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Eric’S STORY

 

Eric Kwasnjuk, (pronounced kwaz-nee-yuk) is living his best and most exciting and wondrous time of his life. He is an exceptional actor and a free spirited, oddball comedian–having worked with Dave Chappelle, Zack Galifinakis and producing and starring in award-winning films in South Africa. Grit, faith and determination are what motivates him to never, ever give up on himself. His passion for acting and entertaining are his enthusiasm for life. The eldest son of six children born to Dale, a (homemaker, South African descent) and Nikolaus (a machinist, Ukrainian). Eric was raised in a blue collar, close-knit neighborhood on a dead end street in North Philadelphia. A shy kid who experienced social anxiety he discovered acting as a way to make human connections. Growing on Front Street he wrote little plays, often recreating sitcom comedy episodes for the neighbors on their stoops. He soon found his passion for acting in stage plays while in high school.

He studied theater at “Lehman College-City University of the Bronx”. Performing Shakespeare’s “Othello” to Chekhov’s “The Three Sisters” “The King and I” playing the king (years before he actually lost his real hair) and acting in over a dozen plays mostly under the guidance and direction of Professor Shauneille Perry who was the first cousin of playwright Lorraine Hansberry “(Raisin in the Sun”) and one of the first African American woman to direct off-Broadway while also studying at HB (Herbert Berghof) Studios with Victor Garber. He then spent the next decade working various odd jobs as an accounting assistant, a waiter, telemarketer and doing singing telegrams often running to gigs in Manhattan dressed as a big green Ninja Turtle.

 

His beginnings in comedy were shared with newcomers Zack Galifinakis, Dave Chappelle, Jim Gaffigan & Rhetta.


He performed at numerous NYC clubs, went out on the road and did a short stint in Los Angeles. Often broke and sleeping on friends couches into his mid 30’s he decided to finally earn some real money by moving back to Philly and becoming a real estate agent. Acting and comedy were put on hold for financial security and to support family. After a successful decade in real estate he journeyed to Cape Town, South Africa to meet his mother’s family for the first time. A chance meeting with the dean of a renowned film school called AFDA got his attention and opened up a whole new world of creative possibilities. With family & friends encouragement he moved to Cape Town to attend Film School earning a BA. in Motion Picture Medium. He learned to direct and write and act in some festival winning short films, (“Happy Earth Co” a film about entrapment bed in a not-so-distant future in which depressed citizens are forced to buy their happiness through technology. He also produced documentaries and got his first taste of writing, producing and starring in his original sitcom pilot (“Who U Kiddin?”) for SABC TV. He also played New Delhi Man in the Sci-Fi channels “Dominion” Living in South Africa was a major awakening of his creativity. He started doing comedy again in his 40’s. The acting bug was alive once again.

 

Directors began hiring him because they saw he could connect with a character in a story on an honest, dimensional level.


The roles he has played have dealt with loss, regret, winning, introspection, wonder, crisis, breakdown, drama, discovery, farce and dark comedy. Coming home to Philadelphia he began studying the teachings of Sanford Meisner for three years with “Play House West – Philadelphia” under the guidance of Tony Savant. Acting in short films. In the fall of 2019 he made the decision to leave real estate and relocate to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career full time with passion & determination. He can play the wacky eccentric neighbor, the sappy nonsensical co-worker, the dejected addict, menacing law enforcement agent, the maladjusted guy in therapy, the unlawful offender, etc. His comedy timing and character personas enhance any project he is hired to work on. The past seven years have been filled with training full time, establishing new authentic relationships on set and off.. Currently training weekly at Cinema Gym with Alex D’Lerma and performing at the Improv on Melrose and the Comedy Store weekly. Multiple appearances on the #1 live televised comedy podcast in the world, “Kill Tony” with host Tony Hinchcliffe. The old cliche definitely applies here. “Acting is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” It’s never too late to reclaim one’s exuberance for acting and fulfill your destiny.