Rising star Kazy Tauginas is a former restaurateur and Golden Gloves boxer turned actor.

Growing up just outside of Chicago, Tauginas played many different sports, settling on figure skating before he discovered a natural talent for boxing after college. His grace on the ice helped him in the ring, where he fought in 13 amateur bouts.

After trying his hand in the restaurant business, Tauginas turned to acting and writing, a passion that led him to the New York Film Academy, where he graduated from their Conservatory Acting for Film.

Tauginas has appeared in numerous theatre, film and television roles. His television credits include “Person of Interest,” “Blindspot,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” “Blue Bloods,” “Believe Me” and “Sneaky Pete.”

Tauginas’ film work includes “John Wick,” “The Broken Tower,” “Terminal Legacy,” “Eleanor,” “Sollers Point,” “Life Is Too Short,” “Empire Gypsy,” “Recruiter” and “Sheer.” He can next be seen as Ari in “The Equalizer 2,” starring Denzel Washington and in theatres July 20th.

After writing several short films (and starring in over 20 of them), Tauginas drew inspiration from his mother who’d been diagnosed with Lupus, and his own boxing experience, and decided to write “Standing Eight,” a short about a boxer who is forced to retire and contend with life outside of the ring after being diagnosed with systemic lupus. During the spring of 2015 he oversaw two successful Kickstarter campaigns to fully fund the film. Since its completion, “Standing Eight” has won ten festival awards including Trinity International Film Festival’s Best Short Film. He hopes to release the film later this year on Amazon, with proceeds going to Lupus Research Alliance.

Tauginas resides in New York City