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Meet Leslie Rubino

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Rubino.

Leslie, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started performing at the age of five years old in community theatre productions. It was an escape into the unknown for me. I could dress up and be someone other than myself! A dream come true. I learned very early on that the stage was my outlet for creation and escapism. I grew up in a small town that was primarily focused on sports and 4H. Theatre, though existent, was not what Fallbrook was known for. Luckily, I found The Mission Theatre and the Fallbrook Players Junior Conservatory. I met other kids and teenagers like myself who just wanted one thing: To be an actor. I was very fortunate to meet inspiring directors and board members who believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.

At the age of 13, that doubt set in. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I felt lost, scared and worried I wouldn’t fit in because all I listened to was musical theatre and maybe *NSync here and there. I was called out and bullied for my quirks and passions in middle school. “Why is this happening? Why are they making fun of me?” I didn’t understand reason behind their malice. Was it to keep a social status that would fade in the next five years? Or were they threatened because I knew exactly what I wanted to be as a kid and I never let that dull my shine?

The older I got, the more I realized that their opinions didn’t matter. I knew I could make it. I knew I had something. I wouldn’t let my mental health overshadow who I was. Once I became comfortable with finally living the life I wanted and didn’t have the pressures of the adolescent mindset to tear me down, I finally found who I was in Color And Light’s Theatre Production of LIZZIE. I was, and still am, fascinated by serial killers and what leads a person to commit a crime. I knew all about Lizzie Borden and the argument of whether or not she killed her parents. And it was a musical?! DING DING DING! I auditioned not knowing the music but made it a point to learn and embody Lizzie.

When I got the email that I would be playing Lizzie Borden, I had no idea the impact it would have on my life. I made some of the CLOSEST friends I have ever made in my life, we had a creative team all focused on female empowerment, I got my first and current agent through the show, and I found my voice in the world of theatre. I shaved my sides, sported a pompadour and dyed a portion of my hair red. I found who I was. I still face issues regarding my anxiety and mild depression. I wake up every day and meditate to put myself in the positive mindset I need and I use my workbook to help me get out of my head. Being an actor can definitely heighten one’s anxiety and depression, but I have learned to not let it define me or tear me down. I will have auditions that go better than others and I will have days where I tell myself, “What if you don’t make it? Then what will you do?” Instead of focusing on the unknowable, I do what I can now to create and uplift anyone who is going through the same thing. You aren’t alone.

Has it been a smooth road?
My anxiety has been a huge issue for me. I had the pleasure of working onboard a Carnival Cruise Line as a performer, which was a dream of mine since I was a kid. Unfortunately, I left early due to horrible anxiety issues and depression. I let that define me for such a long time in my life since I was 13 and I still deal with it now.

Please tell us about your work.
I am a proud actor and improvisor in Los Angeles. I have had the privilege to put myself through the Second City Conservatory Program and I have been fortunate to be a part of three premium shows along with being a part of a great sketch team called Murder. I have also achieved a BIG dream of mine: Working at Universal Studios in Hollywood. I had the pleasure of being in Grinchmas last year where I played one of the bakers. It was a dream come true! I knew I wanted to continue my career at Universal. When the new year hit, I found out they were holding auditions for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I wanted to a Wandkeeper. I went to the park one day and just watched wand ceremony after wand ceremony. I stood out my audition and was offered the job! Due to Coronavirus and the park being closed, I still make it a point to practice my RP around the house. I believe I am a unique actor and I stand out because of my appearance and the way I carry myself. I sport shaved sides and a bright red streak in my hair and most of my fashion can compared to the punk generation from the 1990’s. For the first time in a long time, I am comfortable with who I am and what I stand for in the musical theatre world.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I love the most about this city is how we have all come together to make a change in the most positive and peaceful way. Black Lives Matter has brought the country together and I love how LA has come together from Downtown, Hollywood and the Valley to bring justice and peace to a world that so desperately needs it. What I struggle with is the amount of money it takes to live here. My husband and I have great day jobs, but we still live in a very tiny one bedroom. The over priced luxury apartments are geared toward the elite group and instead of building luxury apartments that basically no one can afford, that money should be going to our schools, non-profits and the homeless.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Samantha LaBrecque
Josh Telles
Shea Donovan

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