David Bianco – Film, TV, Theater, and Commercial Actor & Educator

AGT 19 | Commercial Actor
18
Mar

David Bianco – Film, TV, Theater, and Commercial Actor & Educator

Life can take you to some crazy beautiful places. Just ask Commercial Actor & Educator David Bianco. He’s been to Chicago, New York, China, and the Philippines, acting, producing, and directing. Jordan Levin and David chat about his start in show business and his journeys across the globe. David talks about staying and learning the culture of the Philippines and opening up a theatrical school in China. David also discusses his acting methods and how life has changed now that he has a family.

Listen to the podcast here:

David Bianco – Film, TV, Theater, and Commercial Actor & Educator

I have a special guest, David Bianco, an actor, writer, educator, commercial, theater and a bunch of everything. I’m curious about how you do all these things. How do you control yourself with all the different things you have going on? Before we even start, I want to know how and tell the readers what you’re doing right now.

First of all, thank you, Jordan, for having me on. It’s awesome to be here with you. It’s an absolute pleasure. From our Instagram messages to a couple of chats before this, I feel like we’ve been hanging out for a while now, so it’s great to be with you and making this happen. To answer your question, what’s going on right now is we’re in a pandemic so everybody’s pivoting. Everybody’s trying to be extra creative with their business models. I’m trying to stay ahead of the curve. Whether it’s the way that I’m creating content to promote my acting career or the way that I’m reaching out to other professionals through Instagram or Facebook about writing, producing or trying to be a conduit for good work and bringing good people together, whether it’s an opportunity for me personally or for Jennifer to have a work opportunity. Every opportunity doesn’t always pan out in terms of giving me financial resources. It’s more about doing the good work, having standards of excellence, and knowing that the work overtime will pay off. Whatever you put into your work, you will usually receive tenfold. It takes time and you have to be patient.

What I got is a standard of excellence. What I’m curious about is how did you develop those habits and be able to go that route? What was something that helped you to go that way?

I’m married to a lady who is making some serious changes in her life. As far as good habits go, those start with yoga every day, brushing your teeth multiple times a day and doing the little things. You think they’re not necessarily significant. When your body feels good before you go to bed at night and wake up in the morning, feel the cricks or the pain as much, that starts to change the way that you look at doing other things. For me, business used to be a bit of a chore. I’ve changed my mindset on that. I decided, “I like what I do.” I like acting, producing, meeting new designers or musicians and developing content, and these are my people. It doesn’t matter where they are in the world. Social media makes it easy for people to connect and reach out. I’m always connecting with people. That’s my habit.

My habit is connecting with people and I get so much life from it. Whether people are saying, “I wrote a role for you.” I’m like, “That’s so nice.” I’ve been following them, checking out their careers and sending them material that I’ve done that they would enjoy. It’s not necessarily, “Give me a role,” but it’s like, “This is something I’m proud of.” I can see what you’re doing and your standards of excellence are further along than mine. It’s something that I would aspire to do or you would be something somebody that I’d to work with in the future. It doesn’t have to be now.

That’s the cool thing about these careers in the arts. You grow old with your careers. We have roles of all ages and maybe you want to switch to wear your directing hat at some point. There’s a bountiful supply of opportunities, especially in a pandemic. When 50%, 80%, 90% of people are on their phones all the time waiting to connect, waiting for somebody to see their work, to reach out and say, “I’m here, I acknowledge you. I like your work. Do you want to work with me?”

It resonates with me well. For me, it’s always been to never take no for an answer and always asking a lot of questions to make sure that other people are comfortable. You never know when you might connect with somebody and you can maybe change somebody’s life. All it takes is one second to send a quick text message, Instagram message or whatever it is. That is much more important nowadays during the pandemic. What I’m curious about is how old were you when you decided that you want to begin acting?

Many of my friends and family know a part of this story. I grew up in the outskirts, the township of Ypsilanti, Michigan. In my family, we’ve got five kids and a bit of land. We’re a big Catholic family. I grew up working hard. My mom and my dad instilled this work ethic. I thought everybody had this work ethic. I thought everybody would go outside for two hours or an hour in the mornings and do work. Everybody then would spend 3, 4 hours outside playing with their family and come in when dark. I thought that’s what everybody did.

I realized as I got older and I thought, “Not many people do that.” When you’re spending that much time outside with your family, you’re developing bonds. You’re creating stories, building fantasies, inhabiting worlds and the sky’s the limit. You’re outside breathing in the fresh air, stretching your body and climbing trees. I would like to do a survey someday on adults who climbed trees as children for a specific amount of time. I’m curious to know how they handle fear and obstacles. I’m serious. Jordan, you know that would be an interesting survey. I’m curious about it. For anybody who’s reading this, I’d be curious about your feedback.

If you can’t find fulfillment in yourself, then it’s going to manifest and come out sideways in all the other areas of your life.

I’m one of them.

You could speak to us then.

I’m laughing because I remember climbing this big tree in the back of my parents’ house. It could have been 5 or 7 feet off the ground. I have no idea. All I remember is falling on my back. I remember being completely jolted about how that happened. I remember getting up and I don’t remember crying. I could have been stubborn. I was fine. A lot of times, it’s how do you react to that situation. Do you sit there and whine or do you get up and move on? That’s how I do things. When something happens to me, I’m quick to turn around and move on, but that’s not typical. Most people will dwell on a negative situation and take a couple of days to get over it. My wife knows this. I’m quick to turn around.

I’m the same way. I have to learn a little more compassion because I don’t always have patience for people who take forever to get through something. It’s not a pleasant part of myself, unfortunately. I like to project that everything is peachy and whatever. The truth is that’s an area that I have to work on.

You said to me, “I’m trying to do X, Y, Z. I’m trying to struggle. I’m struggling between my family, kids and all that stuff.” We are all humans. These things happen. It’s understanding how to balance all the situations and make the best of them.

That’s where it started. The acting started outside with my siblings. When I was in high school, I had an opportunity to join the drama club. I joined the drama club, jumped into musicals and was in the choir for a while. I remember a conversation my mom and I had with my drama teacher. We were sitting on the stage. It was a quiet theater and my mom said, “Do you think my son has what it takes to be a professional actor?” My instructor responded, “He does. He has what it takes to be a professional in this.” That alone directed me on that path. When you’re so young, you realize that educators play such an important role in shaping our future. She would have said, “No.” My mom might have encouraged me not to do it. I have no idea. I was also interested in history. I’m also a painter. Perhaps my historical painting could have had a different career in that, or maybe that’s my later career that I’ll come back to.

That’s where it all started. After that, when I was eighteen, I took a gap year before college to figure out if I wanted to do theater. I toured with a community service-based company called Up with People. I auditioned for a role in that musical and we toured across the world. We did 27 states, Denmark and three months in Japan. I was performing in Japanese and staying with host families. The people in this theater company were 124 people from 24 countries. English was the basic language but that opened my eyes. I’m like, “All these artists from around the world.” When you have an impactful experience that early in life, that sets everything else up.

That’s incredible because I can’t imagine being at that age, going overseas and doing this whole tour. That’s got to be an incredible experience at that time.

My mom wanted me out of the house and maybe my dad too. They’re like, “You’ve been on this continent too long, you need to go.”

You’ve got to be so fortunate to have parents who wanted to help you get to that route. I’m fortunate to have parents who pushed me to be who I am now and it sounds like you are the same as having that support system.

AGT 19 | Commercial Actor

Commercial Actor: Every opportunity doesn’t always pan out in terms of giving financial resources. It’s more about doing good work and having standards of excellence.

They said you could do anything you want to. I always remember that. You can do anything and be anything you want to in your life. There was never like, “You’ve got to be doing this because of this.” “I know you want to do this, but you should do this as a backup.” There was no discussion of backups. I have three sons. If you talk to your kids about backups and have your backup plan, you should be backing up. How are you going to live your passion if you’re always looking over your shoulder? You’re not. People are like, “How are you doing?” I’m like, “I’m doing this because this is what I do. I love this and I want my life to reflect something special and unique and it’s not easy.”

You could be doing a job that you don’t like that’s making you a bunch of money and you’re looking over your shoulder thinking, “I should have done the thing that I was passionate about.” Everybody’s going to be looking somewhere for something else. If you’re living your passion, you’re trying to improve and evolve to be the best you and check different boxes. In my case, I’m going to be doing more films, television, commercials or providing different opportunities for my family. That’s for my wife and me to be on the same page so we can achieve certain goals. We don’t stop having goals because we’re living our passion. We look for other people who have similar goals, try and meet them and provide something of substance and value to their lives as well. There’s a real cohesive collaborative spirit there.

