Ed Quinn – Joe Satriani Taught Guitarist Turned Model and Actor is the Real Deal
Ed Quinn is more than just a pretty face. Having recently graduated from college, Quinn traded an internship with Coldwell Banker for a chance modeling gig that would ultimately change his life. His transition from pre-law student to on-screen heart throb seemed inevitable, however his climb to get there is dotted with some of the most entertaining right-place-right-time moments. Although Quinn's casting on CBS's One Day at a Time was the reason he called me for an interview, I was delightfully entertained by stories of meeting Pearl Jam on their first European tour, or his acting career taking off after randomly being sat next to Clint Eastwood at a restaurant.
Having learned guitar from Joe Satriani (yes, THAT Joe Satriani), I joked with Quinn that with those Bradley Cooper good looks and a guitar in his hand, he must have been the guy in the Quad surrounding by coeds when at Berkeley. "I'm Jim Belushi in Animal House. I'm the guy that takes the guitar and smashes it," he laughed, admitting he was way more loud and obnoxious in those days. "I wasn't Mr. Kum Bah Yah. I've always been more into the harder rock. I probably would have gotten a lot more attraction if I was doing Joan Baez covers under a tree."
Did I mention he was taught by Joe Satriani? "That was just the luck of the draw. He was the guitar teacher in Berkeley, California at Second Hand Guitars. So every little snot-nosed kid was just lined up to take guitar lessons with him. Although we would have conversations like, 'Hey, is our guitar teacher better than all out heroes?' 'Definitely better than Randy Rhodes.' 'I think he's better than Eddie Van Halen!' It was incredible, and of course we were all ecstatic when the world got to see the genius that we were exposed to."
Just how did a recent college graduate with a focus on law become an international model and actor. From a chance meeting. In a parking lot. While he was taking his clothes off. "I was just finishing at Cal and I was about to take an internship with Coldwell Banker and go in to commercial real estate because I decided I didn't want to go to law school. And I'm getting out of my wetsuit in the parking lot of Ocean Beach and this guy comes up to me and says, 'Hey, you want to take some photos?' And my first instinct is, like, I'm about to get sex-trafficked right here. But I fell for it, because I had friends that would come up from Southern California and they had these modeling books, and they would, like - you know, I'm working every night through college as a valet parking cars for five bucks an hour and tips. They'd go to San Francisco and shoot two hours for Macy's or Mervyn's, or some crap, and come back with $300 - $500 - $1500 a day.
"I took the photos, I got the agents, and started working. It was still kind of a lark. I was still going to go do the internship. And then I get a call from both of my agents, one is L.A. and one in San Francisco, that I've been booked in to some shows in Milan and Barcelona. Can I get to Europe?
"All the pieces started to fit about how you go to L.A. and become an actor."
I'm not lying when I say I could have talked to him for hours. Quinn is so kind, intelligent, and engaging. Check out Ed Quinn in One Day at a Time and BET's The Oval, and click below to listen to my exclusive interview.