How Dubsmash Landed This Indigenous Man A Role On A Hit Television Show

    Ian Zaro's love of lip syncing has scored him a role on landmark show Black Comedy.

    20-year-old Ian Zaro says he is still pinching himself after landing a lead role in series two of the ABC show Black Comedy.

    Ian Zaro (Supplied)

    Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Zaro said he was offered the part after one of the show's producers saw his Dubsmash videos on Facebook.

    "It's crazy. They saw my videos and they said 'you wanna be a performer right?', and they threw me in every episode. After we filmed a few scenes they thought I could act and they put me in everything, I played a dude, an officer, everything."

    "I'm amazed that Dubsmash has gotten me here and my followers are going up like crazy," Zaro said

    Dubsmash is an app that allows users to lip sync along to famous movie lines, songs and sounds. One of Zaro's compilations went viral with over eight million shares on Facebook alone.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    Even the creators of Dubsmash were impressed and asked Zaro if they could feature him in their official videos.

    "I started making lip sync videos in grade 12 and that app came out in 2014 and people were like 'how are you so good at this," he says.

    Originally from the small town of Ingham in far north Queensland, Zaro, who is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, says the app is hugely popular within the Indigenous community.

    "I've noticed since I've started that heaps more Aboriginal and Islander people have started Dubsmash. I get heaps of them writing to me saying they were inspired by me and they tag me in everything that they do now," Zaro said.

    The first series of Black Comedy aired on ABC earlier this year and broke television history as the only mainstream show with a predominantly Indigenous cast, crew and writers table.

    ABC TV

    Using a sketch comedy format, Black Comedy tackled taboo issues and negative stereotypes about Indigenous people through often outrageous and controversial skits.

    Cast members of series one included acclaimed actors Deborah Mailman, Aaron Fa'aoso and Miranda Tapsell.

    Series two has finished filming and Zaro hopes his contribution will inspire others.

    "Through my Dubsmash videos I got people writing to me saying they love my videos. People in the army, people in chemotherapy, saying how I brighten their day and people with depression saying that I helped them feel good. I hope I continue to do that with Black Comedy."

    Black Comedy is set to air on ABC in February 2016.

    View this video on YouTube

    ABC TV (youtube.com

    Like BuzzFeed Australia on Facebook.

    Formerly with BuzzFeed News, Allan Clarke is a NITV reporter based in Sydney.

    Contact Allan Clarke at arielle.benedek+AC@buzzfeed.com.

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here