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Perhaps best known for his role on the worldwide hit HBO show The Sopranos, Chris Bashinelli is a motivational speaker who focuses on cross-cultural issues reflecting his passion for improving life for those from poorer cultures. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, he moved to Tanzania to explore the poverty on the other side of the global equation. He now travels the world examining the problems of impoverished areas; his TV series Bridge the Gap, which he produces and presents, promotes intercultural dialogue with its presentation of other lives as lived around the world.

Bridge The Gap TV is Chris's socially conscious production company that focuses on understanding what it is like to walk in another's shoes for a day. His interviewees have ranged from Ben and Jerry to NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, and his partners include the Jane Goodall Institute and Do Something, amongst other leading non-profit organizations.

Holder of a BA in Theatre Arts (Cum Laude) from Marymount Manhattan College, Chris is an Eagle Scout and a United Nations Guest Speaker who has spoken and emceed events in the UN General Assembly Hall in the presence of Ban Ki-Moon. As an actor his credits include An Inconvenient Truth Special on MTV and of course the aforementioned runaway worldwide success The Sopranos.

Full Profile

Chris Bashinelli (The Sopranos, HBO) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After years of reading headlines about world hunger, human suffering and extreme poverty, he decided to move to Tanzania. Now he travels to impoverished areas worldwide to find out first hand how the other half of the world lives. Chris is the producer and host of Bridge the Gap, an internationally recognized travel series that fosters intercultural dialogue by highlighting stories of every day life from around the world.

Chris traveled to Tanzania with a Sony handy cam and came home with a newfound meaning for life. He returned to New York to face tragedy and within two years would bury his father due to cancer. These turbulent times forced Chris to find meaning, and he did so in Bridge the Gap.

Chris is the founder of the socially-conscious production company, Bridge the Gap TV. He’s interviewed everyone from Ben and Jerry to NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo, and has formed partnerships with the world’s leading non-profit organizations, including the Jane Goodall Institute and Do Something.

Chris’s experience is in the world of film, with credits ranging from The Sopranos (HBO), to An Inconvenient Truth Special on MTV. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts (Cum Laude) from Marymount Manhattan College. He is an Eagle Scout and a United Nations Guest Speaker. He has spoken at international youth conferences and Emceed in the UN General Assembly Hall with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Chris is determined beyond measure to produce wide-reaching, socially conscious media.

Chris traverses the globe from Tanzania to Thailand as Host and Executive Producer of Bridge The Gap, a new TV show (premiering onPBS TV later this year) where he discovers what it′s like to walk in someone else′s shoes for one day.

He′s interviewed some of Time Magazine′s 100 Most Influential People on the planet, and at 26 years old, has become the United Nations Go-To-Kid for all things youth, Brooklyn, and cultural exchange.

Chris′ passion and charisma have made him a celebrated speaker and emcee at home and abroad.


Chris Bashinelli Speaker Videos Back to top

Chris Bashinelli - Speaking Reel


This video reel features Chris Bashinelli’s engaging, inspirational presentation style. He talks about meeting Abasai in Africa, who told him he was going to become a filmmaker, no matter what, and describes the long journey down his road to success. He discusses “finding the stoop” – a place where people in your community or workplace can congregate and solve problems. He talks about finding meaning, finding your passion, and finding common ground.

Chris Bashinelli - TEDx


Chris explains his concept of “Finding the Stoop," the place where people come together to meet and create. He says, “On Brooklyn, everyone lives on the street, which we call the block, and on our block there is a place where we sit, that's called the stoop. Now this stoop, it's a very special place… we all grew up on the same block, and we all hung out on the same stoop, it was our meeting ground, a connection point, the place where we could come together and have an open dialogue, say what we wanted, and we knew there wouldn't be any consequences down the line from our teachers."

