John-Riley O'Handley is     


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John-Riley is a Canadian born actor, producer, and educator. He attended Dalhousie University in Halifax Nova Scotia for his BA, graduating with a major in Theatre and minor in Business.


Following his post secondary education, John-Riley founded the Toronto-based theater company Workhouse Theater, began producing films with Waterwheel Pictures, and acting in a variety of projects. He always had a focus on telling the stories that offered new perspectives on our typical lives with characters we see everyday but maybe don’t notice.


John-Riley took his passion for characters and their stories to New York City in 2015, where he was trained at the Actor’s Studio masters program at Pace University.  After graduating with his MFA John-Riley has taken his experiences at Pace University back to television, film, web-series, and live performance, as well as producing and teaching.


Committed to his own development, John-Riley throws himself into each role, seeking his characters many sides and abandoning himself to the continued exploration and lessons the characters always teach him.

John-Riley is excited to be introducing Preston as THE CREW series and ensemble develops.




1.   Preston had a happy time growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut.  His fondest memories were of riding  between his Mother and Grandfather on galloping horseback, laughing and talking in open greenscapes. 


2.   When Preston was little his father was only a shadowy presence.   He  didn't seem to belong in Preston's  grandfather's  house.  And he didn't seem to notice his son, except for the occasional surprise-attack rough housing his father  would do (when there was an audience to watch) that was meant to be fun, but was bruising to Preston.


3.   Preston was home schooled by his mother, and  her constant companion.    Except when she was  with his father.  Preston noticed how dressed up and excited his mother would be waiting for his father to come home from work (at his Grandfather's company).  But all his parents usually did was go into their room and close the door.   


4.    In 1992 Preston's younger brother ALISTAIR was born, and when he was old enough to crawl Preston's father was suddenly around, roughhousing with his youngest son to  mutual  delight.  While  Preston got his mother attention.  She  loved to cook and  started to give him regular lessons. Preston excelled in the kitchen. His mother -- subject to sudden fatigue -- found a way to travel with her son  through food, teaching  him to appreciate  different tastes and cultures (she herself had never seen).


5.    In the year 1996 the Yankees won the World Series -- eighteen years after their last title.   It was also an important year for Preston's family.  His grandfather's health forced him to retire.  Preston's father took over running the business.  For Preston it meant more Grandfather time and never seeing his father (yeah!). But Preston's mother mostly disappeared into her room, while a nanny took care of four year old Alistair. 


6.    Retired, Preston's grandfather mostly liked to go to baseball games.  He'd take Preston and Alistair to both the Yankees and Mets, sharing the history of all the great plays and players.  He tried to teach his grandsons that competition was about more than a game and winning. It was about honor; working in harmony with others; and challenging yourself.


7.    When Preston was eighteen his Grandfather died and Preston learned he had been left a trust fund of $50 million.  It would be fully his when he turned thirty-two.    That was how old his grandfather had been when he met his beloved wife, who died before Preston was born.  His grandfather believed before that age he would not have been humble enough to know she was the one.

8.     Under pressure from his father, Preston went to business school.  But while he was away at school, his father had his mother institutionalized. When

Preston went to visit her, he couldn't reach her, though she sat across from him.  Then Preston learned his father  (now manager of his mother's estate) was making radical and risky changes in the running of his grandfather's company.   Preston dropped out of college, disowning his father. 


9.     Preston knew his voyage of self  discovery could only happen in worlds far from Greenwich.  Learning about food shaped his travels, with just a backpack, across the country and world.  His sense of worth became tied to his ability to feed others.  He hid that he has money because if normal people knew, then he would no longer be normal. 

10.   Preston lives simply, wearing  casual but expensive clothes worn so long they seem secondhand.  His footwear is rugged country-city boots. His treasures are his chef knives, and --passed on from his Grandfather -- a yellowing baseball signed by Joe Torre  and a tattered copy of the 'Catcher In Rye'. 

11.    As  Preston was turning thirty, he still felt unsettled, years after leaving  home, never having found  a steady connection to  community.  He settles in Manhattan and goes to culinary school, while trying to reconnect with his younger brother Alistair.   But Preston, who is obsessed with being the opposite of his father, hates how under his father's spell Alistair is -- money focused, arrogant and fake. 

12.    Preston is a great listener who inspires trust.  He identifies with people trying to find their place in life. Yet,  though he puts himself in new situations, he is not spontaneous when it comes to sharing his own feelings. 


13.   Preston covers up his social nervousness with smiles and by  telling  corny jokes (like his grand  did).  He sometimes can come off as peculiar.  Though he has never spoken about it, Preston fears the shadow of his mother’s mental illness will one day overtake him.  


14.    Favorite Movies: