Learning is M.A.G.I.C.
Founder & Artistic Director

Tonyo Melendez started his professional career at the age of fourteen acting in Radio, Theatre and Television in Central America. After starring in his own TV series for two years, he came to the United States to study. His studies were interrupted by the U.S. Army where he served for two years during the Vietnam War. After his discharge he studied at the University of Virginia earning a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. He then attended Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Acting and Directing.

Tonyo Melendez has appeared in over 70 television shows and ten films including, “Last Plane Out” in which he starred. He has also appeared in leading roles in 35 plays in Southern California ranging from Shakespearian tragedies to Restoration farces. In between acting jobs he has found time to study with Lee Strasberg, Robert Lewis and David Craig. He was the recipient of a two-year scholarship at the Strasberg Institute and he is also a graduate of the Los Angeles Musical Theater Workshop at the Music Center.

Mr. Melendez has directed and/or choreographed musical comedies such as; “Oklahoma,” “Finian’s Rainbow,” and “Come Blow Your Horn.” Dramas: “The Sand Box,” “No Exit,” and “Tea and Sympathy.” Variety shows: “The Club That Never Closes,” “The P.Q. Singers” at the Kennedy Center, and “Uncle Funky’s Revue” at the Ford Theater in Washington, D.C. Tonyo served as teacher/director of Rio Hondo’s College production of the musical drama “Sarita,” and directed USC Department of Theatre’s production of “Thin Air: Tales of a Revolution.” Mr. Melendez adapted and directed the production of Cyrano de Bergerac that was presented at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. His last directorial assignment was the critically acclaimed production of Clifford Odets’s play “The Big Knife.” As a writer, he has three screenplays currently being considered for production. He is also writing his third novel entitled: “America Changing.” It is his goal to produce motion pictures in hopes of opening opportunities for Hispanic actors in Hollywood. Mr. Melendez is Founder and Executive Director of Leaning is M.A.G I.C. and has developed curricula currently being taught in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Ana, and Glendale school districts.

Mr. Melendez can currently be seen in two feature films: “Thanks for Smoking,” (with Robert Duvall) and “The Dukes,” (with Chaz Palminteri).

Learning is M.A.G.I.C. has a mission to “Share Secrets with Students for Academic Achievement.” These “secrets” include unique methods of self-expression, fun ways of generating creativity, problem solving through conflict resolution, and the enthusiastic celebration of each student’s individuality.