Remembering back to the influence this multicultural meeting point had on his thinking, Chris explains, “The stoop was the first place I found out about difference, about equality, and the reason I bring up the stoop is that I believe each of us has a stoop in our lives, in everyone's neighborhood there is a gathering place where everyone can go and have an open conversation and not be judged, be equal with the person next to you."

Chris looks at his life experience and tells his audience how he has confounded expectations and followed his own path: “I want you to imagine that your whole life people have told you you are supposed to be an actor, you like being in front of people, you like attention, you're kind of funny, you should be an actor, and you think alright, I can try that… then you get a role on one of the biggest shows on the planet, The Sopranos… and one day you finish filming and you realize that even though you did a great job and it's the greatest day of your career, you're totally unfulfilled."

Chris Bashinelli - Keynote Speech Clips


Keynote Speech



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Chris Bashinelli’s presentations are universally inspirational. He discusses topics of leadership, community-building and social responsibility from a unique perspective. He engages audiences and inspires them to reach out to everyone around them and find some common ground. He also encourages audiences to find direction in their lives using concrete examples from his own.

Chris presents a series of inspirational talks in which he approaches familiar topics from eye opening new perspectives. He has a passion for inspiring his audiences to reach out and find common ground with others. He talks of how he made his journey from a Brooklyn kid to someone who can raise $100,000 from companies such as Ben and Jerry's and have his own TV show on PBS. Inspired by his travels around the world, Chris encourages his audience to drop their perceptions of their own limitations.

Talking of his travels all around the world to examine different cultures, Chris explains his concept of the stoop, the place of common ground where neighbourhoods and cultures meet, and shows how “finding the stoop" can create a more cohesive workplace. Chris is passionate about the search for true meaning and global awareness, and after hearing him talk you will be too.

Global Citizenship: From Brooklyn to the World A Guide to Unleashing Your Potential & Contributing to Humanity
How can a kid from Brooklyn attract major sponsorships from companies like Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and create an International TV show for PBS and the National Geographic Channel? Join Chris Bashinelli on this expedition from the slums of Haiti to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro to push the boundaries of what’s possible in business and in life. Colored with engaging audience participation and jaw-dropping footage, Bashinelli shares how participants can unleash their potential by adopting an unwavering commitment to serve others. Topics: sales, service, leadership, CSR, cultural awareness

Rules of the “Stoop” The Three Simple Steps for Connecting with the “Other”

What does it mean to respect people no matter where they come from, what nationality they are, or how they treat you? Bashinelli grew up in Brooklyn with the world on his stoop. His friends shared 13 backgrounds—Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Korean, Irish, Italian, Russian, and Puerto Rican—to name a few. He shows audiences how to strengthen any relationship by finding the metaphorical “stoop,” or place of common ground” in the work place—be it a Mongolian wrestling dojo or a South Dakota ranch. Join Bashinelli on this interpersonal expedition to “stoops” around the world. Topics: diversity, inclusion, cultural awareness, conflict resolution

Inner Nomad: The Key to Unlocking Your Soul’s Compass
Bashinelli has harvested buffalo with Native Americans in Pine Ridge, lived as a nomad in Mongolia, escaped from venomous Uganda, and worked side-by-side with individuals from countless corners of the earth. By walking in other people’s shoes, he helps audiences see that respect comes from understanding. He reminds his audiences that only then can they begin to create change, wherever they are in the world. Whether working at a fish market in Abu Dhabi, talking relationships with taxi drivers in Thailand, or looking for clean drinking water in Haiti, Bashinelli’s stories of cultural exchange present the audience with a new way of looking at the world in which they live. Topics: sales, service, leadership, CSR, diversity, inclusion

Ignore the Noise: Life Lessons for Ignoring the “Noise” and Discovering Your Passion
Have you ever been uncertain of your life’s direction? Actor, PBS TV host, UN speaker, and National Geographic Explorer, Bashinelli shares concrete examples colored by international adventures that help audiences ignore the noise and find meaning in their lives. At 20 years old, Chris gave up his acting career, moved to Tanzania, and discovered his true calling. How can I create my own adventure? How can I raise money for my mission? How can I be sure this is my path? In this presentation, Bashinelli gives each participant a great start at answering these questions for themselves. Topics: empowerment, inspiration, direction, cultural exchange, social change



Chris Bashinelli Speaker Testimonials Back to top

CHRIS’S RECENT APPEARANCES

  • UN Launch of International Year of Youth- UN General Assembly Hall, NYC
  • United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Bridging Cultures Forum- Brazil
  • United Nations World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue- Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Empower Youth 2011 Conference, Reach out to Asia- Doha, Qatar
  • Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoos National Leadership Retreat- New Orleans, LA
  • Girls Who Rock Benefit Concert w/ Shontelle- NYC
  • Global Issues Conference, American Community School of Abu Dhabi- UAE

    "Chris was outstanding and willing to go the extra mile to meet students. Every young person should hear his message."
    North Central Michigan College
    (Event booked by Speaking.com)

    “Bridge the Gap is a great idea and it’s need has never been greater.”
    UN Ambassador Ombeni Sefue (Tanzania)

    “Chris’s project is exciting and helpful to the people of our world.”
    Princess and Ambassador Mbikusita-Lewanika (Zambia)

    “Chris is beyond inspirational. Before, I thought ‘I’m just one person, what can I do?’ But now I feel I can really make a difference.”
    Mackenzie Stack (15 years old), Student at Qatar Canadian School

    “Chris is a trailblazer in that he is able to entertain and educate simultaneously.”
    Damian Wampler, Photographer, Founder of Colony Magazine

    “Chris has a one of a kind entrepreneurial spirit coupled with an overwhelming desire to be a positive influence for his generation.”
    Alfred Hanssen, former COO for Miracle Corners of the World




  • * Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    CHRIS’S RECENT APPEARANCES

  • UN Launch of International Year of Youth- UN General Assembly Hall, NYC
  • United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Bridging Cultures Forum- Brazil
  • United Nations World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue- Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Empower Youth 2011 Conference, Reach out to Asia- Doha, Qatar
  • Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoos National Leadership Retreat- New Orleans, LA
  • Girls Who Rock Benefit Concert w/ Shontelle- NYC
  • Global Issues Conference, American Community School of Abu Dhabi- UAE

    "Chris was outstanding and willing to go the extra mile to meet students. Every young person should hear his message."
    North Central Michigan College
    (Event booked by Speaking.com)

    “Bridge the Gap is a great idea and it’s need has never been greater.”
    UN Ambassador Ombeni Sefue (Tanzania)

    “Chris’s project is exciting and helpful to the people of our world.”
    Princess and Ambassador Mbikusita-Lewanika (Zambia)

    “Chris is beyond inspirational. Before, I thought ‘I’m just one person, what can I do?’ But now I feel I can really make a difference.”
    Mackenzie Stack (15 years old), Student at Qatar Canadian School

    “Chris is a trailblazer in that he is able to entertain and educate simultaneously.”
    Damian Wampler, Photographer, Founder of Colony Magazine

    “Chris has a one of a kind entrepreneurial spirit coupled with an overwhelming desire to be a positive influence for his generation.”
    Alfred Hanssen, former COO for Miracle Corners of the World


  • Global Citizenship: From Brooklyn to the World A Guide to Unleashing Your Potential & Contributing to Humanity
    How can a kid from Brooklyn attract major sponsorships from companies like Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and create an International TV show for PBS and the National Geographic Channel? Join Chris Bashinelli on this expedition from the slums of Haiti to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro to push the boundaries of what’s possible in business and in life. Colored with engaging audience participation and jaw-dropping footage, Bashinelli shares how participants can unleash their potential by adopting an unwavering commitment to serve others. Topics: sales, service, leadership, CSR, cultural awareness

    Rules of the “Stoop” The Three Simple Steps for Connecting with the “Other”

