I am Tony Lossano! To some of you that may come as a surprise…to others it may surprise you if I told you that I am NOT Tony Lossano.
Tony Lossano is not my birth name and to my knowledge, the only close relative in our family that is Italian is my Uncle Dan. I was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight…Um, OK, that may not have been my original name, but really, how much info do you need from me before I get my identity stolen?
This may not be common knowledge, but it isn’t a secret either, so before you see it on TMZ, I will expose myself here just for you…I was born Tim Losczyk. Notice the lack of vowels in that last name. Try pronouncing it, spelling it or remembering it. These are three things that you don’t want to have an issue with when you are trying to make it in show business. In grammar school I was asked what career do I think that I will get into...I predicted that I would be an actor. Even then, I knew that my last name would be an obstacle. I was never fond of the name “Tim” so if the last name was going, so was the first. Yeah, my parents love me for this.
When it came to acting, I had already been on the stage performing under that name in plays since I was four years old. It was when turned 15 that I got my first radio gig. I was a contributor to the nighttime jock, Peter Bucalo on WLS-FM’s old Z95 (WYTZ - Chicago). That was when I was told that my name was not radio friendly, so as Pete was known on the air as “Peter B.” I followed his lead and went by the name of “Tim L.”
That Christmas, I went with my family on a vacation to Los Angeles, as we traveled by Amtrak. During the long ride, I began to write a story about this kid about my age, moving to L.A. and becoming successful in Hollywood. The focus of the story was on his personal life with his new friends, including a famous actress who took him under her wing to help him with the struggles of balancing a crazy life of fame. The famous actress in this story was loosely based on Alyssa Milano who's name was also used to help create the main character’s last name, which was Lossano. The first name was Tony, “taken” from Tony Danza.
Lossano is the combination of three names: Losczyk – Alyssa – Milano. If you overlap the three names (as shown below) you get LOSSANO.
I liked the character so much, that I took his name for myself and eventually wrote a new version of the LOSSANO series, renamed “210” and the character was changed to Tony Long. (Both were renamed after the character address in the story; 210 N. Long in L.A.)
It was in high school that I started using Tony Lossano here and there. I even got it into several yearbooks, along side my picture. By this point, besides acting in the drama club, I was deep into journalism, stage crew, print shop (graphic designs), Forensics speech and debate competitions & the Aspira club. However, radio was my goal at this point.
Since my school did not have a radio department, I started doing “pretend” radio with friends. This was where I first uttered my new name in a bit when I said the sentence “I am Tony Lossano!” From that moment on, I professionally became Tony Lossano. The radio career did not pan out at that time, but I started to do video productions for cable. I produced stuff under my birth name, but if I appeared on camera I used my new showbiz name.
In 1997, when NUDE HIPPO started on cable, I was behind the scenes producing the show under the name Tim. But soon after going through a bunch of hosts for the first year, it was decided that the 5 producers would turn the show inside out and host the show themselves, on LIVE TV. The only kink in the plan, who would I be? As producer I was Tim, as talent I was Tony, so who the heck was in this role? I couldn’t answer that question, so in the meantime, I went by the name “THE PRODUCER WHO THINKS HE’S BARBARA WALTERS” Yeah, that was what I was called.
After nine months, I finally decided to go with Tony Lossano. After that, for the most part, the Tim name faded away and everyone got to know me as Tony. I also went into radio, while still doing TV, and established myself amongst the Chicago media community.
It was years later before I even noticed that most of the people who knew me as Tim were no longer around in my life. I just assumed that everyone knew this about me. They didn’t.
It wasn’t until Mariana Perin, a newer close friend of mine, who I knew for about a year at this point, heard someone else call me Tim. She questioned what was up with that. I just looked at her while someone else explained the whole deal to her. She was simply shocked. As if she just found out that her good friend had been lying to her ever since they first met, about who he was…Oh wait, that is exactly how she took it. I can’t quote her here, due to language (I’m trying to keep this clean) but basically she was yelling something like “What the @#$%! Who are you? Are you with the @#$%ing CIA or something?” I was more shocked than she was, as I had no intention to deceive anyone, especially my loving friends. I don’t think that I have fully recovered from making her feel that way. (Just so you know, we do remain good friends to this day and we are equal business partners of a production company named Lossano/Perin, Ltd.)
Now I’m going through a new phase with my name…This Facebook thing has reconnected me to old friends going all the way back to first grade. Most of these old friends have not said a thing about me being Tony Lossano…I figure there could be three reasons; 1) They don’t remember my original name and think that maybe I was Tony back then. 2) They have figured it out or have followed me online/TV/radio/newspaper and at some point realized that I am now Tony. 3) They really don’t care what I call myself and have their own lives to worry about. (I know how unlikely that last one is).
So in order to not surprise any new virtual friends, I just want to make this perfectly clear, I am Tony Lossano!
My good friend Jen had the best reaction when she first found out that I was also Tim. "Oh, that explains the monkey!" - I clearly didn't understand the comment, until she reminded me that on the staff page at NudeHippo.com, there was a pic of me under Tony, but Tim had a different pic.
Oh, that explains the monkey...unless she WAS still referring to the actual pic of me. ;)