I was born in Philadelphia As a young child I was always entertaining, maybe in a way , trying to gain acceptance from people, since they found my likes a little odd for a kid from my background. But I continued liking the the things I did and at the age of 10 on a recommendation by my chorus teacher, I auditioned and was accepted into the Archdiocesan Boy Choir of Philadelphia. I had no idea what this period was going to awaken in me. How much I was going to enjoy learning classical music structure and using it in my animated short films, that I started to create around the same time. I created explosion scenes in my grandmother;s basement and uploaded my films onto Youtube. And I thought every kid my age was doing the same type of things.
My academic road was not so easy though, not because of the subjects, if did well academically, but because of my peers who tirelessly berated me and every "weird" thing that I valued. My weird music, my recitations of Harry Potter books, my Thomas the Tank Engine animations, you name it, if I liked it... they didn't. Needless to say I was kind of a loner as a kid, but it made me even more dedicated to what is now my craft.
During my five years with the ABC I trained, sang , and toured Europe, Canada, Mexico, and countless cities throughout the U.S. We produced several CD'S on location, which we would finish in a studio. But my most cherished time was our production of Oliver,when; for the first time, I realized my true passion, acting!
Soon after that I started training at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, the oldest theatre in America. I trained there for over three years and in that time played leading roles in three Shakespeare shows. Not long after this my mother and I realized if we were going to do this we had to give it all we had, which in reality was not much more than talent and determination.
The decision was made to move to California where I finished my last year of high school up North at Drake, because it had a wonderful drama department and teacher. There I wrote plays, poetry and actually got , unbeknownst to me, the lead in the end of the year play over the rest of the class, who were in the school from the beginning. During this time I was getting tutored to take the SATs and ACT entrance examinations, but I knew a typical college situation was not for me, and maybe fate intervened because I was contacted by the American Academy of Dramatic Art in Los Angeles and I wanted to audition, so since we were going to be in the area my mother suggested I audition for Stella Adler Conservatory, home of my idols Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando., while I was at it. Nervous as I was, auditing for such a prestigious institutions I had the feeling, "If you're going to go for something you may as well shoot for the stars." So I auditioned and the rest, as they say, is history. I was accepted into both programs, but the conservatory better fit our financial situation, and I felt at home there as soon as I walked in, I went on to have the best two years of my life. Now a recent alumnae of that great school. I have done a lot of work since graduation, less than one year ago. I am eligible to join SAG, and have some great theater under my belt.
As an artist I am constantly working to hone my craft and at times feel undeserving of it all, but I know I am up to the task.
Creatives are undervalued in our society I guess that has always been the way, look at Mozart, but we have a voice and a platform and great brains, even if to the conventionally thinking population we have no place in anything but make believe, there is nothing less true. We are the altruists of society if we choose to be, so I am here and I am not leaving!!!
Name: John Salandria
Lives in: Hollywood, California
Occupation: Actor, Director, Playwright, Screenwriter and Voice Actor
Stella Adler Studio of Acting