We’re going to take that clip that’s going to be a promotional clip right there because that’s the concept that a lot of people don’t understand. I’ve talked about it so many times. Having that negative thought process doesn’t get you anywhere. Stay positive and understand what’s sustaining positive feelings. It’s hard to find what I call being in alignment and how people are able to understand. When you surround yourself with the right people, you’re able to not just help yourself but everybody else around you.

I’ve heard in the past, “You can’t have faith and fear at the same time.” Those things can exist in you. When you’re in fear mode, that’s a preservation thing too. For various reasons, that’s not a good thing. Sometimes you can be like, “I don’t want to have faith in this situation because I feel this could endanger me. I don’t want to look at the best situation. This is not for me.” You don’t do that opportunity or go in that direction.

That is important if you’re trying to achieve your dreams and your goals. Looking at that, you’ve got to be honest with yourself and know yourself. We all live in different levels of delusion, what we tell ourselves and things that we aspire to do, but if you’re honest with yourself, you can be honest about having faith in something that you can’t see. Fear manifests in a lot of ways as well. If you can check that and have a partner or close friends who you can talk to about certain decisions you’re making in your life, life by committee takes a village.

To sum that up, the whole point of art is all good things start with you. The last part that you said was talking to family and friends about making decisions. Ultimately, it’s you who makes that decision. That’s how I came up with the methodology of this whole show. You got to be able to understand that it’s you who’s going to make the decision, not anybody else.

It’s a great title. Jenny and I reflect on this a lot. We talk about it at the end of your life. It’s you. It’s not like you and your partner are passing at the same time. No. This is your journey. How can I support you in your journey so you find fulfillment? We can have a lot of fulfillment together as a married couple. We can have a family, a life together, experiences and memories, but there’s something important about you as an individual finding fulfillment. If you can’t find fulfillment in yourself, it’s going to manifest and it’s going to come out sideways in all the other areas. They say, “How are you going to take care of other people if you can take care of yourself?” I come back to that frequently. I’m like, “David, you’ve got to shower this morning. Just do it. You’ve got to take care of yourself. You’ve got to feel like a normal human before you take care of everybody.”

You and I are real people. We are actors in our own right. However, when you’re acting for an actual role, how do you prepare? For example, a fictional character versus a stronger character? Your newest Amazon Prime show, I watched it. It was phenomenal. I’m curious if you can recall the synopsis about it. I’m curious how you were able to transition in and out of that role.

You can’t have faith and fear at the same time. Those things can’t exist in you.

When I play a fictional character, I have to figure out when I’m filming, first of all. I’m like, “I’m filming in two weeks.” There’s a certain level of preparation that comes with having a film 2 weeks versus 2 months versus 6 months. I’ve always been this way. I like to input different stimulus to me. For example, music. Painting is important. Let’s say it’s a historical feature. Dealing with the specific location, I might look at different painters who were painting things at that specific time so I can start to imagine those types of textures.

What was the political landscape? What was the social landscape like? How would this character fit into this environment? Is this character a staple like a normal stuck character that would exist in this reality? How do I bring out their unique qualities and what are those qualities? I’ll look at the script. I’ll say, “This is what the character says about himself.” I’ll look at what other characters say about him behind closed doors where he doesn’t see, so he’s projecting. What do other people say about him? I have to decide. Do I want to take some of those characteristics and put them into the role, or is that their opinion and I don’t want to embrace some of those? That gives me different elements to play with.

Talking to the director, writing team and creative team is key. I want to know what the vision is. I want to know what the endgame is. Sometimes, there will be like, “This is what the character is now, but 3 or 4 drafts ago, this is how the character was written.” I’ll ask about that information because there will sometimes be some clues that I can include in the performance of the character. All these have to do with the amount of time I have. If I have to jump into a role this weekend and I’ll sometimes get a quick booking. I’m like, “What are the circumstances? Police officer, this particular circumstance happened. He’s called in the scene. This is what his personal life is like. This is the emotional turmoil that he’s going through. He has to show up and deal with the situation. This is how he handles it and this is how he handles it afterward.”