    What does it mean to respect people no matter where they come from, what nationality they are, or how they treat you? Bashinelli grew up in Brooklyn with the world on his stoop. His friends shared 13 backgrounds—Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Korean, Irish, Italian, Russian, and Puerto Rican—to name a few. He shows audiences how to strengthen any relationship by finding the metaphorical “stoop,” or place of common ground” in the work place—be it a Mongolian wrestling dojo or a South Dakota ranch. Join Bashinelli on this interpersonal expedition to “stoops” around the world. Topics: diversity, inclusion, cultural awareness, conflict resolution

    Inner Nomad: The Key to Unlocking Your Soul’s Compass
    Bashinelli has harvested buffalo with Native Americans in Pine Ridge, lived as a nomad in Mongolia, escaped from venomous Uganda, and worked side-by-side with individuals from countless corners of the earth. By walking in other people’s shoes, he helps audiences see that respect comes from understanding. He reminds his audiences that only then can they begin to create change, wherever they are in the world. Whether working at a fish market in Abu Dhabi, talking relationships with taxi drivers in Thailand, or looking for clean drinking water in Haiti, Bashinelli’s stories of cultural exchange present the audience with a new way of looking at the world in which they live. Topics: sales, service, leadership, CSR, diversity, inclusion

    Ignore the Noise: Life Lessons for Ignoring the “Noise” and Discovering Your Passion
    Have you ever been uncertain of your life’s direction? Actor, PBS TV host, UN speaker, and National Geographic Explorer, Bashinelli shares concrete examples colored by international adventures that help audiences ignore the noise and find meaning in their lives. At 20 years old, Chris gave up his acting career, moved to Tanzania, and discovered his true calling. How can I create my own adventure? How can I raise money for my mission? How can I be sure this is my path? In this presentation, Bashinelli gives each participant a great start at answering these questions for themselves. Topics: empowerment, inspiration, direction, cultural exchange, social change


    Chris Bashinelli - Speaking Reel


    This video reel features Chris Bashinelli’s engaging, inspirational presentation style. He talks about meeting Abasai in Africa, who told him he was going to become a filmmaker, no matter what, and describes the long journey down his road to success. He discusses “finding the stoop” – a place where people in your community or workplace can congregate and solve problems. He talks about finding meaning, finding your passion, and finding common ground.

    Chris Bashinelli - TEDx


    Chris explains his concept of “Finding the Stoop," the place where people come together to meet and create. He says, “On Brooklyn, everyone lives on the street, which we call the block, and on our block there is a place where we sit, that's called the stoop. Now this stoop, it's a very special place… we all grew up on the same block, and we all hung out on the same stoop, it was our meeting ground, a connection point, the place where we could come together and have an open dialogue, say what we wanted, and we knew there wouldn't be any consequences down the line from our teachers."

    Remembering back to the influence this multicultural meeting point had on his thinking, Chris explains, “The stoop was the first place I found out about difference, about equality, and the reason I bring up the stoop is that I believe each of us has a stoop in our lives, in everyone's neighborhood there is a gathering place where everyone can go and have an open conversation and not be judged, be equal with the person next to you."

    Chris looks at his life experience and tells his audience how he has confounded expectations and followed his own path: “I want you to imagine that your whole life people have told you you are supposed to be an actor, you like being in front of people, you like attention, you're kind of funny, you should be an actor, and you think alright, I can try that… then you get a role on one of the biggest shows on the planet, The Sopranos… and one day you finish filming and you realize that even though you did a great job and it's the greatest day of your career, you're totally unfulfilled."

    Chris Bashinelli - Keynote Speech Clips


    Keynote Speech



    Inspiring Cultural Awareness Around the World with Chris Bashinelli

    By Chris Bashinelli

    Chris Bashinelli (“Bash”) is one of the most exciting young inspirational speakers in the world today. He’s acted (on The Sopranos), spoken on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly Hall, been a TV host (Bridge the Gap) and more. But, the most important thing to him is being a positive, powerful, productive global ... more

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