Episode 10: Ernie Lijoi: When I Gave Into My Demon Desire
“Ernie Lijoi looks like a tough guy and sings like an angel. He’s also a multifaceted font of creativity; playwright, songwriter, singer, actor, musician, comedian, storyteller and he puts on a bunch of those hats right in this podcast.” -Bobby Bermea
Ernie produced three albums as a young recording artist in the early 2000’s. His last CD Better Days was awarded “Best Unsigned Artist – Album of the Year” by Billboard magazine. He was also a member of the prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical theater workshop, where he took his songwriting to a more theatrical level. His songs have been recorded and performed by cabaret, choruses and jazz artists internationally and in 2015, he had two songs in the Broadway musical It Shoulda Been You. His own musical Under the Influence for which he wrote book music and lyrics was produced in Portland that same year and won a local Drammy award for “Best Original Score”. His newest musical The Pursuit of Happiness had its first workshop at the 2019 OUTwright Theater Festival and is slated for a 2020 production.
Ernie came to Portland from New York City, where along with his music and theater creations, he worked as a digital technologist for a multitude of advertisement firms. On relocating to Portland, he decided to go back to school to fulfill a lifelong desire to work in health care. He has recently graduated from Concorde as a Respiratory Therapist.
Ernie is now a board member for Fuse Theatre Ensemble which produces the Outwrite theater festival, an annual to showcase new works from the LGBT community.