Joe Sernio was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey (The Heights). He has been in the industry for 14 years (As of 2015). Known for “Joe” (All My Children) and shows such as As The World Turns, Rescue Me, Love Monkey and Films such as The Road House, Mourning on Charlotte Street, Meet Mario and more.
Graduating from Howell High School in Howell NJ Joe went on to Graduate from The Chubb Institute twice, once with a computer networking degree and another with a technical support degree. He later left the field and went into the Restaurant Business at the age of 20. Later owning 455 Restaurant Bar and Lounge in Downtown Jersey City. Joe took control of the Restaurant with his uncle, entrepreneur John Sernio of Sernio’s Auto Body in Jersey City after the unexpected death of Joe Sernio Sr. Who died on his 45th Birthday in 2012.
During his time at the Restaurant, Joe entered the entertainment industry. Immediately following the close of business each day, Joe would leave The restaurant and take the PATH Train directly into downtown Manhattan where he studied acting with his first coach at The Ted Bardy Studio and went on to study with several coaches such as Bob McAndrew who taught actors and actresses such as Christopher Walken, Richard Dreyfuss, Raul Julia, and Sela Ward.
He soon landed the role of the Stage Manager on Love Monkey opposite Jason Priestly and Tom Cavanaugh. Despite the show’s positive reception, it was canceled after one season.
Throughout his career, Joe has modeled and appeared in various print work and media. He is well known around south Jersey as the face of Bentley Diamonds. His most exciting opportunity came as a surprise when he bumped into a woman in Little Italy who took an interest in the young actor. He was featured in what was later a national print ad for Stuff Magazine, spotlighting Italian actors in film, TV, and music. He sat down that day and posed with some of the best in the business; actors from The Godfather, Donnie Brasco, even Tommy Patillo, lead singer of The Dupree’s, who would go on to become close friends with Joe to this day. Motivating him, Joe began to audition more frequently and would soon land a role on a hit daytime soap As The World Turns as a college student. This job provided Joe with acceptance into the AFTRA Union, where auditions started becoming a day job in itself forcing Joe to sell the family restaurant to pursue acting full time.
Joe continued to stay with As The World turns doing some background work for a few months when he soon auditioned for All My Children. After going on his second audition Joe took a recurring role in over 28 episodes of All My Children, playing an ICU orderly “Joe” in the infamous Pine Valley Hospital. During his time Joe eventually landed the role of the late George Allen Smith, portraying a young man’s true story and the events leading to his death on TruTV’s nationally syndicated television show, Haunting Evidence. The success and joy of acting on the small screen enticed Joe to break into a medium on a whole other scale. Film.
Joe went on to work with Sarah Jessica Parker in the Feature Film Spinning into Butter and other Award Winning Independent Films. Sernio teamed up with young writer/director, Nick Pavano, and was cast as the lead in his second feature film, The Roadhouse. Joe’s resources and knowledge also earned him a producer credit on the project. The film would go on to premiere at The 2009 Garden State Film Festival, selling the venue out beyond capacity on opening night and winning the festivals prestigious Audience Award. Sernio developed a great working and personal relationship with Pavano and the two produced several shorts together in the months following. Without wasting any time, they teamed up once again to produce a web series called Compulsive, where Joe took on one of his most challenging roles to date, ‘Chris Donner’, a dark and troubled assassin living a double life. A pilot was assembled but the series was put on the back burner after production struggles in late 2009. Continuing a career in film, Joe took the lead role of Lorenzo in award-winning director Frank M. Calo’s, Mourning on Charlotte Street a true story about the unbreakable bond of brotherly love.. which takes place in the Bronx in 1953. Reprising the success at The Garden State Film Festival in 2009, Sernio’s latest would go on to clean up shop in 2010, taking home awards for Best Drama, Best Thriller, Best Director, Viewers Choice and a nomination in a festival for Best Actor for Joe’s portrayal of Lorenzo.
A jack of all trades, Joe decided to explore other ways to channel his passion for acting, taking it from the small screen to the big screen and now to the stage. In 2010, he began working on live script readings in New York City’s elaborate theatre district and most recently a stage production opposite small and big screen star, Vinny Pastore.
During the years Joe has been nominated for 6 Acting Awards and won 4 Acting Awards. He absorbs his each and every opportunity with the utmost in focus and dedication, all while keeping his feet on the ground and his friends and family close. He helps a number of charities in his off time, including the Ashley Lauren Foundation, helping children in the fight against cancer, The Alopecia Foundation, The National Arthritis Foundation and The American Heart Association to name a few. He has spoken at several high schools, offering his experiences and knowledge for those looking to break into the industry.
In October of 2012, Joe Sernio took The Mourning on Charlotte Street Film script and put together an interactive reading series. The show took place on October 13 and 14 of 2012. With over 20 cast members, Lighting Techs, Set Managers, Sound Techs, Photographers and more Joe Sernio was able to bring this interaction production to life. The weekend was a hit. The show sold out its first run. Joe Sernio brought one of the most powerful interactive readings to Asbury Park.
Sernio now owns an online Marketing Company, Shoreline Media Marketing with offices in both Asbury Park NJ, Jersey City and West Hollywood California. Joe started this company by helping fellow actors with their online presence in his dressing room on shows he was working on at the time. Still, 100% involved in acting Joe now works with residences in both New Jersey and West Hollywood California. Allowing him to work from anywhere when needed.
