Austin Ku

SAG-AFTRA, AEA





My Performer Website
BIO
Austin Ku is an award-winning Asian American stage & screen actor based in New York City, specializing in playing upscale young intellectuals, as well as comedic scene-stealers. Austin trained extensively in theater and musical theater, and has given critically-acclaimed, award-winning performances for principal roles in musicals and plays on Broadway Tour, International Tour, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and Regionally. He also appears in principal roles in several films (studio features and festival indies) and television shows (network, cable, and streaming), as well as in commercials, print modeling, and hand modeling. In his free time, Austin enjoys studying improv, playing classical violin and learning other instruments; he also loves to cook and hopes to one day appear on a Food Network show.

Austin Ku was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri, and began his artistic studies at the age of 6 with classical violin (which he still plays). As a teenager, he also dabbled in piano, viola, and various visual fine arts before becoming most active in high school choir and drama classes; in his junior and senior years of high school, Austin was in Honors Acting Studio and was selected to both All-State Choir and All-State Orchestra. Austin was also very focused academically as well, and was a National Merit Scholar who graduated fourth in his class (out of over 350).

Austin received a early-decision scholarship to attend Rice University in Houston, Texas, which has a strong reputation in both academics and classical music (Rice's music conservatory is known as the Shepherd School of Music). While at Rice, he double-majored in Vocal (Opera) Performance as well as East Asian Studies, and performed constantly in University musicals and operas (as well as playing violin in the Campanile Orchestra)--he received two "Sammy" award nominations (as Berger in Hair and the Balladeer in Assassins) and then a win (as the Emcee in Cabaret) in the "Leading Actor in a Musical" category of the school newspaper, the Rice University Thresher. He also began acting and modeling professionally in the Houston area with different theaters and talent/modeling agencies.

After Rice, Austin thought he might channel his love of the arts towards the more "practical" career of being an entertainment attorney, and attended UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), also on scholarship. However, Austin soon found himself drawn back into performing once again--first in on-campus shows, and then professionally with Bay Area theaters and talent/modeling agencies. Austin did graduate law school and passed the California Bar (becoming a licensed attorney), but after a brief (and extremely boring) stint practicing entertainment law in the real world, he realized that he needed to try pursuing a career as a performer.

In order to supplement his classical music background with more theatrical training, Austin attended the Master of Musical Theater program at the prestigious Boston Conservatory at Berklee (one of the top musical theater training schools in the country, also known as "BoCo"), again on scholarship. While at BoCo, Austin performed in several school shows, and also began performing and modeling professionally in the Boston area. Austin was able to attain professional industry representation in New York City through the school's graduation showcase presentation, and subsequently moved to NYC and hasn’t looked back since!

Austin now performs in principal roles in plays and musicals all over the country, including NYC (Off-Broadway debut in 2012), on tour (2012-2013 International/Broadway Tour), and regionally (multiple theater awards!); Austin has also appeared in leading and supporting roles in studio feature films & festival award-winning independent films (Sundance, SXSW & Tribeca Film Festivals), as well as in Guest and Recurring roles on episodic television shows, and in several national commercials and print campaigns. Recent acting honors include receiving a StageSceneLA "Scenie" award and an SF Bay Area Dean Goodman Choice Award; as well as nominations for a Barrymore Award (Philadelphia area), an IRNE Award (New England area), and a BroadwayWorld Boston Award. Austin has been a vocal soloist with the Boston Pops and Great Waters Pops Orchestras; he is also a regular soloist with the USO Show Troupe (fka the USO Liberty Bells), which is based in NYC and is the only entertainment troupe officially chartered by the USO to perform at military events around the country.

To see what Austin is performing in now, check out the NEWS page!

Austin is very proud to have attained membership in the principal actors' unions in the United States: the stage union
Actors' Equity Association (the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States), and the on-screen union SAG-AFTRA, which was formerly known separately as AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and SAG (Screen Actors' Guild). He is also a graduate of the improv training program at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), where he continues to study improv and musical improv.
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