People You Should Know-Tommy FlorioBusiness and Lifestyle, People You Should Know — By Buddy Sampson on May 26, 2016 at 7:57 pm
Having the “It” Quality
There are many stars in the entertainment industry, “shooting stars,” that capture our attention for a short period of time-talents that are flashes in time, but flame out under the atmospheric pressures of Hollywood. Those that are successful, and become successful, have a quality that most people don’t possess. Some have called that quality an “it” quality. James Dean, Leonardo DiCaprio and other star actors have had that quality- a youthful exuberance that commands attention and immediately captures a room. Actor, singer and entrepreneur Tommy Florio has “it,” the “it” quality required for long-term Hollywood success.
The handsome and charismatic young actor, singer-songwriter and entrepreneur is making his push in Hollywood. He was recently featured in a spinoff of the iconic TV series “Shark Tank,” “20/20 Sales Challenge with Kevin O’Leary” and won out of thousands of individuals from all over the country, illustrating his prowess in business acumen and the nuances of the business world.
Born in Philadelphia, and raised in Ventnor City, a city near Atlantic City, Tommy Florio has the drive and ambition to succeed, a trait he acquired from his father. “Growing up, I lived all over the country,” said Tommy Florio, whose father was actively involved in the gaming industry. “I was born in Philly and then we lived in Linwood, which is right outside of Atlantic City. And from there we moved to Sioux City, Iowa, Tornado Valley, pretty much and then to Kenora, Canada, which is like Arctic Circle, then from there to Minnesota, Minnesota back to Jersey, in the Cherry Hill area and then from there to Vegas, and then from there, back to the Cherry Hill area.” If that wasn’t enough relocating, he decided to go to New York to college, where he studied business. He also studied acting at Weist-Barron-Ryan in Atlantic City, NJ studying under Ursula Ryan among others. “I studied the method there and just fell in love with it,” he reflected. “This is where I should have been a long time ago.” At the school, and through his own study, he learned about method acting and the great method actors, such as Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Marlon Brando, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, James Dean, Denzel Washington and James Dean. He studied at the prestigious Fordham University School of Business in New York. While there, he created an app, “Create Me,” which garnered the attention of an ABC executive, who suggested he try out for the 20/20 show with Shark Tank head Kevin O’ Leary, a competition which Ryan won. Recently, Ryan introduced Tommy to producer Suzanne DiLaurentiis, who recognized the star quality of the young actor and entrepreneur.
Florio has several talents. He is a talented actor, singer/songwriter, and adept at business. But which of the roles does he most prefer? “I just like creating, at the end of the day,” said Tommy. “I always created and I want to keep creating, whether it’s a company, whether it’s a song, whether it’s a part in a story for TV or film. I love creating characters, that’s probably by far my favorite. I love creating music, that’s my happy place. Creating characters is like escaping reality, not being me for a while, becoming something else, becoming someone else. Creating a business, that’s a whole other beast of its own. It’s like creating a life. The similarities between all three of them are that they’re all different entities of creating. But when it comes down to it, my favorite is acting. I just like creating someone else.”
As a featured performer in small clubs and coffee houses, Tommy Florio gets his inspiration for his songs in many ways, but finds that being on the road provides the greatest motivation for his compositions. “I try to write music that I would want to hear while cruising on the highway,” he revealed, getting his inspiration from places he’s traveled on road trips, such as Montreal or Florida. He lists Sam Cooke, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Jack Johnson, The Black Keys and many others as inspiration for his music. “I have very eclectic tastes so I would categorize my music as ‘to be determined, ‘” he laughed. “I love blues, rock and indie rock in general.” When asked about who his greatest inspiration is, in terms of business and life, Tommy is unequivocal in his answer. “My dad,” said Tommy Florio about his dad, Tommy Florio Jr. “He is the main influence in terms of business and my work ethic in general as a person. He made a name for himself and had that hustle mentality. He is my hero. He has this endearing and great personality. His best advice to me was ‘don’t push anything off until tomorrow that you can do today’.”
Tommy Florio, with his charisma, personality and drive, has that “It” quality. It makes him a lock for one of the “People You Should Know.”