Joe is still a young man. With a forever growing resume and eternal passion for what his craft, he doesn’t see himself slowing down anytime soon. As the opportunities come knocking, Joe will be there to dive in with open arms.
He has recently worked opposite Charles Dutton, Ray Boom Boom Mancini and others in several feature and short films. He continues to audition weekly.
He has been Awarded The Pastorelli Award For Acting at The Garden State Film Festival, The Jersey City Honorary Achievement of the Arts in Acting Award at the Brightside Film Festival, Best Supporting Actor For Meet Mario at the Northeast Film Festival and The Honorary Achievement Award for Acting in Asbury Park NJ at The Hang on to your Shorts Film Festival. He has been nominated for Best Actor 3 times as well as Best Supporting Actor.
In August of 2015 Joe worked alongside boxing legend Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Tom Sizemore, Kevin Interdonato and Russ Russo on the new feature film “Bad Frank.” (Source: IMDB)
We had an opportunity to speak with Joe. Check out his interview below.
Hi, Joe! What an amazing body of work. Any new projects in the works?
Yes, a few exciting ones. Bad Frank the multi award-winning thriller is now on VOD platforms such as iTunes, Amazon and more. I was an actor as well as producer on it. I am actually in LA now working on our newest film Dirty Dead Conmen. I was honored to be a producer as well as executive producer on that film. Amazing group of people… as far as on the acting front; I plan on getting back into that within the next few months. A few projects are lined up.
What inspired you to become an actor?
Quite a few things. It has been a dream for a very long time. I saw one of my very close friends Kevin Interdonato (also my producing partner now) on television and instantly admired it. Called him up and he was the one that helped me out. Never forgot my first book he gave me; Michael Cain “Acting in Film”. I fell in love with that, read it all of the time now. From there I met and worked with a lot of important people that helped shape my career. Some who are still here, some who have left us, but I am extremely lucky to have the friends I do. Kevin and I work together on multiple productions to this day.
I did not star in this one. I had a very small part in the film but was producer on this film. Within the first day of the trailer release we hit over 20,000 views. The response has been amazing!!!
You’re no stranger to production work. Do you feel working in several areas in the industry enhanced your skill as an actor?
100% – I am a workaholic though. I do not stop. I do not think you can stop these days. My true passion is acting but focusing on all aspects of the business helps so much. Plus I get to do it all with my childhood friends. Two guys from Jersey.
Tell us what inspires you to choose a script?
It really all depends. The most important is that it has to grab me…. It has to pull me in. Can I relate, can I feel for the characters? P.S. I LOVE a good chick flick.
After a successful short film, television, and film run, are you planning to star in more?
Yup! That is my end goal. My next moves are lead or supporting roles moving forward. I love the production end but love acting.
Yes. Like I said I cannot stop working. I feel I have to. If there is downtime then do something else. I once took one of my favorite scripts “Mourning on Charlotte Street” (it was a film I did years ago). I edited the script, had some help writing monologues and I turned it into an interactive play… It was great… We sold out two weekends in a row. It was a great production. I did a few others with a close friend, Vinny Pastore (Big Pussy from the Sopranos), which did very well in NY as well as around the shore and a few in Rhode Island.
You’re also involved with charity organizations, such as Ashley Lauren Foundation, The Alopecia Foundation, The National Arthritis Foundation and The American Heart Association to name a few.
I made a promise to myself that whenever I have the opportunity to help anyone or any cause, I will. The above foundations have stuck by my side for years, so I stick by theirs and try to do as much as I can to help. I have been very fortunate to become close with many foundations.
You also own an online marketing company that helps other actors with their online presence. Tell us more.
Funny, we actually have 0 actors. Shoreline Media focuses on small, medium and large size businesses as well as franchises to help increase leads online. Business to business is the main focus and generating them business is the main priority. I started building websites on the set of Soaps way back in the day. When I was out of work for a bit I started building them for friends, businesses etc. eventually doing it full time. I started the business in my grandfather’s bedroom; from there I build a home office in Brielle, and then started my first main office with one employee. From there grew to 3 employees. As I grew out of that space I upgraded to another office where I now have 7 employees and work with some large companies. We also have an office in Hollywood. It’s been a hell of a ride but a challenging one as well.
Running a business helps you with the business of acting, producing, etc. You learn a lot. This day in age you can never stop. You have to sink it all in and do whatever you can to succeed.
Thus far, what has been the best experience working in the industry?
Oh wow…. Do you have a few hours? I have worked with so many amazing people on so many amazing shows, films, etc… But to be honest… the absolute BEST experience is putting a smile on my mom’s face when I do something else with what I love…. That is by far the BEST!
Do you have any upcoming projects that we haven’t mentioned?
Not right now. Bad Frank, Dirty Dead Conmen and …….. Oh wait there’s one more…….. Oops I can’t tell you about that one yet J
Complete this sentence, if I had an opportunity to do anything I want, I would do ___________.
What I love ….. Simple as that. What I love. Follow my dreams and follow my heart. It’s taken me to places I have never imagined thus far.
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