Steven John Janosco grew up in Lakewood with his parents and older sibling who, "California dreamin', on such a winter's day," moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1950. His father, John, was a union organizer, his mother, Bea, was an English teacher, pianist, and published poet, and his sister, Judy, was an actress in high school.
The Golden State native is known for his work on To Serve Ketchup (2007), Butterscotch (2010), Dare to Dream (2010), and To Pierce an Angel's Wings (2017).
With his Danube Blue 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS, he made his acting debut as a shade tree mechanic in 1986. Filmed in Sacramento, the title of the independent movie is lost to the ages. He appeared as a Trinity Control Center Technician in the TV mini-series War and Remembrance (1988) at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert. And in 1990 he played a California Gold Rush Prospector in Something in the Valley, a musical staged near the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento.
Following a 15-year hiatus he returned to acting and worked from 2005 to 2019 in Northern California including the Bay Area and Central Valley. From his home near Sacramento he traveled far and wide, from Tres Pinos to Sebastopol, Stockton to Magalia, El Dorado Hills to San Francisco, Grass Valley to Half Moon Bay, and to many locations in between. His theme song was "On The Road Again" by Canned Heat. His ride was The Silver Bullet, a Toyota Camry LE. Thanks to Colleen Kenneavy, Beau Bonneau Casting, his moment of fame occurred when he appeared in Moneyball (2011) with Brad Pitt. "I saw you, big as life, standing next to Brad Pitt in Moneyball. What a great shot," said his former colleague, Chris Davis, past president, California State Information Officers Council. "Went to the Moneyball opener and saw you plain as day on the big screen tonight Steve, hand on heart saying the pledge of allegiance. You looked good," said Rob Tillitz, his co-star in Butterscotch (2010). Recognition is nice, but as George C. Scott said in Patton (1970), "All glory is fleeting." During a dry spell a few years later he turned to writing. Right out of the gate he found success. Separate panels of judges at Access Sacramento and Nevada County Television selected his screenplay The Wrecking Yard (2019) as a winning entry in two film festivals, A Place Called Sacramento and Here in Nevada County. From there it was back to acting. In terms of output, 2015 to 2017 was his most prolific period in front of the camera. His best year ever was 2017. Thanks to Richard Falcon, the director, he even got a gig in live theater, Ed Begley Jr.'s Cesar and Ruben (2017). He was living the dream. As a sideline he sang and played acoustic-electric 6-string and 12-string guitars at sports pubs, wine bars, breweries, bars and grills, pizza parlors, restaurants, farmers markets, coffee houses and delis, and his favorite venue, Nicholson's MusiCafe in Folsom. The cafe closed permanently in May 2019, two months into the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. He performed songs by popular American and British rock bands of the 1960s such as Buffalo Springfield, The Kinks, and The Beatles. His repertoire included For What It's Worth, written by Stephen Stills, Tired of Waiting For You, written by Ray Davies, and from the UK and Australian soundtrack LP for A Hard Day's Night (1964), Things We Said Today, credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney, written by Paul McCartney. As an actor and a musician, Steve had the time of his life, but "All things must pass," so say the lyrics of George Harrison.
Showbiz wasn't his only career. Inspired by Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, he worked in public service for 35 years. Most of his time as a soldier, guardsman, reservist, and civil servant was in public affairs, also known as public relations (PR). In the words of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities (1935), "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
After 26 years of presenting external information to the news media, the public, and local communities, and internal information to fellow employees, he exited the PR arena and focused on helping homeless veterans. As part of his official duties, he conducted research for a legislatively-mandated report with the California Association of Veteran Service Agencies. The members included Vietnam Veterans of California, based in Santa Rosa, Swords to Plowshares, San Francisco, U.S.VETS, based in Los Angeles, New Directions, West LA, and Vietnam Veterans of San Diego. He felt honored and privileged to work with the executive directors, CEOs, and presidents - Peter Cameron, Michael Blecker, J.D., Stephen Peck, M.S.W., Toni Reinis, retired Navy Cmdr. Al Pavich, et al. - and their staffs, as well as other individuals and organizations including the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. He could not have done it without them, especially Steve Peck, Gregory Peck's son, whose contribution was invaluable. Subsequently, he submitted A Study on the Status of Homeless Veterans in California to the Office of Gov. Gray Davis and the California Veterans Board.
He returned to public affairs less than two months before Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. The heartbreaking scenes of death and destruction on CNN motivated him to request as much annual leave from his full-time job as his supervisor would approve and volunteer for two weeks as a public information officer with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He requested New Orleans, but FEMA assigned him to hot and humid Texas where thousands of traumatized evacuees from Louisiana sought refuge. After two nights in Houston and a few days in Austin he served the remainder of his temporary duty in San Antonio. At the former Kelly Air Force Base he did some media relations, assisted a couple who lost everything except their car and the clothes on their backs, and, as part of a team, helped to reunite a husband and wife separated during the Superdome evacuation and bused to different states. "'Twas a humbling experience indeed," said Steve.
Katrina and helping homeless veterans, his most rewarding assignments, left a lasting impression. As Phil Ochs sang, "There but for fortune may go you or I."