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A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to meet an actor notorious for his role as Escobar Gallardo in the television series Nip Tuck. Robert LaSardo is not your typical Hollywood actor. His heavily tattooed exterior gives off an intense vibe but it is that very look that brings his character portrayals to life. Having lived through a rather tough upbringing in the heart of the Big Apple, Robert was still able to succeed, transcending above all the opposition of a city he semi- jokingly states “Doesn’t exist anymore, except in a memory”.
My hopes are that by reading this article, you become aware and find inspiration in these words. Keep your own motivation strong; your dedication will pay off!
After reading his bio online, I was curious to find out more intricate details of his past, present and future. Wondering what it must have been like to grow up in New York City, I asked him to tell me a little bit about his childhood. What he said set the mood for the entire conversation.
“When I think of my childhood and growing up in New York City in the 1970’s, the first thing that comes to mind is the Coney Island Amusement Park. With its old wooden roller coaster rides and big sandy beaches, it was the closest thing to paradise that I knew. My desire to escape I developed at a very early age. I used to lift up the window next to my crib and climb out onto the street. The neighbors would find me wandering around in my birthday suit. Eventually I would be returned and inevitably do it again. My situation at home was turbulent growing up. I witnessed violence and endured an assortment of abuse. I do not see the point in blaming anyone for what happened. I am only grateful now that I had to struggle early on so that I could develop the skills to survive on the streets and in the world. New York was, and still is a city that will test you. Forget the agonies of success and the goal-oriented mind that seeks its name in bright lights. There was a primal brutality to the Big Apple, which made navigating the logistics of the city in the 70’s deadly. It was also a time of great artistic expression and raw sensibility that gave the graffiti streets a unique charm. People ask me where I am from, and I find it funny these days when I consider what Brooklyn has become. My response is that where I am from does not exist anymore, except in memory. I’ve joined the ranks of a tourist looking around at a world that no longer makes any sense.”
Amazed that after all of that, he would still be motivated to push towards something more. I pressed for further details. Since his family was not a big support system, who was it that he turned to when he needed that extra push. The answer was a man named Anthony Abeson. Robert states that he showed him the value of a true friend.
I don’t think I would still be here if I hadn’t had the courage to embrace what he needed me to understand about my future. No matter how I tried to convince myself that I would fail, he insisted that I would succeed.
Anthony would even tell Robert that one day, they would write characters respectively with you in mind that will suit your appearance. Anthony was not wrong.
After his graduation from Performing Arts in 1981, he spent the following summer exploiting his destructive tendencies rather than cultivating any creative strategy for the future. His personal life was a mess and his own family was so broken that he was begging for a new life. One that provided more stability, considering his current state was the complete opposite. He decided to trade his rebellious ways and create something more by enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He spent two of his four years handling Navy attack dogs in the Aleutian Islands. When asked if he feels the Navy helped to turn his life around, Robert replies with “The Navy allowed me plenty of time to exhaust my conventional notions about being a man, and forced me to look within to see the true landscape of my life.” Sometimes that is all a person needs is a little time to think.
To change up the mood, I decided to ask Robert what one of his most favorite memories was. With a warm smile and a slight laugh he replies, “I had a childhood buddy that was always there for me and I think took a guilty pleasure in our collaboration of mischief against unsuspecting neighbors. Andy and I were the neighborhood pranksters. I remember that one afternoon we spent hours constructing a dummy. We took a pair of pants and a long sleeve button shirt and stuffed it with newspapers to make it look lifelike. Once we were done, we carried the dummy quickly outside and placed it by a trash can in front of the apartment building where I lived. We made sure to cover the upper body with clothes since neither of us had the skill to build a realistic head. We rushed up to the rooftop and watched eagerly as pedestrians walked past the body’ clearly disturbed by what the scene suggested. It was hard not to laugh at the various reactions of people not amused by our macabre sensibility. It didn’t take long for us to gasp when a cop car showed up and gave our prank credibility for about two seconds. We hid like mice and watched in glorious fear as our partner ‘the dummy’ was wrenched from the ground and stuffed abruptly into the trash. Andy and I always found creative and inventive ways to deal with our boredom, thank God.”
Even as a child, Robert inspired to become more, more than just what his family could offer. Given everything he has been through to get where he is now, I asked him what sort of advice he would give to anyone that may be close to giving up on their dreams. What he said was a very wise response.
I think it’s important to keep a careful eye on the integrity of a dream and what it is we claim to love to avoid being seduced by the form it takes. I believe that the inner workings of an individual’s dream or goal is an extremely personal matter, and not to be confused with the glossy and superficial apparatus of mainstream media. If we allow others to define our creative potential by a condition of exploitation, we suffer the pangs of ego and undermine our strength as artists.
For those of you who lean more toward the Machiavellian school of logic, your ambition must be absolute and unwavering. It is crucial to ignore the input from those who have no idea what it means to be you. All the complexities of your past life that have prepared and shaped your disposition in relationship to your goal will seem like lunacy to most. There will be few people in your life, if any, who will be able to grasp or support a lifelong commitment to a profession that promises so little. But that shouldn’t matter, since you and I know that the journey itself is who we are, and without it life has no meaning.”
Machiavellian poetry spoken to the hearts of the masses.
Just in case you were wondering, his favorite snack is Keebler Toast or Peanut Butter Sandwich crackers and his favorite drink would be Tonic water (winky face).
If you are interested in more from Robert LaSardo, he currently has a book available on Amazon titled ‘Gabriel’s Trial’ that you can find by clicking on the link here
With a new movie set to be released this upcoming Christmas, the best way to stay on top of all his new projects would be to go to his website and check out some of the trailers that are up on the homepage!
Hope you enjoyed that article everyone, we were very privileged to have this opportunity with such a wonderful, humble person who has lived such an enriching life. Thank you for the read and stay hooked to our Facebook page so you do not miss any of the exciting news only Xposer Magazine can bring!
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