Rising star Kazy Tauginas is a former restaurateur and Golden Gloves boxer turned actor.
He has appeared in numerous theatre, film and television roles including as Ari in The Equalizer 2, starring Denzel Washington.
After writing several short films (and starring in over 20 of them), Kazy drew inspiration from his mother, who had been diagnosed with lupus, and his own boxing experience and wrote "Standing Eight," a short about a boxer who is forced to retire and contend with life outside of the ring after being diagnosed with systemic lupus.
During the spring of 2015 he oversaw two successful Kickstarter campaigns to fully fund the film. Since its completion, "Standing Eight" has won eleven festival awards including Trinity International Film Festival's Best Short Film. He hopes to release the film later on Amazon, with proceeds going to Lupus charities.