David Paladino This American Life

David secretly desired to be an actor but found solace as a young child practicing and succeeding in sports. David was a high school football player who went on to shine at the University of San Diego, where he led the team in tackles his junior and senior years. David also coached at USD for one season. David's grandma, to whom he was quite close, died while he was in college. This tragedy pushed David to think more deeply about what he wanted out of life. He chose to enroll in an acting class at Mesa Junior College in San Diego. David had the opportunity to hear former Mesa alumnus Annette Benning speak.

This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass, showcased David Paladino's remarkable life story. Paladino was born in Chicago, Illinois, but his family relocated to Los Angeles when he was twelve years old. He went on to play football and get a business degree from the University of San Diego. Shortly after graduation, Paladino began working in accounting in Los Angeles while pursuing his longtime desire and passion for acting. He eventually quit his day job to pursue acting full-time. As an actor, writer, and producer, Paladino has won and been nominated for several honors. Among his accomplishments is winning an Ovation Award (Los Angeles Tony Award) for Best Lead Actor for his portrayal in Athol Fugard's The Island. Paladino's theatrical work has also earned him an NAACP nomination and a LA Weekly Award.

David, who is originally from Chicago, is a multi-award winning actor who has been described as remarkable and forceful by the LA Times and the New York Times, respectively.

David did not pursue the most straightforward path to acting; instead, he spent his high school and university years focusing on becoming a top athlete. After earning a business degree, he worked as an accountant in Los Angeles for many years. David's friend then sent him to an acting class, where he solidified his desire to be an actor and convey art to others, and his adventure started.

David's life story broadcast nationwide on NPR's award-winning radio show This American Life in May 2002. The 'This American Life' interview about David's life story sparked interest in film and television rights. David utilized his personal narrative as the inspiration for Champion, a one-act play in which he also appears.

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