With over twenty years in the entertainment industry, I've worn many hats. Actor, writer, teacher, comedian, and networking consultant...just to name a few. To be honest performing in one form or another is all I've really known. I was born and raised in New Jersey about fifteen minutes outside of Manhattan. Broadway was literally at my back door. As a dyslexic kid, the arts and music were my safe haven. I toured and competed as a dancer, performed with Savion Glover off-Broadway, played the piano and even got to sing at Carnegie Hall all before heading to Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University to earn my BFA in addition to my credentials at The Globe Theater in London. How I ended up at a Meisner conservatory instead of a Musical Theater program is a story for another day but I'll say I owe it all to Mary-Louise Parker and a spontaneous trip to the theater with my mother. I was a spunky kid, to say the least. Star Wars and Showtunes were my jam.
I've been fortunate to work as a performer for the majority of my adult life with a wide range of professional credits from independent films such as "Sex and Sushi", "Marriage of Lies" on Lifetime and "Tony & Tina's Wedding" with Mila Kunis. To classical theater at the Antaeus Theater ensemble as well as and the west coast premiere production of "Diving Normal" even appearing in numerous network television shows including CBS's "The Mentalist", NBC's "Off Their Rockers" with Betty White, "Days of Our Lives" and "The Middle" with Patricia Heaton.
For me at the end of the day, it all comes down to making people laugh, sharing a story and letting others know they are not alone. It's the reason why I started, and the reason why I'm still here...even on the days/months I want to quit...even through the dry spells and side jobs. The arts saved me. I truly believe it was my "gift from God" and it's my gift back to my creator to use it to the best of my ability for as long as I can...and try not to be an asshole along the way. It's pretty simple I guess.
~ LJ Salerno