Ato Essilfi Bracato Essandoh is an American television and film actor. Essandoh was born in Schenectady, New York and graduated from New Rochelle High School in 1990. He received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Cornell University. He first joined theater when he was dared to do so by a girlfriend. He is also a playwright, and authored Black Thang which is published in the anthology Plays and Playwrights 2003. He studied acting at the Acting Studio in New York City. Essandoh is the co-founder of The Defiant Ones writing and performance group. His parents are from Ghana. He launched a podcast, Unrelated, together with his childhood friend Chris Cecot.