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Chris Orbach: Bio

Chris Orbach is licensed real estate salesperson, an actor, writer, musician, singer-songwriter, and voiceover artist born and raised in New York City, where he trained at the High school for performing arts, and spent brief periods at the Summer classical program at the Webber-Douglas academy in London and at Suny Purchase, before graduating with a BFA in Film and Television production from NYU’s Tisch school of the arts.  His theatrical credits range from a moustache-twirling heel in the Irish Repertory Theater’s "Peg O’ My Heart", to two roles in Richard Scheinmel’s award winning plays “Uber Mom” and “Lost In Staten Island” at La Mama, to various roles in Collective Unconscious’ hair-raising stage documentary “Charlie Victor Romeo” — a collection of re-enactments of black box recordings from doomed air flights — to a performance of his own monologue piece “Fast”, about how growing up in Chelsea in the 70’s and 80’s dovetailed into a mid-life interest in marathon running, staged at Tony Torn’s Torn Page as part of Chris’ new autobiographical theater group, “Memoir Radio” with co-founders Laurence Mason and Patrick Daniels.  His film and TV work includes a small part in John Gallagher’s “Blue Moon” with Rita Moreno and Ben Gazzara, and several episodes in Law and Order SVU’s first season, where he played a recurring (and then, mysteriously, vanishing) character.  He appeared both on that show and the “mothership” version of Law and Order in some scenes alongside his father, the late Jerry Orbach.  A self-taught childhood pianist who then picked up guitar at age 21, Chris’ musical endeavors have included two self-produced albums of his original songs, “Safely Through The Night” released in 2004, and “Secession" released in 2009, and hundreds of live performances of his music in formats ranging from solo acoustic shows, to acoustic duos with NY Jazz/blues ace guitarist Stew Cutler (Chris’ longest-running musical partner) to full bands featuring talented musicians such as drummer Graham Hawthorne (who’s worked with Paul Simon & David Byrne) bassist John Montagna (who’s toured with The Alan Parsons project) and occasionally his older brother Tony Orbach, formerly of the legendary NY band Urban Blight, joining in on tenor saxophone.  Chris has also performed singing blues and standards in jazz combos around the tri-state area.  In his travels, he’s cracked jokes with Jennifer Aniston, gotten drunk with Peter Dinklage, made Al Pacino laugh, beaten James Caan at a game of 8-ball, talked with John McEnroe about guitars, watched Sir Robert Stephens do speeches from the Scottish Play in a restaurant in London, and hunched in a corner of a recording studio while Sonny Rollins recorded.  He has been a poet, a photographer, and a swing dancer, and has finished eight marathons, all in his forties, while staying true to his vegan diet.  But of all the things he’s done and hats he’s worn, husband and father are the two he’s proudest of — he married graphic designer Nicole Vallance in 2011.  Their son, Aaron Thomas Orbach, was born in October of 2014. They split their time between New York City and the western Catskills, where Nicole tames their bountiful garden while Chris beats up his highly uncooperative lawnmower. :)