave in the WWII love story, "Yanks" directed by John Schlesinger. This began Chick's work as an actor in more than 50 films, including "The Milagro Beanfield War" directed by Robert Redford. Chick's voice can be heard portraying characters in many animated television series, including Steven Spielberg's Emmy Award winning "Animaniacs", in which Chick created the voices for "Pesto" and "The God Pigeon". In addition to acting, music, dance and voice-overs, Chick has written and directed for television, stage and film. Chick has also worked as a singer and songwriter for radio, television and film. Chick expanded his resume to include teaching. Under the guidance of acclaimed director and teacher, Milton Katselas, Chick taught for over a decade at the esteemed Beverly Hills Playhouse before starting his own school, The Renegade Theatre Group, in June 2009. In addition to the Theater World Award, Chick has received the Golden Eagle Award and was part of the ensemble cast awarded the Daytime Emmy for "Animaniacs". Chick is a member of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences.