MEET anthony robert grasso
ACTOR-DIRECTOR | ARG STUDIOS LLC
My career as an artist spans over 30 years as an actor, director, and teacher in Film, Television and Theatre.
Growing up in the heart of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn in a two family house occupied by a Jewish family and an Italian family. The neighborhood back then was mostly Italian Americans and Jewish families. I was exposed to a double culture and would refer to myself as a pizza-bagel! The best of both. Although these days I'm more a native New Yorker, spending most of my time in Manhattan.
Being a character actor, I look for roles that challenge and allows me to play multiple diverse roles: for example, a grieving father, an alcoholic, a conflicted priest, a belligerent chef, a bumbling assassin, a corrupt mayor, a corrupt governor, a corrupt corporate mogul (a lot of corruption - sensing a theme here), a conflicted artist who gives up on his dream and a romantic lead, (finally a romantic comedy!). Some credits include numerous independent features and short films: Gun Hill Road (*Sundance 2011), Billy’s Cult - (Distribution 2013), The Pigeon Egg Strategy (*Sundance 1999- shot in Hong Kong). Indie RomCom, Swiped Right earned me my first acting award of Merit, Best Lead Actor, at The Best Shorts Competition, the RomCom Swiped Right won Best New Jersey Short Comedy at The Brightside Tavern Film Festival and Nominee Audience Choice Award at The Hoboken International Film Festival. I'm looking forward to the release of these recent Short Films that I've completed this past year, Kill AL (Sci Fi Thriller), O2, Poughkeepsie, The Handy Man and Any Given Tuesday.
My primetime television credits include: MARVEL (Recurring Role), GOTHAM (Guest Star), BLUE BLOODS, PERSON OF INTEREST, WALL STREET PROJECT (Pilot with Jon Cusack), UNFORGETTABLE, and finally shot my trifecta - appeared on all three Law & Orders! (Law & Order, Law & Order CI and Law & Order SVU), THE BLACK DONNELLEY’S, NYPD BLUE and SEX & THE CITY (ironically playing no other than a photographer).
Currently, I am cast a series regular on the independent series, A Beautiful Distraction, coming soon.
Besides Film and TV, I've appeared in commercials both nationally and regionally. I was fortunate to have worked with one of my favorite film directors, M. Night Shamalayan on his AMEX Campaign. It was a short film which aired during the 2005 Oscars, naturally we spent a great deal watching commercials that year.
After studying at The British Academy Of Dramatic Arts in 1999, I returned to NY and began teaching. As a teacher I have served on the faculty of Stone Street Studios - Film and Television (adjunct Studio to NYU Tisch School of the Arts), Paper Mill Playhouse , New York Film Academy, Breakthrough Studios and The New York Conservatory For The Dramatic Arts. At Breakthrough Studios, I was the founder & artistic director. Breakthrough was one of the leading acting & networking studios in NYC for a over a decade. I am most proud of that experience because it helped thousands of actors achieve unprecedented success and helped shape many careers in Film and TV.
I founded and am teaching at ARG STUDIOS…
…film & tv audition technique/scene study classes. I have over 70 students enrolled in an ongoing month to month classes. Being a Method and Meisner trained actor, my teaching philosophy is simple, I've integrating contemporary acting techniques from Sanford Meisner, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler and transitioning these essential skills for TV and Film.
My PHOTOGRAPHY career was born due to the birth of my daughter back in 2004. I began taking photos of her every move and caught some beautiful portraits. After a while people would say, "You should do headshots!" So, I decided to combine my artistic background (a BFA in fine art at SVA) along with my knowledge as an actor and teacher to launch my career as a headshot photographer. While owning Breakthrough Studios, it allowed me to experience thousands of seminars & classes. These experiences gave me the confidence to gain extensive knowledge of the acting community and understanding the essence of a marketable headshot. Being an actor and a teacher to actors, it came naturally for me to have a shorthand and a chemistry with other artists so I can bring out their truthful essence. Thus, fast forward 15 years and thousands of headshot clients later - an additional career was born. I'm most grateful that without advertising, most of my headshot clients find me by word of mouth and referrals from other actors, agents and managers.
One of my teachers said to me, "You have the spirit of a soldier and the heart of a poet." I'd like to believe that I have honored those words by living my life as a true artist.