Steve was living in Las Vegas booking comedy's hottest talents as the entertainment director of The Riviera Hotel, when he break in Martin Scorsese's Casino (an uncredited role). Following the experience, he decided he wanted to be an actor and proceeded to appear in various television shows and minor movie roles.
Then, the call came from David Chase, creator of The Sopranos. Chase asked him, "Do you want to be on the greatest show of all time?" Steve joined the show, essentially paying his way on set, having spent $22,000 in the first season just to make $25,000. But, as the show grew and his role expanded, Steve became a star. The Sopranos was one of the most-watched television shows of all-time.
Sometimes in life great opportunities can present themselves at moments where you least expect them. In Steve's case, as he was trying to build an acting career, he got a call about an opportunity that wouldn't do much for him financially, at least in the short term, but if was willing to take a risk, his career could be changed forever. That's exactly what happened when he took The Sopranos job.
Taking a risk on yourself is less risky than taking no risks at all. If you have the chance to begin living the life you have longed for, don't let it slip by.
Topics of note included:
- Growing up in Brooklyn and moving out to Las Vegas.
- Taking a chance on acting.
- Getting the role on The Sopranos.
- The real James Gandolfini.
- Uncle Steve's New York Specialties.
- Big Daddy's Rules and the Goomba book series.
- Life after The Sopranos, and working on Blue Bloods.