I compartmentalize all that stuff. I get some feedback from the director and I try to get myself emotionally. For me, it’s about bringing the emotional truth to it. I’m taking acting classes as well for camera trying to focus on cinematic truth and bringing yourself to that place of vulnerability so when you’re performing, you’re bringing your most vulnerable, truthful self. Normally, I’m an outgoing, bubbly person. I can always be bubbly on screen. If it’s a character that is fictional, I’ll have that type of checklist. If it’s a historical character like Dwight Eisenhower like what you saw in Quezon’s Game. I read a couple of books that he wrote. I looked up on YouTube archival footage of him doing different speeches.

The way he does speeches versus how he probably spoke in his daily life, there were probably some variants there. I talked to the director about it. I talk to the writers. The Rosen family are good friends of ours in the Philippines. We found out about four years in advance. We heard about it. We knew about it. We’re excited about it, but we didn’t know the timing of it. While Jenny and I were in China, we got the call and they said, “We’re interested in going into production in six months. What are your contracts like in China?” We were teaching theater at the time, so we said, “Our contracts are going to be ending at a specific time.” They said, “We think we can start filming at this time.” We all synthesized our schedules and got to it.

I saw your interpretation of Eisenhower. I grew up with my dad being a history buff, so I grew up watching all black and white films, lots of presidents, actors, and all that stuff. I thought that you did a good job of representation. What I noticed a couple of times was sometimes he stepped back a little bit watching, observing and seeing what was going on. When the time is right, he would jump in and give me his opinion on that situation.

This is a story about Manuel Quezon and how he and some of his close associates helped save 1,200 Jews from Austria and Germany in 1938 and 1939. This is his story. We are accompanying pieces to his story, but important pieces to this story. Eisenhower had his own office at Malacañang Palace, which is the presidential palace in the Philippines. He was writing speeches for Quezon. He was a close friend. I’ve never met a president, but I would imagine that you defer to the president, and you find your place in the conversation.

In this case, they had a high stakes game, a game of people’s lives that they were playing undercover. Everyone had their roles. It was serious. Lives were lost. This was a tumultuous time in World War II. My take when I was in a lot of those scenes, I would talk with Raymond beforehand. We talked about how he feels the scene should go. We practiced a little bit together. Matthew would come over and he would see us perform before the cameras would roll. He asked us, “Are you guys ready to go?” We’d say, “We’re ready to go,” and we go in there. Raymond had some strong feelings as the president and what the gravity of the scenes was, so I follow along and enter into the scene with him.

Let’s talk about the cigar in that scene. Were they real cigars or were they fake cigars?

About 50% of the time, we were smoking real cigars, and 50% of the time, we’re smoking fake cigars.

If you go back and forth, you can tell. It caught my attention.

I’ll let the production know. Here’s the thing about cigars. You’re doing a scene in a room and doing a scene for fifteen takes or something. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a cigar smoker. I smoke cigars when kids are born, this, that and a few occasions. You could get sick if you smoke a cigar for hours.

Tell me about being an actor. What’s it like being an actor in New York City and how you and your wife ended up from New York to the Philippines?

AGT 19 | Commercial Actor

Commercial Actor: If you’re trying to achieve your dreams and your goals, you have to be honest with yourself too.

While I was getting my Master’s, there were a couple of different states that we were considering. It was going to be based on what type of representation we could get. New York City, Minneapolis and Chicago, I wasn’t exploring Los Angeles at the time because we’re theatre-based. I got some good interest from a showcase that I did in New York City. I was able to sign with a reputable agency and that’s when we decided to move.

We moved out there but as soon as we moved there, there was a writer’s strike right then. Lots of television and theater projects halted. Whatever was in production got fizzled out within a couple of episodes, so it was a challenging time when we first arrived. We stayed there for 3.5 years. We made a lot of friends, got my equity card there and did a tour. We were the founding members of a theatre company called Dangerous Ground Productions. We worked in conjunction with the public theater and did some of their festivals.

Our director Doris Mirescu, a Romanian director, is talented. She’s someone who directed Aching to Go Home, where I first met your wife. That director, years previously, directed me in Aching to Go Home. I stayed in touch with her. When we moved to New York City, she said, “I’d like to start this theater company. Would you guys be interested in being founding members?” This goes back into us talking about the importance of following up with people, whether it’s Instagram or whatever it is. Keeping in touch with people and sharing their work. We didn’t miss a beat. I know her style. We work together. Years have passed but we were still in touch, so we got out there. We were working and developing content with her.

My wife, Jennifer, is half Filipino, so a lot of her relatives came in from the Philippines. For the record, for the readers, this is a seventeen-hour flight, probably including layovers. We’re talking 23 hours or something like that. It was a long time. Her mom asked me, “Can you guys do your honeymoon later?” It took us three years while we were in New York to say, “Let’s go to the Philippines and check it out,” so we went to the Philippines. I was going to pretend to be Jen’s manager when we went into the agencies. We thought that we will go over for the honeymoon and see if we can book a little work.

We go into these agencies and they’d say, “Here’s the paperwork for Jennifer, and here’s some paperwork for you.” I’m like, “No. I’m the manager.” They’re like, “It’s fine. You can be the manager but we probably have some work for you too.” Long story short, we ended up being welcomed into the theatre company there, which is small and a super amazing group of artists. We jumped into theater, film, television, started doing teleseryes, which are soap operas, doing print modeling and voiceover work.

After getting a Master’s and going to New York City, there was this other education that happened. Learning about the Philippines, embracing the culture, the people are super warm and friendly, the spirit of family, connection and great food and liveliness. We were working. We were doing what all of our friends in New York City were not doing largely because of the writer strike. We flourished in that time and that was a huge springboard for the rest of our career. Lifelong friends, we’ve gone back for other projects. People are still writing stuff for us. It’s an important and special chapter of our life and our son. Our first son was born in the Philippines.

If you’re really honest with yourself, you can be really honest about having faith in something you can’t see.

I can’t imagine what that was like. Being in another country, being open to interpretation, going with the flow is such an experience. How long were you there for?

We were there for five years. We left our life in New York and we found subletters initially. We didn’t just go, we kept extending our visa in the Philippines for 2, 5, 6 months, and we had subletters for 1 year, and 1.5 years. Our good friend, Mark Lechner watched our cat for 1.5 years. God bless him and Phoebe.

With all these different experiences, what I’m curious about is what piece of work you are the proudest of?

I’d say the piece of work that I’m most proud of is my amazing collaboration with Jennifer on our three children.

You were in the Philippines and then you ended up back in Chicago.

We were in the Philippines and once we were pregnant, we decided that we’ve got to make some consistent money, so I applied to different teaching positions around the world. There was a great opportunity in Nanjing, China, so we went to Nanjing, China for two years. We built ten different theater programs in these foreign language schools in English. We helped develop the curriculum. We taught there and we paved the way for them to build these English-speaking programs. China is expanding in a variety of ways. I don’t have to tell you that. You’re an astute man. You know this.

There’s a cultural element to what we’re doing here in the States with the way that artists are able to express themselves. It’s not that it’s missing in China because they have thousands of years of artistic achievement, accomplishment and development. What’s happening in the West is not fully expressed over there. What Jennifer and I were bringing, together with our friend Drew and a couple of others, were Western content. We’re giving these kids the opportunity to be on their feet speaking in English and developing their emotional palates.

What you have in China is a lot of only children. You’ve got this pyramid, where you’ve got the kid, you’ve got the parents and the grandparents all living under one roof. These kids are squeezed. They’ve got class before class at school and after school. They have their clubs and more homework. They’re then home at 8:00 PM. They’re pressured and they don’t get an opportunity to be on their feet expressing themselves in an imaginary environment where they can take risks. If you provide the material that has an emotional palette, it’s something they’re waiting for. It’s something they’re missing. We felt privileged to be able to share this.

Share and make a difference. Show other ways that there are other opportunities. Let’s talk about the theatre. How do you think that is translated into your role as a parent?

It’s seamless. I don’t think it’s that difficult. I’ll be honest with you. It’s probably the easiest transition that I’ve ever had. When I was probably twenty, I realized if I became an actor, I would never have to grow up. If my kids want to create things and use their imaginations, I can jump right in, be there with them and create with them. When people pay you to do that, it’s easy.

You don’t have to think about it. You just do it. You just be yourself. Your kids can be themselves. That’s about as simple as parents and that’s good.

It’s like climbing trees.

It’s always an adventure. What would you like to see in the future? What is your dream role? Maybe you’ve already had it or maybe you have something coming up you’d like to look into?

There’s some stability with doing different TV series. You’ve got employment for 8 or 10 episodes, and then the show gets renewed for a 2nd or 3rd season. You’re blessed enough to be able to continue. Your character doesn’t get kicked off or killed off or whatever. I’m a part of something and I can’t discuss it too much. It’s in development and I’m playing a lead in that. It’s something that I could see providing good conversation and thought for people in their daily lives. It’s something that as a man, father, son, brother and husband, I can relate with. It’s something that is going to push me to different levels of myself. I feel like all good art pushes us outside our comfort zones.

It’s scary because like climbing the tree, you’re going from one branch to another, which seems simple but then you look down and you’re like, “I’m 40 feet up here,” but you don’t think about that. You just think about grabbing the next branch, holding on tight and being thankful for the fact that you’re communing with nature. There’s nothing more natural than creating something as an artist. That is about as natural as it gets because it comes in and you present something, whether it’s some theatrical format. It only exists for the night or the performance or if it’s in film and television. All these other creatives get involved.

That’s one project that I’m excited about. There are a couple of feature films that I’m also up for and a couple of different writing projects that I should have had done by now but I’m not because I’m juggling. The future is bright with getting involved with other people’s projects and finding my voice as a writer and as a director. When you’re as old as I am and you’ve worked with enough people, it’s nice to start giving these people who gave me opportunities. Giving them opportunities and bringing them in to do what they do best. Get out of their way and let them flourish because I feel so empowered when people push me hard and then let me do my thing. That’s what I want to do for other people as well. That’s important to me.

I like the analogy of that. You have to give it up to the guy from that point to at least stand and be in that moment to appreciate that. I like to run a couple of different branches and the height put the finish to me.

The next time I see you, we should go climbing, Jordan. I’m serious.

I got a big tree around.

Next time I’m in Michigan, I’m stopping by. We can have a picnic and climb a tree.

I’m game for that. When I go out to Colorado and I go skiing, I don’t like to jump in cliffs, but I like launching off of the cut track and going out straight down. With all the stuff that you’ve done as an artist, writing projects and upcoming films, what do you do to unwind and recalibrate with everything that’s going on?

I feel like fitness is something that you have to be disciplined and you have to be consistent. When you’ve got a big family and other responsibilities, it’s hard to prioritize that but that’s in your mind. That’s your decision to say it’s hard. That’s it. If you say, “I’m going to do this and put in the time. It might mean that I get up an hour or two early. It might mean that I’m going to stay up late.” It has to do with recalibrating with my wife, making sure we’re on the same page, and supporting each other in that.

Some days, I wanted to work out one morning, and then my son started pouring water all over the kitchen floor. Life went sideways and I said, “I’m going to go with it and I’m going to get the workout in the afternoon.” I try to get an hour of workout in a day. I try to get in an hour of hitting the heavy bag to get some of my aggression out. I do Muay Thai. Jenny and I studied Muay Thai for a number of months in China. I like to kick some butt.

I could appreciate the fitness test. I taught people that fitness for me is a form of meditation because you get yourself in this zone and you don’t think about anything else. When you come out at that, you feel much better, grounded and stable, and then you’re ready to go on for the rest of your day or if you’re working out in the evening, you can let the aggression out if you start with the punching bag and whatnot.

AGT 19 | Commercial Actor

Commercial Actor: All good art pushes us outside our comfort zones.

We have a river that’s probably two blocks away from our house. There are some nice trails out there. Instead of running on the pavement, I like to run on the grass. There’s a golf course that is abandoned but they still cut the grass. It’s all these rolling small hills but then there are all these trees next to the big river, so I’ll be running up and down that. It’s easy on my knees and my feet. I’m more aware of this the older I get, the wear and tear on my body. I’m trying to do activities that make my body feel good and align with my long-term goals. Whenever I have a role, I’m trying to get in shape. I then get to that place, I’m filming and I’m feeling great. There’s so much focus. I’d like to keep that going for months afterward and that’s why I’m always trying to book the next project. I need that carrot. If I have no carrot, unfortunately, I’m like a lot of people. I let myself go for a couple of months and then I have to get back on the training and get it back together.

