Vinny Chavez was born in Panorama City, CA but grew up in Mesa, AZ. He owes credit for his performing passion to one of the first films he remembers seeing at the age of just three years old: West Side Story. He began taking hip-hop dance classes with Jeanne’s School of Dance in fourth grade. Soon after, he began performing in talent shows, recitals, and school musicals and concerts. His first role ever was in The Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow).
Vinny began taking drama classes at Kino Jr. High School under the direction of Dana Hertel in eighth grade. He starred in every school production including Bye Bye Birdie (Albert).
Vinny started his sophomore year at Mesa High School taking part in their Spotlight Advanced Drama class under the direction of Sandy Stones. Taking part in both ensemble and starring roles in comedies and musicals at school, some of his favorite roles include You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Snoopy), Cash on Delivery (Jenkins), and Seussical the Musical (The Cat in the Hat).
During his time at Mesa High School, Vinny was chosen as Mesa Public Schools’ spokesperson. He starred in countless video productions and took part in hosting several programs including Tough Talk and MPS Happenings. He also starred in their MPS commercial which ran for two years in movie theaters throughout the district. Even after graduating from high school in 2009, the Mesa Public School’s Educational Television Department continues to call in Vinny for voiceover work, on-air hosting, and many other video productions.
Vinny earned his Associate’s Degree from Scottsdale Community College in Fall 2011 and his Bachelor's Degree in Theatre from Arizona State University in Fall 2013. He has studied Makeup with Maren Maclean, Movement with Jeff McMahon, Acting for TV and Film with Gene Ganssle, Directing with Brian Foley, and Stage Combat/Sword Fighting with David Barker.
Vinny currently works as the Program Manager for Arizona Magic of Music & Dance, a non-profit theater program for youth and adults with disabilities.
Vinny is also a full-time teacher with Mesa Public Schools. He teaches and heads up the Theatre program at Westwood High School. He currently teaches Beginning, Intermediate, & Advanced Acting, History of American Film Musicals (Online), Student Council, and is also CTE-certified to teach Theater Design & Management.
Vinny has been fortunate to work with many different theaters in Arizona including Pygmalion at Mesa Community College (Freddy), Fatboy at Arizona State University (Tenant/Prosecutor/Slave), Dames At Sea (Dick), The Wizard of Oz (Tinman), Tarzan (Terk/Dance Captain), Me & My Girl (Bill Snibson; 2016 ariZoni winner), West Side Story (Bernardo; 2017 ariZoni nominee), See How They Run (Clive), Life Could Be a Dream (Denny) all with Hale Centre Theatre, Godspell at Mesa Encore Theatre (Player), Valhalla at Nearly Naked Theatre (Ludwig of Bavaria; 2015 ariZoni nominee, 2015 Broadway World winner), the local tour of The Smartest Girl in the World (Hector), the world premiere of Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook (Handsome Warren), the world premiere of A Very Hairy Javelina Holiday (Jose), the Arizona premiere of Ella Enchanted the Musical (Prince Char), Schoolhouse Rock Live (George) all with Childsplay, the Arizona premiere of 21 Chump Street (Justin) with A/C Theatre Company, the Arizona premiere of Silence! The Musical (Crawford/Papa Shtarling/Lamb), the Arizona premiere of Two Mile Hollow (Christopher) with Stray Cat Theatre, and All Shook Up (Chad) with Theater Works.
Vinny has also had the privilege of taking part in multiple new play/musical readings at both Childsplay and The Phoenix Theatre Company.