Hello out there, somewhere! I’m Tony Suriano, the host of the Podcast, Unfake It Till You Make It. In a nutshell, I’m a working Writer, Producer, Director, and Actor in the entertainment industry who is infatuated with the magic of filmmaking and curious about practically everything. Below is a longer snippet of my personal trials, tribulations, and triumphs if you care to learn more about me.
Growing up in Los Angeles, I was mesmerized by cameras, characters, music, magic, and skateboarding. It all resulted in me created many kooky collaborative short films with thousands of precious trials and errors. After high school, while continuing my filmmaking, I studied music theory and film scoring intensely for 3 years. Upon completion of my music studies, I traveled the U.S. for nearly three months covering over 3,500 miles by motorcycle. I returned to Los Angeles with a brand new perspective but with the same money issues as an artist. I sporadically lived in a warehouse, in-between friends homes, and then in a unique space that could seem like an “end all be all” situation to some—my youngest sister and her boyfriend’s small gym. It was detached from the house and had full mirrors on each wall with full weight sets and Arnold Schwarzenegger pictures on the walls. Arnold and I had some great workout sessions together. I loved it and was so grateful.
Eventually, I hunted down a quaint Atelier (artist’s dwelling space) also known as an office that I consider one of my saviors. Amidst all this, I got into ’spec’ commercial submissions. That meant, I created and submitted self-funded commercials for huge brands based on their guidelines in hopes they may purchase from me. In 2012, I wrote, directed and acted in my 3rd ‘spec’ commercial. I was at “that point” where I sold most of my things for extra cash, so I had to edit it all together with my sister’s terribly slow laptop. I wanted to give up more times than I’d like to admit, but since my good friend Shane, my only crew member put in his time and effort–I knew I had to finish. After too many slow special effects that I learned on Youtube and several export errors, I finally finished my 1st commercial pay off for Ahhmigo Greens Drink. See it here: https://youtu.be/CE4g0yMKklQ. It was chosen out of 104 other submitters to be purchased for $7,500! I remember the moment I received the email, I literally had to show it to my friends to make sure I was reading it correctly. It was official, I was a professional filmmaker because I was getting paid for my work.
Shortly after, I was back to rubbing pennies together (as my dad would put it). Luckily, I have amazing sisters and through a referral of my eldest sister, I was hired as a Production Assistant on a reality show that taught me a lot of basics I missed. While trying to hustle camera and directing gigs on the side, I slowly worked up to an Assistant Cameraman in larger commercial productions on and off, which led me to a couple of my most valuable mentors and friends.
Fast forward to now: I started a production company in Santa Monica California called Onairus Films and have directed and produced content from out of country rocket launches in French Guiana to cross-country classic car rallies, to recently, a behind the scenes video for Micheal Jackson’s choreographer Travis Payne. Seems like I’m rocking right? Well yes and no. Yes, I am still doing what I love most and am more motivated than ever to continue. No to staying consistent and often booking lucrative gigs. I’m grateful for these ups and downs because it has led me to finally start a podcast, something I have really wanted to do for years but never felt I had the means. And low and behold, now I have cemented my means to learn even more of the inside scoop from peers and mentors in the entertainment industry. I’m on the search to find moldable methods that lead to continual thriving in this cut-throat world…and I’m delighted to share my findings with you. AMOR FATI ~ MEMENTO MORI