It’s an important point because a lot of people think they have to go crazy, go hard, go nuts. I’ve noticed as we get older, our bodies start to change. You appreciate doing what you’re comfortable with, knowing what works to go with your body. People got to understand that that’s okay.

You don’t look like your age, by the way.

Thank you. I appreciate that. I don’t feel my age. I’ll tell you why. It’s all because of wife’s healthy food and cooking and the stuff that she makes.

She takes good care of you.

I like the way she cooks and everybody likes what she makes. Eating healthy and working out is important. My last question is what brings you joy?

Fitness is something that you have to be disciplined and consistent with.

Waking up in the morning. Knowing that anything can happen in the day and I truly believe anything can happen in the day. A lot of people are afraid of death and such a thing. I feel like when you go to sleep at night, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know if that was your last day. I’m thankful that one of my kids jumps on me in the morning and I’m like, “This is not exactly how I wanted to wake up but that’s a great way to wake up. I’m going with it. This is what the day presents itself.” The ability to say yes, roll with the punches and work from a place of joy.

I had so many wonderful things in my life from being a kid to following my passion. It’s touching back into it. I’m not digging for the joy like, “Where’s the joy? This bag is empty and I’m going to reach way down there.” Sometimes, I have to choose it but I’m intentional about it. I’m like, “No. This is not going to bring me down. I’m choosing not to let that bring me down. I’m going to choose to move in this direction. We’ll handle that but we’re going to make sure we’re working from a place of joy and we’ll still resolve the issue.” It’s the mindset. The kids bring a lot of joy to my life. My relationship with my wife brings a lot of joy to my life and fulfillment. It’s a great foundation to work from.

I have to agree with that sleeping there and choosing what you want to do. I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to choose which way I like to go. That’s important for people to understand. Not just you but everybody. Having the option to choose is a cool thing to be able to do. I talked about this before. People tend to bring that back and they’re scared or they have too much fear. They don’t want to know what the unknown is. People that take action want to find out what the unknown is. You talked about waking up in the morning. If your kids jump on you, you feel alive at that point.

I liken it to building a bridge while you’re walking on it. Some people are like, “No, I need to build the bridge.” Some people build the bridge and they realize they didn’t want that bridge in the first place. They’d rather take the boat under the bridge. My take is to figure out which bridge do you need to build, but for the rest of them, life is short, you need to start walking, have the supplies with you and build as you go. That’s my philosophy. Not everybody subscribes to that but I feel like life is fleeting. Especially in the arts, you got to go for it. Somebody taught me, “Go where the energy is.” That would be my final statement regarding joy, achieving your goals, crushing your relationships and connecting.

I had a great time. I hope you do too.

I did. Thank you, Jordan. This is awesome. I’m excited for what our future holds and the different trees we’re going to climb and support each other with.

I agree with that. I’m looking forward to seeing where we end up from here.

Thank you.

Thank you. I’ll see you soon.

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About David Bianco

AGT 19 | Commercial ActorDavid Bianco is a Film, TV, Theater, and Commercial actor & educator based in Chicago. He is currently in pre-production on a Sci-Fi pilot and audiences have seen him most recently on NBC’s CHICAGO FIRE as Gary Pavone.

David earned critical acclaim for his portrayal of Dwight D. Eisenhower in the historical feature QUEZON’S GAME now streaming on Amazon Prime Video and is also appearing in the gritty Chicago crime series NEW TIES. David is a founding member of Dangerous Ground Productions in NYC and International Spice in Nanjing China. He originated the title role of MARCO POLO: AN UNTOLD LOVE STORY which premiered in London. He has shot commercials for Helix, Blue Cross Blue Shield, National Geographic, Serta, and the Department of Tourism.

David has a BFA in Musical Theater from Western Michigan University and an MFA in Acting and Directing from The University of Missouri- Kansas City. He lived and worked together with his talented wife Jennifer in NYC, The Philippines, China, Singapore, London and now resides with his family in Chicago. Follow his acting adventures on IG @officialdavidbianco.